Sewing, as with anything, comes along with a few common rookie mistakes. Nobody starts out perfect. However, there are a few beginner mistakes you don’t have to learn the hard way. This post will share some common sewing mistakes, often made by beginners, and how to avoid them. This will allow you to cut down your learning curve and develop your sewing techniques 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 appropriately prepped before you pull out your scissors. Are you aligned with fabric grain lines? Double-check. Inaccurate cutting is a common beginner sewing mistake, so don’t forget 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 often made by new sewers. Some materials 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, while denim needs to be machine washed.
The last thing you want to do is 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 while you’re still learning the basics. You wouldn't purchase the most expensive tennis racket before learning how to serve.
While 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 while 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.
Mistake 5. Using the Wrong Fabric
When beginning your sewing journey, it’s easy to get carried away with the thought of the finished product. However, before you start sewing, it’s vital to ensure you’re going to be working with the most appropriate fabric.
As a beginner, it’s recommended that you use easy to work with fabrics such as linen and cotton as a regular sewing needle will easily sew through these.
Using thick and difficult to work with fabrics such as leather or other thick materials could result in several problems. For example, your sewing needle could snap if you use the wrong one for the job, resulting in wasted time, money, and effort! By using basic fabrics until you’ve got the hang of things, you’re massively increasing your chances of success!
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. If you’re looking for the perfect sewing machine for beginners, browse our range today.