So you’ve been wanting to learn to sew for a long time and you’re finally ready to dedicate the time to do so. Congratulations! You have a beautiful new world of creative opportunity just waiting for you to explore. Sewing is one of the most rewarding hobbies a person can have. I love the feeling of dreaming up what I want to make, researching the process and sewing patterns, choosing fabrics and threads. As you sew, you literally watch the piece come to life in front of your eyes, taking the shape and form of whatever it’s supposed to be. When it’s complete, you have an actual tangible, physical result to keep forever or give to someone who will treasure it. How cool is that?
Don’t let sewing intimidate you. The beauty of the art of sewing is you can take it at your own pace and work to become as advanced as you want! There are countless projects that you can master with very basic skills, yet no one will know that they’re so simple to make! That’s why we’re here today, to give you some tips, ideas and pointers on finding and learning to read sewing patterns as you learn to sew!
Where To Find Free Sewing Patterns
There are thousands of sewing patterns available on the internet. This is fantastic for beginners because you don’t want to spend money on a pattern if you’re not even sure that sewing is something you’re going to want to pursue! A quick google search can help you find some, but here are a few of our favorite free sewing pattern sites to give you some direction.
This site is really great if you’ve never sewn before. It speaks in a language everyone can understand and gets straight to the point with how-to’s that walk you step-by-step through each part of the sewing process. You can make all sorts of adorable projects like coffee cozy’s, coasters, and blankets!
With a name like Noodle Head you have to visit that blog, right? I love this blog because there are so many cute sewing tutorials for a wide range of beginner level skills. The patterns she writes are also really customizable. If you feel like an aspect of it is too difficult, it’s easy to adapt and change. For example, if she wants you to put a zipper in a pillow cover but you’re not comfortable with that challenge, just skip it! You can stuff the pillow and sew it closed, or just add a button to close it and be able to use it with multiple pillows.
We really love this adorable red heart pillow pattern available on Noodle Head. It’s so cute and easy! If the red heart intimidates you, just skip it and make the pillow without it! Super simple.
How To Read Sewing Patterns
When I attempted to read my first sewing pattern I literally spent 30 minutes trying to figure it out and ended up folding the thing up, putting it back in its package and never going back to it. Don’t follow my example! It’s not nearly as difficult to read them as you might think. The biggest thing is making sure you pick a pattern that is appropriate for your skill level. If you choose something too difficult, it’s gonna look like a foreign language to you, because it is!
Pay really close attention to the yardage instructions. If you’re not sure what all of the numbers mean, take it to your local fabric store and they can help make sure you get enough fabric for the project. Always heir on the side of buying too much fabric instead of running out and having to go back for more. I have had that happen to me before and it can be difficult to get the same fabric if they’ve sold the rest of the bolt. Purchase a bit more to give you some wiggle room to mess-up, especially if this is one of your first projects. Better safe than sorry!
Study the key or glossary! Seriously, I can’t stress this enough. It’ll help you so much! Keep the glossary with you at all times so that if you’re ever unsure of what a symbol means, you can reference this. Honestly, understanding and remembering what the symbols mean can be the difference between success and total disaster with a sewing project.
Keep your pieces sorted and straight! If the project you’re making requires multiple different cuts and pieces, make sure you know which is which. They can all start to look the same, especially if they’re similar shapes. I always mark mine with different colored pins or even a sticky note just to make sure I don’t get confused and sew the wrong pieces together!
You’re gonna do an amazing job with this new hobby and I’m really excited for you to see how exciting the results are! If your first project doesn’t turn out the way you’d pictured, don’t let that discourage you. I still have my first sewing project and believe me, it’s terrifying to look at. But I keep it for inspiration because I can look at it and see how far I’ve come! Good luck and happy sewing!