Friday, 24 May 2013

Musings and Advice for Beginner Sewers and Seamstresses.

Teaching Clare to sew has been so much fun, teaching adults is so different to kids as they always listen (wow!) and actually remember everything you have said, or maybe I just had a good pupil, but anyway, together me and Clare chose some good beginner patterns and she is steadily making her way through these for summer. Luckily I have a vast collection of beginnerish patterns as I have been collecting patterns for about 7 years, so she only had to buy two herself. If you too are a beginner seamstress these may be worth considering. It is worth mentioning that she first made some basic pieces as lovely Christmas presents to practise her machine skills, such as simple tote bags and pj bottoms, and I would always recommend straight lines to an absolute beginner, for example; a tote bag like Clare or even a simple cushion cover. 

In addition, it is worth mentioning that for a beginner fabric choice is very important and I would recommend sticking to cheap fabrics (in case of mess ups!) and where possible stiff, patterned cottons, as stretchy fabrics are trickier as plains show mistakes.

Anyway, on with the beginner friendly patterns!
Clare bought herself these two super simple patterns to practise on when I am elsewhere, and is making this is yellow gingham, adorable and affordable, double win! She has yet to start the top but I think it will be in a floral. We chose these because of the simple straight lines and loose fit, as well as the total absence of zips and fastenings, winning as far as a beginner is concerned. 



And then, together we chose these patterns from my collection, many old faithfuls, inspired by the bag of fabric she purchased during our trip to Walthamstow. 

New Look 6980 is a fantastic simple pattern which is ideal for beginners as it gives a fitted, feminine result without the need for fiddly zips as they are all fitted using elastic. She is planning on making view C, the maxi with a cross front for summer.

This dress, New Look 6068, is my total favourite ever and I would recommend it to anyone learning to sew. The only fiddly bit is attaching the collar, but if you leave that off its just a simple 60's shift. 


The Walk Away dress from Butterick, 4790, is as promised both fast and easy and gives a satisfying result, with a HUGE swirly circle skirt. So it will be beautiful to swish around in and say those lovely words, 'yes, I did make it myself!'

Beginning may not like to brave this fitted princess seam peplum top but the simple skirt pattern is as easy as it comes for an a-line skirt pattern, and in a bright, eye-catching cotton is both easy to work with thanks to its straight lines and so wearable due to its simplicity. 


Lastly, a fantastic pattern for beginners, PJ bottoms! I have made some for the BF and for his friend as a gift, and would like to make some for myself at some point. Clare made some for her BF for Christmas with great results, they had fleecy dinosaurs all over! Cute!

Anyway, I hope these are a good starting point for beginner seamstresses.

Also, check out Clare's blog at acaseofclare.blogspot.com