The final day of question number three is here! We have been chatting this week about advice for new sewers. If you want to catch up on our posts from earlier this week, you can read those here and here. Today we hear pearls of wisdom from the final round of bloggers and designers. Pull up a seat and let’s dive right in!
What advice do you have for new sewers?
Sarai, Colette Patterns, CEO/Founder: One thing I’ve learned is that a garment is only as strong as its weakest part. That’s why you should take the time to make sure the details are done right, like closures and finishing. If you don’t know how, research!
Christine Haynes, Christine Haynes Patterns: Iron! No seriously, use your iron to properly press as you sew. Makes a huge difference in the final result!
Sandi, Crafty Planner: You have my permission to fail! Try out a new pattern you think you’d like. As with any new skill, you have to try it and keep practicing before you get better.
Lisa, Pattern & Branch, Pintuck & Purl Social Media Coordinator: First of all–you can do it! When I get intimidated by a project (whether because of how much I have to learn or the length of time it will take), I tell myself to just do the next step. That way I am moving the project forward little by little, and even if it takes me a long time, it will eventually get done. I also try not to aim for perfection. If I can learn one or two new things in a project, I try to let the other things that might not be perfect go. Imperfectly finished is better than perfect but unfinished.
Kali, Kali Zirkle Quilts: Sew what you are excited about! Your skills will grow with time and practice, but if you aren’t excited about what you are making it may not feel like it’s worth it to work through the small things that don’t yet come easily when sewing.
Karin, Leigh Laurel Studios: Keep going. If it’s not right, take a breath, rip it out and try again! Some of the people I admire most in the industry are seemingly fearless when it comes to experimenting and trying new things. They jump in and figure it out as they go without being hyper critical of what they’re producing while in the learning curve. Video tutorials are amazingly helpful—I *may* have an addiction to watching classes on Creativebug…
Peter Lappin, Male Pattern Boldness: I think it helps a lot if you have a sewing buddy at the beginning — someone who can give you guidance when you really don’t know what you’re doing. I had a guy I’d met on Pattern Review, Brian, who helped me tremendously at the beginning. It’s easy to get intimidated and stop sewing. It’s nice when there’s someone who can lead you through the tough spots. Luckily, thanks to social media, your buddy doesn’t have to live in the same city, or even in the same state! I also think it helps to start with a vintage mechanical sewing machine, like a Sears Kenmore or Singer. Those old machines are easy to use, easy to find (try Craigslist) and reliable. A cheap plastic machine is bound to cause a new sewer a lot of frustration, and who needs that?
I absolutely believe one million percent in everything that our guests have said this week! Sewing buddy: check. Ironing: double check. And practice, practice, practice! Thank you to our panel today. We will hear from them one final time next week. Can you believe it’s almost the end of the month?!?!?
We also have another bonus answer for you today! Woohoo! Today comes from one of our local bloggers, Lisa from Pattern & Branch, who also handles our Social Media. She has a great sense of tenacity when it comes to her sewing. She pushes her limits, (have you guys seen her Refashioners projects this year and last year?) and has a fun, engaging personality, which shines through in her blog. Her advice is short and sweet, but oh, so spot on. Take it away Lisa!
What advice do you wish someone had said to you before you started sewing?
Lisa, Pattern & Branch: It doesn’t have to be perfect to be AWESOME. I actually learned this through knitting, but it definitely applies to sewing as well.
That’s a wrap for this week! See you next week to finish out the month. Make sure you stay tuned–we might have one more surprise next week. 🙂