We have made it to week three of our celebration of National Sewing Month. This week we are going to hear from our great panel and see what their advice to someone just starting to sew would be. If you are someone brand new to sewing or maybe you haven’t made the leap yet, this advice will be super helpful. If you been around for a bit longer, we think it will be interesting to see what people think of as a key component to sewing. Are you ready? Let’s go!
Do you have any advice for new sewers?
Jen, Grainline Studios: The best thing you can do is practice. Everyone who sews made some really horrible and ugly stuff at the beginning of their sewing careers, myself included. Just keep at it and try not to get too obsessed with perfection. I wish I still had the piece of paper I sewed the first time I sat down at an industrial machine. You guys would laugh so hard. It’s SO terrible!!
Guiseppe, @guicy_guice: Don’t get too bogged down in doing things the “right way.” Just explore. Put traditional prints with modern ones, if you want to. Sew a bunch of scraps together randomly. Try every single technique that interests you. Just play. Do whatever the heck you want. Don’t let anyone stop you. And don’t worry about if people will like it or think it’s good. Just practice, practice, practice until you find your voice, your style. And then… keep practicing and keep exploring!
Lauren Taylor, lladybird.com: Don’t be afraid to try something that seems out of your skill set! The worst that can happen is you might end up with an unwearable/unusable project – but you will gain knowledge from the experience. I love taking classes, but I honestly learn more from my own sewing mistakes than anything else. And it’s always exciting when you discover that a difficult project or technique was easier than you had anticipated, and you conquered it LIKE A BOSS. Go stretch those sewing muscles and branch out of the beginner rut!
Wallis, Colette Patterns, Pattern Maker: Be very patient, and don’t use nice fabric for your first handful of projects!
Kim, CraftyNHMom: Start with patterns that have fewer pieces while you gain confidence. Don’t be afraid to cut into your fabric. Go for it! Sewing is forgiving, your project doesn’t need to be perfect for you to love the result, and no one else sees the little mistakes.
Haley, Colette Patterns, Editor-in-Chief: Give yourself a break, and don’t expect to become a master seamstress overnight. Start with simple projects like pull-over dresses and wrap skirts. With each new project try to tackle a technique you haven’t tried before. Or try taking a class. Many local sewing shops offer skill-building classes to help guide you as you master zipper insertion and other tricky steps.
Practice seems to make perfect, or something like that. 🙂 I believe there will be a strong theme of this throughout the week. We all know deep down that we won’t be amazing when we start a new craft, but that doesn’t prevent us from feeling disappointed when things don’t look the way we imagine them to be. Keep these answers in mind when you go look at your supposed-to-be-invisible zipper. It will get better!
This week we are going to have bonus answers from two staff members from the ever-popular Colette Patterns, Haley and Wallis. Beginner, intermediate, advanced…whatever label you think you have there is something for you from Colette. They also have a monthly online magazine, Seamwork, with fantastic articles and quick patterns. If you haven’t already, check them out.
What advice do you wish someone had said to you before you started sewing?
Wallis, Colette Patterns, Pattern Maker: I wish someone had told me to not use nice/expensive fabric for my first projects. None of them ended up being wearable and I was disappointed that I no longer had those fabrics.
Haley, Colette Patterns, Editor-in-Chief: I wish someone would have told me that not everything you make will be a winner, even after you have become a more accomplished sewer. Sewing is like a big puzzle–underestimate the drape of a fabric, or the proportions of a print and the rest of the pieces might not fall into place. Give yourself permission to fail. Not only does it build character, but it also builds your skill set.
Thanks for everyone’s participation today! See you on Wednesday!