Sewing? How do I get started?

Sewing for beginners

So, a lot of people have been asking me lately “Hey Tina, I want to learn how to sew, I don’t want to bother about taking my clothes to the tailor anymore. How do I start? Should I go to learn from a roadside tailor? Do I need to go to a fashion school? How did you go about sewing when you started?” …. the questions go on and on. Well, I’ve put together a few tips to help you start your sewing journey:

Tip 1: Get a Simple Sewing Machine

Since you’re just starting out, a simple entry level sewing machine is advisable. In Nigeria, the go to machine is the Vintage sewing machine, majorly because it can be used without electricity. Which is great! If you prefer the more Modern domestic sewing machines, which uses only electricity, that is also great (my personal preference actually). You can get a variety of entry level sewing machines from this option. Something simple with few basic stitches like straight, zigzag and buttonhole stitches, will do just fine. You don’t need complexity now.

Tip 2: Learn your Sewing Machine

Once you get your sewing machine, you’re going to have to learn how to use it, know how it work and it’s limits. First things first PLEASE READ THE MANUAL even the vintage sewing machine comes with a manual, read it. The manual will show you how to thread the machine, set it up, fix and take out parts in the machine, maintenance and cleaning too.

Learn to sew straight stitches. There are a lot of tutorials online that can teach you how to work with a sewing machine. Just do a few research on using the sewing machine.

Tip 3: Get a Sewing Education

Gone are the days when the only way to learn how to sew in Nigeria was to enrol as an apprentice with road side tailors. You spend a whole year there without learning how to sew properly. In fact when the tailor wants to cut the customers fabric to sew, which is supposed to be the real learning there, they’ll send you to go and buy zip. By the time you come back, they’ve finished cutting.

Now a-days there are other options available to choose from in order to get yourself educated in sewing. You can go to a fashion school, buy online sewing classes, buy sewing books or all of the above. It all depends on your personal preference, your learning style and your ‘pocket’.

Tip 4: Practice! Practice!! Practice!!!

Practice is the only way to make things that were once difficult feel like second nature. The more you sew the better you become. Practice anything that gives you difficulty, don’t avoid it, face it head on and you’ll conquer.

Tip 5: Never Stop Learning

This is really important. No one is a know it all. New sewing tip and techniques come out everyday and you have to be open enough to learn them. There’s this saying I love by a fashion designer called Vera Nora. It goes “You have to learn, unlearn and re-learn”. Learning stops when you die.

I hope these tips helped somebody and if you have more to share you can comment below. Would love to know.

See you in the next post.


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