As the famous Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, said, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one stitch.” And that’s true when it comes to sewing.
Learn to sew basics like mending rips, altering clothing and creating simple crafts using hand sewing techniques. Then, progress to sewing machine techniques that help you create beautiful garments and home decor projects.
1. Sewing a Seam
Seams are a necessary part of almost every garment. They are what connect two pieces of fabric together, and they can be simple or decorative depending on the type of fabric and seam style you choose.
To start sewing a seam, thread your needle and knot the end. Then, using a pen or pencil, make 1/8 inch marks along the pad of your finger from the tip to first knuckle. This will be a guideline for your stitches.
The most common seam is a running stitch, but a backstitch or a flat felled seam can also be used. When choosing your seam type, consider the purpose, place and suitability for that fabric. For example, a flat felled seam is best for thicker fabrics and encloses all the raw edges making it durable. It’s not recommended to use it on fine fabrics.
2. Clipping Curves and Cutting Corners
When a fabric project has seams that don’t line up straight, clipping curves and cutting corners can make the difference between a smooth, professional finish and a seam that bunches or pulls strangely. This is a basic sewing skill that all beginners need to know.
Curved seams are found in many sewing projects, from sweetheart necklines to scalloped hems. Sewing them successfully requires accurate seam allowance, proper clipping, and careful pressing.
For convex curves, snipping the edges of the seam allowance into little v-shaped notches all around the curve is very helpful. This removes bulk and creates a nice, slick curve when the fabric is turned right side out. You can also do this on concave curves. Just make sure you don’t cut through the stitching! This is where a seam ripper would come in handy.
3. Stitching a Button
Almost every non-stretch, somewhat-fitted garment needs some sort of closure. So knowing how to stitch on a button (and sew on a buttonhole) is an essential skill for any beginner garment sewist.
To do this, thread a needle and insert it through one of the holes in the button (the ones without a shank). Push the needle through the fabric, pulling tight on both sides, then bring it back to where you started and knot it.
For a professional finish, make sure to wrap the thread around the button and fabric about 4-5 times and then tie off with a basic knot. This is an extra step that takes a little more time, but it ensures your buttons stay on! (And makes your clothes look awesome!)
4. Sewing a French Seam
French seams are a sturdy and elegant way to finish your sewing projects. This stitching treatment hides all raw edges and is perfect for lightweight fabrics, fabric that frays easily, or for any projects where you want a professional seam finish. If you ever need Sewing machine Tips, you can look at the attached link here.
To sew a French seam, start by placing the two pieces of fabric with their wrong sides together. Pin or clip them together, and then sew a line of stitches with a small seam allowance.
After the first seam is complete, fold the fabric and then sew a second line of stitches with a wider seam allowance. Make sure you are using the same amount of seam allowance as your pattern calls for. You can also use this technique on curves, but be careful to check for puckers regularly. If you get any, try unpicking the stitches either side of the pucker and then pressing again.
5. Sewing a Zipper
Adding zippers to clothing and accessories makes for a professional finish that is super convenient. Many beginner sewists shy away from patterns that use zippers because they feel intimidated by them, but with a little help from this guide and some practice you’ll be sewing in zippers in no time!
Often overlooked, a good seam finish is essential to any sewing project. It prevents the raw edges of your fabric from fraying and gives a more polished look to your finished garment. Learn all about different seam finishes and how to achieve a perfect finish every time!
Add a bit of creativity to your projects with the ability to topstitch. This stitch is a great finishing technique and can be used on both curved and straight seams. You can also topstitch your hems for a sleek look.
6. Sewing a Buttonhole
Sewing a buttonhole can be challenging for beginner sewists, but it’s an important skill to master. This is because a well-sewn buttonhole is functional and looks professional.
To start with, make sure to use good lighting when sewing. This will help you thread needles faster and avoid mistakes (especially when working with black fabric!).
Also, pin your fabric in place to prevent shifting while you’re stitching the buttonhole. And finally, when it comes time to cut the buttonhole open, be careful not to slice too much fabric. You can use a seam ripper or a buttonhole cutter to do this. I recommend using a chisel-like tool to ensure that the hole is even and neatly cut. Be sure to test your buttonhole on scrap fabric before attempting it on your project. This will save you a lot of heartbreak and frustration!
7. Sewing a Backstitch
Sewing is a versatile skill that can be used to create clothes, accessories, and other home decor. But like any new hobby, it can be intimidating to jump in without laying a foundation first.
From basic stitches to advanced techniques, there are many skills beginners need to learn before they can start stitching like a pro. This sewing for beginners guide walks you through the basics of sewing, from understanding terminology to operating a machine and practicing hand sewing techniques.
The backstitch is a strong hand sewing stitch that can be used to repair seams and secure stitches in place. It can also be used to create decorative details, such as outlines and shapes. The backstitch can be sewn either as a full backstitch or a partial backstitch, with the difference being the amount of space left on the right side of the fabric.
8. Sewing a Side Seam
The side seam is a crucial part of every garment, so it’s important to know how to sew a straight and pressed side seam. This simple sewing technique is easy to master and can make a huge difference in the look of your finished product.
When sewing a side seam, it is important to leave a long thread tail (at least 4-5 inches) at the beginning and end of your stitching so that you can backstitch and reinforce the stitching. This will ensure that your seams are strong and durable.
Learning to sew is an exciting and rewarding hobby that can be used to create beautiful clothes and household items. However, the initial stages can be overwhelming with so many new skills and techniques to learn. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources available to help you get started with your sewing journey!
9. Stitching a Backstitch
Backstitch is a hand stitch used for outlining shapes or creating a strong seam. It’s also a popular embroidery stitch that allows you to create beautiful, delicate lines.
You can use a basic sewing needle and thread to practice the backstitch. Start by marking a straight line with fabric chalk or pencil on the back of your work, then sew along it using a backstitch. It may take some practice to get your stitches evenly spaced, so don’t be discouraged if your first few lines aren’t perfect!
To make a backstitch, insert your needle into the fabric under the last stitch you made and out through the top, leaving the thread doubled behind. Repeat this step along the entire line, making small stitches very close together. The front of your backstitch should look like a row of tiny touching stitches that are overlapping.
10. Sewing a Straight Seam
Whether you are sewing by hand or with a machine, being able to sew a straight seam is essential. It is not always easy to do when you are just starting out, but learning the right techniques will help.
One of the best things you can do is mark your sewing lines with pins so that they stay aligned as you sew. This is particularly important on curved seams like hems, but can be helpful even when sewing straight seams.
Try to practice on some scraps of fabric that you will be using for your projects. It will make a world of difference! Also, don’t forget to press your seams. This makes a huge difference in how strong and neat your seams look. You can get a great tool for pressing seams called a border guide foot.