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3 Tips To Start Sewing

Many people are curious about sewing, but the idea of purchasing a machine or seeing endless bolts of fabric can be intimidating. If you want to start sewing, there are a few tools you need to start.

Choose A Machine

Fortunately, there are many entry-level machines by prominent manufactures that are affordable and easily accessible, either online or from major retailers. When choosing a machine, do stay away from inexpensive, mini sewing machines. These are generally marketed to young children and behave more like toys rather than a home sewing machine. Choose a sewing machine with several stitch functions so you can experiment with various stitches and different fabrics. At minimum, a straight and zig-zag stitch will be sufficient. When you are a beginner, it is unnecessary to invest in a computerized sewing machine or one with upwards of 100 stitches. You may also want to buy additional needles and bobbins for your machine, so you have them readily available. For thread, just choose larger spools of all-purpose thread in black and white to start.

Find Fabric

You will want to experiment with your machine by reading the owner's manual and watching tutorials. Having some fabric readily available will give you the opportunity to learn your machine and become more comfortable with sewing. Choose simple, inexpensive fabric, either from a fabric store or mass merchandiser. Look for fabric that is 100% cotton, with no stretch, such as quilter's cotton. Be sure to check clearance racks for fabric that is only a dollar or two a yard, since you are just experimenting. As an alternative, you can buy fat quarters or quarter flats, if you want a small piece of fabric. Choose a light to medium color fabric without any prints so you can see your stitches better.

As a beginner, the number of fabric choices available will be overwhelming, especially once you start making projects. It is a good idea to create your own binder of fabric swatches. Many online fabric stores sell swatch cards or a swatch of a specific type of fabric. If you are curious about a specific type of fabric, buy a swatch. Save a small square for your binder and write down the name and care instructions. Use the rest of the swatch for sewing and experimenting. Having the sample saved in your binder will allow you to have a reference when you are choosing fabrics for a pattern.

Start With A Simple Pattern

Assuming you have experimented with sewing and using your machine, you might be ready to attempt a project. You can buy a pattern or follow an online tutorial. It is a good idea to work on a project that interests you, so you will be more motivated to put forth the effort. Some easier patterns include a small, zippered bag, pillows, or curtains. Try to choose a pattern that will teach you several techniques in one project, like sewing a zipper, creating a button hole, and/or adjusting a pattern. Although you may not be interested in garment-making, it is a good skill to learn. Creating clothes not only involves design elements, but you learn skills that will be useful for tailoring your clothes and mending items. Oftentimes, you can use clothes you already own to create a pattern.

Learning to sew is not only a fun hobby or business venture, but it is a functional skill that you might find useful from day-to-day. Investing in a good, entry-level sewing machine and supplies is all you need for a wide variety of projects.