Sewing Tips for Absolute Beginners from a Seasoned Expert
Are you learning to sew this summer? If so, congratulations! We’re thrilled you are, and as life-long sewers, we can attest to how fun and fulfilling sewing can be — nothing beats the satisfaction of altering clothes to fit you just right or making a piece of clothing (that you can actually wear, proudly) from scratch!
But as is the case when learning any new skill, mastering the basics can sometimes be frustrating.
Let us help you mitigate frustration with our tried and true Chateau Sew and Sew Get You Sewing Tips:
How to thread a needle — Easier said than done, and of course, without a threaded needle, there will be no sewing. There are tons of tips out there, but our favorite trick is to use needle threader:
- Hold both the needle threader and needle in one hand, while keeping the loop of wire on the needle threader through the eye of the needle.
- Insert your thread through the loop of wire on the needle threader.
- Pull the thread through the loop so that you have a tail of least a few inches in length.
If a needle threader isn’t for you, then try this: instead of trying to push the tip of the thread through the eye of the needle, push the eye of the needle onto the tip of the thread. Use your fingertips to support the thread so it won’t fray or deflect and pinch the tip if it’s too thick.
How to save a pattern — Try to preserve your original pattern! You might need a different size for a friend or child. Try using freezer paper / medical rolls (they use this on exam tables) / or swiss tracing paper to trace your pattern. Be sure to transfer all pattern markings (darts / notches / grain lines).
How to cut a pattern — Be sure to trace! Before you begin, cut your pattern a smidge outside the cutting lines – better safe than sorry! Use PAPER scissors to cut the paper pattern – this will ensure you don’t damage your FABRIC scissors. When cutting on “grain line” pieces, measure from the selvage edge to each end of the grain line mark to ensure correct placement, then transfer all pattern pieces by using either tailor’s chalk, frixon pens, or erasable marking pens. Use sharp fabric scissors in smooth cutting motions.
How to pin a pattern — Pinning shouldn’t be a pain. The number of pins you need to properly pin your pattern will depend on the type of fabric your pinning your pattern to. Say that three times fast. For example, you’ll need fewer pins for silk or rayon. Make sure your work surface is flat and clear of any stuff that may get in the way and read all of the cutting directions before you begin. We prefer to pin horizontally (instead of vertically) because that way, any damage to the fabric is within the seam allowance.