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I Want to Sew…Where Do I Start?

Mandy
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sewing basicsSo you're ready to get into the sewing thing and your ready to start your first project. But, do you know the sewing basics? Do you have a sewing machine? Are you familiar enough with it to know how to operate it? Well, maybe this article can shed a little light and point you in the direction you should go.

Now, this is by no means is a sewing basics 101 guide. I just this short article to point out some things you should know to get you going on your first project quickly without minimal frustration. Oh, there will be some frustration...I just hope to help you keep most of your hair intact! Well let's get started.

Sewing Machine Basics

If you're just starting out then you need a sewing machine, right? If you're lucky, maybe one was handed down to you. Or simply you decided to go out and buy your own sewing machine. Whatever the case, you probably should start off with a basic machine. A beginners sewing machine - no muss no fuss. You want to get to making wonderful creations quickly, not having to take a 3 month course on how to just use the machine.

If you have walked in a craft store or did an internet search recently, I'm sure you know by now that there are several types of sewing machines - Embroidery machines, serger and overlock, blind stitch hemming machine and I won't even go into the industrial sewing machines. The different types of machine are sure to boggle the mind. Just know that for now all you need to look for is a good mechanical sewing machine.

A good sewing machines for beginners would be a choice from the mechanical sewing machine models. Trust me, even though I've narrowed down your choices, there is still a lot to choose from in this group. You can find these at most big box stores. BTW, all the popular sewing brand names. Singer, Brother, Janome New Home, Husqvarna Viking, Riccar - have entry level basic models to choose from. But how will you know what to look for and what will be best for you? Well now we have to figure out what features you need for the projects you plan to do.

If you are buying a machine, one thing to take into consideration is the types of sewing machine stitches that the machine is capable of. I've seen basic machines with as little as 4 built in stitch patterns to as high as 30. You want a machine that probably has a minimum of 10 types of stitches, with a zig-zag stitch being among them. If your sewing projects involve clothing, then look for a machine that has a 1 step buttonhole function. You'll be glad to have this function when you have to make 8-10 buttonholes!

Types of Sewing Threads

And you thought thread as thread. Wrong! Depending on the application and material being sewn on, you have to consider what type of thread you use. There's cotton thread, poly cotton blend, nylon. There's special thread used for leather garments and jeans and embroidery. Even machine brands have also come out with their on thread lines to use in their machines.

For your first project you will probably use cotton or a poly blend. Some advice here, make sure to use quality thread. Please don't use a cheap $1 thread. I know it may seem like a minor thing, but after putting all your effort in creating a garment or craft project, it would be ashamed to have the seams fail after the first wash or wear. If you're just practicing, eh, I get it. Go for the cheap stuff.

Sewing Basics 101

Training has never been as easy to get as it is now. Depending on what your comfortable with, you can sign up for face-to-face hands on sewing basics training at you local sewing shop. A visit to your local library will supply you with several beginner how-to sew books as will your local book store. There you can purchase sewing reference books like sewing for dummies. Sewing basics video via dvd and on the internet are plentiful as well. Check out YouTube videos. They're a go-to when you aren't quite clear on a concept or just need a little creative inspiration. It's my go to on a regular basis. Don't believe me? Check out my YouTube channel and see who inspires me.

Beginner Sewing Projects

The key here is to not get in over your head. Select simple and easy projects that can be completed rather quickly. You want your first project to be a success. Your first project should give you confidence to continue on with more projects. As you progress and learn more skills you can then tackle the more advanced projects. There are many home decor and fashion sewing patterns that cater to the beginner that are easy and stylish as well as provide a backdrop to explore your creative side. So don't feel that as beginner you're relegated to just making potholders (not that there's anything wrong with that!)

Once you have decided on a project the real fun begins. In selecting sewing fabric your project comes alive. Home decor and fashion fabric have really com a long way. There's so many types of fabric to choose from, so you will have no problem finding something that expressed your style. Have fun with it. Make it unique, make it yours. This is where your creativity can really start to shine.

So from the little bit of things I talked about you should be able to get a glimpse of the sewing world that you are entering. The thing that I want you to take away from this short article is don't be intimated. Here at That' Sew Live want you to have fun with sewing. There is so much to learn, but you don't have to learn it all. And what you want to learn you will learn it in time. You will also become part of a wonderful community of people who are creative, inspiring and giving of themselves as they are wiling to share what they know with others who are as passionate about sewing as they are.