7 Sewing Tips for the Beginner

Tuesday, October 7, 2014



The first sewing tips post I did can be found here.
Fair warning these are really random and all over the place. haha so bare with me here.

Tip #1. Iron pattern pieces flat before pinning them onto your fabric. It will make cutting them out so much easier! Just make sure that when you're ironing them you don't leave the iron on the paper for too long because paper obviously burns more easily than fabric. 

Tip #2. Almost every project goes through a phase where it looks really bad. My mom calls this the "ugly stage." I think that's pretty fitting. The important thing is to not give up at this point. I promise it will look better once the seams are finished and any fitting issues are fixed.

Tip #3. Take it step by step. I know it's easy to get intimidated by projects when you look at it as a whole, but when it comes down to it, sewing is just following directions. That's it! It's easy to get intimidated by the whole process, but take it one step at a time and you won't feel like you're getting in over your head.

Tip #4. You know these pens? You will split the cap each and every time you buy a new one. So do yourself a favor and buy about 10. ha seriously though, am I the only one who this happens to? Every. single. time.  

Tip #5. Hem your sleeves first, before you insert them into your shirt/dress. I promise it will make your life easier. (Then you don't have to worry about hemming them once they're attached to more fabric/weight/material that's easy to get twisted around the sewing machine.) I actually also like to hem the sleeves even before I sew them together into a circular shape. (It's harder to sew once it's in the shape of an actual sleeve because sometimes it's tricky to maneuver the tube shape around the sewing machine arm.) I've found it to be easier to get a good, clean hem to just finish the hem first and then sew the sleeve sides together.

Tip #6. Don't sew to save money. Wait what now? I know a lot of people aren't going to like this one. Heck isn't that why you sew in the first place? The reality is however that unfortunately most of the time sewing costs more money because of our sad mass-produced clothing era. Don't get me wrong, you can still save money sometimes (especially when shopping fabric/pattern sales!) but just don't go into it with the notion that you will (see what I did there? sewing joke. haha) 
(Edited to add: Check out Emily's post down below for some good tips on saving money!)

Tip #7. When making fabric-covered buttons, use books (or something hard) to press down on the button shank (to enclose the fabric around the back of the button.) That probably made no sense, I'm finding it hard to explain this one. ha I've just found that your fingers (and in my case, elbow!) will start to hurt and get tired really fast from pressing down on the buttons so hard. So I use books to fix that problem! If you are having a hard time understanding what I mean by this let me know and I can totally make a video showing it better. I'm not very good at explaining things.



That's all I've got! What are some tips and tricks you've found?

15 comments:

  1. These are great tips, especially #6. I think I went into it thinking that, but realized it's not so much the case. But honestly, making myself something I can wear is worth the cost anyway and much better than just buying from Forever 21!
    Christine
    http://twogirlsoneoutfit.com

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    1. Ya I totally totally agree, just the satisfaction of being able to make something your own makes it totally worth it in my book. Plus being able to customize it on top of that, it's totally worth it. Thanks for commenting Christine, I'm glad to know you agreed with me.

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  2. Yay, more tips! I am still definitely in the beginner stage but I'm getting a little more confident now. I have been working on a quilt for my little guy I think I'll be done with in the next few days! I haven't really been brave enough to try clothes yet, aside from some simple newborn hats a few weeks ago, so tips in advance are always helpful! I imagine the sleeve hemming is ESPECIALLY important when we're talking baby clothes since they'll be so much tinier and harder to maneuver around the arm as it is!

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    1. Ahh big congrats on finishing the quilt Sara, that's a huge accomplishment. A quilt is a big deal! I'm totally intimidated by quilting if I'm being honest. haha I really want to see it though! And yes that will be a huge help for baby clothes, I'm trying to think what else I could tell you that would help. I haven't made many baby clothes so I'm coming up blank but I'll let you know if I do think of anything. Good luck!

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    2. Thank you! =]
      I'll share the quilt on my blog once it's finished.

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  3. Haylee! I love this post, I was actually thinking of pulling out the sewing machine to start up a new project so the timing of this post couldn't have been any more perfect. Keep posting girl, I'm obsessed with your blog! :)

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    1. Sara I'm totally obsessed with YOUR blog so that means a lot. Fun you totally should, you should post a picture too because I'd love to see! I'm sort of obsessed with your style so I'm sure I'd be in anything with anything you make. haha
      Thanks for commenting girl!

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  4. thanks hayleee! you're awesome :)
    i'm totaly guilty of wanting to sew to save money haha
    but really, i just wish i was as talented as you <3

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    1. Marsa you are seriously so sweet, how about we trade for your incredible style and good looks and call it good? haha for real though. You can save money if you're careful, I don't mean to dissuade you. I just definitely didn't when I started sewing so wanted to be honest. haha I don't mean to discourage you though! You'd be an excellent seamstress :)

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  5. #2 is SO TRUE! Sometimes it still looks questionable until you've finished the last hem or buttonhole!
    In my experience you definitely can sew to save money! It just depends on what clothing you're comparing it with and how diligent you are about saving money on quality supplies. Also the longer you're at it, the more supplies and tools you don't have to buy, and the more creative you can get with refashioning/using scraps/using what you already have. :)

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    1. Good glad to know I'm not the only one because I swear that happens to me every single time. haha and Ya that's a really good point, really good point, maybe I should put a disclaimer because that's totally true. I especially love re-creating something from designers because let's be real, it does NOT cost $500 dollars to make whatever dress they're trying to sell. It's ridiculous how much things cost sometimes but you have really good points, thanks Emily. I think my problem is that I'm too darn picky with fabrics so maybe it might just be a personal thing.

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  6. These are great tips, girl! And it's SO true about the ugly stage... that's totally a thing! There's a whole emotional rollercoaster in sewing (or any kind of making)! I start at "Oh man, this will be amazing!", then start to waver, and eventually get to, "WHAT WAS I THINKING?" Usually I end up somewhere around, "Ehhh, it's not really that terrible after all, is it?" :)

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    1. Yes! haha Sonja this is SO spot on, literally every single time I go through the exact same thing. Glad to know I'm not alone in that! I'm actually currently at the "what was I thinking" stage so wish me luck in getting through to that last one. haha this is seriously so spot on.

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  7. Oh these are so good because they are so true! The pen cap splitting ALWAYS happens to me too. My husband just keeps putting a couple in my Christmas stocking every year. And no...sewing doesn't save me money...although I am trying to get better at using what I already have... I just really enjoy doing it for myself. BTW...I love your blog and have been a fan for awhile now! Always inspiring!

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    1. Ugh girl right there with you, it's so hard when there are so many tempting new fabrics out there, the last thing you want to be using is the fabric you already have. The struggle is real! haha
      Margo thank you so much for this comment and saying that about my blog. That really meant a lot to me! I don't know where I've been but I'm definitely going to be following your blog from now on, I absolutely love everything you make. That cobalt blue skirt was GORGEOUS. Looked just like the real thing too. Thanks so much for commenting so I could find your blog. :)

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