Essential Sewing Skills To Practice As A Beginner

June 3, 2023

Being a new sewist can be both scary and frustrating but sewing is such a rewarding skill to learn. We have taught learn to sew classes for the past 10 years and have poured all that knowledge into making an at home sewing pattern that will teach you all the basic skills you need to get into sewing.

Here are the sewing skills you need to practice to gain confidence as a new sewist:

  1. Play with pattern placement and cutting techniques. The first thing you need to do when you sew is cut. Getting practice reading how to lay out patterns and cut accurately is an overlooked skill but an essential one. Poor cutting can result in your sewing projects not fitting together correctly. Our new sling tote pattern was designed to be easy to lay out right onto the fabric and we go over all the markings on the pattern on our video tutorial!
  2. Practice your seam allowance! Getting used to maneuvering a sewing machine can be tricky! There are two basic seam allowances every seamstress needs to become a pro at! ⅝” seam allowance (1.5cm) is standard seam allowance for domestic sewing patterns. ⅛” seam allowance is commonly referred to as a topstitch, it is used on patch pockets as well as stitching down seams. Using our sling tote pattern you will get tons of practice sewing both ⅝” and ⅛” seam allowance.
  3. Get used to folding and manipulating your fabric. Lots of sewing is figuring out how all the puzzle pieces go together which means you may need to bend things into shape. In our sling tote sewing tutorial we go over lots of different ways to fold things and line it up together.
  4. Pin, Pin, Pin! In sewing you have to pin so much and it can be a tricky thing to get used to how to hold your fabric and line things up properly. 
  5. Zig Zag your fraying edges! Finishing the edges of woven fabrics is very important to prevent your project from falling apart. Figuring out how to use your zigzag stitch and stitch right on the edge takes some practice to make it pretty.
  6. Practicing sewing is key, all of the sewing instructors here at La Movida have thousands of hours of sewing experience and we are still learning new sewing things everyday.

It can be tricky to learn how to sew on your own which is why we are always here to help! Once you’re ready to learn the more advanced skills like putting together a garment you can join us in our regular adult sewing courses.

Check out our full sewing tutorial on how to make a Sling tote bag, our tried and true sewing project for beginners.


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