Guest Post by Helen – How Not to Sew: 10 Mistakes Sewing Beginners Make

Guest Post by Helen – How Not to Sew: 10 Mistakes Sewing Beginners Make

Dear readers, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Helen from HelloSewing, the author of this post. Helen loves crafting, drawing, decorating and creating something beautiful from scratch with her own hands. She started her own blog as she is passionate to help more people learn the basics of sewing and shares her knowledge on HelloSewing. Make sure to check out her blog!


When you are a beginner at something, you are bound to make mistakes, that is normal. Or is it? If you have someone who can point out what you should definitely not do, you could avoid making those famous beginner mistakes altogether.

Sewing is a very rewarding hobby that helps you switch off from work, but at the same time, it can be a bit overwhelming for a person who just got into this craft. Which means that there’s a relatively high chance for them to make some slip-ups here and there. If you are a beginner sewist, you will make some of these mistakes no matter how careful you are, simply because you lack experience. Unless you learn what you should avoid doing and what are the golden rules you should follow. Like these following ten beginner sewing mistakes.

1. Buying too many materials

Beginners often buy a ton of different fabrics, threads, needles and such, thinking it would be smart having all that around just in case. In reality, most of those materials will end up standing around and wasting space, since they will pretty much never be used. To avoid this, buy only stuff that you need for your current project.

Sewing Machine Fabric

2. Buying an expensive sewing machine

This is one beginner mistake that is very common with sewists who have a nice budget at their disposal. When you think about it, buying the best product you can is a logical thing to do. Well, not exactly, not when it comes to buying your first sewing machine.

Expensive models have a ton of features that are completely useless for a beginner. They can only confuse you and make basic sewing even more complicated than it should be. Also, you might just realize that you don’t like sewing all that much, and then you’re left with an expensive tool you won’t be using at all.

Instead, you should buy a basic model that is advertised as beginner-friendly. Avoid buying the absurdly cheap plastic machines though, just because you shouldn’t buy an expensive one doesn’t mean that you have to buy the cheap one. Find a golden middle.

3. Starting a bunch of projects at once

Experienced sewists can handle starting on two or three projects simultaneously, but even they prefer to avoid doing that. If you do that, you’ll only end up getting distracted by your multiple projects and achieving very small progress. Start one project at a time and don’t go working on a different one before you finish. That way you can focus entirely on the one task in front of you and be as efficient as possible.

Tailors chalk and tape

4. Taking measurements the wrong way

If you don’t know how to properly take measurements, you will make a piece of clothing that doesn’t fit you. Find someone experienced who can show you how to do it right. If you don’t know such a person, consult the internet, just don’t wing it and do it like you think it should be done.

5. Not preparing the fabric

Never sew something before you’ve prepared the fabric adequately. This means washing it, two times if necessary, and ironing it. Some fabrics shrink after washing so if you avoid this step, you could easily end up with clothing that doesn’t fit you.

Ironing Seams

6. Not pressing the seams as you sew

The seams you’ll be making must lay flat as you stitch them or else they’ll look terrible. Use an iron to press them before you stitch them to avoid unwanted results.

7. Sewing for others

Don’t do this until you’ve gained some experience in sewing. You wouldn’t want to make something for your friend only to find out they hate it or that it doesn’t fit them. Not only will they never ask you to make them something, but you’ll also feel bad for letting them down, even though it is normal for a beginner to make something that isn’t perfect.

8. Taking shortcuts

Sewing is a lot like building a house of cards. Skip one step and everything will come tumbling down. Each task you complete leads you to another task and only when you finish all of them your project can be called complete.

9. Working through the frustration

If your project is giving you a hard time, take a break. Continuing to sew when something is obviously bothering you will just cause a counter effect and make you even more frustrated while further complicating your project.

10. Being discouraged by your own mistakes

Making mistakes is part of human nature. Unless you’re a robot, you will make some mistakes when sewing, although this article should help you keep them to a minimum. Whatever happens, don’t get discouraged. Consider a mistake you make as a lesson that will help you improve, don’t take it as a failure.

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