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Beginner Sewing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Sewing, as with anything, comes along a few common rookie mistakes. Nobody starts out perfect. With sewing, you’re going to make errors, that’s fine. But there are a few beginner mistakes you don’t have to learn the hard way. In this post, we will share with you some beginner sewing mistakes and how to avoid them so you can cut down your learning curve and develop your sewing abilities quicker.


Mistake 1. Not Measuring Twice, Cutting Once

The old adage, “Measure twice, cut once” applies to lots of things, some literally like carpentry or, of course, sewing. Making a mistake when measuring fabric is perfectly normal, especially if you’re new to sewing. But normal or not, no one likes it. It wastes time and materials. That’s why you should always measure twice (or more). The measure twice saying doesn’t mean just width and length either. This is about having a philosophy of making sure everything is lined up and you have prepped properly before you pull out your scissors. Are you aligned with fabric grain lines? Double-check. Inaccurate cutting is a common beginner sewing mistake, so it is important to develop a “measure twice, cut once” mentality early – it’ll save you a lot of wasted fabric.


Mistake 2. Not Preparing Fabric

Still on the theme of preparation – failing to properly prep fabric is one of the most common mistakes by new sewers. Some fabrics need a little bit of prep ahead of time which can be overlooked if you’re new to using them. For instance, wool needs to be dry cleaned, whilst denim needs to be machine washed. The last thing you want to happen is to finish your first garment only to have it ruined by shrinkage after its first wash. Wash your materials (where applicable) as soon as you get them to avoid accidentally using them only for your creation to be ruined in the wash later.


Mistake 3. Getting Too Complicated Too Quick

There are a lot of impressive creations out there and as a newbie, it can be tempting to start creating your own masterpiece. However, every complex garment is a combination of skills and knowledge built up over a long time and lots of practice on smaller, less complex projects. Sewing is a lifelong hobby – a craft designed to be mastered over years (not days, weeks or even months). A variation of this beginner mistake is taking on too many projects at once. Each project will come with new learnings; mistakes made and challenges overcame. Complete projects one at a time and carry your new knowledge with you onto the next project.


Mistake 4. Spending Too Much Money

Now, we are the last people who would tell you not to invest in a high-quality sewing machine. But you don’t need to break the bank on expensive sewing machines and premium fabrics whilst you’re still learning the basics. You wouldn't purchase the most expensive tennis racket before learning how to serve. Whilst you're going to avoid the mistakes in this post, you're still going to make some. Don’t make them on expensive fabrics. Start with cheaper materials whilst you figure things out. As for a sewing machine, you can find amazingly priced options like Singer sewing machines but there are ways to get the price down further. Remember this is the first machine, you can invest in a more expensive one later. Ex-display sewing machines are machines used in displays, they’re as good as new but can be a great way to save some money. Used sewing machines and refurbished sewing machines are also a great option if you want to save money on your first machine.

As a sewing newbie, you’re bound to make mistakes. Even those who have years of experience mess up from time to time. It is ok. It’s all part of the learning process. But that doesn’t mean you have to make all the mistakes – some you can avoid altogether.

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