Remember when everyone was knitting? It was a fun trend, but the end results were not very practical for fashionistas living in warmer climates. Which is why we’re so excited about the latest trend taking over Hollywood and beyond – sewing. Not only can you whip up everything from a summer blouse to a winter coat, you can also select any fabric and style combination, and tweak each garment for the perfect fit. Celebrities including Hilary Duff, Eva Longoria and Gwen Stefani are all avid sewers. Duff designed patterns for McCall’s at one time. Longoria is known to sew gifts for family. And Stefani’s love of sewing her own wild clothes led to her launching her own fashion line.
So how can you get started sewing? Start with one of the many free online tutorials to get an idea if sewing is for you. Or find a local class that supplies machines for use. Once you decide you’re ready to try sewing at home, you’ll need a sewing machine, a pattern, some fabric, and notions. And if you really get into it, you’ll want to join one of the many online sewing communities for tips, tricks, and general sewing talk.
Sewing machine – You can spend thousands on a high-end sewing machine or under $100 for a beginner’s model. Start with something less expensive until you’re sure you’re committed. You’ll find a list of recommended beginner machines, all under $200, here.
Patterns – Patterns for a wide variety of styles and skill levels are available from the big pattern companies Butterick, Simplicity, McCall’s and Vogue Patterns. But there are also hundreds of indie companies producing wonderful patterns. If you have a flair for vintage fashions, you can find over 83,000 patterns thanks to Vintage Patterns Wikia. Once you get the hang of using them, you can even make your own patterns!
Fabric, Thread, and Notions – Unless you’re very familiar with different types of material, it’s best to shop for your fabric in person. Fabric stores have become harder to find, but most big cities still have at least one specialty fabric store and many large craft stores have a sewing section. Notions are simply the additional items you need to complete a project like buttons, zippers, and snaps, all of which you can easily buy online. Exploring local vintage and thrift stores for different buttons can be a lot of fun and yield amazing finds.
Sewing Communities – Google “online sewing community” and you’ll have your pick of groups to follow and join. Poke around at the different perspectives and personalities until you find a good fit. Not only will you find great information, you just might make some new friends.