Perfect_t-shirt_class_large

When it comes to sewing, I was a bit of a late bloomer. Though I always had an interest in fashion (dating back to as early as my tween years when I designed my eighth grade graduation dress), I didn’t touch a sewing machine until three and a half years ago. I had recently moved away from New York for a new job, and – convincing myself that I had just this much more free time – signed up for a four-hour handbag class. I had the hardest time wrapping my brain around how to thread the machine (what was this U-turn business?) and wind a bobbin, but walked away with a finished project, wooden handles and all!

With immense patience and many hours spent perfecting the same items over and over again – my nearest and dearest benefiting from the handmade gifts sewn by yours truly – I became much more confident in my craftsmanship. Now, I have the pleasure of teaching basic sewing to students at the Textile Arts Center, a creative meeting place and resource facility that offers a variety of courses for both kids and adults. I recently interviewed a few of my students who have some sewing tips and lessons learned to share with the BurdaStyle community!



Megan M. modeling her Kimono Tee, based on a pattern created by BurdaStyle member pixelink



1. How long have you been sewing for?
I’ve sewn a few times throughout my life – small projects here and there with the help of my mother.

2. What motivated you to take this class?
I’ve always enjoyed sewing and I wanted to learn how to sew a garment. I also want to develop my skills to be able to construct my own clothes as I find it difficult to find exactly what I am looking for while shopping.

3. What do you do aside from sewing?
I’m a sustainability consultant and project manager.

4. What is your favorite thing about sewing?
I like selecting the fabric and understanding the way different materials will drape. And of course, the final product.

5. What are some lessons learned from this project that you would like to share with other beginners?
Pressing the garment throughout the process is so important!

6. What are some words of encouragement you’d like to share with other beginning sewers out there?
You’ll get frustrated for sure, but don’t let that get you down! Just keep on sewing.

7. Will you be wearing your finished project or gifting it?
I’ll be wearing it! Although, we made two shirts, so maybe I’ll gift one to my sister.

8. Will you continue sewing?
Yes – I’m already looking at sewing machines to purchase.



Don N. with his finished Trousers, based on a Burda Style Magazine pattern



1. How long have you been sewing for?
I recently started sewing after buying a sewing machine last October to make some capes and costumes for Halloween. Two years ago, I had used a friend’s machine to fashion a moose costume out of fake fur to go along with my dog’s Sarah Palin outfit. As a child, I had occasionally assisted my mom in her sewing endeavors.

2. What motivated you to take this class?
I wanted to learn some basic sewing techniques to maximize productivity and quality with my new machine.

3. What do you do aside from sewing?
I’m a real estate asset manager for a hedge fund, but always on the lookout for new creative outlets.

4. What is your favorite thing about sewing?
It’s soothing and gives you a great sense of accomplishment once you see your finished product.

5. What are some lessons learned from this project that you would like to share with other beginners?
The seam ripper is your friend. If something doesn’t look right, that’s what it’s there for. Also, cutting corners is a sure way to a failed project, but it’s a good way to avoid bulky corners in your garments.

6. What are some words of encouragement you’d like to share with other beginning sewers out there?
It’s not as hard as you think to sew something nice, it just takes a bit of patience and a systematic approach. You’ll definitely have a greater appreciation for all the sweatshop workers in the world.

7. Will you be wearing your finished project or gifting it?
When I signed up for the trouser class, I thought we’d be making men’s pants, but I was happy to go with the flow, as my goal was to learn technique. For these trousers, I’ll be gifting them to a very special female friend, but first I have to shorten them to the correct inseam length.

8. Will you continue sewing?
Yes, I’ve developed a newfound confidence in my abilities. Why, just this past weekend I bought a king size duvet cover (the only size left) knowing that I could stitch it down to a full size and get a couple nice pillow shams out of it. I’m nearly finished with the project and it’s looking amazing.



Julia M. rocking her Kimono Tee, based on a pattern created by BurdaStyle member pixelink



1. How long have you been sewing for?
I taught myself in high school, but not very well. After a few disastrous-looking projects, I took a long break…right up until last month.

2. What motivated you to take this class?
After years of believing that I couldn’t sew, I wanted to prove myself wrong.

3. What do you do aside from sewing?
I do social media and PR outreach for an online retailer named UncommonGoods.

4. What is your favorite thing about sewing?
I love the way the sewing machine hums and buzzes.

5. What are some lessons learned from this project that you would like to share with other beginners?
I was surprised to learn the most important part of sewing my T-shirt had absolutely nothing to do with my sewing machine. What really mattered was the set-up – laying out the pattern, cutting the fabric, pressing all the seams. And I still have a lot to learn on that front!

6. What are some words of encouragement you’d like to share with other beginning sewers out there?
Thread is cheap, so don’t be afraid to mess up!

7. Will you be wearing your finished project or gifting it?
Haven’t decided yet!

8. Will you continue sewing?
Absolutely! I’m only 5’2", so now that I know a bit about sewing, I’m going to hem all my pants and skirts!

1 Comment

  • Img_7296_large

    Mar 25, 2011, 10.59 AMby tonierenee

    Thanks for the encouragement! Both give very good tips and your lessons learned can be helpful to others who read this post. Thanks for sharing and Happy Sewing!

    • This is a question
  1. Sign in to add a post

Departments

  • Editors' Pick
  • Fashion & Trends
  • Backstage Report
  • Web Seminars
  • DIY to Try
  • Mandie's Picks
  • Denise's Desk
  • Meg's Magazine Mash Up!
  • Featured Member
  • Competitions
  • Guest Columns
  • Comment to Win
  • Monthly Memo
  • BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern
  • ARCHIVE
  • Sewing & Techniques
  • Courses
  • Videos
Burdastyle

http://burdastyle.com//blog/tips-from-beginning-sewers-basic-sewing-at-the-textile-arts-center