Today I am so excited to introduce you to a lovely blogger Mellissa from The Diary of a Jewellery Lover, who is taking over my blog for the day.
Recently I started learning to sew, in a vain attempt to become Kirsty Allsopp before I can say I'm old and grey and I've never made a pair of curtains! I stopped sewing classes in school when I was 13, when I went onto do Woodwork instead of Needlework. Nearly 30 years later I can plane a piece of wood but I couldn't make a cushion, so I started a sewing class in the local community centre. After the initial embarrassment of not knowing how to thread the machine or wind a bobbing, I have managed to make a cushion, bunting and a bag in the same number of weeks. Surprisingly I am enjoying the crash course in becoming a domestic goddess – “The Great British Sewing Bee” has a lot to answer….
Here are my Top Ten Tips on Learning to Sew
1) Buy a good machine, but nothing to fancy, the simpler the machine the less likely things are to go wrong. Established brands such as Janome, Singer and Brother are good bets. However don't buy one of those mini machines as they are only really suitable for hemming and not much else.
2) Spend some time and money getting together the basics. My basic kit includes fabric scissors, paper scissors, pins, greaseproof paper (to make your own patterns), ruler, seam ripper (for those inevitable mistakes), vanishing ink pen, bobbins, thread, spare needles and a measuring tape.
3) A good beginner's book will help you learn the basics and you can refer to it when things go wrong. I recommend “Me and My Sewing Machine” – a beginner's guide by Kate Haxell.
4) There is a wealth of information out there on the world wide web. Great blogs like Tilly and The Buttons are an invaluable resource for beginners and experienced sewers alike. YouTube is fabulous for tutorials for everything from how to thread your machine to how to make cushions to how to sew an A line skirt.
5) Take a class. Since “The Great British Sewing Bee” there had been a sewing revival in the UK with classes springing up nationwide. I joined one and so can you. Even if you are an experienced sewer there are many things you can learn from specific classes. If you can't join a class for whatever reason, think of joining an online sewing community for support and inspiration.
My second sewing project
6) Practise makes perfect. Spend the time at the beginning learning how to thread your machine. Practise those straight lines and zig-zag stitches on some scrap material before you spend all your hard earned pennies on that beautiful Cath Kidson
7) Shops like Dunlem Mills and John Lewis have a lovely selection of fabric as well as online stores. Ebay is great for fabric too as many small businesses sell on there.
8) Start small before you move onto bigger projects. If you attempt something too complex at the beginning you'll get disheartened quickly when It's too complex for you.
9) It's a good idea to wash and iron your fabric before you start of making a project, as fabrics such as cotton can shrink and ironing will help your project look professional and give you a good finish.
10) Don't be too hard on yourself. you will make mistakes it's all part of the learning process and one step nearer to making those curtains or beautiful top that inspired you to take up sewing in the first place!
Can you sew or do you want to learn? Tell me about some of the projects you are proud of!