What is sewing?

Sewing also called tailoring is a process of stitching/fastening two pieces of fabric together with a needle and thread either manually or by using machine. It’s a needle craft and very different from knitting, crocheting, embroidery etc. The work is mainly done for constructive purpose not only decorative purpose. For this purpose mostly people use patterns. Fabric is cut according to the pattern and then sewed to give desirable shape. Sewing can also be done for repairing purpose which does not need any pattern.

For a long time in history, sewing was done with hands. Then a revolution came in sewing industry when sewing machine was invented in 19th century. From 20th century computerization is also involved in sewing machines. These two things lead the sewing industry to mass production and innovation of Products.
Sewing can be simple or complex depending upon the required outcome and pattern to follow. These days there are many types of sewing. A hobby type of sewing is called “quilting”. In quilting different pieces/colors of fabric are sewed together to make a beautiful look of any sewing pattern.


History Of Sewing:

Sewing art was existed in prehistoric era. Humans used to sew fur and skin of animals even 25000 years ago. Sewing remained an art of hand until sewing machine invented in 1790. Invention of sewing machine shifted most of the work from homemade to workshops and sewing industry. In 1850 a sewing machine was introduced by Isaac singer which was the first sewing machine that could work quickly and more accurately.

In those days sewing was a responsibility of female members of family. But slowly and gradually readymade clothing was increasing in markets. Cheap and slow sewing machines were replaced by more expensive and computerized machines with the passage of time. Further developments occurred during 20th century. Sewing machines became more affordable for working class and tailoring business became popular day by day. During late 20th century boutique culture became popular.

Computerized sewing and cutting machines changed the look of industry and sewing became innovative and creative. These days sewing industry is pursuing the quality and excellence of performance. A range of different sewing machines are used in industry for stitching seams, embroidery, buttonholes etc.

Types Of Sewing

Sewing can be categorized into two classes:
1. Plain Sewing: It is unlike fancy stitching. The purpose is to make or mend clothes. It could be household linens and garments manufacturing.
2. Fancy sewing: Patterns and designing is part of fancy sewing. It also includes techniques such as smocking, embroidery, shirring, quilting, etc.

Sewing For Beginners

A beginner who wants to learn to sew should first learn to deal with the operations or else sewing could get devastating for him/her. It’s better to read some sewing books for beginners to know the basics of sewing like:

  • We need to manage, how to place the garment or cloth on the bobbin trap below the needle. We need to know about various stitches and turnings.
    • The main thing to know is how to start off with the stitches and finishing of the stitches.
    • We should also know about the fabrics that should be used with a sewing machine, how to use the tape, how to measure the given sample dress, and many other basic sewing terms.
    • Beginners who are very new to hand sewing should first of all learn how to do straight stitches in the fabrics, such as long stitch, small stitch, hem stitch, cross stitch, etc.
    • Beginners before starting practically onto the machine stitches, first of all they should have skills and knowledge in all the above stitches by hand.

Directly starting on sewing machines would be dangerous. After you have some knowledge regarding sewing machines then you can proceed to the machine stitches. There are many websites that offer free sewing ideas for beginners and free patterns for them. It is very helpful to try some of these patterns. This will help practicing sewing and interesting patterns will keep the interest for learner.

Sewing Machines:

What is a sewing Machine?

Sewing machines are used to make clothing faster and easier than is possible by hand. A sewing machine is a machine that makes stitches to attach two pieces of fabric. They range from simple hand operated/ foot-operated/electric domestic machines to large, industrial computerized machines for mass production. The first sewing machine design was created by Thomas Saint in 1790 to make sails and other goods. Modern domestic sewing machines allow people to sew materials without using thimbles and needles. Industrial sewing machines are usually bigger and faster than domestic machines, and some can be used to sew tough materials also, such as leather.

Types Of Sewing Machines

Basic function of a sewing machine is to make a basic running stitch in same sequence, using two sources of thread. First needle at top go down with a thread. This thread is caught by the other thread in bottom. The feed dog (rough surface under cloth make the cloth forward and adjust next point to get stitched There are three major types of machines:

  1. Mechanical:
    It is controlled by a rotary wheel on right side. There is a dial on front of machine that adjusts tension or length and width of a stitch.
    2. Electronic:
    This machine works when a pushing button is pressed. It has a motor to perform the duty of moving needle.
    3. Computerized:
    These days’ sewing machines are required to perform a lot of function. For this purpose computerized machines is more helpful. A computerized machine has more motors with multiple functions. An inside computer coordinated all the pattern of sewing.

Machine could save a lot of time for you and you could sew a whole party dress in few hours. There are so many different types of machines for home, office and factory use, sewing machine for beginners.
Beginner’s sewing machine could be manual or automatic for easy learning.

Basic Parts Of Sewing Machines :

The spool is a cylinder where a thread is wound for distribution. It is put on the spool pin located at the upper right part of the machine’s body.
The thread from the main spool is then connected to a bobbin, a smaller spool that is put on the winder which is located beside the spool pin.
The case is where the threaded bobbin is secured for winding.
Thread Guide:
The thread guide is a hoop that guides the thread.
Feed Dog:
The feed dog is located underneath the throat plate. It moves the fabric forward beneath the needle. There are sewing machines that have a stitch length adjustment that controls the amount of fabric the feed dog moves.
It is a pedal where normally a person periodically stepped on to regulate the speed of the machine.
The sewing machine is provided with a bobbin on which you have to wind up the thread. This can be done by placing the bobbin on the bobbin winder which is a pointed projection near the small hand wheel.

First of all you have to pull out the thread from the spool and wind up on the bobbin with your hand and then fix it on the arm of the projection and then get started. Before getting started, make sure that the needle is not failing or moving while you are winding the bobbin by the pressing floor pedal or else the needle might break.
Best Sewing Machines For Beginners:

Sewing machines for beginners are easy to use sewing machines and very helpful in learning the initial stages of sewing techniques. Choice of sewing machine at early stages of learning depends upon many things. First of all it depends upon the type of sewing one want to be expert in. Some people wants to be expert in cloths other may have passion to become a quilter or fashion designer. So choices may be different according to future plans. However a beginner should find a best sewing machine. It’s a major decision to invest money for a sewing machine so it’s not good to spend too much money on simplest beginner sewing machine.

The type of sewing will best decide the machine type needed in beginning. There are many types of machines available in market. Two major and obvious categories are Simple machines and computerized machines.
Top 3 companies that make best sewing machines for beginners are:

  1. Brother
  2. Singer
  3. Janome
  4. Juki

Computerized machines with built in stitches and multiple options are very useful in stitching. Beginners may need to spend time to understand them but they will prove best beginner sewing machine afterwards.

Easy Sewing Projects For Beginners:

There are so many websites available that provide easy sewing pattern for beginners. A beginner can make a good practice by following these patterns. If there is not any special choice for starting than its best to start from home decor projects like cushions, pillows or wall hangings. Beginner sewing projects have very simple techniques but give a beautiful outcome to encourage for more learning.

Easy sewing projects for beginners are mostly about home decor. A pillow, a cushion, a curtain or a wall hanging would be good choice to start the work. Dresses require more confidence to sew and more expertise so avoid starting from a dress. A failure could decrease the interest.

Learn How To Sew:

A beginner should learn how to sew by starting from simplest techniques and then achieving higher levels one by one. Starting from complicated techniques can make the work boring and may exhaust the learner. A beginner wants to get easy and quick outcome so following simple patterns will help in keeping the desire of learning. Learning to sew can be a longer period than expected but it will depend on the time given to stitching every day.

It would be best to buy some sewing kits for beginners from market. Sewing kits contain all the basic tools for a beginner and gives a freedom to search for required equipment.

Better to start from easy sewing projects for beginners and after 10-15 starter projects try mid level projects.

A beginner needs a set of specific tools before formally starting their first sewing project. These tools can be obtained by purchasing a good sewing kit or by purchasing all with the help of someone experienced.

The Basic Sewing Kit Includes :

  • Needles of different sizes
    • Threads (Basic colors black, white, off white, grey etc )
    • Safety pins
    • Different buttons
    • Scissors
    • Thimble (optional)
    • Measuring tape
    • Tailor’s colorful chalks
    • Thread cutter
    • Seam ripper
    • Snap pliers

Complex projects may require more tool of sewing. Starting / making a project on computerized machine may take time to be familiar with behavior and working of computerized sewing machine.

Sewing threads are different from embroidery threads. An efficient sewing thread passes through stitching machine very smoothly without breaking or distorting. The basic work of thread is to provide aesthetic and performance in seam. Sewing threads are flexible and small in diameter.

Basic Stitching techniques:

Straight line sewing Technique:

Making straight lines in sewing is not an easy job. It takes time and a bit of practice and some useful help. One helpful tip is to use a ruler and with its help draw some lines on the fabric. Once it is done all you need to do is sew right over those lines. Make sure that the line made with ruler is followed properly with the normal movement of the fabric while sewing. Make an effort to stay within the lines. Once you are confident in doing this at a slow pace, try to speed up while maintaining accuracy.

Curved sewing:

Once you know how to sew straight lines on the fabric, sewing around curved lines becomes easier than it looks before. The trick behind learning this is to release the presser and re-adjust your fabric whenever you get stuck. Start same as we started off with the straight lines with the help of ruler, you can draw some curves lines along which to sew. Start with simple curves and progress to the more complex ones as you get better. Finally in the end, you will be able to sew complex patterns without any drawn lines. Although this may seem quite hard, you can come up with creative abstract designs which are not necessarily symmetrical in shape.

Back Stitch:

Basic backstitch is used to outline shapes in modern cross-stitch. Backstitch is ideal for following both smooth and complicated outlines. The back stitch can also be used as a hand-sewing utility stitch to attach two pieces of fabric together.

Easy Sewing Patterns For Beginners:

Sewing patterns provide step by step instructions to start and make a project. It also provides complete information about required supplies, tools, preparation time, size of completed product etc. A major benefit of using sewing patterns in beginning is, if pattern is exactly followed step by step the outcome will be exact and useful. Otherwise beginners have many useless products in start that are total waste of time.

Having multiple unsuccessful attempts can also make sewing a boring and tough job and beginner can lose interest in few days. So it is highly recommended for beginners to follow patterns at least in start.
There are many websites that provide free sewing patterns for beginners, mid level and experts.

beginner sewing patterns are of simplest type like one below that will help in learning sewing machine behavior, dealing with thread, keeping the stitching line straight and giving curves when desired.

Sewing Books:

Sewing books are easily available both online and in market. They have different topics like techniques for learning, fashion designing, quilting, home decor, easy or expert level patterns, updates on modern techniques or fashion etc. A beginner can learn a lot from eBooks on sewing.

It’s not possible for everyone to join an institute or learn from any instructor. Sewing books takes beginners step by step like an instructor and makes many things easier.
Reading some books before starting learning to sew is very beneficial. It creates the interest and clarifies the mind about upcoming Problems and requirements. Sewing books also gives many DIY projects that can be made through junk cloth pieces at home and no need to purchase cloth for initial experiments.

Learners can find books about sewing machines too. These books will help in understanding the correct use of machine options and also help in taking care of machine.

Sewing Ideas:

Beginners are not very clear about uses of sewing so they need to find new ideas. These days internet made it easy to find innovative ideas for anything. Beginners sewing ideas can be easily found from YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook and hundreds of websites that offer free instructions, eBooks, patterns.

A beginner can find communities even of those people who are using same brands of sewing machines, or same type of sewing like quilting etc. Discussing the problems with other people and watching the projects made by others will increase the interest and skill.


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