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Sewing Hyperventilating

qtsimienmuhammad | Posted in New to Sewing on

I’d like to get suggestions on the order of sewing projects starting with absolute beginner (like a pillow case) to advanced seamstress. It’s been years since I’ve sewn a garment. This might sound silly actually funny but it’s the truth. My first and only sewing class (home economics) was in the 9th grade. I’m 65 so you can get a visual of features of sewing machines back then. My teacher warned me but I set out to traumatize myself anyway. My first project: a 3 piece suit that included a jacket, lined vest with buttons, and skirt with a zipper. I’m hyperventilating just thinking about it. Oh, here’s the really ambitious element: I purchased stripped or plaid fabric. My mind refuses to remember even though I can see the color in my mind. Teenagers always think they are smarter than antique adults. I actually finished it and wore it for the fashion show. I never wore it again. I have sewing PTSD. I’m not kidding. I have made dresses and a boys outfit each with long gaps of no sewing in between because I truly hyperventilate when I sit in front of the sewing machine. Sorry, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to share this story. Know it all teenagers. 🤦🏽‍♂️


  1. crowseye | | #1

    Don't fret. You have the knowledge from high school. Once you start sewing agian things will come back to you. I suggest stitching every stitch option out on muslin and make notes, ball point pen, next to each segments of stitches to refer to. Do the same with the button whole, too so you know what setting is required for various buttons. Watch videos, even if you feel it is repeatative you may pick up on a new technique. I recommend starting with the log cabin pattern. Check at your local sewing shop for the "rotary cutting supplies" and all the various rulers to assure you sew straight lines. Things that were not availble years ago are now available to make sewing easier.

  2. user-7322519 | | #2

    Loved your post, so relatable! I also hadn’t sewn for an extended period. I signed up for classes at a local sewing machine shop and that above everything has helped the most. Even the most simple patterns have techniques that instructors can teach. There is simple stuff too, like thread choice, needle choice, pattern and fabric selection, which can impact how something turns out and how easy it can be. I showed up to a class without my pattern cut out and felt unprepared but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the teacher had a lot of good info on laying out the fabric, placing the pattern pieces, pinning, marking and so on.
    So glad I am taking the courses. I’m on my third over the last year and a half and have learned a huge amount. Apprenticing is the way to go with any hands on stuff.
    Also I like Threads and sewing.patternreview.com (it’s a user run community)
    I hope you have fun! Sewing is a joy.

  3. Sedary | | #3

    Just begin with easy things with very few seams and choose patterns that recommend cotton or predominantly cotton blends. No plaids! ;) Pre-wash and dry your fabric. Have fun. If you stress even looking at the back of the pattern, put it back and look for another one.

  4. User avater
    smcfarland | | #4

    Check out the Teach Yourself to Sew videos on our site. If you watch them in order, Judy covers all the techniques and includes skill-building projects that get progressively more difficult. It is a really wonderful sewing course.

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