Beginner Sew
Getting Started
  • Sew
    We know from experience that a sewing box can get out of control fast. And while it's fun to shop for all the bells and whistles, you really only need 10 things to tackle most projects (other than a sewing machine, of course). Make sure you have all of these tools and you'll be set to sew, stat!
    Sherri Sylvester
  • Sew
    Whether you're here to re-learn sewing or want to try out a fun project for the very first time, you're gonna have to thread that machine! This tutorial is for a Janome 2030QDC, but other machines will be pretty similar. (Pro tip: don't hesitate to look up your specific machine's manual if you get stumped; they're generally easy to find online.) You can also see all these steps in action as part of our Machine Basics sewing class!
    Sherri Sylvester
  • Sew
    When you sew clothes, you're probably going to use a sewing pattern. So if you're uncertain about how that all works, now is a great time to get past that. Here, we're working with a traditional printed paper pattern. But many of the same guidelines apply when you're dealing with a digital pattern too. Let's break down the essential info.
    Irene Valle
  • Sew
    Picture an electric blue polyester-satin tube dress with spaghetti straps and a beaded appliqué — on a seven-year-old. That was my first sewing project, and it was not a costume! Since then, I've learned to deploy my glam style instincts more selectively, and I've also learned a whole lot more about sewing.
    Sara Alm
Skills to Learn
  • Practice: Machine Threading & Operating
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    Sew
    Ready to start operating your sewing machine? First, wind a bobbin, thread the machine, load the bobbin, insert a needle and attach a presser foot. Then, select a straight stitch, set the stitch length, and let 'er run as you practice stitching straight lines, pivots, curves and backstitching on no-risk paper.
  • Method: Grain Line & Pattern Layout
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    Sew
    Once you've pretreated your fabric, you're ready to lay out the pattern pieces on the fabric for cutting, arranging them for the most efficient use of your cloth. Sara walks you through reading the pattern layout diagrams and aligning the all-important grain line, found on each pattern piece.
  • Method: Cutting & Marking
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    Sew
    It's important to cut the pattern pieces out smoothly and accurately. Using the tote bag class project as an example, Sara shows you how to cut with fabric shears. Then discover various techniques to trace the dart markings and transfer other key symbols from the pattern to the fabric.
  • What You Need: Interfacing
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    Sew
    Underneath it all, interfacing supports fabric and keeps it stable in areas such as necklines and armholes. With so many varieties to choose from, Sara helps you drill down to just what you need. She even shares tips for successfully adhering fusible interfacing to fabric with a steam iron, an essential sewing skill.
Best Beginner Projects
Get all the fabric and supplies you need to to complete your very first tote and dress. Plus, you can follow along with detailed video lessons in our Startup Library Sewing class!
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