Alright, as promised I’m going to share the five things I’ve learned since learning how to sew. Most of these tips/tricks/ramblings are personal preferences, not set in stone, everyone should adhere, fear the sewing machine kind of preferences. You say potato, I say potato kind of preferences. Am I the only one that said potato the same way in my head?
Anyways, these are the things I wished someone would have told me BEFORE I started sewing. Nothing crazy, but would have been super helpful.
1. Sewing is the easy part. Prep work will take up the most time.
Wowzers, sewing is easy. Can’t believe I psyched myself out a while back. Seems silly to me now, but sewing really is easy and goes quickly. Pinning, cutting, & pressing takes up a majority of your time. No joke, I spend 75% of my time measuring, cutting, pinning & pressing.
2. Invest in a computerized sewing machine or at least a new machine.
Sure, you can have the mentality that “they don’t make ’em like they use to”, but it’s for good reason. Antique machines are great, not talking about those. I’m just saying what’s the point in learning how to sew on an old machine if you’re not planning on buying an old machine…. right? I relate it to languages. You spend a great deal of time learning Spanish, but you’re vacationing in Paris. Sure there are a few similarities, but they’re just not the same. New machines are capable of automatic threading, hundreds of stitches with streamlined…. well, everything. If you prefer older machines or just can’t afford a computerized one. Nothing wrong with that. Like a said, it’s all about preferences.
3. Successful sewing is 50% you, 50% your tools.
Sure, you cut, pin, sew, press, etc to get your final product, but without great tools to help you, you’d fail. Invest a little money in a self healing cutting mat, rotary cutter, and large clear ruler. It makes your life about a 1000x easier, you use them constantly, and you’ll own them forever. Nothing worse than cutting straight lines on large pieces of fabric with a pair of scissors. Trust me.
4. Learn the lingo.
There are a lot of great tutorials out on the blogosphere, but if you don’t know how to read the directions correctly, they’re useless. It doesn’t take much. Thank goodness for search engines, right?
5. Find an expert.
There are so many great resources out there. My husband likes learning things via YouTube, some people do just fine reading what an expert has to say, but nothing is quite the same as having a person there to help you as you go. Some fabric stores offer classes, there are sewing clubs, and studios out there too. Having someone to hold your hand isn’t necessary at all times, but in the beginning it’s more than nice, it’s fabulous. Make sure they’re fun, laid back, and patient. Bella is so ridiculously great, that I wish I could go more than once a week.
Remember to enjoy the process and if you ever feel frustrated or overwhelmed, stop. Come back to it later when you have a clear head, because sewing can be therapeutic and therapy that causes stress rather than relief isn’t really therapy. I’m no expert, but I’m hoping to get really good and create projects that blow you away. Soon my dears, soon.
Until next time, happy crafting!