Best first project for a new sewer? - Mothering Forums

Thread Tools
#1 of 9 Old 04-10-2011, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
clothmama's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hello! So my (awesome) mom let me take her $4000 Bernina sewing/embroidery machine because she never got much use out of it. She's more of a crafter so sewing never stuck with her. I've wanted to learn how to sew for a while now but I feel rather intimidated. I once took a sewing class but it was very poorly organized and didn't really help me at all. Is doing a pillow really the best first project? Any other ideas out there for how to practice my sewing skills?

clothmama is offline  
Sponsored Links
#2 of 9 Old 04-21-2011, 09:31 PM
Callimom's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,914
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I would probably start with a simple bag - ie a reusable shopping bag. There are lots of great step by step tutorials out there. And you can pick fabric up for a song (its a great way to recycle vintage sheeting for example.)  For a pillow to be usable it needs to be fairly well done but a bag is usable no matter how it turns out - even if it just catches the odd socks in your laundry room.


There are some new learn to sew books on the market. I'd check the library and don't forget to look in the kids section.  When I am trying to learn a new skill often I find kids' books are the most clear and easiest to follow.


Good luck


Blessed partner to a great guy, and mama to 4 amazing kids. Unfortunate target of an irrationally angry IRL stalker.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~ Buddha

Callimom is offline  
#3 of 9 Old 04-22-2011, 01:56 PM
Smokering's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 8,706
Mentioned: 105 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 110 Post(s)

When I was starting I made fabric gift bags, which we reuse for birthdays and Christmas. I started off with a very simple one - basically a rectangle with a hem at the top, and a ribbon sewn on near the top to tie around; and then got a bit more adventurous and did several in different shapes, with casings, French seams (which are awesome, look 'em up!) and so on. You could use them to practice machine applique, topstitching, sewing rickrack or ribbon on, lining them with other materials, working with cottons or knits or sheers, patchwork... mine were fairly plain, in countryish subdued colours, but you could go really nuts and make beaded, fringed, quilted ones if you wanted to!


Sturdy reusable shopping bags were another early project. Skirts can be fairly simple too - definitely the easiest kind of adult-sized garment to make. Google "paneled skirt tutorial". You could also make a peg bag, or a fabric Advent calendar with little pockets, or a roll-up crayon holder (Indie Tutes has a good tutorial for that), or one of those long sausagey bags to keep plastic bags in, or pillow/cushion covers, or a wheatie bag, or a pincushion, or placemats, or a simple child's apron, or potholders, or an elasticated headband....


There are heaps of amazing sewing tutes online. I like "Ruffles and Stuff" and Indie Tutes, but in general if you just google "tutorial [item]" you'll find a few.

Arizona backwards is still Arizona! It's a palomino!
Smokering is offline  
#4 of 9 Old 04-28-2011, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
clothmama's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I am always looking to reduce waste - so making a shopping bag for my trips to the co-op/farmers market sounds perfect! Thanks!

clothmama is offline  
#5 of 9 Old 05-05-2011, 05:26 PM
Think of Winter's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: By the Shore
Posts: 2,339
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Pillowcases are fun and easy.  There are tutorials online.  

Think of Winter is offline  
#6 of 9 Old 07-27-2011, 08:44 AM
wasabihoneybee's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 29
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Baby blankets are fun an satisfying. Flannel one side, calico on the other. Don't feel scared, you'll love sewing, it is so freakin' satisfying : )  Good Luck!!



wasabihoneybee is offline  
#7 of 9 Old 09-15-2011, 06:49 AM
OkiMom's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,391
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Shorts or skirts are super simple and practical. Also the patterns that are like "sew so easy" or whatever the other name for them are all really easy. Aprons are fun and easy.. they make great gifts as well.

~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
OkiMom is offline  
#8 of 9 Old 10-24-2011, 05:38 AM
karen12's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


I realize this is an old thread, but for any other beginners out there, here are some great ideas for first projects:


Tote Bag Patterns


Apron Patterns


Baby Bib Patterns


Purse Patterns


Pillow Patterns


karen12 is offline  
#9 of 9 Old 11-05-2011, 07:15 AM
Dillpicklechip's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,097
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I started out sewing by cutting a flannel receiving blanket into squares and sewing them into hankies.  You can't get much easier than that!

Bookworm mom to three wonderful children. homeschool.gif
Dillpicklechip is offline  

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 16,210

29 members and 16,181 guests
*Jessica* , agentofchaos , anisaer , bethanyh , blessedwithboys , Deborah , easydoesit , hillymum , Janeen0225 , judiann123 , Katherine73 , kathymuggle , Kelleybug , lhargrave89 , LibraSun , lisak1234 , lopeztrita , Michele123 , MountainMamaGC , NaturallyKait , pokeyac , RollerCoasterMama , samaxtics , sciencemum , shantimama , zoeyzoo
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.