Starting a new hobby like sewing can be an exciting but daunting experience. As a beginner, it's easy to make mistakes that can hinder your progress and discourage you from continuing. To help you avoid them, here are the top five most common mistakes that I see in the workshops, and that we all should avoid, when starting to sew:
1. Not reading the instructions
When beginning a sewing project, it is crucial to carefully read the instructions before starting. The instructions will guide you through the various stages of the sewing process and help you avoid common mistakes.
Often, we are eager to start the project and jump straight into cutting, only to realize our mistakes during assembly. At this point, it may be too late to go back, especially if you need to recut fabric pieces and have not planned for extra yardage.
When starting a sewing project, take the time to read the instructions thoroughly and make sure you understand them before cutting your fabric. If you have any questions about the instructions, do not hesitate to contact the creator of the pattern (or the company you bought it from), or come to a sewing workshop and ask your questions. Also, take the time to gather all the tools and supplies you will need before starting, so you do not have to interrupt your project halfway through.
2. Not using the right equipment
Using the appropriate sewing equipment is essential to the success of your projects. Make sure you have a good sewing machine, quality scissors, appropriate threads, needles, and other basic supplies. Using inappropriate supplies can hinder your ability to successfully complete your project.
Often, there is a tendency to start sewing with low-quality material because it is cheaper. While I understand that you may not want to invest a lot when starting a new hobby, it is what will allow you to love this new activity! Because with quality equipment, sewing will be easier and therefore more fun!
I have provided in this blog article a list of material to buy when starting sewing. You can use it as inspiration if you are putting together your sewing kit for the first time.
3. Not practicing enough
Sewing requires patience and practice. Do not expect to be an expert from the beginning. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the different types of stitches and fabrics. Practice on fabric samples before embarking on a larger project.
And even as an experienced sewer, it is always important to make your first sew (for each project) on a sample and not on the real pieces you have cut, in order to adjust the thread tension to your fabric.
It is through practice that you will learn to sew better and better. Start with simple things like small accessories, where the finishing does not matter much. Then move on to more substantial pieces like clothing, always taking care to choose easy-to-make things so as not to demotivate yourself!
4. Not taking care of your sewing equipment
It is important to take care of your sewing equipment to ensure that it works properly and lasts a long time. To achieve this, you should regularly clean your sewing machine to remove dust and fabric fibers that can accumulate in the moving parts. A small brush can be used to remove these debris.
In addition, it is important to lubricate the moving parts of your sewing machine so that it runs smoothly. Special oil for sewing machines can be used for this purpose. Moreover, it is recommended to regularly change your worn needles and dull scissors to avoid damaging your fabric and equipment.
Finally, proper storage of your sewing equipment is essential to keep it in good condition. You can use a storage box or bag to store your sewing materials, and avoid leaving them lying on your work table or in a dusty area.
By taking care of your sewing equipment, you can avoid problems during your sewing projects and prolong the life of your equipment. This will allow you to focus on your sewing and confidently complete quality projects. We go through all of these care during the sewing lessons for beginners, you can register here.
5. Forgetting to consider seam allowances
I think we all recognize ourselves in this fifth mistake, which is not an error that only beginners make 😅.
When cutting your fabric pieces for your project, it is important to consider seam allowances. Seam allowances refer to the distance between the sewing line and the edge of the fabric. If you do not consider seam allowances, your project will not be the right size and will not assemble correctly. In general, this is written in the instructions you will follow.
That is why it is important to read the instructions carefully, before starting the cuts, to know what seam allowances to use for your project.
Seam allowances can vary depending on the type of project and the fabric you are using. They are generally 0.5 to 1cm. But be careful because on clothing at the level of hems, they can be 4cm, or sometimes only 2mm if it is a pre-assembly of two pieces intended to be sewn with a third.
By taking into account seam allowances, you can avoid costly mistakes and ensure that your sewing project will be the right size and assemble correctly.
By avoiding these five common mistakes, you can start sewing with confidence. Remember that sewing is a skill that is learned with time and practice, but most of all, it should remain fun! With a little patience and determination, you will become more and more familiar with this technique and be able to sew whatever you like!
I hope these tips have been helpful in starting sewing under the best possible conditions. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any other questions or need help with your next sewing project. Happy sewing!