Congratulations on your decision to try sewing. Sewing really is much easier than you probably think that it is. Sewing is very similar to putting the pieces of a puzzle together and then sewing them to permanently attach them together; it really isn’t much more complicated that that to make a basic project. Sewing can be a fun hobby and also can allow you to make your own clothing and decorative items. Imagine being able to use whatever fabrics and colors you want around your house or for your wardrobe!
The easiest project for a brand new sewer is to make a simple pillow or dress. Pillows can be made from two squares of fabric simply sewn together and then stuffed. To make a pillow you don’t even need a pattern. If you can cut out a square then you can make a great pillow.
If you want to make a clothing item for your first sewing project, I suggest you start with a simple summer type dress. Having something useful and pretty when you get done can give you an amazing sense of accomplishment. If you have a young child to sew for you can make a child sized dress, otherwise try one for an adult.
If you have never sewn before you will need to gather up all of the following for your first project:
Pins and a needle
Anything else listed on the pattern
A basic sewing machine
The first thing you need to do is get your sewing machine threaded and working. You should have a manual with instructions on how to do this correctly. No two machines are the same so you will need to do this part on your own.
Once you have your machine threaded, and all of your items gather up together on your sewing table, you will want to read over any instructions that came with your pattern to make sure that you clearly understand them. On the back of the pattern you will find measurements, fabric suggestions, and other information you need to understand fully.
You should always make sure you completely understand your directions and have everything you need before you ever start cutting your fabric.
Decide which “view” of the pattern you want to use (i.e. sleeveless, with sleeves, short dress, long dress, etc…) and see which letter corresponds to it. This will tell you which pieces you need to cut through.
When you select your fabric try to stick to lightweight fabric without too many designs or stripes on it. Do not attempt to work with plaid on your first try! The last thing you want to have to deal with when you are fist starting out is matching plaid or designs. Start simple, and work yourself up.
Wash your fabric and put it through the dryer. This will insure that if your fabric is going to shrink, then it will do it before you make your dress. The last thing you want to do is make a dress and have it shrink in the washer and not be able to wear it.
Place your pattern pieces on your fabric and pin them in place. You will find a map, of sorts, on the instruction page to show you how to lay out your pieces on the fabric. Once you have them all placed and pinned you can start to cut out your fabric with very sharp scissors.
The instructions will lead you through how to sew your pattern pieces together to make your dress. Follow the instructions and take your time. Make sure you understand completely what you are asked to do before you attempt to sew anything. Once you understand then you can start to sew your pieces together.
Start with two pieces and work until you have your dress completed. If you hit a snag you can always call someone who sews or go into your fabric store and ask for help. They would be thrilled to help you!
Once you are finished, wear your new dress with the pride that comes with knowing that you made it yourself!