Friday, November 1, 2013

:: Sewing Tips :: Practice makes perfect

"Thera, you're so good at sewing. I wish I had your talent".

I can't tell you how many times I've heard this.  I'm not telling you this to toot my own horn. I'm basically here to tell you that you too can sew, and sew well, if you practice. I didn't get good at it by sitting around wishing that I could sew.

Trust me, I've made mistakes, and still make mistakes. My seam ripper and I are very intimate. Always have been, always will be. The fact of the matter is that a seam ripper is an essential tool to sewing. You'll always need one (especially if you're sewing late into the night and you screw up because you're tired).

My best advice is to start off simple. Sit down and sew. Sew pieces of scraps together. Once you have that mastered, move onto something a bit more challenging. If you sew a seam wrong, grab your trusty seam ripper and rip that seam out. I guarantee you'll learn something from it. I continue to learn something about sewing each time I sit down to sew. 

Once you get comfortable with your machine and sewing, you can move on to patterns and using tutorials. There are so many sewing blogs and online video tutorials out there. Most of them are free. Just pick something and try it.

I'm a firm believer that when you use a new pattern, you're bound to screw up. It's all new territory. Which piece goes where? How does it get sewn to the other piece? Pleats?! I'm too lazy to do pleats. The silver lining here is that once you've made something once, you'll get better and better at making it. Soon you'll be sewing your favorite dress (pattern) in your sleep.

Then once you get really good at sewing patterns, you'll get good at fixing the fit of a pattern. I can't tell you how many times I've used a commercial pattern and the garment came out WAY too big at the end. I swear I made the right size! This is where you learn to use elastic to take in the extra or take in your side seams. It's all about thinking about what you can do to fix it. Think outside the box. Do you really want to give that garment away because it's too big? NO! NO! NO! You made it. Own it.

The moral of the story here is that I believe in you.  If you want to sew and be good at it, sit down and sew. Practice your craft. I promise you won't be sorry. It's such a great skill to have. It's so fulfilling to know that you can make your own clothing, kid's clothing, costumes, purses, curtains, sofa covers, place mats, etc, etc.

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