This is a 14 days' guide for beginners to learn sewing and sewing machine in shortest time possible, utilize your free time and learn DIY sewing.
Before you start, some questions may pop up in your head. If these questions, fears and doubts don't find their answers, you will find it difficult to learn.
Hence, I am sharing my insights and experiences with you:-
Clear Your Doubts
Before You Learn to Sew
Doubt 1. Can I Learn Sewing On My Own?
Yes, you can.
Most of the people who sew would share, they learned this hobby on their own, sometimes with help from a mentor or a family member.
Moreover, you have all the DIY video tutorials, online sewing classes, sewing blogs and community groups to help you learn sewing as a beginner.
Doubt 2. Is sewing hard to learn?
No, basic sewing is not hard to learn. There are different levels of sewing and you must start with very basics that is hand sewing and machine sewing, to keep yourself motivated.
Doubt 3. What is the easiest thing to sew for beginners?
The next doubt is where to start and what to sew!
Initially, it's important to practice stitches straight and get familiar with your sewing machine. As a beginner, you should be making easy sewing projects like a handkerchief, cushion cover, pillow case, alteration of your tunic etc.
In a couple of days, you'll be able to make your own clothes.
Doubt 4. How long does it take to learn to sew?
Assuming, you have not even touched a sewing machine till yesterday, it takes about a few hours to make a handkerchief or a cushion cover.
Once you get a grip on your machine, it takes less than 30 minutes to achieve the same target.
If you want to make your own clothes perfectly, it may take three to six months depending on the kind of garments you are sewing.
At the same time, if you have some understanding about garment construction, you can make some dresses within a couple of days.
Doubt 5. Is sewing My clothes worth it?
Generally, sewing may help you save money but it depends on the quality and cost of fabric, trimmings and all the sewing material that you are using.
Sewing your own clothes may cost you more than the same thing available in the market.
Basically, people learn to sew because they -
- make their clothes as per their own liking.
- find satisfaction to make something on their own.
- fed up with tailors, designers and online clothing stores.
- want the fitting that they don't get otherwise.
- want to recycle and redesign their own wardrobe.
- want a minimalistic approach to life in general.
Doubt 6. How do I start sewing as a beginners?
To start sewing as a beginner, you must have some tools, sewing machine, cotton fabric, iron and you can start immediately with a basic sewing project which requires straight stitching or hand sewing.
Doubt 7. Is sewing expensive hobby?
You have both the options. You can start sewing or stitching with a needle and thread (this could be the cheapest and no cost involved).
Then, you can have an exclusive sewing room with state of the art sewing machines, mannequins to drape fabric, specialized tools and everything fascinating.
But most people take the middle road. They do hand sewing and machine sewing, which is not much expensive.
To answer this question, it would be right to say that sewing is not about cost cutting but willingness to learn a new hobby.
It allows you to express yourself through your creativity and imagination.
Doubt 8. What is the hardest thing to sew?
For the beginners, it could be hard to sew leather, knits, denim and sheer fabrics like chiffon, voile, organza, organdy, Georgette etc.
You'll find it easier to sew them with a little more practice and some sewing tips.
Doubt 9. What do I need to start sewing my own clothes?
To start sewing your own clothes, you need to know your body and measurements.
If you know how to take your body measurements or use ready-made garments for taking measurements, you can easily make your clothes.
Doubt 10. Can I make money sewing at home?
Clothing is one of the primary need. Even if you are at any level of sewing skills, you can very well earn money sewing.
If you don't like to sew but want to earn money around sewing industry, you can tap the market and earn well for yourself.
Doubt 11. Is it cheaper to make your own clothes or buy them?
It seems like a repetition of an earlier doubt but I answer it separately because sewing craft, home decor and clothes may be a bit different.
While crafts and home decor would not complain anything and you can still display your creativity.
But if your own designed dress is not stitched neat, you may find it uncomfortable to wear that.
Therefore, it may not be cheaper to make clothes initially.
Once you get the sewing tips right, you will find that you make your clothes cheaper than buying them from the market.
Doubt 12. What should be in a beginner sewing kit
You should have some basic sewing tools like -
- Measuring Tape
- 24" Scale
- Two Scissors — One for fabric and one for paper
- Pins and needles for hand and sewing machine
- Basic Threads in white, cream, black and grey colors
- Tailors chalk
Moreover, your sewing machine accessery box or sewing kit may have some tools that you need to know about.
Doubt 13. What you should not do with a sewing machine.
Once I was sewing a thick fabric in folds and needle broke. The broken part touched my face but thankfully did not do any damage.
Ever since, even when I know machine needle can pass through a fold, I use hand wheel or go slow on heavy fabrics' folds.
To save yourself, avoid using broken or bent needles.
I remember one more incident when one of my sister tried to operate an industrial sewing machine. She had never used any sewing machine before that.
Machine speed was so fast that she couldn't control it. She didn't even know the basic tips to use a sewing machine.
The sharp needle pierced through her finger and she didn't go near any sewing machine for many years after that.
Remember, not to place your fingers around any moving machine parts especially needles. Be careful when machine is in motion.
One more sewing tip that you must follow is to be careful with the pins. Remove the pins when the purpose is over.
It's common to accidentally prick fingers with pins or iron over them and get them badly traced on your clothes.
Doubt 14. How do you get good at sewing?
I have seen people getting discouraged even before starting anything. I am sure you would also know some of them.
You get good at something when you do it on a consistent basis.
As they say - practice makes a person perfect. More you sew, more you are good at sewing.
Enjoy it. Gradually you'll see that you are much better then the day when you started it.
Doubt 15. How to sew like a professional?
To sew as a professional, do as the professionals would be doing. That includes learn from a structured sewing course. Refer to reliable sewing books for guidance.
Don't be complacent. Keep learning and experimenting with your knowledge.
Don't be afraid to make mistakes and don't hesitate to invest in your sewing skills.
Doubt 16. Can I learn sewing Online?
It is good if you could find a local tutor who could guide you in local language.
In case, that's not practical for some reason, you can learn sewing by taking up some online classes or learn from YouTube sewing video tutorials. While you learn from YouTube DIY videos, you must learn the right way to avoid these mistakes.
14 days’ sewing guide for beginners
You can take the steps in this sewing guide based on the kind of sewing project you have taken.
Most things can be stitched with a day or two, but I assume that you are novice and you need complete steps.
There is no hard rule that you must drag your simple t-shirt sewing to a long time while you can do it in a day. Likewise, you can adapt this sewing guide as per your need, willingness and skill level.
While it is possible that some of these steps you can skip for example if you already know how to handle your sewing machine and fabric, you may not need the guide for paper stitching.
But if you need more practice, you may spend two days on it.
I have tried to be as clear and easy on this beginners sewing schedule for fourteen days but use your own discretion about time and effort that you want to put each day.
Day 1 : Do paper stitching
Stitch on a paper without threading the needle. The purpose is to get control over your machine and the material you are sewing.
You have to run your sewing machine needle straight parallel to each line.
These are the steps to do it -
- Take two sheets of paper and a pencil.
- On one sheet, use a ruler to draw a series of straight lines.
- Then draw some regular and irregular wavy lines.
- Draw some shapes, square boxes, circles, triangle etc.
- On the second sheet of paper, draw a spiral and a squared-off spiral.
- Get ten photocopies of each sheet.
- Now, get to your machine. You don't need any thread in needle or bobbin.
- Sewing along one straight line.
- After completing one line, hold the paper in the light to see how you did - the needle will have punched holes like perforations.
- If the holes are not on the line, practice this paper sewing a few more times to master the skill.
- Once you're confident in your ability to keep to the line you want, change your needle. (The paper will have dulled it pretty badly - it'll still sew, but not wonderfully.)
- Then use your sewing machine's instruction book to thread it, and try sewing something like a pillow cover or quilt cover. Practice on something simple.
Day 2 : Watch a few sewing videos
There are thousands of sewing video tutorial channels on YouTube, that you can check out.
You need to just write your search keyword like "sewing" or "how to cut a T-shirt" or any other search term which you want to learn about.
There would be a huge number of videos that you can check out.
Once you get comfortable with a you-tuber's way of sewing and explanation, check the comment box.
If she answers the doubts of questions, then it's a good idea to start learning from that video channel.
Or else, you can trust your own instincts and proceed with the video sewing instructions.
Day 3 : Refer to printed sewing tips or books
I am the kind of person who understands more from a book than a video.
If you are also like me, you must check out some good reliable sewing books before you start.
Day 4 : Take measurements
Even if you want to make a simple pillow cover, you'll need to take measurements. There are many methods of taking measurements but most common is metric system.
1. Measuring tape method
You can use a measuring tape to take direct body measurements. This is an accurate and commonly used method.
2. Tracing method
Trace measurements / shape from a ready object or dress on paper or fabric. This method is used sometimes to make simple dresses like pajamas etc. where you don't really need fitting.
You can use this method but be careful that you keep enough seam allowance around your ready dress.
3. Draping method
Drape fabric on a figure and trace the fitting. This method is used by professionals designers and drapers.
4. Hand and finger method
Some people, especially old experts can take full measurements using their fingers and hands, This is an easy method when you have understood a human body.
It hardly matters which method you adopt. The point is to take correct method to make comfortable clothing.
For instance, if you are making handkerchief you can either keep your ready made handkerchief on fabric or paper. Trace 1" around it for seams and cut.
Now you can fold from all sides and sew to do your handkerchief.
If you use measuring tape, mark 14" X 14" on your fabric, cut and sew.
You can also measure a ready made hanky with you hand and fingers and cut a clothe piece accordingly to sew.
Whereas you can drape a piece of fabric around a mannequin, pin and trace the fitting lines and sew.
Day 5 : Cut your own Pattern or Use a Ready made pattern
Use a paper cutting scissors to make your own paper pattern. The kind of pattern you'll make depends on what you want to make.
Using any of the above methods, you can make your own pattern.
Free sewing patterns are available on pinterest and many sewing sites, which you can get printed and use.
Or you can purchase sewing patterns from local sewing supplies store or online
Day 6 : Pin and mark each piece clearly
Wash the fabric to shrink it. Sock clothe in normal cold water and hang it to dry.
Once it is slightly damp, iron it and lay for cutting. While you have cut the fabric, make sure that you mark each piece appropriately.
Some fabrics look same from front and back side, in that case it becomes all the more important to mark each piece such as front, back, up, down, side etc. clearly.
Secondly, pin the pieces together, especially the smaller ones. It'll save your time to understand which piece belongs to which part of the dress.
Day 7 : Write down the steps and instructions
whether you follow a video or a sewing book, make your own notes. Understand the steps and instructions clearly before you proceed.
At the same time, don't let the steps overwhelm you. Take a simple sewing project or fix a scheduled time to do your sewing project.
Give yourself time to absorb things smoothly. Don't force yourself. Sewing is easy but beginning may be a little bit pushy.
Day 8 : Complete step 1 - start Sewing
Cotton fabric is easier to handle for beginners but you can take any fabric which you can handle well.
Here, I assume that you want to start with making a simple tunic or a lower. Though, you can make any dress by following these steps.
If it is a upper like a t-shirt, tunic, dress etc. finish the neckline. If it's a pyjama pants, you may need to make pockets first
Most sewing instructions books and videos will have a detailed sewing instruction.
Break the instructions in four parts. First day may be a little elaborate or simple depending on the dress you are making.
Day 9 : Step 2 - Joining and folds
You may require to join loose parts like hip curve of a lower, sides, bottom fold, elastic casing etc.
For a tunic or t-shirt you must join shoulders, sides, bottom fold etc..
Day 10 : Step 3 - Add Trimmings wherever required
While making a dress, you may wish to add some trimmings like - lace, piping, zipper, buttons etc. for functionality and beautification of the dress.
This step may be repeated at different times of the sewing.
Day 11 : Step 4 - Add on beautification and recheck size
When the dress is about to finish, you may remember to add some patch pockets, do it now.
If the sewing is not as beautiful and neat as you wanted, do not worry. Use some ribbons, glitters, fabric glue and beads to divert the attention to a more beautiful part your your dress.
At every stage of cutting and sewing, compare your dress with some ready made dress to ensure that you are making a wearable piece of clothing.
You may change the design but if your dress is too big or small from neck, shoulders, waist, hip etc. it would be too much work to set it right.
In short, be clear what width and length you want for your dress and it is adhering to those requirements. Fix the error before it's irreparable.
Day 12 : Finishing
If you keep quality check at every stage, you will soon reach the final stage of finishing your garment.
You must cut all the loose threads, all seems must be overclocked at the time of stitching or soon after that.
You must iron and press the seams at every stage of sewing and at last time before fixing buttons.
Day 13 : Try it
If possible, try your dress before finishing but this is your final finished dress. Check the fitting, look and feel.
Don't go by the measurements but the fitting and look that you wanted. The final outcome should be satisfying.
If Need A Few Changes, Do Immediately
Day 14 : Show the world, you did it
You have made your dress. Congratulations!
You'll find utmost happiness to make it finally. Now, take a selfie and share with the world to inspire them, it's fun to be home and learn a new skill.
This way your creation is ready. This is an elaborate plan to learn sewing slowly and steadily in 14 days period.
It may take less or more time depending on the complexity of the sewing projects that you have taken up.
If you follow through this schedule, you would surely be able to learn basic sewing within 14 days. To get expertise in your skills you must keep stitching regularly.
If you are a beginner sewing machine user, what’s the best sewing machine for you, manual or electric? It depends on some important factors.
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