How your sewing project will succeed – basic tips for beginners
I have learned many things in my life and I can’t remember them all. But if there is anything I couldn’t forget is these 9 sewing basics I had to learn when I got interested in sewing. I didn’t learn all of them when I started sewing. Some of them are things I came to learn later and wished I had known when I started. To save you of the mistakes I made back then, now I will introduce them for you.
1. Wash your fabrics before working with them
I have come across many sewing enthusiasts who do not wash their fabrics. True, washing fabrics before working on it is a matter of choice. But to me, it is required. Some fabrics shrink, even in a different way, after the first wash and since I want it to always fit, washing it allows for the correction of the shrinkage before working on it at all.
2. How to Mark and Cut the Sewing Pattern on Your Fabric
Check your measurements before cutting. You can make some adjustment to the pattern if necessary.
When cutting on fold, pay close attention to the marked patterns. As small as a 3mm cut beyond normal might seem, it can make everything double and out of place.
Also, sign all your pieces with the same seam allowance. This will help you during sewing especially when you are sewing the arm part. I wish someone told me about this simple trick when I started. It saves you so much time!
Chiffon and lightweight fabric: tissue paper is your friend, and cut one layer at a time, use only weights instead of pins.
In all, take note of fabric break and the grainline while cutting.
3. Always Check You Needles
Needles can get blunt after several use. Always check it to note on time of it is either blunt or about to break. When either of these is observed, change the needle. Use only branded needles and don’t save money on them. Only good qualtity for your best friend, the sewing machine.
4. How to sew your sleeve easily
I have tried different sewing methods right from when I started sewing and obviously till later. After many years of experience, I will say the best way for you to sew is always on the side of the arm/sleeve part.
5. Remember to Press Your Fabric with Your Iron
In case your fabric is rumpled, press it with iron before drawing pattern or cutting. This makes your work easier and also enhance accuracy. After sewing, lay your fabric down on the ironing board or any flat surface suitable for ironing. Make the wrong side face up before pressing. Pressing seams after they've been sewn not only controls the seam allowances, but it also causes the thread to meld into the fabric. This melding process is important, because without it, the thread sits on the surface of the fabric and that makes it less attractive. And personally, I think pressing after sewing creates a kind of "memory" in the fabric.
6. Have a Special Scissors
The scissors used for cutting fabrics should be used for nothing else. This will make it last longer and at the same time avoid staining your fabric with any stain from whatever you used the scissors to cut.
7. Good storage habits – Organise your pattern and fabrics well
Store your fabrics, threads, and tools in a safe place. If you have children, make sure where you are storing them is out of their reach. Your workplace should also be kept clean. Anytime you are working on a project, always make sure you organize your pattern well.
8. Take A Break
Whenever you are feeling dizzy, do not force yourself to sew. Take a pause, walk away (drink some coffee if possible). Work on it later or the next day.
9. Improving your skills
As a beginner, it may look difficult to get everything right. But over time, by constant practice, you are sure to get better.