Sewing may seem intimidating, but mastering basic sewing skills will make life easier! When I first learned how to sew, I worked on basic hand sewing stitches. I stuck mostly to beginner sewing patterns, and my mother taught me to learn as I go. As time passed, I was able to make more complicated and intricate projects.
So to nudge you to the same direction, here is a list of basic sewing skills to get you started!
Revisit And Master These Basic Sewing Skills!
1. The Sewing Lingo
You know the saying, “Walk before you run?” Well I say, try to learn the terminology before jumping in.
Yes, you can learn them on the job. But wouldn’t it be inconvenient to have a dictionary by your side while completing a project? If you really want to improve your skills, an online class might be worth considering as well!
2. Get Comfortable
Sewing projects can take hours — even days! And they can create such a mess for a beginner who’s learning basic sewing skills. It’s best to have a spot in your house where you can enjoy your hobby in peace.
3. Choose Your Best Friend — Your Sewing Machine
Sewing machines come in different sizes with different specifications. Each model caters to the unique needs of different sewers. You have to know which one suits you best! After all, it will be your constant companion on your sewing journey.
4. How to Operate Your Sewing Machine
Now that you have your sewing machine, the next step is to understand it. When you know how to operate this device, you can improve your sewing machine skills!
5. How to Insert and Remove A Sewing Machine Needle
Getting poked by a sewing needle seems like a rite of passage for all sewers. I’ve also had my fair share of accidents while replacing my sewing machine’s needle! To avoid this, it’s best to learn how to insert and remove those needles the right way.
6. How to Adjust Your Sewing Machine Tension
Your sewing machine tension determines how your stitches will come out. An incorrect sewing machine tension could cause your stitches to be too slack or too tight. We wouldn’t want that, would we?
— SewingDotCom (@Sewingdotcom) January 10, 2017
7. Thread Your Sewing Machine
Threading your sewing machine may look complicated. Especially for those learning sewing skills for beginners. But the good news is, you can do it by following a few simple instructions! Sewing machines even come with numbered parts that will guide you.
8. Choose The Right Sewing Needle
Like sewing machines, needles have different types for different needlework. For instance, you can’t use a regular point needle for quilting — it would break! And broken needles are never fun to look for under layers of fabric scraps. Check out this good pack of needles to grab.
9. Choose The Right Thread
Some combinations work better than others, while some combinations can only work with each other. This is the case with choosing the right thread for different types of fabrics. It’s best to learn them before realizing that you’ve wasted a whole day on a silk project using a cotton thread!
10. Hand Sewing
Before I had my first sewing machine, I did every project by hand sewing. Learning how to sew by hand step by step was hard, and it required much more attention to detail. Yes, it can be quite frustrating. But it’s one of the basic sewing skills that every sewer should master!
11. Hand Sewing Techniques
Hand sewing can be quite intimidating with its difficulty. On the bright side, there are hand sewing techniques to make it easier and more convenient. For instance, did you know that you can put hairspray on your thread for easier threading through a needle?
12. Sew Basic Stitches
There are two different types of basic stitches: hand-sewn stitches and sewing machine stitches. By studying them you will learn basic sewing skills. From running stitch to blanket stitch, all these will help you start (and complete) your first projects.
13. Sew A Straight Stitch
You can sew straight stitches using a sewing machine. It’s one of the most basic and easiest stitches to do. But don’t be fooled by its sewing difficulty level, because it’s also one of the most versatile stitches out there!
14. Sew A Zigzag Stitch
This is another type of stitch done using a sewing machine. Zigzag stitches are often used for decorative purposes. Yet they are also very sturdy and can hold fabric together. Want to make sure that your seam doesn’t come undone? Use this stitch with the help of a Zigzag Stitches Foot!
15. How to Gather Fabric
Gathering is a technique I’ve been in love with ever since my first ruffled skirt project. It’s also a practice much easier done by hand. But learning to do it by sewing machine is another basic skill to master!
16. Sew A Zipper
Zippers are an integral part of many types of clothing and accessories. They are used in fashion staples such as dresses, pants, and bags. So it’s impossible to bypass learning how to sew it.
Sewing it the right way is important, too! Nobody wants a mishap with their zippers, right?
17. Sew A Button
Like zippers, any sewer worth their salt has to master the art of sewing a button. Buttons are everywhere — they’re on our pants, dresses, and tops! Make sewing buttons fun by using funky, complimentary threads!
18. Sew A French Seam
This may sound like it’s meant for someone with advanced sewing skills. But all it means is tucking in frayed and raw ends of fabric and sewing it shut. The French seam will give your project a polished and classic look.
19. How to Sew Mitered Corners
Mitered corners are like flat piping, but flatter and wider. They are perfect to apply on square or rectangular projects. This will make them look more polished and high-end. Try this on your next table runner project!
20. Sew Scalloped Edges
Scalloped edges are simply adorable! My daughter loves the scallop-edged skirt I made her last Christmas. This technique is perfect for adding a feminine touch to any project that you have.
21. How to Use Sewing Patterns
Even now, I still sometimes follow patterns for my sewing projects. They’re convenient and perfect for beginners who want to try new projects. Just follow the instructions, and soon, you’ll be creating your own patterns! Once you become more familiar with this method, you can move on to difficult sewing patterns.
22. How to Sew Embroidery Stitches
Based on my experience, embroidery is one of the hardest types of needlework. Its stitches used to intimidate me. But as I learned, sewing and embroidery stitches have a lot in common. Practice and patience are the keys to succeed in embroidery.
23. Sew A Blanket Stitch
This is like the blanket stitch used in sewing. You apply a blanket embroidery stitch at the edge of the fabric. It gives the fabric a polished look by framing it with the thread color of your choice.
24. Cross Stitch
Some consider cross stitch as sort of a “sub-group” of sewing. But its basic stitch is also used in embroidery or even traditional sewing. It’s best to learn this, in case you come up with an idea that would need it!
25. How to Knit A Purl Stitch
If you’re more interested in knitting than embroidery, learning the purl stitch is a must for you! It is one of the most-used stitches in knitting. Partly because it is easily learned and because it looks so good when done well!
26. How to Sew Without A Pattern
There are times when you would need to sew a garment without a pattern. For instance, when you spot a good garment but the store doesn’t have your size. If you know some tricks on how to sew without a pattern, those problems won’t bother you anymore.
27. How to Use Invisible Zipper
Simple but tricky! That’s what it’s like when you want to learn how to sew an invisible zipper. But with this tutorial, you won’t feel the pressure in learning this basic skill.
Looking for more tips on knitting? Check out this video from Hobby Lobby!
Now that you’re armed with basic sewing skills, it’s time to find your sewing corner and practice! After all, practice makes perfect. And for those who have advanced sewing skills, I hope this refreshed your memory on the basics of our hobby!
Which basic sewing skill helped you a lot? Which one gave you the hardest time? Let us know in the comments section below!
Ready to test out your new sewing skills? Check out these 25 Easy Sewing Projects Every Beginner Will Find Inspiring!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 19, 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.