Tip #1. Make sure you love the fabric you're using. Like really love it. Because if you don't love it now, you're not going to magically love it later. Trust me on this.
Tip #2. Don't spend a ton of money on a sewing machine when you're first starting out. The fancier machines have nothing you'll be using anyways so really it will be just a waste of money. I know they're super tempting (at least for me!) with their high-tech displays but the last thing you want to be doing right now is spending a lot on a sewing machine that you don't even know you'll be using for sure. Ideally you will stick to sewing for the long haul but that may or may not be the case so for now, seriously save your money. I paid like $150 for my first sewing machine and guess what? I still use that very same one! It has worked great for me and although I'm due for a new one sometime soon, I'm super glad I got my bearings down in sewing first and then started looking for for a nicer one.
Tip #3. But you're just starting out in sewing right? So what do you need to buy now? Well besides the obvious like fabric, and a sewing machine, you will need thread, fabric scissors (sharp!), pins, a seam ripper, fabric pens (preferably water-soluble so that the markers come off when you squirt them with water) and a seam gauge (which is a fancy ruler type thing that helps you "gauge" accurate measurements. Hey I never thought about why it's called that! ha funny.) All of these supplies are called "notions" in the sewing world and are necessary if you don't want sewing to become much harder than it should be.
Tip #4. This one's important. Make the sewing process fun! Listen to music or an audiobook while you're sewing and if you need to unpick something, take it in front of the TV. This helps me get through the less than awesome parts of sewing, like unpicking. and hand-sewing. Yuck.
Tip #5. Surround yourself with things that inspire you. Wow cheeseball status right there, ha but really it helps! I always have pictures up in my sewing room of sketches and inspirational photos for projects that I'm working on. For example I currently have this picture hanging up for the coat/jacket I'm working on. Doing this helps me stay excited about what I'm making and keeps me motivated.
Image via Alice + Olivia, Spring RTW 2013
Tip #6. Subscribe to Joann's newsletter. Do it. Ya the constant emails are kind of annoying but you WILL save money and it will make a difference sometimes. I just saved like $35 on wool fabric for this coat I'm making from one single coupon. For reference, that's HALF of what the total cost was. Savings like that add up, and plus it always feels so good to see the price go down from a coupon. ha ya, Subscribe to the newsletter.
Tip #7. While we're on the topic of saving money, Buy patterns on sale. This isn't typically an option for patterns from independent designers like ones found on Etsy, but as far as Butterick, Simplicity, Vogue, etc- definitely wait for the sales. Fabric stores tend to rip. you. off. when you buy them full price.
That's all I have ladies and gents. Annoying I hate that I ended on number 7, that's such a random number. Also, I CANNOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME GET THIS TEXT TO GO BIGGER. Ugh so annoying, try not to go blind reading it.
Oh I do have some exciting news for