Our Top 5 Tips, Patterns, and Tutorials for Beginning Sewers

As part of the Summer of Basics Make-Along we thought it would be fun to share 5 of our top tips, patterns and tutorials since I know there are a lot of knitters joining in who are new to sewing. We have so many tips, patterns, and tutorials it was hard to choose so you may want to peruse our archives further if you’re looking for more info. Now without further ado…

Our Top 5 Sewing Tips for Beginners

  • Pre-wash and dry your fabric according using the same method you’ll use to care for your finished garment. It’s a sad day when you wash your new favorite garment only to discover it’s now only fit for a child due to lack of pre-washing.
  • When choosing your size, if you’re between sizes go up to the next size. You can always take your garment in but you can’t easily add more fabric.
  • Make sure you have the correct needle for the job and don’t forget to change them often. If you run your finger over the bottom of the needle lightly and feel a burr, it’s time to change your needle. I typically start each project with a new needle. Remember, typically the thinner the fabric, the thinner the needle.
  • Don’t sew over pins! If you happen to hit a pin you’ll not only bend your pins, but you can break your needles and jam your machine. It also can cause your seam line to jag slightly since the machine’s foot has to travel up and over the pin rather than sliding smoothly over the fabric.
  • Clip your threads and press each seam as you sew. I guarantee your garment will look so much nicer in the end if you take the time to do these two things. I promise

Our Top 5 Patterns for Beginners

  • The Scout Tee: We originally designed this pattern to walk beginner sewers through the basic steps of sewing a woven garment. You’ll learn how to sew straight seams, bias face a neckline, hem, and more.
  • The Willow Tank & Dress: You’ll learn to sew darts, bias face a neckline and armholes, etc. If you don’t feel that you’re ready to set sleeves this is a great option.
  • The Linden Sweatshirt: It literally doesn’t get easier than this pattern! The Linden is made for knits and since it’s a sweatshirt, you don’t need to obsess over fit. It’s raglan sleeved so you also don’t need to worry about setting those with this pattern.
  • The Lark Tee: If you’ve mastered the Linden or are just feeling ready to put in sleeves, the Lark is a great basic. It’s super versatile with 4 neckline and 4 sleeve options, and addition to that we just released both a dress and cardigan variation pack!
  • The Farrow Dress: This pattern is labeled Advanced Beginner because of the unique pocket construction, but if you’re up for some fun this would be perfect for a breezy summer project! Depending on whether you make the sleeved or sleeveless version you’ll learn to set sleeves, apply facings, and more!

Our Top 5 Tutorials for Beginners

  • Selecting your Pattern Size: How to properly measure, select your size, and blend between sizes.
  • Estimating Yardage: All of our patterns contain yardage information but occasionally you might like to use a contrast fabric for one or more pattern pieces. This tutorial shows you how to quickly and accurately estimate how much yardage you’ll need if you want to mix things up!
  • All About Interfacing (Pt.01 + Pt.02): Interfacing is a mystery to a lot of people but it needn’t be. Our two tutorials will help you select the proper interfacing for the job with ease and confidence.
  • Getting Flat Bias Facings: Bias facings are a popular way to get a RTW finish on your handmade necklines and armholes, but if you cut corners it’s going to look like…well like you cut corners! This tutorial will help you achieve a pro finish.
  • French Seaming (Pt.01 + Pt.02 + Pt.03): If you don’t have a serger and want finished seams you might consider French seams. Our tutorials show you how to do a basic French seam on various seam allowances, as well as right angles.

I hope all you newer sewers found this helpful. If you’re an experienced sewer and have any tips you think are indispensable for beginners, or if you’re a beginner and recently learned something you wish you’d been told before you started, please share them in the comments below!

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