Sunday, 18 May 2014


On Saturday, at work, I had to give a demonstration/talk about " How to Choose a Pattern for Sewing." " How to Read and Use a Sewing Pattern". Plus " How to choose and buy fabric". It was aimed at the true beginner, entry level sewist. Not only did I have to overcome my fear of public speaking, I had to ensure the correct information was given.

Strange how I can talk a lot! Yet, hate to stand up and speak in public. Who else gets all filled with the "umms" when faced with speaking in public?

The highlight of my talk was, that at the end I got to select one person to win a brand new sewing machine. All they had to do was fill out the form, have a loyalty card and spend $25. I did not want to be bias, so I folded up all of the entries and then picked one at random.

(Work gave me the above pattern to use in my talk. So if anyone has a little girl and would like me to sew them something form it. I am more than happy to do so.)

Below is a hand out I gave for Part One of my talk.

Dressmaking for Beginners: How to Choose a Pattern for Sewing.

When you go to choose your first sewing pattern, there are some things you should consider as you decide which project to take on. Here’s a guide you can use to evaluate a pattern before you take it home.

Look for patterns labelled “Easy,” “Simple,” etc. 
First thing to do is to find a pattern that you think you could sew with your current set of skills, put it back down, and buy one that’s one degree easier than that pattern. Not because you shouldn't challenge yourself, but because it’s really easy to overestimate yourself and end up frustrated – I've done it several times!
Each pattern will have a couple of choices on it, among those will be the easiest option to select.

Check the “Notions” section on the back of the pattern. For now, look for patterns that don’t require any notions except thread. If other notions are required, the pattern will contain instructions for using these notions, but if you’re completely unfamiliar with the notion it’s best for now to just stick to old fashioned stitches. You should either see “Notions: Thread” or no notions indicated at all on the back of the pattern.

Check the recommended fabrics. Avoid patterns that call for stretch or double stretch fabrics. I recommend finding a pattern that lists broadcloth as a recommended fabric and then using that. It’s a very easy fabric to use. Woven cottons in general are what I recommend for beginners because they are very easy to use and you can often find a fabric that’s easy to manoeuvre without looking cheap.

1 comment:

  1. That would make a handy pattern for your shop, The pants (unisex) and a tunic top for tights etc. and a pinafore dress, all in a fine courdoroy, or the pants could be a nice soft stretch denim, any pants going to a cold place can be lined with toasty warm.
    In the warmer weather all the clothes can be made in lovely Summery fabric and you could even do an easy "nightie" or sleep pants and top from that pattern.
    You made an awesome choice with you first sleep pants........ that is key to sales, very appealing colours and patterns for your fabric, hope it is going well.


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