Hi Darlings and Happy Friday!! Today I am taking a minute to answer questions I am continuously asked about learning to sew. I am so blessed to gain so many new followers daily from word of mouth and tagging on social media that this topic comes up daily. I thought I would update the “Wanna Sew” page with new info and links.
If you have ever wanted to learn how to sew or have recently (or not recently) found me and now think you want to give sewing a try this post if for you! This post will give you everything you need to get started. So let’s begin with the Q&A…
1. CAN ANYONE LEARN TO SEW? YES, now granted some may learn faster than others and for some it may be something they didn’t even know they could do and become really great at BUT what I don’t like hearing is “I don’t know how to sew” having not even tried learning, lol and often I wonder if people realize that at one point I didn’t know how to sew EITHER. I was TERRIBLE when I started but I had a desire to learn it and so after several and I mean SEVERAL terrible, ill fitting, poorly made, hideous attempts I finally started to get the hang of it. BUT!!!!! I didn’t have a “Mimi G Style” when I was learning….meaning I didn’t have Step by Step Video Tutorials to sew along with, someone who taught in layman’s terms, and I didn’t have someone that I could see was using sewing for fashion as opposed to crafts. NOW!! you have the ability to learn using all of those things I didn’t have to help speed up the learning process but most importantly make it FUN!
2. DO YOU NEED A TON OF STUFF TO START? No not really. With any hobby you start to accumulate tools as you go along but initial to start you need a sewing machine a basic sewing kit and guidance! You need a BASIC SEWING KIT $9 along with the following: Scissors (one for fabric) HERE and use the one in the BASIC SEWING KIT for paper, Chalk Roller (my personal fav) or Marking Pen, Clear Ruler.
3. WHAT SEWING MACHINES DO YOU RECOMMEND? Sewing machines are not as expensive as some may think now and days and you certainly don’t need an expensive sewing machine to get started. My first machine when I started sewing again in my 20’s was a $160 Brother Machine which is still my number one recommendation for newbies. I started sewing on the Brother CS6000i and used it for 7 years and then for another 5 years by students I took on. I have a complete list of sewing machines I recommend for beginners HERE but this is My Top 5 List:
Brother CS6000i $143.00 HERE (Sewing speed control, which is SUPER helpful, comes with a carrying case so you can take it to classes or travel with it, has easy threading guide, built it free arm sewing)
Janome HD1000 $299 HERE (has a good automatic 4 step buttonhole maker, has stretch stitches for working with stretch fabrics, the body is made of cast aluminum, has a free arm for sewing cuffs, pant legs etc.)
Janome 8077 $349 HERE (Computerized, Stop/Start button so you can sew without the presser foot, Easily adjust the stitch width or length by just pressing the plus or minus button, ONE step automatic buttonhole maker)
Brother PC420PRW $359 HERE (850 stitches per minute, metal frame construction, with easy-to-use LED display for stitch selection, 294 built-in stitches with 10 styles of one-step auto-size buttonholes and 3 lettering styles, easy threading, built in thread cutter, adjustable sewing speed control, 11 presser feet including a non-stick foot for working with leather, plastics etc)
4. IS A SERGER NECESSARY? No, not to start with. A serger is great for sewing knits and finishing off your raw seams and hem lines because it gives you a clean and professional look but it’s not something you have to have to start sewing. You can use the zig zag stitch on your sewing machine to finish off the raw edges. If you do want one HERE and HERE are a few I think are great.
5. WHAT PROJECTS DO I START WITH? There are a ton of great beginner projects and if you want to make pillows and aprons you can find those on youtube BUT if you want to learn to sew wearable garments then you want to start with some of my free beginner projects. Below is a list of “START HERE” projects.
FREE Sewing 101 “Start Here” Videos: (these are pretty old and I am going to be updating them soon but they are VERY good to start with and understand the basics) Class Intro, Class One, Class Two, Class Three, Class Four Part #1, Class Four Part #2, Class Four Part #3, Class Four Part #4
I also have GREAT Beginner Sewing Tutorials where I walk you though every single step from start to finish so it seems like I am in the room with you. Here are some of the most popular for Newbies: Mermaid Maxi, Strapless Jumper, Off Shoulder Maxi Dress, T-shirt Maxi, Fall Dress after those I recommend the Cocoon Sweater, Regal maxi Skirt, Double Peplum, Front Slit Maxi Dress, Baddie Skirt. Mimi G Sewing Patterns are available HERE and also come with step by step videos sew-alongs so you can navigate the paper pattern and sew successfully!
6. MUST HAVE BOOKS? I love reading so here is a short list of some of my favorite books to help you learn fitting and construction:
7. OTHER RESOURCES? The internet has a wealth of knowledge and if you want to learn something there should be nothing standing in your way. I am fan of a site called Pattern Review. Pattern Review is a great place for anyone who sews because if you have ever wondered about a sewing pattern and wanted to see what others who have made that pattern think, you can log onto PR, and search for pattern reviews. Now you can get an idea of what others thought, any modifications they ended up making, and you get to see what it looked like when finished. If there are any key elements they thought to share you will find it in the reviews. I am big fan of YouTube, there are a ton of channels to surf through including MINE which hosts monthly FREE sew-alongs as part of my collaboration with Michael Levine Fabrics.
8. WHERE DO I BUY FABRICS? Fabric Shopping is another scary thing for newbies so I often suggest buying fabrics I link to in my posts and tutorials and most of the time I am linking to Michael Levine Fabrics who is a huge supporter of Mimi G Style and gives my readers 10% OFF their entire purchase! Use code “MIMI10” at checkout.