From drafting a pattern to sewing a perfect seam. There are countless ways to improve your sewing skills. Here is our ultimate guide on every aspect of your sewing that you can improve.

Start with the right tools:

Just like any art form, sewing also requires that you have the right tools for the job. That being said, you do not want to waste money and effort buying tools that you will never use. 

That is why we recommend that you;

  1. First, buy the essential tools that every sewist should have in their arsenal. 
  2. Then only buy tools for the project that you are taking on.

  3. When you see you are beginning to advance from a beginners level to an intermediate level. Then you can buy more advanced tools

  4. Then lastly you can buy the nice-to-have tools in between. There are things like a foldable cutting table and rotary cutters. 

Pick how you want to learn to sew

There are two primary ways that you can learn to sew. Online, through virtual classes or taking a physical class/ traditional sewing class.

With modern technology, you can find a how-to guide for anything that you want to learn to do. But after we spoke to a few proficient sewists we learned that most of them prefer a combination between online and traditional classes. 

This way you can teach yourself the basics and then have professional help to guide you on the more technical things.

Sanette Van Schalkwyk, a well-known designer for more than 20 years, agreed; “when it’s a simple project you can easily learn what you need to do online, but when it comes to design, you’ll do better in a class environment with someone who has been through the learning curves themselves”.

Easy projects for a beginner

Like with any new skill that you learn, start with the easier tasks and work your way up. Learn to make pillowcases, hair buffs, napkins and curtains. You can even make face masks to combat the spread of Covid-19. 

Keep in mind what we mentioned earlier about the combination of online vs. traditional classes. Here you can take a beginners course to get going on your first project.

Upskilling

In every creative craft there comes a time when you hit a plateau with your ability. When it comes to sewing, this plateau is a great time to work on a few skills that will better your sewing overall. 

1.Learn to do alterations. 

One of the great ways to upskill yourself is to learn how to make alterations to your garments. Whether you want to shorten a pant or fix a tear. There are plenty of methods you can use to fix your clothes before turning to fast fashion and just buying a new one.

2.Learn to spot fitting issues.


For even the most experienced sewists, it takes time and training to spot fitting issues.  

  • Begin by making sure you have the right fitting issue tools like a measuring tape, yardstick and marker or pencil. 
  • Practice spotting issues when you see how clothes fit the people around you. Is the hemline too short? Or is the fabric flaring?
  • Learn the fitting axis method. Can you run a horizontal line across a garment and a vertical line to the floor. Are both sides of the piece balanced?
  • When you make your clothes make sure to follow the right process to avoid fitment issues. 

3.Learn pattern drafting

Pattern drafting is something that most new and even seasoned sewists assume are for fashion designers or expert sewists. But there are ways to learn how to draft your own pattern

  • You will first need the right tools for drafting. This includes pattern paper, tearable tape, scissors, grid ruler and a pinpoint tracing wheel.
  • Then you will need to familiarise yourself with drafting terminologies like slopers, seam allowance, drill holes and pattern notches.
  • Then you need to decide on a plan of attack. There are a few different techniques to learn pattern drafting. You can trace an old favourite piece of clothing, use a method called draping or draft from scratch. 

Feel you need some help to take your skills to the next level? Why not join us for one of our pattern making classes here.