So you've decided that this month is going to be the month that you finally start learning to sew... but how do you get started? Read on to find everything you need to know about starting your sewing journey, from resources to equipment and patterns to projects!

National Hobby Month: Getting Started in Sewing

Hand Sewing or Machine Sewing?

First of all, you need to decide whether you want to go for it and get right down to machine sewing, or start off a little more slowly with hand sewing. There are pro's and con's to each - machine sewing is a bigger investment as you'll have to buy a sewing machine, but you can make a wider variety of projects using them. Hand sewing is ideal for a cheaper and slower introduction to sewing but you may find you quickly get bored of the projects available to you, and the time involved in sewing everything by hand. 

What do I need?

Regardless of which type of sewing you begin with, you'll require some basic items to get you going. All sewers will ideally need a sewing box including the following items:

These are the basic items that will get you through most sewing projects. It's worthwhile investing in the best quality you can afford in these items, especially scissors and pins, as they'll last you for many years to come! If you want to start with a more extensive set of equipment, it would also be worthwhile getting some fabric pencils/markers, embroidery scissors and a selection of basic coloured thread.

One other thing you might find helpful is a book about sewing. These are often designed for beginners, and have many helpful hints and tips, as well as common problems and how to fix them. If you start sewing on a machine, they can also offer help and advice on using your machine. Our favourite book for this is The Colette Sewing Handbook, which whilst based around dressmaking, has lots of hints, tips and information on fabrics, drape, usage and problems.

Teaching and Classes

Sewing is one hobby that is reasonably adapted to being self taught, through books and the internet. There are many free tutorials all over the web that can introduce you to basic stitches and techniques, as well as projects on items like bags, clothes and home furnishings. 

Some people find it more beneficial to have someone to teach them everything properly, or just need the confidence of having someone there to help them if they get stuck. Check your local community centres and sewing shops to see if they run classes or teaching - quite often you'll find one-on-one teaching, group workshops and sewing clubs available to sign up for.

What next?

First things first, pick your first project! You can either find something on the web to follow (usually a little harder as it can involve you having to make your own pattern), or find a book or pattern to follow. It really is up to you!

Then you will need to source the items that are required for the project - so fabric, haberdashery and any specialist equipment or trimmings.

For an easier project, you can also start with a pre-prepared kit, which usually include a pattern, written instructions, and everything you need to complete the project. Take a look at our range of kits - I'd recommend the strawberry pincushion or felt owl kit as a great start for a beginner!


Where can I get everything I need?

We sell a great range of haberdashery and fabrics for whatever project you want to start on. Simply take a look at what you need and find it on our site! If you're struggling to find it, try using the search bar at the top, or drop us an email and we'll try to help. 

What if I get stuck?

First things first, don't panic! There are so many solutions on the web for any problems you may encounter, and chances are that somebody has already asked the question somewhere! Most good sewing books for beginners also have help and advice on trickier techniques or common problems. 

If you really can't find the answer to your question, drop us an email and we'll try and help you with it!


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