Sewing 101

A week or so ago, Farmers Wifey asked where should she start if she’s getting back into sewing! Here are a few things I think might help the beginner sewer……….it wasn’t too long ago that I was pregnant with keira and asked my dad to pull my old bernette out from the garage! It hadn’t been touched in a good 7 years or so and for a couple of sewing sessions I was totally clueless and getting my bobbin thread everywhere and caught up in the bobbin case….it was a mess! I hope this helps you…………….
Just getting started on your machine can be daunting for the beginner or returning sewer. I like how this girl covers the essentials all in less than 10 minutes. Sometimes this is all you need to get cracking and on the right track.
when it comes to first projects you really can’t go past a simple tote, a lunchbag, pillowcase, pincushion, cushion cover, apron, simple elasticised skirt, shirred dress, a bunting and how about this list of 45 bag tutorials! There are so many free resources on the net it’s a great place to start. When you’re a bit more confident don’t forget you can find my little girls dress pattern here – once you’ve mastered a few things you’ll love making it and the trickiest part is just adding the binding and sewing it on.
the start of my patterns
Unfortunately my easy shorts pattern for Notebook wasn’t copied to the net properly and now that the magazine is closed I am unable to have it changed! And you know what I did don’t you……yep, I never got the original back so I’ll add it to my to never ending to do list to draft again and share on my blog as it’s a great little pattern. Sadly, the actual measurements on the template are not correct and they will turn out teeny tiny!
Got a question about beginner sewing just ask?


  1. This is a wonderful post – thank you so much. Reading your blog has inspired me to stop being scared of my sewing machine and try to learn the basics so I can eventually be good enough to make one of those wonderful quilts I keep seeing. Rachael Xx

  2. LOL I thought I was doing something wrong with that shorts pattern from Notebook when I tried it out! Glad to know it wasn’t me!!!

  3. Yay! thanks Corrie. I just recently got a sewing machine too and this was a great help. I don’t need to go do a class immediately now – I can play around first after watching this and then try a pattern out. Super excited!
    Naomi x

  4. Fantastic, just what a beginner needs. A bit of confidence is amazing and how it can life spirits.
    I have been reading your blog all week, and what you have been through. You are a wonderful person, do so much for everyone, and I really hope things improve for you all soon. Keep up the fantastic blog!

  5. Great post. Other than quilts and crafty type stuff – I have no idea how to sew. One day I’ll try my hand at clothes :-)

  6. I was a beginner sewer last year and have had a few people asking me lately for ideas for beginner projects so this is great thanks! have just put a link to it on my facebook page :)

  7. Thank you very much corry. I’ve just started learning in this area… I love sewing, you do it very very wellll. Thank you very much!

  8. You know I’m a big fan of the dress – my girls have two each and I think I’m going to even use it to make a few shirts for them too…!

  9. Hi Corrie– Thanks for the post!! I’m a relatively new quilter (and brand new blogger) and I liked that you offered suggestions for beginning projects. I think I’m going to try making the pincushion and I’d like to do a pillowcase for Million Pillowcase Challenge (to donate).
    You said you were open to questions: my biggest issue, right now, as a beginner quilter is that sometimes my seams get really bulky where a bunch of corners comes together, even when I iron in the direction indicated (you can see a specific example of this in the last photo of my 2nd post– where lots of triangles come together– its similar to a Hunter’s Star). When I sewed the rows together, I was very nervous about those bulky joints going thru my machine.
    I would certainly appreciate any advice you have to offer (or links/references)– Thanks very much!!
    I’m sending out well wishes and prayers for Elodie and your Mom (I guess you say Mum in Australia)– hope you have an easier weekend!

  10. Thanks for this wonderful post! I’m definitely a beginner and need all the help I can get!

  11. I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you. That is all. x

  12. Food for thought Corrie.. thank you – particularly like that quote in the mag about ignoring the Year Seven sewer I so well remember! Terrible… and that was the last time I tried. Hope all has settled down a little at your place after your worrying week, A x

  13. My tip is to always leave your over locker threaded & ready, you know how tempting it is to walk away after a broken thread or some other disaster only an over locker can frustrate you with . . . so when you come back to it, which might be weeks later, it’s ready, threaded & you not going to start off your over locker love hate relationship, on hate!! Love Posie

  14. oh no! i deliberately went to bookmark and copy those links as soon as i heard notebook was coming to an end…had been looking forward to trying – boys patterns always seem so hard to find.

  15. Thanks so much for this! I have just inherited my MILs old 70s Singer and don’t know where to start! I posted not long ago looking for ideas and this is just PERFECT. Will definitely bookmark and be back!!

    PS. See you Mathilda’s on the 26. I’m Lovely Little Parties!

  16. I love to sew :) I love the fabric on the dress – adorable :)

  17. Great post, I love new links to more sewing projects.
    I have been meaning to email you about it for a while – I have made two pairs of your trousers so far, and it is my absolute fave kids trousers pattern! So quick and easy, and they just look great.
    Thanks, Cat.

  18. wow! I just found you through Mousehouse. Fantastic blog, fantastic resource, fantastic taste (your dress is in the same fabric as one of my last season’s products…I called it lily love). keen follower now! Aimee x

  19. I’m scared of my sewing machine. Didn’t understand it in high school & I’m still certain I’d be a bit thick with it. To make matters worse, my HUSBAND bought my sewing machine & he is the one who knows how to use it. He has made curtains for the kids cubby house & has even taken up the hem on his trousers. Talk about role reversals!

  20. Oh, Corrie, I’m kissing your feet now! I want to start sewing but haven’t been able to muster the courage yet. This may be the beginning of something fun. Thanks a million for sharing all this in the middle of your stressful time. J x

  21. Hi Corrie, just read this blog entry and had a sigh of relief, I tried out your pants pattern and they turned out very small and wondered if it was just me lol, turns out I may not be as hopeless as I thought. I did get brave and drew my own version from yours (having never made anything from a pattern this was very brave/maybe crazy to try) but they turned out quite well, thanks for the inspiration…Jess

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