Sewing 101 – Beginners Guide to Sewing

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This sewing 101 article will help point you in the right direction and get you sewing with ease in no time. If you have just bought a new sewing machine or are about to buy one, it can be a little bewildering knowing where to start learning to sew. 

sewing 101PinSewing 101


Sewing 101Sewing 101- Buying a MachineSewing 101 – Essential ToolsGetting your Machine ReadyStarting to Read a Pattern and CuttingThe Basics of Sewing 101Sewing Specialty FabricsTroubleshooting for Sewing 101Sewing 101 – In Conclusion

Sewing 101

You will all be at a different stage of your sewing 101 journey so start at the section that best applies to you. 

Here I will go through the following topics and give you links and resources for my more in depth articles. 

Buying a machineEssential toolsGetting your machine ready to sewReading a pattern and cuttingSewing Basics

If you came to this article looking to hand sew, then read how to hand sew instead.

Sewing 101- Buying a Machine

The first thing you need for your sewing 101 introduction is a machine. You can pick up beginner sewing machines for $100-300. Look for popular brands such as Singer, Brother, and Janome. You don`t need a lot of fancy stitches when starting so even a second-hand machine will do the trick if it does a basic straight stitch and zig-zag. Some really old machines only do straight stitches and that will still work for the majority of projects. Zig-zag stitches are used for sewing stretch and for finishing seams mainly. 

A serger is a nice tool to have once you have a little experience but not essential when you are starting out. It will neaten the inside seams of your garments but you can easily create durable seam finishes with a regular machine or with a pair of pinking shears

Further Reading:

Best sewing machine for your budgetBest leather sewing machineSewing machine vs serger vs coverstitch machine

Sewing 101 – Essential Tools

Once you have purchased, found or borrowed your first sewing machine, it is time to get a sewing kit together, containing all your supplies. Try getting a combined kit of basics to cut down on costs. You don`t need a lot of fancy tools to start off with.

The one thing I probably would invest in is a good pair of sewing scissors as this will be your most used tool. Sewing feet are cheaper and kits and you probably have enough that come with your machine to make do when you are starting. 

Have a read of my article on beginner`s sewing kit on a budget with a basic list to get you started.

At a minimum, you will need:

Sewing Needles – both hand and machine needlesThread – If you are not sure what you will be sewing then get an all-purpose threadScissors – for fabric and cutting paperChalk pencil for markingRuler or measuring tapeIron and ironing boardSewing feet – the most used ones are an all-purpose foot and the zipper foot

And don`t forget a seam ripper (unpicker). Even experienced sewers sometimes need to remove stitches that haven`t worked.

Further Reading:

Beginners sewing kit on a budgetCutting toolsMarking toolsPressing toolsMeasuring toolsSewing machine needles10 Best sewing machine feetTypes of thread

marking tools for sewingmarking tools for sewingPinmeasuring tools sewingmeasuring tools sewingPincutting tools for sewingcutting tools for sewingPinpressing tools for sewingpressing tools for sewingPin

Getting your Machine Ready

So you have a machine and some basic tools – what`s next in your sewing 101 plan? First, prepare your machine by learning how to thread it and wind bobbins. You should also have a read through the sewing safety section before starting to protect yourself from injury.

If your machine didn`t come with a sewing machine manual then see if you can get a PDF download from the manufacturer.

Further Reading:

How to thread a sewing machineHow to wind a bobbinHow to use a sewing machine – the basics you need to start your first stitchesHow to use a serger or overlockerSewing safety

how to wind a bobbinhow to wind a bobbinPinWind Bobbinshow to use a sewing machinehow to use a sewing machinePinUse a Sewing Machinehow to use a sergerhow to use a sergerPinUse a Sergerhow to thread a sewing machinehow to thread a sewing machinePinThread a Machine

Starting to Read a Pattern and Cutting

Once you have your machine set up it is time to find something to sew. Try some of my free sewing projects or one of my premium sewing patterns for beginners.

Check out my article on sewing projects for beginners for over 50 easy ideas. One of the absolute easiest things to make is a cushion cover. It is all straight sewing and the envelope style cover has an overlapped back so there are no tricky buttons or zippers. Elastic skirts are a satisfying first project and I have an easy pattern for a baby skirt and a girl`s skirt.

how to make cushion covershow to make cushion coversPinEnvelope PillowBaby SkirtBaby SkirtPinskirt pattern freeskirt pattern freePinFree Skirt PatternSewing 101 – Beginner Projects

You will need to learn to read the pattern instructions first and learn so new terms that you may not have heard before. I have a sewing glossary that will go through the common sewing terms. There will also be new sewing symbols on the pattern to learn.

These articles will help with some of the basics once you have your pattern.

Further Reading:

What is selvage, grain and biasSewing pattern symbols

how to cut fabrichow to cut fabricPinSewing 101 – Cutting

After a read-through of the pattern, it is time to cut the fabric and mark the symbols.

Further Reading:

How to pin the fabricHow to cut fabricHow to add seam allowance to sewing patternsCutting notchesFabric marking

The Basics of Sewing 101

So now for the exciting part of sewing 101. Actually starting to sew. You will quickly learn that on the majority of sewing projects, the preparation takes far longer than the actual sewing. Plan ahead, take your time and it will all go smoothly.

How to start and stop stitching a seamSewing straight seamsHow to press fabricBastingHow to clip corners and curvesGatheringHemsHow to use a seam ripper

Sewing Specialty Fabrics

Once you have sewn a few small sewing projects, you will start to broaden your skills by learning how to sew different fabrics. The right needles and settings on your machine make all the difference and can turn a beautiful but hard to sew fabric into a work of art.

CHIFFON – Sewing ChiffonBATIK – What is BatikCANVAS – Sewing CanvasCOTTON – Sewing CottonDENIM – Sewing DenimFELT – Sewing FeltFUR – Sewing FurKNITS – How to Sew Stretch FabricINTERFACING – Types of InterfacingLACE – How to Sew LaceLEATHER – Sewing LeatherRAYON – Sewing RayonSHEER – Sewing Sheer FabricsSILK – How to Sew SilkTHICK – Sewing Thick FabricsVELVET Sewing VelvetWOOL – Sewing Wool

sewing sheer fabricsewing sheer fabricPinsewing fursewing furPinhow to sew denimhow to sew denimPinsewing batiksewing batikPin

Troubleshooting for Sewing 101

Hopefully, all goes well and you only need a minimum of sewing machine troubleshooting. But if things do go wrong, take a deep breath and read how to fix some of these common problems. Even experienced sewers still run into problems occasionally so you are in good company.

Sewing needle keeps breaking How to clean a sewing machineSewing machine thread keeps breaking – Top 10 TIPSSewing machine skipping stitchesSeam puckering when sewingSewing machine tension

Sewing Machine Skipping StitchesSewing Machine Skipping StitchesPinsewing machine needle keeps breakingsewing machine needle keeps breakingPinsewing machine tensionsewing machine tensionPinsewing machine troubleshootingsewing machine troubleshootingPin

Sewing 101 – In Conclusion

So that`s it for your sewing 101 introduction. My blog currently has over 300 sewing tutorials so you will find lots of helpful information to get you started. Good luck on your sewing 101 journey. You`ll never go back!

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