Learning to sew can be a lot of fun. But it can also be extremely frustrating. There’s just so much you need to learn and know, from the different hand stitches and when to use them, to the ins-and-outs of working with your new sewing machine.
For a sewing beginner, it can all seem pretty overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to. If you want to learn to sew with less frustration, you should focus on learning one or two basics at a time. And the easiest way to do that is to complete simple sewing projects
Here are three types of projects that will allow you to stretch your creative muscles, make stuff you can actually use (and even wear), and learn to sew at your own pace.
Start with Pillowcases
It’s hard to imagine a sewing project that could be simpler than making a pillowcase. In fact, you could probably throw one together right now, without a pattern or instructions. It might be rough, and obviously homemade, but it would still qualify as a pillowcase.
If you want to learn to make pillowcases the right way, there are free patterns and instructions available online. If you own any sewing books or magazines, you might find instructions on making pillowcases in one of them. Barring that, take a trip to the library and check out a few crafting books.
Once you know how to make pillowcases, you can graduate to making actual pillows. Simple throw pillows are easy to make and can add a nice, decorative touch to any bedroom or den.
Move Up to Making Bags
Once you get the hang of making pillowcases, you’re ready to step up to making bags. Bags can be a little more challenging, especially if they have straps. But, thanks to what you learned making pillowcases, you’ll have a head start.
There’s almost no end to the types of bags you can make. Tote bags. Diaper bags. Make-up bags. Gift bags.
You can even make lunch bags for the kids, featuring their favorite cartoon or comic book characters.
You can use bags to try out different decorative techniques, like adding fringe, sewing on beads, and using fabric markers. Eventually, you can work up to adding pockets and zippers. Which will come in handy when you move up to making clothes.
Speaking of clothes….
Next Step: Altering Clothes
Once you’ve made a few pillowcases and bags, you can use the skills you’ve picked up to give new life to some of your old clothes.
You can easily “up-cycle” your clothes by adding decorative touches. Altering clothes can also help you learn about the construction of garments.
When you have a garment you want to up-cycle, pick one alteration you’d like to make, and focus on learning about that one thing. So if you want to change the neckline on an old shirt, focus on learning how to alter necklines. If you want to change the hem of a dress, focus on learning all about hems.
With every garment you alter, you can concentrate on one new sewing technique, and your sewing knowledge will grow almost effortlessly.
Doing simple sewing projects will help you learn the basics without feeling overwhelmed.
You’ll dodge some of the frustrations many new sewers face. And by the time you get around to working on more complex sewing projects, you’ll be ready and raring to go.