Sewing can seem like an intimidating skill to learn, but don’t let that stop you from trying!
Guest post by Laura B
I started when I was a teenager when my grandmother showed me how to sew a scarf. It took some lessons to get it right! Believe me – sewing takes practice. In the early days, I made mistakes and had to learn all of the basics. Grandma guided me to practice on old pillow cases
It is a great way to start because it takes the pressure off of you! If you make a mistake, it’s okay! It was an old pillow case anyway. If you don’t have many spare pillowcases, you can also use old T-shirts. Be creative.
With a little bit of practice and some easily obtained household materials, you’ll be creating in no time.
1.) Find gently used pillowcases
The first thing you need to create your craft is pillowcases. Your local thrift shop has many different options for finding gently used pillow cases. If you’re anything like me, you also probably have some pillow cases within your house, buried deep in your linen cabinet. Make sure you wash all the pillow cases before you use them, and double check for holes or weak spots in the fabric. You don’t want to start out with a piece of fabric that won’t survive the wear and tear of your project! Try to find solid color pillowcases, as patterns can be challenging to work with when you are first starting out.
2.) Gather the appropriate sewing materials
For your project, you’re going to want a large, flat tabletop to work with. Bigger is always better in this case. You’re going to need a solid surface as well. Depending on the project you choose, you may need to cut on this surface, so probably somewhere that can take a little abuse. Though many projects can be done by hand, having a sewing machine in the long run will make your life much easier. Sewing Makes Me Happy’s guide to beginner machines has a wonderful list of sewing machines for people just starting out. You’re going to want a chair, and any stuffing or filling that you’ll need for your project as well. It’s hard to get started on a project if you’re space is chaotic and disorganized. You’ll also want a guide to help you with your sewing basics and you’ll need your machine’s instruction manual.
3.) Decide on an idea or pattern to create
There are many different patterns out there for you to choose from, and your project should largely be chosen by what interests you and what items you have with you. Make sure that you have all the materials for your project before you get started! You can find a pretty awesome list of really great ideas for used pillow cases at this website. There are thousands of great ideas out there, so make sure you look far and wide, and find a project that you’re really excited about!
4.) Don’t get discouraged
Your sewing machine may get jammed, you may snap a needle or two, but keep at it! Sewing, once you get the hang of it, it a really handy skill to have. Before you know it, you’ll be making and fixing your own clothes, creating home items, and becoming the world’s next star of Project Runway. Some hiccups are to be expected, but they are all part of the learning curve!
5.) Enjoy your creation
You’ve done your research, you’ve gotten a sewing machine, you’ve picked a pattern that connected with, and now you have an awesome, hand sewn craft item. Now what? These handmade crafts make great holiday gifts, and some people even make a living off of what they make. Many people make their own decoration accents (think pillows, curtains) for their own house. Enjoy the fruits of your hard work!
With these simple steps, you too can become a talented tailor. This is a good time to look at your item and decide maybe what you want to do differently, or what was challenging, and what you’d like to keep doing. You probably have a ton pillow cases left over, so keep creating! You’ll find that with practice, you’ll be sewing like a pro in no-time!
BIO: Laura Brooks blogs at www.sewingmakesmehappy.com and writes about sewing. Sewing has been a positive influence on Laura’s life and she wants the same for others. Follow along with her as she blogs about the great benefits of sewing.