Starting to Sew: My Beginning
Did you learn to sew in home economics? They were still offering that class when I was in school. I did take the class the 1st year it was required, but I chose tech ed when it became optional the 2nd year. I wasn’t really into cooking and I really enjoy power tools even though they scare the bleep out of me.
Since home ec. I have done some sewing with my mom. We mostly just did clothing alterations and made costumes together. We also made some super cute pillow case dresses for my daughter and nieces when they were little, about 6 years ago. I was no sewing expert but I also wasn’t completely new to using a sewing machine when I got inspired to learn more about sewing as an adult.
So about 2 years ago I was pregnant and miserable because they don’t seem to make maternity pants for tall people. Everything I was wearing was putting pressure on my stomach in ways I couldn’t stand. I looked and looked for maternity pants that would work for me and wasn’t finding much.
I found 1 pair of pants black maternity palazzo pants and that was it for my pants wardrobe. It was pretty sad. I like wearing long dresses but work requires pants and when it’s cold, I need the extra warmth of pants. I had given up on “ready to wear” fashion and I was ready to start learning to sew clothing. I mean honestly I don’t fit ready to wear clothes well anyway. At 5’9″ my torso and legs are too long for most pants.
Most shirts don’t fit well either because they are too narrow in the shoulders, too short in length, and the sleeves never even make it to my wrist. Funny enough knit, short sleeve, maternity shirts work great for me! They are long in the torso and stretchy to accommodate my wider shoulders.
Judge away but I am still wearing and shopping maternity shirts, when I see a good sale, even now that my baby is 18 months old. They work for me and often it’s less expensive to buy them then to purchase new fabric for making shirts. Especially if you spot one at the 2nd hand shop!
Finding Free Resources to Learn to Sew
Anyway back to being pregnant and uncomfortable and needing at least one more pair of pants. I started by watching youtube videos and I found some great resources there. I think I ended up finding a video that promised to teach me to sew palazzo pants in 20 minutes. Well for me it was more like 2 hours but if you can only find 1 pair of pants to fit you it’s worth the time investment to make another pair!
The Great British Sewing Bee
I really wish Netflix would show the Great British Sewing Bee. We have the cooking show but not the sewing one, so sad. Anyway I found the Great British Sewing Bee on youtube but it showed a giant title and you could only watch the show in a tiny box. This was inconvenient for trying to learn techniques. I can now find the show in full size and I added the link above, but I did find a way around the small image issue.
Pro-Tip! If you have an xbox it has a zoom feature. The definition of the picture may not be great but you can still watch the shows full-sized on your TV. What can I say except your welcome lol.
I tried to watch Project Runway to help me out. A lot of their designs are not what you would wear on the street and unfortunately not a lot of sewing advice is passed to the viewers of the show. I still watch Project Runway but now I watch it for inspiration and entertainment. It’s not my favorite resource for learning how to sew.
Love to Sew
So I was thinking about sewing at my day job, where I listen to podcasts about 40 hours a week, while I made little electrical components. I decided to see if there were any podcasts about sewing and I found the Love to Sew podcast! I proceeded to listen to every single podcast episode they had, and I still patiently wait for their new episode to drop every Tuesday.
Love to Sew is a fantastic resource for learning to sew. They are giggly, fun, and interesting while talking about their favorite sewing topics. This is important to me because I can’t fall asleep at work!
On this podcast they give wonderful resources, and talk to super fun guests in the sewing community. They give great hints, explore different techniques, support the body positivity movement, they know the best indie patterns, and they get me excited about sewing. Love to Sew encourages me to try new projects, and I got an education in sewing, fabric, and notions all while working at my day job. This may not work for you but you could totally learn a bunch about sewing, fabric, and more, while doing dishes or during your daily commute.
Sewing Out Loud
The other podcast I found is Sewing Out Loud and I love them too! They are a mother daughter team that has experience making their own clothes, sewing for their household, and costuming for drag queens, dance competitions, theater, and more.
Zede and Mallory are experts on sewing tech because they used to be sewing machine dealers. Zede has been sewing since most clothes were made out of woven fabrics and now she mostly sews with knits. Mallory seems to be the social media and podcast expert. I love hearing them razz each other about silly things and I have learned so much technique and and a lot about tech from these two.
I highly recommend both of these podcasts as a resource for learning how to sew. They gave me so much knowledge and confidence to take on different types of projects. I feel like I have enough knowledge to try out new sewing projects and make reasonably successful homemade garments. This is important when you are starting something new. Being mostly successful is so motivating and makes the process a lot much more fun!
Sew & Tell
The other sewing podcast that I found is Sew & Tell. They talk a lot about patterns while they discuss sewing their own wardrobe and accessories. I enjoy their chats about the sewing community and when they tell stories about their sewing journey.
I feel like when I have a little more time and grow in my sewing experience, the Sew & Tell podcast will become a much used resource when trying to locate that “perfect pattern”.
What a Surprise!
I’m sure I am not the only one surprised that my favorite sewing education has been through a medium where I couldn’t see. Listening to other people with sewing experience has been super helpful though. I recommend everyone give these podcasts a listen and see if they help you too.
The podcasts do also recommend resources that include visuals. In addition they point to their favorite sewists, pattern designers, where to find them on social, and products and resources to inspire your next step on the journey.
Do you have a favorite sewing resource or a favorite pattern designer? Please let us know in the comments, along with why they are your favorite.
Thanks so much for reading! Please share this post with your crafty friends and help us grow. We really appreciate it and hope to inspire people to share their growth and show off their skills!