How to get started with sewing

January 7, 2014 - Lifestyle

11913845_xlSewing is a fantastic way to keep your hands busy and your mind active. Learn the basics with our beginner’s guide to what you’ll need…

Sewing machine
There’s no need to fork out big bucks on an all-singing and all-dancing machine. The Janome XL601 machine, £349, is perfect for beginners and pros. As long as it’s easy to thread, and it sews in a straight and zigzag stitch, you’ll be set for most projects.

Keep your fabric in place, allowing you to sew in a straight line. Don’t be tempted to sew over the pins though; take them out as you go along, or you could buckle your needle!

Sewing scissors
A good, sharp pair won’t fray your fabric. Hobbycraft’s Fabric Scissors, £9.99, are ideal. When you become more advanced, consider getting a rotary fabric cutter to save you time.

Ruler and mat
To ensure you get the perfect triangles for your bunting, or straightest squares for your patchwork, invest in a ruler and mat. Measuring your fabric before you start a project is vital.

Large needles on delicate fabric will cause visible holes, while small needles on heavy fabric can break. Read your machine manual to check you’re using the right needle for your fabric.

Fabric fun
Who isn’t a sucker for pretty fabric? Stick to cottons when you first start sewing, as it’s very forgiving! We love, especially their custom bundles for bunting.

Sewing box
Once you’ve gathered your essential kit, you’ll need a designated place to keep it safe. Cath Kidston’s Trailing Floral sewing box, £26, comes complete with five thread colours, tape measure, scissors and needles.


Struggling for ideas or projects to work on? Here are some tips to get those creative juices flowing…

Read this: Capturing the creative energy of the series, the Great British Sewing Bee book provides a collection of over 25 projects complete with instructions and patterns that will delight sewing enthusiasts everywhere., £10.

Go to this: For your first experience with your sewing machine, it may be worth attending a local sewing class, or asking a friend or relative to show you the ropes. Classes needn’t be expensive; we recommend looking on and to search for classes in your area.

Download this: From a drawstring bag to a summer dress, learn to sew like a pro through the Sewing World app. It has a great mix of sewing projects for all sewing abilities, and you can download each magazine issue for a small fee. Apple products, free, Android, £1.79.