So You Wanna Sew?
I have put together a short list of things to help you get started on your path to learning a new and fantastic skill! Sewing with ME! There are some things you should know that I have covered below so read through everything and if you still have a question just post it in the comments and I or a staff member will try to respond quickly.
First, I have set up an easy to navigate and shop site with amazon where I have carefully chosen my picks in starter sewing machines, books, dvds, notions, etc. So please use THIS link to navigate the shop. The affiliate commission is not much but it does help to keep things going on the blog so I appreciate the support!. Mimi G’s Picks and Recommendations Store
I am also frequently aked the same questions about what I do, what the blog is about, if I sew for others etc. so I have put together a post on my most FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, you can find that post HERE.
I am often asked if am self taught or if I went to school and my answer is…Both, I learned to sew when I was 12 years old by watching my aunt, who was an amazing seamstress, and I fell in love. I started teaching myself to cut, sew and copy items I had in my closet which is how I taught myself construction. In my 20’s I decided to go to “Fashion Design” school and after the first year I hadn’t learned anything I hadn’t already taught myself and found my “se;f teaching methods” worked better for me.
3.Do you think anyone can sew?
Yes. I am a true believer in that you can do whatever you want to do as long as you apply yourself. It takes time and PATIENCE because sewing can be quite frustrating sometimes but you have to remind yourself that any skill worth learning takes practice. This is a skill that will last you a lifetime and that you can pass on to younger generations so don’t give up. If you could see some of the horrible things I made during those first several years you’d laugh, lol.
4. How long did it take you to get to the level of sewer you are today?
I have been sewing since I was 12 years old but it was only within the last 13 years that it really became my “all I can think about” hobby, and TRUST ME when I say that I had moments when I cried, yelled, and wanted to chuck my dumb machine out the window from frustration. I had bad fitting garments just like everyone else that starts sewing for the first time, but with time you start to learn your body and what works for you. You will start to learn how to measure yourself properly and how to pick patterns that are at your level. I have thrown out so many #fail projects it’s not even funny, but I also had moments of sheer happiness when I was done with a dress and it looked great and I knew that I had made it MYSELF, there is something really special about that and that is what kept me going. It took me a long time before I could make things that I knew NO ONE could tell I had made it on my bedroom floor and so can you!
What do I need to get started?
1. Imagination, willingness to learn and Creativity
2. Patience, patience and more patience
3. Basic sewing kit: Scissors, measuring tape, ruler, pins, chalk markers, seam ripper, fabric marking pens, saftey pins.
Now that I have given you a list of the bare basics, here are are a few details:
I have heard some people say that they want to learn to sew but can’t afford to buy a sewing machine. This may have been the case back in the day but now you can get a great starter machine for less then $200. One of the first machines I purchased for myself was a Brother that cost me $175 and it lasted me for YEARS! I have listed a few machines that I know first hand are solid machines for a newbies HERE.
Patterns, Projects and More:
There are so many online tutorials (mine included) for simple and easy projects that you can use to get started without a huge investment. Sign up for pinterest and have a good time looking up DIY’s that peek your interest. I have a FREE 4 week sewing 101 course that you should certainly watch and follow to get you started. After the basics sewing 101 class videos you can also do my EASY as pie Pencil Skirt Tutorial, Maxi Dress Tutorial or any of my “created for newbies” step by step video tutorials found HERE
There are also patterns made by the Big 4 companies geared toward newbies. Simplicity has a “sew simple” pattern collection, Butterick has the “See & Sew” collection, McCalls has the “Stitch & Save” collection and Vogue has “Very Easy Vogue” If I were a complete newbie I would stay away from Vogue until you have become comfortable with your sewing abilities. Vogue is fantastic but even their “easy” patterns are not so easy if you are not at least an advanced beginner.
Most people will tell you not to start with knits, but I disagree. If you are using the right tools and trick for working with knits you will be just fine (I give tips on working with knits in my DIY Pencil Skirt tutorial) I will advice against starting with slippery fabrics such as silks and chiffons as they will slip and slide and you don’t want to ruin perfectly good silk. Start with cotton fabrics, denim, twill, gabardine, linen, wool, bootom-weights, broadcloth stable knits and matte jersey, these fabrics are more stable and easier to work with. I purchase fabric from many different sources but a good place to start would be www.lowpricefabric.com (use coupon code MIMI10 for 10% off your purchase), www.gorgeousfabrics.com + www.fabric.com
Now, go spend sometime browsing the blog and get started!