Learning How To Sew (and why you should) 4

Learning to sew

Do you want to learn how to sew? Perhaps there is someone you know who alters and repairs their own clothes. Or even make garments, accessories or toys by herself? And you think that you couldn’t possibly do that.

I promise,

you can learn how to sew. With so many great tutorials, patterns and assistance available online, there is nothing to fear. In fact, sewing is a craft and you can learn only when applying with your own hands. Many sewists abandon their projects because something went wrong.



most of the mistakes can be corrected. You can remove the stitches that are not fine, you can cut another detail if something doesn’t fit. Or, (if there is nothing else to do) start your project over with a fabric that fits better. On the right, there is a picture of a stuffed toy that was my very first sewing project. It is supposed to become a dino, but still, misses its head and arms. It was a very hard task for a beginner (or so I thought) and I left it behind. Now I look at it and it is practically almost finished. Why didn’t I persist?

Is it worth it?

The results and even the process of sewing can be so rewarding, that it is well worth it.

Yes, sewing machines come in a variety of types and forms, but they operate similarly to each other. A serger operates very much the same, no matter if it comes from a different brand or it has its functionalities organized a bit differently.

There are so many sources online you can learn the basics of sewing, including Youtube channels and blogs, but also organized classes by respectable sources.

Sewing is learned by practice. You might find a local sewist who is willing to teach you a couple of practical lessons and continue practicing by yourself. Many beginners are scared by a number of unfinished projects they have left behind. If you look at that as a part of the learning process, it can be less frustrating.

What is going to make you a professional is practice. Don’t give up, sewing is a skill that is learnable. I would love to help any way I can.

How to buy a sewing machine

To learn how to sew, you are going to need a sewing machine to practice on. When buying a sewing machine, spend some time considering what you need the machine for, what kind of fabric you are going to use, how often will you use it.

1.You should have an idea of what you need the machine for. 

People tend to think that the machine with the most options and variety of stitches, programs, feet, etc., is always the best choice. Bigger is not always better.

For instance,

if your sewing machine has an overlocking and many other options, chances are, the stitches might not be that precise as

Regular sewing machine and a serger
Regular sewing machine and a serger

if they were two separate machines. Let’s say you are going to use only three types of stitches, why would you buy a machine with thirty-two?  

If you are going to sew and design for a living, it would be better to buy professional machines or, at least, a regular machine and an overlocker/serger. Chances are, you will have to use all types of stitches and machines like a serger and cover stitch machine would be very useful.

    BUT you can manage to sew professionally without industrial machines and even using ONLY your regular stitching machine. One sewing machine with several options is perfectly enough.

Every sewing machine has its own “personality”. I always spend some moments adjusting from the professional one to the regular machine I own at home.  

2. In my opinion, there are several things which are vital when choosing a sewing machine:

  • your budget.

Read carefully the description of the machine – it might have a thousand functions and types of stitches, but just do not suit your needs. Basically, all regular sewing machines have the same type of options and operate very similarly to each other. You can find a very good sewing machine with a budget of around $120.

  • what are the projects you are usually involved in and what type of fabric you prefer for your projects?

There are some essential differences when working with woven and knitted fabrics. The overlocker is the best friend of knits. On the other hand, it is useful, but not required when sewing a woven fabric.

  • do you have an available service?

The truth is, no matter which brand you choose or what kind of a machine you decide to buy, it is going to need repairs at some point or, at least, some fine-tuning. A sewing machine is a lot like a car and it needs maintenance. When used a lot, machines just have to be fixed by someone who knows how. I am sorry, but it is inevitable.

There is a lot you can do to fix some minor issues by yourself when you know how. But at some point, a repairing specialist will have to check it out.  That is why I prefer to use several different machines for the different type of project instead of one with too many complicated options. They get repaired easier and cheaper.

Of course,

I use the machines every day and they are very heavily exploited. Therefore, my needs are different from someone who is sewing for themselves every now and then. I don’t have the time to properly clean them throughout the day. And, I switch from a very heavy to a very light or stretchy fabric numerous times of the day. All this results in the machines needing repair more often.

I use an overlocker, a cover stitch machine, and a professional straight sewing machine. I also use a regular sewing machine for many of my projects. 

  • do you have space?  

A cutting table and a couple of machines use a lot of space. So, if you can afford to have a separate room for them do it. It will also help to keep your working place cleaner and more organized. 

  • are you a complete beginner or you have some experience and what is your ambition?

Why do you want to learn how to sew? Are you going to sew for yourself and your family, or you plan to work with clients? Anyway, you don’t need to start with everything a professional sewer has. You can always add something up later.   

And finally

 A sewing project is not a scary thing. It actually is a very fun and rewarding process. Any form of creation feeds the human soul and this is true for a sewing project, too. Whatever goes wrong can be repaired, or replaced. To learn how to sew would require some practice until you get a grasp on what you do. But once you get it, it is there forever. If you get stuck somewhere along the way, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance. Drop me a line below and I will be happy to help.

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4 thoughts on “Learning How To Sew (and why you should)

  • Deb CRANE

    I’m not a complete beginner, but I would like to change my brother XL2600. What do you recommend, A serger is very interesting, but I’m not sure my budget will take both! Is there one more interesting than other. My mother in law likes jannone. What about Juke. I’m quite happy with brother, but find it quite plastic.

    • Daniela Post author

      Janome and Juke are both good choices in my opinion. I would also go with the Juke. There certainly are different levels of quality at the different price range but overall both are better than a cheap plastic Brother.
      Lately, I’ve been using Elna and I really like it. They are a European brand (manufactured by Janome) but available in the US.
      A Brother can also be a good choice, but if you go with the more expensive options like this one.
      They are more durable and stable, built with higher quality parts.
      If I am to choose, I would go with the one that has available service nearby.

  • Zoní

    Hello! I am messaging you in regards to how to sew a draw string onto a pair of at home joggers/harem pants. I want to make a pair or two, and I have a guess of how to install a draw string on a pair of pants, but I just would like to be sure. I’ve looked through your posts and haven’t seen anything on it. Perhaps you could do a blog post on it? Is it requested often? I wonder