Thursday, October 15, 2009

Leah's Sewing for Beginners

A few people have asked me how I do sewing projects, so here's a sort of Leah's Incomplete Sewing Primer.

Almost every sewing project I do combines these two things:
1) An actual piece of clothing like the one I'm making (this week, I borrowed one of Nick's vests that fits well)
2) A tutorial or pattern to help me order the sewing process (this week, I have a Simplicity vest pattern).

I usually make the pattern from the actual clothing (trace out all the pieces and add seam allowance) then follow the directions from the tutorial/pattern.

Good places to start sewing:
- Replicate something simple you already have and fits: A-line skirt, unlined vest
- Modifying something that no longer fits: adjust shirt's size, make into a hoodie
- Make a stuffed animal

Tips for using your sewing machine:
- ALWAYS keep scrap fabric around for test sewing each time you re-thread
- Learn how to thread your machine - 75% of my problems are from threading
- Use thread the color of your material - it's hard to see mistakes

Awesome online tutorials that I use all the dang time:
- Kim's No Fail Zipper Tutorial
- Stuffed Animal Tutorial
(except I sew on the details BEFORE joining and stuffing them. I hate the difficulty of sewing onto things that are stuffed)

Honestly, if there's any project you'd like to try, do a google search for "free tutorial" with the project and you're likely to turn up something. And if you get stuck, improvise or combine something you've seen in another tutorial!

That's all from me, but I know a lot of you out there have machines and lots more sewing experience, So, what would you suggest to a beginner?

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