I am normally a jewellery maker but recently I purchased a sewing machine from Ikea and have been having a go at sewing. I made some curtains which were not great but pretty good for a first go. I then made pillow cases which went a bit better. Today I made a throw (see pic) and its probably my best thing yet so I am learning through experience. I would love to be able to sell things I make through sewing but dont feel accomplished enough yet. Do you have any advice for a newbie sewing bee like me?
Hi Claire, I love you quilt, the bird fabric is very cute. The only tip I can give is practise, practise, if you don’t want to ruin good fabric try using old pillowcases, dresses etc. Choose something you would like to have a go at and just do it, you never know you may be able to add another string to your bow. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Good luck with whatever you choose to make. Marg. x
I agree, just keep practising. I love sewing and dip in and out of it. Maybe have a look at tutorials online and try a few simple projects.
I would recommend videos on youtube, there is plenty of tutorials on every possible aspect of crafting, Great ideas and goof inspiration.
google quilting blogs, quilting tutorials to get some good advise on shortcuts or tricks of the trade.
Pillowcases are great, i was buying mine in charity shops, gave me great selection of fabrics.
Good luck and have fun!
I love sewing and my machine is out practically every day. Quilting is a good way of using up remnants of fabric and if you want individual clothing there are some simple patterns around. I make a top that has no zip just slips of the head and just by adding a few decorative pieces I have a few variations of it. If you are able to join a sewing class locally it would give you a good start. Enjoy your new skill.
All the above, plus keep it simple until you are proficient. If you want to practice and do something useful, there is a project for making pillowcase dresses for children in Africa. You need to use binding on the “arm holes” but it can be done by 14 year old boys (some schools use the project) - so I’m sure you could give it a whirl!
Okay, you asked for it lol
One thing I’d advise is press every single seam you stitch, as you stitch it. Either press it open from the wrong side or press both raw edges to one side. It really crisps up everything you sew and the end result will be worth it. I have my ironing board up the entire time.
Make sure you use the right size needle for your fabric and thread. It’s easy to underestimate how important this is, but it will pay you to do some research on which type and needles to use.
Listen to your needle when you’re sewing. If there’s a distinct “pop” when it takes a stitch, your needle is blunt and needs to be changed. This can happen a lot quicker than people think. Yes, needles can be expensive but it’s cheaper than ruining your machine and/or fabric. If you have sewing buddies, share the cost of a bulk packet of 100 needles (about £25) from Jaycotts and divide them between you. Works out much much much cheaper.
Clean and oil your machine regularly - hoover the fluff out, never ever blow it into the machine. It’ll make it run much smoother if it’s maintained.
Practice practice practice but most of all…
I am not usually into sewing either but promised my daughter a prom dress. When I got my machine out it wasn’t behaving very well (very old) so decided for slightly more than the cost of servicing it I’d get a new one! Love it.
My advice is believe you can do it. I’m not a dress maker but managed this by adapting a pattern and lots of trial and error and Internet research! I have been trying all sorts of other bits and pieces since.
Gorgeous dress and a brave choice of fabric as it looks like it might be difficult to cut & sew (I’ve not past sewing t-shirt fabric and skirt lining yet despite sewing on & off since high school)
I failed needlework badly at school but am always up for a challenge. It’s my belief that if its been done before it is possible so I just tend to dive straight in. Often with disastrous results but hey it’s all a good learning curve and I soon find out what not to do next time round!
One piece of advice I would give you Clare is not to buy cheap sewing thread, I’ve been guilty of this in the past and it just snaps too easily leading to lots of stopping to re-thread. I’ve used alsorts of fabric for making clothes & household projects from ‘proper’ fabric (bought by the metre from a fabric shop) to old sheets, curtains etc. I even made my daughter a strappy summer dress from an old tablecloth, it had a 1970’s paisley pattern which she loved so much I think the dress went to Uni with her. Don’t be scared of the sewing bit if you go wrong it can be unpicked, I’m more apprehensive of the cutting out stage if I make a mistake there it’s difficult to correct (another good reason to use old sheets etc. if I do make a mistake I’ve not ruined expensive fabric :-))
It all sounds like good advice you have been given so far. I just opened my shop here yesterday. I make sewing patterns and give a cottage industry license on all of my patterns. That means whatever you make you can sell yourself at craft fairs etc, (I give full details on each pattern).
But hello everyone its nice to talk to the other sewers.