Learning to Sew
by Nikki Willhite
you are thinking of taking up a new hobby this year, think about sewing. A
lot of people are intimidated by sewing, but that is only because they do not
take it slowly or they attempt projects that are too difficult for their skill
No matter how many years you've been sewing, there are some
projects you will probably never want to tackle. I know many people that
specialize in one or two items that serve them well and that is as far as it
I remember the very first item I tried to sew. It was a
jumper with princess seams, and I messed up all 6 of them. I just wanted to throw it away, but my
sister insisted that I use my seam seam ripper and take them all apart so that I
would develop discipline...or some other nebulous quality I had no appreciation
for at the time!
As I gained more confidence I went too fast. I tried to
make a dress for a dance, using velvet and satin. That was a disaster.
Some fabrics are not "beginner friendly." The only other time I remember
being extremely frustrated was my first semester at college in the dorms when I
had to sew a dress for a vocal group. The thread on the unfamiliar sewing
machine kept breaking. I tried to find someone to help me. I can't
remember if I eventually found someone or found the manual, but the thread was
simply because the flat part of the sewing machine needle had been put in facing
the wrong way.
Sewing affords you the opportunity of wearing unique clothing,
suited to your figure and coloring. It is a great creative hobby. It
can also become a home business. The value for most frugal people is that
sewing skills can save money. Among other things, you can buy items at thrift stores and with
a few alterations have great looking garments.
If you are a beginning sewer, or want to learn to sew, here
are some tips that will help you.
1. Learn you sewing machine. Read the manual.
Know how to correctly insert the needle! Practice making a straight stitch and don't
start sewing until you feel comfortable threading the machine, sewing a straight
line, and then ripping it out.
2. Be sure you have the proper supplies. You don't
need to spend a lot of money on a sewing machine. Quilters buy expensive
machines with special features. Most people can get buy with a very
3. Watch some sewing videos on UTube and some sewing
programs on television.
4. After you get your feet wet, join a few sewing forums
on the Internet. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Most people are
anxious to help.
5. Choose your first projects carefully. Look for
patterns that make it clear that they are easy to do.
6. Sign up for a
beginning sewing class or a class to learn a specific technique.
7. Choose your fabric carefully, because fabric is the
cause of much sewing frustration. Quilters use 100% cotton, but that is
not good for apparel. When it comes to clothing, you want some polyester
in your fabric so you don't have to iron it after you wash it.
There are so many hobbies to choose from. None of us
have the time, or want to do all of them. However, when we find one that
we love...we enrich our lives. Walk around a fabric store, look at the
colors and feel the fabrics. If you respond in an emotional way,
sewing might be for you.
About the Author: Nikki Willhite,
mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing
articles on the topic of
frugal living for over a
decade. Visit her at
- where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal
Happy Families- more than just money!