5 Tips to Start Sewing

We are so excited to share this sewing tips blog with you! If you’ve been thinking about sewing, now is the perfect time to start! Thankfully, the wonderful Stephanie Yvonne from https://www.stephanieyvonneart.com/ is a sewing genius! She has kindly shared her top sewing tips for beginners with us. Steph is an incredible artist, sewer and friend, with loads of creative skills. Have a read and check out her beautiful products here.

Fabric

First things first – you can’t sew something without any fabric! But no need to worry over the thought of spending pounds and pounds on fabric, it can be sourced very cheaply and sometimes even for free!

Sewing may be something that you are looking into or it might be something that you have picked up and put down over the years. If you are just starting out, then you won’t want to be spending a ton on fabric only to find it’s not for you! This is where Charity shops and old clothes are our friends. The range of fabrics you can find at a Charity shop is amazing! Don’t be put off by the fact that the fabric has already been turned into a garment – unpick that thing and up-cycle!

Old clothes that might be waiting in a bag to be taken to a Charity shop are also a great source of fabric and definitely don’t worry about any holes. Chances are, you love the fabric that these clothes are made from so why not turn them into something new that you can carry on loving!

If you are looking for a specialist fabric shop, then I would personally recommend Fabric Land (https://fabricland.co.uk) and Dalston Mill Fabrics (https://dalstonmillfabrics.co.uk). They both have an amazing range of fabric types, are extremely friendly and ordering online could not be more easy (a life-saver through lockdown!!)

Choosing what to sew for beginners

When I started to sew, could I think of anything to make? Nope! And you might be in the same boat! This is where websites like Google and Pinterest are SO handy – if you were to Google “sewing projects for beginners” you would get 214,000,000 results!!! We should all be very grateful to those people who have taken their time to provide us with numerous ideas of what we can sew.

Set of 4 Chinese style place-mats and coastersI LOVE Pinterest and use it for many things including finding sewing ideas. The first idea I found and used were these reversible placemats and coasters – they are simply made from rectangles and squares, yet I could still add my own flare to them! I now sell a variety of designs and sizes: 

https://www.stephanieyvonneart.com/shop/place-mats-and-coasters/2

Have the right sewing tools for your project

Another thing that you might be worried about costing a bomb, is the tools you need to be able to sew. But again, these do not need to cost a fortune! If you have a needle and thread, then you can definitely start sewing. Sew Guide has a great page (https://sewguide.com/easy-hand-stitches/) that clearly explains the different types of stitches for hand sewing. Practising the basic back and running stitch on some spare fabric will help you to gauge how these work and get your stitches nice and even. Hand sewing is great as the stitches are a lot easier to unpick than the stitches a sewing machine makes! So, if you do make a mistake, gently pull out the stitches and start again – no harm done. Set of 6 jungle themed place-mats

Pins are a staple when it comes to sewing – we need some way to keep our fabric together whilst we are stitching! I tend to use dressmaker pins as these are slightly thinner than other pins and create very small holes in fabric which can easily be brushed out. A pot of pins generally costs less than £5 – an important tool for not a lot of money!

If you are looking to buy a sewing machine, then there are a lot of options out there and quite a large price range. When I was looking for my first sewing machine, I had a tight budget but still needed something that would do everything I wanted. In the end I settled on the Brother LS14s Manual Stitch Sewing Machine which cost £80. Brother is a great brand, very reliable and fairly priced so ticks all the boxes!

When it doesn’t come out as planned!

There will be a chance, as there always is when we try something new, that our first or even second attempt does not come out as planned! However, do not let this get you down or make you think that sewing is not for you. Mistakes will always happen – I have spent many an hour unpicking stitches because I was not paying attention to what I was sewing…

If we were perfect at everything, then we would not learn anything. Making mistakes, unpicking, recutting, restitching, a failed idea, a clash of fabrics are all part of the learning process which will help us get better at sewing.

Never worry if something doesn’t come out as planned, it is all part of the process – learn from it and try again.

Enjoy the process!

My final sewing tip, and perhaps the most important one, is to enjoy yourself!

Flamingo tote bagCreative outlets are so important in life, they give us a chance to think outside of the box and the rigid routine we often have in life. I love to sew; I find it so relaxing and it is also great for my mental health as I can start with a piece of fabric and see it through to a completed item.

Sewing was always a hobby for me, something outside of my work life. However, I have now turned it into a small business which I hope to grow in the coming years which I am very excited about! HOWEVER, it is very important that I continue to enjoy sewing and that it does not become a chore. A creative outlet should be just that, something that you get joy from and a release from the frustrations and worries that we may be facing.

I hope these 5 sewing tips have been useful for those of you who might be looking to get into sewing or have been sewing for years and need a bit of a boost!

Whatever you sew and however you sew it, enjoy and have fun

Stephanie Yvonne

https://www.stephanieyvonneart.com/

by Rebecca Gardom

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