Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Look what I made! AKA 6 sewing tips for beginners

Remember when I challenged myself to sew something before 8 May 2013?  Well, I did it! Before the deadline and everything! I can't believe it!

I agonised for ages about what to make. I have a tendancy to pick something completely unsuitable for my skill level only to then give up part way through, so I was determined not to do the same this time. The problem is, all the beginner's projects I found were so BORING! No, I don't want to make a cushion cover, or coasters, or another bag! 

In the end, I settled on making an apron using a kit that I'd received when I'd subscribed all those years ago to Sew Magazine; mainly because I knew it contained everything I would need for the project and I could get started straight away.

Not that I did though. Get started straightaway I mean. But when I did, I was really surprised to find I was able to finish the apron in about 3 - 4 hours. And I was on such a high when I did! I actually finished a project! I did something I never thought I would actually do! 

And you know what, if you don't look too closely at the stitching, it's GOOD! It's wearable - even if it's absolutely not my style! And I would make another! Or something else. The sewing world is now officially my oyster!

So readers, I introduce you to my very own home-sewn apron :

And for all you other beginners out there, here are 6 sewing tips that I'd like to share with you and which are based on my experience of sewing my apron:

1. Make sure you have everything you need in one place and ready for use. It's much easier to work on your project if you have somewhere to work and all your bits and pieces to hand.

2. Iron your fabric before you measure and cut your pattern out. Trust me, it's much easier this way than if you leave your fabric in its "i've been stuck in a box for a long time and am now very crumpled" state.

3. Don't rush the pattern cutting out stage. Take your time and double check your measurements. Once you start cutting, there's no going back.

4. Become best friends with your iron. In the past, I've rushed the simple tote bags that I've made and not bothered with pressing the seams before I sew them BUT it really does make a difference.Your end project will look better for it and you will find it easier to sew along a pressed seam than a seam you've just folded over but isn't really staying in place.

5. When it comes to the actual sewing, take your time! Faster isn't necessarily better. Go a little slower and you can focus on creating straight lines, removing pins as you go along, and not stitching one random part of your project to another!

6. Sewing is, I feel, very meditative so whenever you can, work on your projects when there are no other distractions.

If you joined in with my challenge, please do let me know how you got on and what you made.

Now, what shall we make next?


Kate @craftsonsea said...

That is GORGEOUS!!!!!! After a slight mishap (ahem....) I ended up sewing a child's apron last night, have just blogged it so will tweet you the link :)

Tamsin said...

It's lovely, well done! I'm deeply ashamed as I've had a 'going back to work' head on for past 3 weeks and have done *nothing* sewing related...

Unknown said...

That is really lovely - even if it's not your usual style.

I would have loved to have joined in with this challenge, but life has been very hectic recently (trying to move job and house).

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