Basic sewing skills for undergrads

Basting stitches, image from thechestofbooks.com

As the new academic semester is about to begin next week, I will teach a basic sewing class for my BFA students. This is a new challenge for me, as I have never taught sewing or patternmaking classes, but also for the students, most of whom do not know how to sew. One important aspect to remember when beginning to sew is to always check for your sewing machine: most problems arise from it being incorrectly threaded. Next, always have spare pieces of cloth near you. If you need to adjust your stitch length or your tension, for example, do it in the spare cloth BEFORE trying it out on the final fabric.

These are just part of the numerous tips for new sewers and sewing students.

Others are:

1. Always have spare needles with you!

2. Have enough thread handy and wind your bobbins with the colors you’ll use beforehand. You’ll save much-needed time later.

3. Always baste curved pattern pieces, such as sleeves, before sewing them together. You’ll be happy you did!

4. Buy gross quantities of pins.

5. Put a pice of masking tape (preferably blue) to the 5/8″ mark on your machine (this is especially important on industrial machines) because it’ll guide you better so you can make straighter seams.

Do you have any other sewing tips to share? Let me know!

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2 thoughts on “Basic sewing skills for undergrads

  1. emmalavery says:

    Great read! I struggled with sewing at the start of my course, I learnt to never ever be afraid to ask, ask as much questions as possibile, it’s how you learn 🙂 and never chance it when sewing, always pin in place and measure right, its saves a lot in the long run x

    Like

    • Thanks Emma! Asking questions is always a priority when learning how to sew. I think sometimes students underestimate the power of asking as part of the learning process. They also tend to not double-check their measurements, which leads to unnecessary unpicking later

      Like

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