It’s never to late to learn: Teaching myself to Sew
For the past year I have done all the things I promised myself that I would and never set time aside to. Things like learning photography, building this website and starting this blog, and now sewing! I am teaching myself to sew.
I’ve always wanted to learn sewing and I never got the chance. I remember as a high school student having to choose between home economics as an elective and chorus. Of course being an active teen the choice was obvious, I could socialize and travel to competitions with the chorus so I chose chorus over home economics which taught sewing. The opportunity to learn sewing never came again.
As time went on, like most, it became something that was put on the back burner and became more of an “I’ve always wanted to” kind of thing. Well, after college, marriage, kids, career, and home I am finally teaching myself to sew!
After doing lots of research and reading many reviews, I decided to go with My new Brother 1100prw Sewing Machine. I wanted something that wasn’t to expensive, with a few bells and whistles that would grow with me. The reviews I read said that this machine was awesome for the price. (120$-130$) It has 100 stitches which I won’t be using now, but I’m sure will come in handy in the future. It also has a very silent motor and a clean stitch.
I found a few negative reviews, most of which came from Walmart purchasers who received returned machines. My machine was a Christmas gift and was also a returned machine which I later figured out after opening. I could tell by the packaging and a few of the items were missing . So, when you buy anything always inspect and inventory your item. I returned my machine and exchanged it for a new unopened machine.
It runs like a pro! I love it!
After I got familiar with my machine I was ready to learn more. I googled and researched as much information as I could on sewing and read a few eBooks. Who knew that sewing was so detailed. What I did know is that, I could go to any fabric store and find people working there who knew how to sew and would be happy to help.
So, I took a trip to the fabric store where I met a couple of older women who got a kick out of me wanting to learn how to sew. They were very helpful and happy to point me in the right direction. They gave me helpful tips and helped me pick out fabric types for the pattern I had chosen. They did think that my pattern was a bit ambitious for a newbie, but told me to come back if I had questions.
I chose a simple old fashion apron pattern. The Pattern is by See & Sew and seemed like it would be easy. Well, I found myself asking. What is this? I could not figure out the terms on the pattern. Terms like roll line, edge stitch, and narrow hem were used like I was supposed to know what it was. Well guess what? A seasoned sewer would have. I had to google as I went.
That wasn’t a problem, but what was a problem is that the pattern itself was not clearly written. Your probably asking how do you know it wasn’t clearly written if you’re not a seasoned sewer? Well, I went to YouTube! Yes, if you go to YouTube you can find many sewers sharing their talents and tutorials with sew-a-longs on many of the same patterns you’re going to use.
I use this similar half apron tutorial by smarmyclothes
YouTube saved me! Ha! Thank goodness. A few times I sat there and read the directions over and over and just couldn’t make sense of it. So thanks YouTube!
What I learned about sewing is I can not cut a straight line. I also can not sew a straight line. Technique is everything. If the directions say iron the hem, then you must iron your hem. Preparing your fabric is a must and the right fabric for the pattern is a must also. I didn’t iron as I went and paid for it in the end. Lesson learned.
My apron turn out far from perfect, but not to shabby for my first time. There’s so much more to learn and I’m excited about my next project.
Although I had to google, stop and research, I love sewing. I was at peace while sewing. What do I mean by that? Well, I had to concentrate and focus so there was nothing else on my mind. No worries or thoughts about anything, but what I was doing in the moment. Kind of like the feeling I get when I am using my adult coloring books. It felt like “white noise” if you will. I was at peace.
So, take it from me. It’s never to late to learn. Even if you don’t like formal classroom training, as you can see there are endless resources that you can use to teach yourself anything.
What have you taken up later in life?