Hopefully you had time over the weekend to spiff up your sewing room. My Craftsy class “Sew Confident: Essential Techniques for Beginners” has officially launched and we are already just shy of 500 students. Very Exciting!
Beginners Guide to Fashion Sewing
Let’s get started! In case you missed last week’s message, the series for beginner sewing starts now.
Part 1. Choosing a Pattern
What’s the big deal about finding a pattern anyway? Scan the pattern books, find a cute cover photos, and you are ready for sewing success, right?
If only we can all be so fortunate, but in most cases the scenario pans out a little differently. I recall sewing my first pair of pants. The pattern cover showed a tall, elegant model sporting a flowing pair of front pleated pants. That was exactly what I wanted.
I cut out my size (at least I thought that was my size) and the end results more resembled MC Hammer pants: the crotch was down to my knees and the cheap polyester fabric was a puckered mess. I wish I had kept them so I could give you the laugh of your life, but here is a close second:
They ended up in the trash, I was so disgusted! All those hours L This image flashes in front of my eyes when I hear so many tell me they don’t sew clothes because the patterns don’t fit.
Choose A Simple Pattern
For a beginner sewer, the ideal pattern to start with is something easy, for example this fringe skirt …
A skirt pattern is ideal, a tailored jacket is not. A simple sheath dress is a great choice, a color-blocked princess seam dress is not. Many patterns will tell you if the pattern is EASYThe good news is that through time you will master the fitting and sewing skills to make any garment, but to start, keep it simple J
Fashion Flat Sketches
Another way to determine if the pattern is ideal for you, look for the flat sketch. Here is a flat sketch of the my Fringe Skirt Pattern which shows 2 side seams, a center back seam, and a waistband.
Flat sketches are used in the fashion industry and often overlooked on the home sewing side. This simple black and white sketch shows how many seams are in the garment, where the seams are located, along with other design details such as buttons, belts, pockets, topstitching, etc.. This sketch will be your guide to finding the perfect pattern for your skill level.
Every pattern should have a fashion flat sketch either on their website, the back of the pattern envelope, or in the pattern instructional booklet. Here is another example:
Check out some of your favorite styles and see if the information you find in the flat sketch will cater to your sewing skills. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t jump in and take a chance with a more advanced pattern, but I compare this to my cooking (which is worse than terrible!) Why, because I am an artist and I always choose the more beautifully photographed meals which typically include ingredients I have never heard of, the use of pans I don’t have, and techniques like sauté that only mean “burn” in my book. See the correlation. My goal is to help you become the best fashion sewer ever and it starts with simple J – next week we will weed through the many pattern companies and designers.
Don’t forget to leave a comment below in order to enter to win my Craftsy Class “Sew Confident: Essential Techniques for Beginners” (The winner will be announced in Saturday’s blog post What’s new on the sewing table this week?)
Cheers and Good Luck!