Simple sewing skills can be valuable to anyone. And learning the simplest sewing skills is fairly easy. Things like properly sewing on buttons and repairing hems or ripped seams can be learned in a few minutes to a few hours. But for more serious skills, like anything else, it depends on how much time you’re willing to put into it to become proficient.
How Long Does It Take to Learn How to Sew?
It generally takes a few weeks to a year to learn basic sewing skills, including hand and machine sewing basics. Both are necessary if you’re planning to make your own or your children’s clothing or personalized home decor such as curtains, etc.
Read More: Is It Cheaper To Make Your Own Clothes?
Learning How To Sew: Where to Start
Even if you buy a sewing machine, you will still need to know some basic hand stitches along the way. If you travel for business, you know the value of being able to sew on a button or repair a rip or hem. These types of simple hand skills are foundational to professional skills.
Sewing rule # 1:
Attitude is everything. Enjoy your time sewing. It can be relaxing. Listening to an audiobook or your favorite music adds enjoyment to your sewing time.
Yes, there are books out there, like this one available on Amazon, that will walk you through simple hand sewing step-by-step. There are also YouTube videos for just about everything under the sun. All you need is a few simple accessories, and you’ll be ready to stitch.
Sewing Rule #2:
Don’t poo-poo hand sewing. Any professional seamstress will tell you it’s an essential skill for the best results.
Your Basic Hand Sewing Kit
Tiny, cheap sewing kits for carrying in your luggage or stashing in your glove compartment are found in many retail stores. But for the sake of quality and diversity, you’ll want to create your own sewing box or basket for home use.
You should have the following sewing accessories in your basket:
- Thread in a variety of basic colors, such as black, white, brown, blue, green, and gray.
- Sewing needles of various sizes.
- A pin cushion keeps pins and needles more accessible.
- A thimble. It takes time to get used to using one, but it will save you a lot of pain and bandaids.
- Several different sized scissors. Even if you’re just hand sewing, there are times when tiny thread snippers will just not be enough.
- A six-inch seamstress measuring gauge for small projects. Great for hems or minor seam adjustments. You’ll eventually need a full-length measuring tape.
- A seam ripper. There are several sizes and styles. Buy the most common to start with and experiment with others as your skills expand.
- Straight pins. Keeps everything in place while you sew.
- A fabric marking pencil, marker, or chalk.
Sewing Rule #3:
That which you sew, you shall also rip. Everyone messes it up sometimes. Do-overs are to be expected.
I can’t guarantee that’s everything you’ll ultimately want in your basket, but it’ll get you started. As you expand your sewing skills, you’ll eventually need some way of organizing more thread, and you’ll add other accessories according to personal taste.
Sewing Rule #4:
Sewing scissors are for sewing only. Don’t dull them by using them for other projects. Make sure your spouse and kids know they are absolutely off-limits for general use.
We’re Off Like a Herd of Turtles!
Sewing Rule #5:
Don’t get in a hurry!
Sewing is more than just jabbing a needle and thread through cloth or shoving it through a sewing machine. Think about what you hope the finished project will look like. Give yourself plenty of time, or work in short periods until the project is done. If you’re getting frustrated, put it aside before you cause more work for yourself.
Remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare? Don’t be ashamed of being a tortoise when it comes to your sewing skills. I’ve known a few people who seemed to be able to turn out major sewing projects in the blink of an eye. If you can do that, that’s fantastic. But if you can’t, the end product will still be just as impressive whether it took a day or a week.
A Lifetime of Creativity
It’s difficult to put a time stamp on how long it will take any person to learn to sew. It depends on your goals. But if you really enjoy the creative powers available through sewing, you’ll be learning new things for a lifetime.
The basics can be mastered in a few weeks with practice. The rest is up for grabs. Sewing is not just a practical skill, it’s a hobby with limitless genres to explore and conquer.
A week from now you can begin to be pleased with your growing skills. A decade from now, evidence of your expertise will be everywhere to awe your friends and family. The important thing is to make the start and keep at it till you get as far as you want to go.