A friend once told me that to become excellent at something, one must practice for 10,000 hours. Think of a group like the Beatles. They lived and breathed their music and eventually became a huge success. If you have a big dream, then it is going to take a lot of time, commitment and being truly unstoppable. What about talent, you might ask? Well, I am no music expert, but the drum beats of the Beatles don’t seem all that complicated and unique to me. Talent will take you somewhere, but not all the way.
Back to the 10,000 hours. I worked it out to roughly 417 days of 24 hour non-stop practice. Wow! Seems like a huge task. So it is better to break it down, but my math skills go no further. Instead, I have some advice for those who want to sew, but are afraid to start. Everyone starts somewhere, including myself and this is what I have to offer so far.
Start simple, but not boring. If you want to sew, it is to create an outlet for your creativity. Choose projects that inspire you. Personally, pillow cases don’t inspire me. Wedding gowns are probably a little too advanced for the novice. If you want to sew clothes, sew clothes. If you want to sew bags, sew bags. If you want to sew headbands, sew headbands.
Search for ideas- Pinterest is great.
If you are a beginner……
- Choose fabrics with little or no stretch. Avoid knits.
- Choose mid-weight fabrics.
- Avoid silk or chiffon.
In the process
Go slow- resist the urge to rush.
Ask for help, even if the only person around doesn’t actually sew.
Talking it out helps.
I can’t count the number of times, I have had to ask my husband to help me interpret vague sewing pattern instructions.
Search for help- there are so many sewing videos on YouTube about everything.
Always clip and notch
Always finish seams
Measure twice- cut once. (wise words from EStar)
You will sew things the wrong way round, back to front, wrong/right sides together, misaligned and upside down. This is how you forge a lasting relationship with your seam-ripper. It is part of the process.
Once you have made a mistake once- mark the instructions- in BIG FAT COLOURFUL MARKERS. THEN, HIGHLIGHT IT. THEN, UNDERLINE IT.
You will be surprised how many times you can miss your instructional amendments and notes while sewing.
Discovering your style
Make people go WOW! (wise words from Miss Velvet Cream)
You want something on your rack that makes people go ‘ohhhh I want that!” It should be a piece that shows the extent your skill. It will be expensive. Very few people will actually buy it, but they will REMEMBER it. Even if they HATE it, they will take a second look.
Don’t be afraid to try new things. Let inspiration be your guide. And don’t be held back fear of failure.