Sewing is no longer a skill taught as a part of your typical Home Ec curriculum. That’s not necessarily a surprise, but there are still many people who yearn to sew but don’t know where to start. A recent need on Jig expressed the desire to learn the age-old skill of sewing. Here are a few of the excellent suggestions provided by the Jig community.
Torsten Hansson noted that many sewing machines come with great instructions. Some, depending on the manufacturer and model, even include a DVD that will walk you through sewing certain types of seams. At the very least, they’ll teach you how to get started with step-by-step explanations on how to thread the needle, refill and change the bobbin and even long-term maintenance. He also pointed to the How To site, Instructables.com. Instructables has several great sewing tutorials, including a fantastic explainer that shows you how to sew by hand.
Jabez suggested Youtube as a great place to start to learn to start sewing. On Youtube you can learn to sew a blind hem stitch or french seam, but it’s also a great place to learn sewing basics like how to place a sewing pattern and how to thread a sewing machine.
Check out this great video that shows you how to sew a seam.
Jason suggested a book, Simplicity’s Simply the Best Sewing Book, and noted that it could be found for less than $1 if you buy a used copy on Amazon. Robyn suggested a book as well, though most of her advice was of a practical nature:
I had a fantastic grandmother, no longer with us, that lived far away from us. She was an amazing seamstress but couldn’t teach me herself since we weren’t geographically close.
She bought me a good sewing machine and suggested I buy 1-3 books that would serve as my sewing bibles. Then she told me to go to a fabric store and buy an easy pattern and the fabric and notions I’d need. She then told me to make the outfit.
I did, and it was awful, but I learned a bunch about how to cut out a pattern (iron the pattern and the material first), how to pin (you can never pin too much), and to always use razor sharp scissors (never cut paper with them). I learned not to pull the fabric as I stitched, but to let the machine do it (puckers the seam).
I also learned that the only way I can learn to do anything is to muck it up alot, and learn by doing. Now I can sew clothes, quilt and make complicated window treatments (she wouldn’t allow us to say ‘curtains’ , and while she couldn’t hold my hand while I did it, I feel like I learned more by trial and error than I’ve ever learned in person.
Learning to sew isn’t all that difficult, but it does require patience and discipline. You’ll likely tear out more seams than you keep on your first project. As you get more comfortable with the mechanics, you’ll be able to spread your wings a bit, learning complicated seam treatments, designing your own patterns and perhaps venturing from clothing into home furnishings.
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