I first started learning sewing on my mother’s sewing machine and as a beginner, I had plenty of fears. No doubt sewing brought me much joy as I look back at all the things I’ve made but I also remembered how daunting it was when I first started out.
This has prompted me to start this little series as we tackle beginner sewing.
So by writing this series, I’ll like to encourage fellow beginner sewing friends that while the start can be daunting, it is a process and a journey worth embarking on.
My top 5 sewing fears as a beginner:
No. 1 The fear of a disappointing end result
If this doesn’t make the top of my list, I’m not sure what will. You will find me hiding behind patterns I’ve made plenty of times and techniques that I’m confident of. Initially, I was really afraid of trying new patterns or venturing into using new techniques for fear that I’ll be disappointed with the end result.
Through time I’ve learnt that sewing is about making mistakes, by making these mistakes we will be able to learn new techniques and appreciate the end result so much more. So what if the end result wasn’t what I dreamed up of the first time round, by attempting a couple more times, I am sure I’ll get there.
No. 2 The fear of cutting into expensive fabric and ruining it
I don’t know about you but for me as a beginner it is always scary to cut into fabrics that are either expensive or special. This is especially so since I enjoy browsing fabrics at markets or fabric districts during my travels and often I’ll purchase either a small quarter as a souvenir or an entire yard for a future project I’ve yet dream up of.
I still have this fear now, so to play it safe I’ll rather use it on a pattern I’ve tried and tested or after I’ve sampled the pattern on muslin.
No. 3 The fear of using the Overlocker
The Overlocker to me was like a big bad monster that is complicated and one that will gobble up your fabric if you were not careful. I’ve never attempted to touch it let alone fix it; there are just too many parts to an Overlocker. Not as straight forward as a sewing machine. Sometimes the saying is true; if you never try you will never know. All I did was pluck up my courage and challenged the big bad monster. I mean if I can drive a car, the Overlocker should hardly be intimidating right?
Also read Why are Sergers scary?
No. 4 The fear of inserting an invisible zip
This has gotten me all riled up more often than not when I first learnt the art of inserting an invisible zip. I never knew inserting a zip could be so hard! I would find myself staring at the zip and trying to figure out how to insert it the right way for hours on end and spend plenty of time trying to learn via online tutorials. I’m not sure why it was so hard but I just couldn’t get it. And no matter how many times I’ve done it, I would still fumble at the beginning. At one point, I even took step by step photos as a reminder to myself should I ever need something to refer to.
Also read The Zip Monster
No. 5 The fear of ugly hand-stitching
There is no way of running away from basic hand-stitching when it comes to dressmaking. While I did learn this in home economics while in school, I never quite did any hand-stitching ever since. So you can just imagine how disastrous my first few attempts were and unpicking was no fun. Hand-stitching of the hemline definitely does accentuate the overall look and sometimes it just have to be done. Hand-stitching should be both beautiful on the inside as is on the outside. So all I can say is practice makes perfect. I’ve resorted to limit myself to 1 or 2 hand-stitching techniques that I am comfortable with so that I can perfect it before moving on to learning other techniques. So far, that has worked quite well.
So there, my top 5 sewing fears as a beginner. I’m not sure if I’ve fully moved on from these fears but what I can be sure of is that the more I practice the more confident I become. Sewing has not only brought joy but it certainly did teach me a thing or two in patience and having courage to try new things. I hope this resonates with you and believe me; we are not alone in this.