Learning to Sew Clothing?

I've recently bought a sewing machine and I'd like to start to make clothes. I've never used a machine before. What do I start with first? Recycle my old clothes? How do I start? Help would be greatly appreciated.


By Fiona

jeans hem

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October 1, 20140 found this helpful

It would be best to learn from someone you would know that does sew clothes and learn from them. Barring that Learn how to thread your machine and what stitches it does by reading the handbook that comes with it and use scrap fabric and get used to the feel of the machine. You can take old clothing apart and sew it back together again also get some easy patterns as they tell you how to cut the pattern and how to put anything together.


Once you start sewing and learning what to do you will really enjoy sewing and there are no limits as to what can be sewn.

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October 2, 20140 found this helpful

You can also check with your local fabric/craft stores, they often have sewing classes. Enjoy your new machine!

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October 6, 20140 found this helpful

The best way to learn to sew (properly) is a class - most sewing centres have classes as do many adult education centres. You can also try looking in your local classifieds or on a community bulletin board for someone teaching classes from their home studio or a local community centre. I live in the UK now and teach from my home but when I lived in the US I taught through the local adult ed campuses. Some classes will expect you to bring your machine, some will provide machines, and costs can range from very reasonable to eye-watering!


Another way to learn is YouTube - you'd be amazed at how easy that is to use to learn to sew from watching YouTube videos! Add a good book like the Singer Complete Photo Guide to Sewing, and you're going to be sewing up a storm in no time:)

Also online is aboutDOTcom sewing pages with tonnes of great tutes, links to great tutes, and great how-to videos.

AllFreeSewing is another great online source of free-low cost sewing instruction, and of course Craftsy, McCall's, and Simplicity sites are the same. Easy to find, too - simply use your favourite search engine and the search terms 'Craftsy learn to sew', 'McCall's learn to sew', and 'Simplicity learn to sew'.

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October 7, 20141 found this helpful

If you are starting this great hobby on your own, I suggest starting out small and work up to making clothing. Projects like pillow cases, place mats, crayon rolls for the kids, tote bags, etc. will help you get comfortable with your sewing machine and you will learn some basic techniques that apply to other sewing and clothing projects. I also would start with scrap fabric that you have on hand or can get from a thrift store/yard sale, etc.


Cutting up old bed sheets will provide lots of fabric. I love to recycle/up-cycle thrift store finds. Buying fabric and patterns can be hugely expensive and frustrating if you choose a project that is beyond your skill level. You Tube has tons of free tutorials and there are sewing groups for beginners on face book where you can post questions, pictures, get feedback etc. Two of my favorite free sites on You Tube are The Crafty Gemini and Professor Pincushion. I hope you have lots of fun with your new adventure!

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