At least once a week at Livingstone Textiles we have someone new through our doors who is just starting out on their sewing adventure.
They are usually rather bewildered at the array of fabrics, haberdashery and techniques and have many questions for us so we have devised a little step by step guide to help rookie stitchers through their first sewing project.
1] GET A SEWING MACHINE
Beg or borrow a machine that does a straight stitch, a zig zag and goes forward and back. Anything else will be of no use for quite a while so arm yourself with a basic machine for sewing garments. You can try before you buy in many fabric shops (including livingstone textiles) or order one on line at a reasonable price.
2] GET BASIC TOOLS
To start with any basic sewing pattern you need a basic set of tools. Needles (hand & machine) pins, large scissors, a seam ripper, marking chalk and a tape measure. You will also find an iron and ironing board very helpful.
3] PICK A PROJECT
Decide on a pattern that you want to wear or use, it’s important to really want what you will be making as that is what will motivate you to finish it. A garment should be a basic shape with simple features like short sleeves and little shaping. A bag should be unfussy with simple lines and few pockets or fancy features.
Grab a cup of tea, a piece of cake and a fabric remanant and settle down comfortably with your sewing machine manual. Have a quick read through then practice lifting and dropping the presser foot, threading up the machine and sewing backwards and forwards until you feel a bit more confident with the pedal. Practice stitching a straight line at various speeds and practice a zigzag stitch that runs parallel to the edge of your remnant
5] BUY FABRIC!
This is the one area that you will get very good at very quickly. Buy a fabric that is recommended on your pattern for the project you wish to create along with a matching thread and any other bits and pieces that are mentioned.
6] START SEWING….
Read your pattern carefully, lay it out on your fabric and cut out your pieces. Label them and copy on any lines or markings from the pattern. Thread the machine up and off you go! Remember, it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake, just unpick it and try again. Remember that there are many helpful tuition videos on Youtube and lots of hints and tips can be found here on our website