It is important to learn how to sew to make great gifts for others. You will also be able to sew projects for yourself and your home once you have learned.
When I was in middle school and high school, all girls had to take home economics classes where they learned the basics on how to cook, decorate and take care of a home, and how to sew. Now, this is not the case. As a result, you may never have touched a sewing machine.
It is important that you learn how to do some basic sewing with a machine and by hand. You can enroll in courses at your favorite craft stores to learn to sew. You can ask a friend or relative who knows how to sew to teach you the basics on hand-sewing and how to use a sewing machine. There are many books on sewing, as well as some wonderful videos on YouTube.
My grandmother was a seamstress so she taught me the basics long before I went into a sewing class at school. Compared to her, I have very little sewing skill, but I can make a few things. In Home Economics class, you learn a bit about sewing machines, notions, and patterns.
Patterns are difficult to read sometimes and sewing machines can be hard to handle, but there are classes you can take at your local craft stores to help. There are also wonderful, instructive videos on YouTube. I refer to these videos constantly. Some of the channels are so helpful, while others have instructors who don't explain things clearly and they don't show up close exactly how to do something. Keep looking until you find some good instructors who have the heart of a real teacher so you can learn sewing basics.
I have been teaching myself how to sew things after a 16 year period of not having time to sew at all. I started by making some receiving blankets, throws, pillows, and tote bags.
One of the easiest beginner projects is a simple receiving blanket. Cut out two squares of fabric that are the same size, preferably one cotton square and one flannel square. Pin them together with the right sides of the fabric touching and sew three sides. Sew about one third of the fourth side together and then clip the thread. Leave a space of about 7 inches in the middle of the fourth side and then sew the remainder of the fourth side.
Using the hole in the middle of the fourth side, reach in and turn the blanket right side out. Fold the raw ends inside and top stitch the hole shut. Continue on and top stitch the entire blanket. Top stitching should be done about 1/4 inch from the edge of the blanket.
You will need about one yard of cotton and one yard of flannel to make a receiving blanket, more if you want to make a throw to use while you read or watch TV.
For hand sewing, you will need a nice collection of sewing needles and cotton threads in a variety of colors. You will also need a needle threader, scissors, some beeswax, a seam ripper, a thimble, and a sewing box to keep your supplies in. Get some simple cotton thread and some plain buttons to practice sewing on cloth.
For machine sewing, you will need a decent sewing machine. The new machines are a huge improvement over those made 20 years ago. I was amazed at how much easier the new ones are to use than the one I bought myself 20 years ago. It does not have to be the most expensive machine. I ordered mine when it was on sale from Amazon. Wal-Mart has a good selection of inexpensive sewing machines.
You will also need good cloth scissors, a seam ripper, pins, a rotary cutter and a cutting mat with a ruler, cotton cloth, cotton thread, extra sewing machine needles and a lot of patience as you learn.
Watch a lot of beginner sewing videos. They really help you understand how to work with your sewing machine and with cloth.
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