Sewing: The Basics
<please do not edit this OER yet>
These lessons will describe and demonstrate the basics of sewing by machine.
After all the lessons have been written and tested, other contributers might eventually add to this project.
Lesson 1-Key Pre-Knowledge
Before you learn to thread your machine or search for the manual, there are key ideas to consider.
- Pick an easy project you want to do.
- Be prepared to make mistakes.
- Give yourself lots of time.
- Use cheap or free materials.
- Choose an easy pattern.
Pick an easy project. This might be something that will solve a problem for you. When learning to sew, start simple and start small. Some of you might remember your first sewing project: a dirndl skirt you made in Grade 8 Home Ec. It had two or three pattern pieces, was made of plain cotton, and had a overlapped zipper. However, the first project wasn't something you chose and/or was irrelevant to your own needs.
If you have never sewn, not even by hand, park your fear by the door. Think of your first projects as experiments in which you will make mistakes as you learn. And, since you'll be using cheap or free materials, you can feel comfortable to mess up. Sometimes, you will be recycling, too.
You probably have a reason for wanting to sew. What is it? Do you want to sew because someone gave you a machine? Do you have a particular project in mind? If so, what is the purpose of the project: will making the project solve a problem?
The project you choose will depend on why you are sewing, what materials you have to work with, and how much time you have. Or vice versa. The project, purpose, materials, and time (and money) are all variables.
Therefore, I will use example projects to demonstrate.
Lesson 2-Choosing Materials
Good choices for fabrics are as follows: Non-stretch Not too thick (no faux fur for starters) Not too thin or delicate (like silk, satin, stretch knits) No repeating patterns, stripes, or plaids