Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

Hi, I’m a newby!

sewlin | Posted in Talk With Us on

Hello!  I just found this forum and am excited because I think I can learn a lot from everyone here.  I’ve been sewing for about 18 years, but haven’t done any garment sewing for the past 10-12 years, and that’s the thing I really want to do.  I’ve spent the past years quilting, and while I do like it, I am frustrated because it’s not what I really want to master.  The problem is I’m terrified of making mistakes when sewing a garment and ruining the finished product.  I know I’ll learn from my mistakes, but it breaks my heart to put in the time, effort, and hope to a new garment only to end up with something unusable.  I need to readjust my thinking and look on it as a learning experience so the next thing will turn out better!   Anyway, I’m excited to be here and hope to learn a lot!


  1. sewlin | | #1

    Jane, thank you for your welcome and encouragement!  I am trying very hard to change my mindset and let go of the fear I've acquired over the years and start enjoying the lessons I'm sure to learn along the way.  I am going to make a dress for my daughter and have decided to make a muslin first out of an old sheet, just to make sure I'm cutting the right size.  It's the first time I've ever taken the time to do that, so I'm excited. Normally I never want to take the time to do that, but now I'm seeing the wisdom of taking a little time and effort at the beginning to get a better product in the end.  My goal is to make her a vintage-inspired prom dress for spring, so I will need lots of practice and patience!  (And stitch-ripping skills!)


    1. Charlotte D | | #9

      Making sample pattern

      Ceap yard sale/thrif store bed sheets are great,for under a dollar most times you can cut,write on them like add 3 inches to legth,move dart up/down etc.,a queen or kinf soze will really go a long way,hey they might cost 2.00,who cares, alot cheaper than 6.00 a yard,you can toss it or use for scrub rag is messed up.

      enjoy sewing ,beleive me ripping  is the easiest lesson of all,hehe


  2. regatta | | #2

    Hi I'm a Newby

    Hello and welcome -I've been sewing for about 50 years - how time flies.  Also did a few years of quilting and  applique and now am back to sewing garments.  Although I was usually reasonably pleased with most things that I made, it was not until I discovered "Threads magazine" about 12 years ago that I learned all the "finishing touches and expert ways" and now I am confident to try most things, and they even turn out fab.  There is always help in my back copies or on this website for most anything you could ask.


    1. sewlin | | #3

      Hi I'm a Newby

      Hi Marika, thanks for your welcome!  I can't wait to get to your level of garment-sewing proficiency!  :-)  I'm considering getting the Threads CD with all the back issues on it. 

  3. sewelegant | | #4

    garment sewing

    Jane, you have a good answer!  I echo the advice "enjoy the journey" because I think sewing for myself has been a joy for me.  I love the journey, but believe me... each new project is alway a gamble.  Most of the time I find that the fabric is not acting the way I had thought it would.  I no longer buy polyester for that reason.  I did once make a formal gown of silky poly fabric that was kind of expensive and it did perform well, but I just cannot pick out pretty flowered silky poly fabric at Joanns and have it work for me and have tossed it out half way through the process.   The same thing happened with some 100% cotton... it remained stiff after several washings and I finally gave it away.  It was the prettiest Hawaiian print and I made a type of muumuu out of it that I wanted to wear on a cruise.

    I once made several garments from wool jersey and that was such a joy and the fit was good.  The fabric seemed to accept minor mistakes without a problem.  There is still a bolt of ultra suede in my closet that I got 20 years ago and cannot bring myself to cut.a jacket out of it (my original plan)  I whittle away at it for minor craft projects but I still do not feel comfortable with how it sews.  Now I have gained wt. and feel it is too stiff for such a bulky figure.  Ahh, but I still get a kick out of touching it when I go through my stash.

    Patience is one of my strong points so maybe that is why I enjoy sewing.  Lately I have been sewing very slowly.  Sometimes I only cut out one or two pattern pieces and go back to some other activity.  (I do have a bedroom dedicated to a sewing room now so leaving things out is not a problem)  I did finish a new dress last week and am starting on some rayon jersey pants that are the exact same aqua color as a purchased blouse I love.  I can't wait to get them finished, but that fabric is so flimsy I need to line the pants and decided to under line with the  same fabric and I can only tackle it very slowly, but even just doing one thing a day they will eventually be complete.

    So I hope you too will enjoy the journey, sewlin.

    1. jane4878 | | #5

      I have a pile of stuff I need to tackle.  I find work so exhausting that it's hard to find time to do anything for me after everything else is done.  I find sewing relaxing--if I get though stressed I walk away from it.  The worst thing I ever made was a simplicity "easy" circle skirt.  It was far from easy and it was really ugly.  I've found "harder" patterns easier because the more pieces mean a better fit.  The best thing I've made is a Irish linen print lined summer dress.  The hardest thing I've tackled is a kilt (handsewn).  I'm still not done--I've promised to post it when I am--and a velvet Highland Dancing vest.  I'm a bit chicken with knits.  I have some lovely rayon knits, a new machine and an old serger, so I need to take the plunge.  I tend to stick with natural fibres or blends.  They're a lot more forgiving and more comfortable to wear.  I buy good fabric as well.  There's nothing more miserable then sewing with a fabric that's off grain or flimsy.  I'm NOT patient, but sewing is improving that.

      Take care,


  4. Ceeayche | | #6

    Hi Newby!

    Welcome to our little corner of the sewing world. 

    In response to your message I counted back and concluded I've been sewing more than 40 years!  Quite sobering since I still think I'm  "growing up".

    Anyway I enjoy Gatherings and the community here.  We were rocked about a year ago with a new system for the posts, but even that's beginning to settle down.  The advice is invaluable and the kindness boundless.

    As for starting your garment sewing-- I have two recommendations.  Relax!  There's no one here who hasn't selected fabric and worked on a garment to learn it's unwearable.  It's part of the process.  The key is to figure out what went wrong:  was it the weight or hand of the fabric?  was it the failure to cut on the grain?  was it the bargain fabric that well wasn't?  Then there is the UFO.  We don't know what went wrong and it sits in the corner glaring at us for months or years. 

    My second recommendation is to follow the advice you got earlier and enjoy the journey.  Some of my mistakes are epic! But I learned I don't want to do what ever it was again in life!  (Like ripping out seams because I mistakenly sewed the wrong sides together of a lovely crepe de chine when I was moving too fast).  I hate ripping out.


    1. sewlin | | #7

      thanks CHL!

      Wow, 40 years of sewing -- that's fabulous!  Thanks for your warm welcome and words of encouragement.  :-)

  5. Ladyblades | | #8

    RE: Newbie

    Welcome to the forum! I admit I've not been really active on the boards since I signed up but I am still happy you all are here. 

    Your post really resonates with me right now in my "sewing journey". I've been considered a professional since 1983 or so and I have not sewn garments for about the last 10 years because someone I worked with criticized my sewing ability. I am now trying to get back into it and I am facing a lot of fear. I am going to:

    take it slowly

    don't try to finish anything under pressure

    make a sloper - a basic pattern that has no details and fits perfectly. Use it to create or adjust other patterns. 

    baste seams as often as possible (to make tearing out easier if necessary) 

    choose fabrics that are right for what I'm making rather than just what I have or what is on sale (although I have a stash that some would say could start a store!)

    make pieces for crafting/sewing swaps -this is a great way for me to stretch my creativity and try things that I wouldn't necessarily wear.

    make an inspiration board to keep my excitement level up for making more cool things even if I have a setback. 

    I hope you also find this helpful. :-)

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More