Have you been planning to learn how to use a sewing machine? Here are some quick tips that will come in handy.
1. Equipment first: What is a craftsman without his tools? Unless you have the right equipment, learning a new craft is impossible. So first things first, invest in a sewing machine that you will be using for a while. Do proper research and see what feels right.
2. Invest in a beginner's book: It is advisable to have a book for reference as they help you get started with at least some information. However, go easy on reading as too much information can prove to be overwhelming.
3. Learn to use the machine: Before you can do anything else, you need to know how to use the sewing machine. Read the user manual, look up internet tutorials, take help from experts or simply try your hands at it. Unless you don't know how to operate the machine, you wont be able to make those beautiful patterns you have been dreaming about.
4. Understand the machine needle: it is very important to understand the working of a sewing needle. You run a risk of hurting yourself if you don't know how to insert or remove the needles properly.
5. Threading the machine: even though it looks complicated, threading a machine is perhaps the easiest thing about learning how to sew. You can start your short tutorial by checking out the numbered parts on the machine. That can serve as your guide to begin with.
6. Start with hand sewing: before you invest in a machine, learn the basics of sewing by using your hands. Since it is tougher and requires more attention to detail, you will be able to transfer the skill much easily on a machine.
7. Start with the basics: the key always lies in simplicity. It takes time to master a craft, so be patient and start with getting the basics right. As you learn, you will gain the confidence to try new and complicated things. Simple things don't always have to be boring. Start with pillows, cushions etc. and then move on to more intricate designs.
8. Take one step at a time: One skill at a time helps you progress organically. When you focus on building your skills one by one, you are able to learn at a more natural pace. Diving into too many things too soon can get discouraging.
9. It is not a competition: the only person you are competing with is yourself. Don't set self-imposed deadlines that can make the process more tortuous than enjoyable. Setting unreasonable deadlines can suck the joys out of a hobby. Rather than racing to the finish line, break your large project into small steps and savor the whole process.
10. Understand the fabric: this is important because as you progress in the sewing game, you need to know what fabric works and why. As you gain more knowledge about the wide variety of fabric, the more you are able to play with your creativity. What is sewing if not a power to create something artistic?
11. Learn the art of finishing the seams: Raw edges can be an eye sore, not to mention they can also be incredibly uncomfortable. Finishing seams makes your creation look more refined and gives you the confidence to produce things that actually neat!
12. Understand the basics of fitting: by this time, it is safe to assume that you have progressed from sewing pillows and cushion covers to dresses and garments. Fitting can leave the best of us frightened. It is, after all, complicated work. Start with making a test garment and experiment with giving it a perfect fit. Just try out the adjustments until you are comfortable with the basics of fitting.
13. Create wearable or usable things: Nothing is more enjoyable than using your own creations. You can make dresses, bed covers, shirts, table cloth and lots more. The idea is to start simple and gradually move up to more complex things. You will truly enjoy the process if you take slow and steady.
14. Take help, if necessary: while it is fun to figure things out on your own, sometimes it is better to seek help. You can use internet for online tutorials or ask a local seamstress to teach you a thing or two. Expert tips every now and then can really polish your skill.
15. Don't be afraid to make mistakes: learning is a process fraught with errors. If you make a mistake, remember you can always start again. Embrace the faults, laugh at them and learn from them. This is what makes learning so much fun!
16. Check the lighting: when you are sewing, make sure that the lighting in your room is vibrant. You can either buy a machine that comes with a sewing light or position a lamp in such a way that it illuminates your area of work.
17. Position your machine comfortably: sewing can involve long hours of work. At this point, the last thing you want is use a surface that will position the machine uncomfortably. The top should be stable and non-slippery to prevent it from moving a lot when you are sewing.
18. Master the technique: sewing is a step-by-step process. Once you are comfortable with the basics, gradually move to more complex designs and steps. You will enjoy the transition and progress that will instil natural confidence in you to try new things.
19. Practice, practice, practice: there is nothing that makes you perfect the way practice does. It will be hard at first, but as you get comfortable with the craft, it will flow more naturally. Always make sure that you practice what you have learnt so far to etch the skill in your brain.
20. Make your own rules: don't be by the book. If you read a book about sewing patterns that seem too complicated, feel free to devise your own way. You don't have to follow a complex method because a book said so. Experimenting is a part of learning, make the best of it. Who knows, you may come up with something simpler!
21. Create something you really like: it is very inspiring to make something you want and not what your teacher wants you to make! Since you are learning independently, you can choose to do what you truly enjoy. You can make something you like from old sheets or unused fabric lying around the house.