The Steps to Start Sewing : Lesson 1 Know the Big Picture
What do you need to know before you learn how to sew?
Hello my friends! Thank you for joining me and taking time to read this blog series where I will introduce you to the process of learning how to sew. This first post is your outline, a primer of the lessons that I have compiled for you and will share in the next 5 posts. The idea behind 6 Steps and Start Sewing is that you will receive a lay of the land, and each subsequent post will present a lesson that will help you set yourself up for success in your sewing.
This isn’t a technical course, rather this is information that will prepare you to be a better sewist and will aid you as you learn the craft. I think an important topic that is missing in online tutorials and sewing lessons are lessons and teaching that outline what you can expect from the process. In the vast array of available education, where and how do you start?
It's absolutely overwhelming- as a sewing instructor and professional seamstress even I am daunted by how many tutorials I see on Pinterest. And because I have been teaching sewing for many years now, I know how important it is to have a guide in the beginning, to help you create a successful sewing practice. Instead of jumping into the machine and sewing techniques, what if you had a lessons that taught you exactly what the process looks like and how to prepare, before you even touched the machine?
Wouldn't that save you a lot of time, and a lot of struggle?
I think this isn’t discussed right from the start because its so hard to begin a new endeavor that we dive in so that we can get started somewhere and somehow. But have you ever gotten really excited about learning a new craft, and jumped right in, invested in the education and materials, but soon found it abandoned, just another hobby that you tried and gave up? I know this has happened to me, and I have seen it happen to my students. It's easy to start a skill, but not easy to stick with the skill.
I have a solution - and the steps I outline in this series will save you from frustration later when you are outside the accountabilities of class structure.
I have taught many earn how to sew and make clothing classes, and in these classes have seen what the process looks like for 100’s of potential sewing enthusiasts. In my classes, I cover technical skills, teach how to use a sewing machine, and use all of the best tools for sewing. But in class we only really have time to teach the hands on process of the craft.
However, there is more that you need to know to learn how to sew. The key issue I have seen over the years despite all of the great resources to teach sewing online, or in person, is that the craft is really overwhelming. There are so many amazing and wonderful things you can do when you know how to sew. And though there are lots of tutorials and how to sew trainings that are easily accessed online, the information is delivered to you in bite sized bits. You really have to piece together a lot of posts, videos, and trainings to get an idea of what is expected in your new found craft.
That can be intimidating, and overwhelming. And while I encourage and teach that you just have dive right in- soon you are inundated with so much information that its really hard to get a grasp on what you really need to know as a beginner to learn how to sew.
Its like you need a recipe book.
And the recipe book is a step by step instructional that will outline the simple ways to start sewing on your own and everything you need to know to get started.
I am writing this for my students because I want them to love sewing as much as I do!
An excited student will take the time and sign up for sewing classes, and love sewing in class. However, to be successful, its important to preserve the focus that you receive from working in the classroom and bring that level of understanding and support to your practice at home.
The overwhelm starts when you don’t know what tools you need, and you don’t know how long its going to take to get a firm grasp on the craft. Soon when class is over, the desire dwindles as unfinished projects pile up. And all of those tutorials and resources available soon become a source of confusion. How do you use them, and in what order, and when do they apply?
What if it did not have to be that way? What if you had a map, or a step by step checklist, that would help you chart your progress and save you time, energy and effort?
That’s the intention behind this blog post series. I will be sharing this series with my Fair Fit Beginners Sewing students, but it is also available to you online as a resource. Each post will help you learn what to expect in the process, and offer checklists and key takeaways so that you can learn how to sew and develop a strong practice.
Now lets nail down key questions I’m going to cover, and the steps and information that you need to know before you even touch a machine.
1. How do I get started?
You need to know what kind of tools and materials are required to start, how much time is needed to be spent on education, how much time to commit to practice at home, and what you can expect in the process of learning the technical skill.
2. How long will it take?
I have to tell you, it does take time. I’ll give you the steps you need to take to get set up to sew and practice on your own, while helping you organize your time so that can practice and invest in your new craft. Basically, I’m going to give you a sewing practice regimen in one of the next posts- and this guide will help you know when and how long to practice, and outline the time you need to set aside. This is essential! Just as when we start a new form of exercise, doesn’t it help that someone shows you what you need to do, and know its going to take 30 minutes?
3. What is the investment?
Its sizable! I don’t say that to intimidate or discourage you, rather, to give you a lay of the land and help you structure your time, budget, and practice. I’ve created resources pages outlining the most essential tools for sewing. What you need to have to get started for most projects. And in terms of education, I will outline a process for you so you know how much you can expect to invest. If you go into it believing that one class is going to do it, then you aren’t going to be happy when you find yourself still working on straight stitches after a few projects. Rather, let's outline a realistic expectations, so that you can be encouraged that you are right on track, progressing without pitfalls of confusion.
Thanks for reading, and happy sewing!