I really do hope this little blog of mine will inspire others to sew and to refashion.
For all of you starting to venture into the wonderful world of sewing, I thought I'd share my top 5 tips.
1. Carefully consider your sewing machine choice.
If you're starting out and can borrow a sewing machine, great! If you choose to buy your own you will most likely get an instructional DVD with it, which is handy, but please remember you get what you pay for. A few years ago I was machine-less and was not in a position to spend a lot. When I saw a basic Singer machine at Aldi for $99.00 I bought it. Mistake. Please don't get me wrong, Singer makes great machines (although I'm a Bernina girl from way back) however this is not one of them. I was constantly having tension problems which would be confusing and frustrating to a beginner. They were frustrating to me too, but I can fix them quickly! Often a well restored/serviced older machine will be better than a plastic fantastic new cheap machine.
2. Choose your fabrics carefully.
This doesn't mean spending vast amounts of money on stunningly made luxury fabrics (not recommended for a beginner!). What it means is if you're making something that should be soft and flowing, then choose soft flowing fabric. If you use a cheap stiff fabric you won't be happy as you'll end up with a stiff garment!
3. Start simply.
As much as I personally love making simple garments by tracing existing pieces, I think someone new to sewing should start with a simple paper pattern. A paper pattern will give you exact measurements and clear ,precise instructions. Start with a very basic skirt or top without too many fastenings or details. Sure you want to make a Burberry inspired lined trench coat... but start small!
4. Trim threads & finish edges as you go.
It may seem like a simple and unimportant thing, but not being left with a mess of threads and unfinished seams at the end of a project is great.
Yes, you must! Press each seam. It will give you a more professional and precise finish and sets your stitches. If something is wonky, it will be obvious when you press it and you can fix it before moving onto the next stage.
5. Make sure you wear your makes.
At first you may feel a little discouraged because your garment isn't "perfect" but you are your own worst critic. Remember, when you're wearing something no one can see the messy inner seams, nor do they know how many times you had to unpick and resew. They see a lovely unique garment. Trust me, nothing feels better than being complimented on something you have made!