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Sewing: A Beginners Guide

No matter whether you're planning on creating your own fashionable garments, cosy blankets, or charming memory project, sewing is a fun and engaging hobby that's about much more than just snipping and stitching!

From fashion accessories to personalised gifts, when it comes to piecing together your next sewing project the possibilities really are endless. Our helpful guide covers everything you need to know when it comes to bobbins, backstitching, and basting.

No matter whether you're looking at tackling your next project by hand or by machine, it's important to make sure you're kitted out with all the essentials before you start. Items such as the Oasis Floral Pearl Pins, The Cutting Edge Scissors, Hemline Analogical Tape Measure, and the Jakar Cutting Mat and Cutter Set are definite must-have's that are designed to help get your project off the ground. 

Essential Skills and Terms

Regardless of your next project theme, ensuring you're well versed in the corresponding terminology is equally as important as being kitted out with the right tools. Here are some of the basic key terms you might encounter when starting your next sewing project:

  • Back Stitch - To create a Back Stitch, you must sewing backwards over the loose threads at the beginning of a stitch. This will then secure your stitch. This works by pinning the threads down so they don’t come loose and unravel your stitch. A Back Stitch should be performed at both the beginning and end of a stitch, and whenever the thread is broken.

  • Baste - Basting Stitches are long stitches, done by either hand or machine, that temporarily hold fabric in place before they are sewn down. Basting Stitches are then removed once the final seam is in place.

  • Seams / Seam Allowance - Seams are where 2 individual pieces of fabric are sewn together. The Seam Allowance is simply the space of fabric between the edge and seam. It's important to remember that the seam allowance may be different depending on the type of fabric used.

  • Hem - The Hem is known as the edge of the fabric that has been folded and sewn under in order to keep the raw edge of the fabric from unraveling and being seen.

Decorative Accessories

When it comes to decorating your next sewing project, there are plenty of embellishments available to help bring your masterpiece together. Ribbons such as the Celebrate Polka-Dot Ribbon, Celebrate Woven Sparkle Ribbon, or the Ric Rac Ribbon are great for adding a decorative trim, whilst buttons such as the Papermania Assorted Buttons , Make Essentials Shaped Buttons, or the assorted shaped Bag of Buttons are sure to help upcycle an array of garments. Looking to create your own zip-fastened and stylish items of clothing? If so, essentials such as the Crafter's Companion Threaders Zips On A Roll, YKK Nylon Zip, or the Hemline Nylon Dress and Skirt Zip are sure to help pull things together.

Stuck for storage? Craft storage items such as the Luxury Craft Caddy, Pink Utility Box, or the Clear Round Storage Pot are perfect for filling with threads, needles, pins, and even bobbins. Great too for use whilst on the go, these ready-to-fill craft boxes are sure to come in handy.

Choosing The Right Thread

To sew a seam, you'll need to be equipped with the right thread. Varying in colour, thickness, and type, there are plenty of threads available that are sure to suit your specific project. Here are the most common options when it comes to sewing:

  • Polyester Thread - Items such as the Madeira Sew All Thread , Polythread, Poly Thread or the Polythread are designed to offer all-purpose performance and are suitable for an array of sewing projects. Such threads also often feature either a wax or silicone finish that allows them to pass through an array of fabrics with ease.

  • Heavy-Duty Thread and Skeins - Made from either Polyester or Cotton, items such as the Assorted Embroidery Thread, Jumbo Party Floss Pack , Primary Floss Pack , or the Tie Dye Floss Pack are more suited to decorative home projects as opposed to direct use when sewing through fabrics. These threads are great for creating pieces of fabric-based jewellery or even for other embroidery projects.

  • Metallic Thread - Suitable for use with specially designed needles, items such as the Metallic Craft Thread are perfect for adding an elegant sparkle to your item of handiwork.

It's also important to remember that the type of thread you choose to use should also suit the fabric that you choose to work with. Your chosen thread should therefore match the size, weight, and properties of the fabric you will be sewing on. In some cases, it might also be worth matching the thread content to the fabric content - i.e. cotton thread for naturally-fibred fabrics and polyester thread for those of a more synthetic composition.

Project Ideas

With plenty of fabric options available to help inspire an array of creative craft projects, the possibilities really are endless when it comes to stitching your next sewing project. Stuck on what to create next? Here are our some of our Top Project suggestions:

  • DIY Fabric Pencil Case

  • Ready-To-Hang Bunting

  • Simple-Style Fabric Belts

  • Summer Tote Bag

If you're thinking of cutting and styling your own fabrics then why look at investing in a die cutting machine such as the Sizzix Blush Big Shot Plus Machine, Gemini Die Cutting and Embossing Machine, or the Xcut Xpress Die-Cutting Machine. Perfect for use with an array of dies, die-cutting is a great way to expand your creative projects. New to die-cutting? If so, then be sure to check out our Guide to Buying a Die Cutting Machine or Die Cutting: A Beginners Guide.

Inspiration for your home