Heather Paulsen on where failure can lead
Heather Paulsen of Heather Handmade has a great reframe for looking at mistakes:
“Look at every mistake as a learning opportunity and a future success.”
Garment sewist, sewing teacher, and self proclaimed fabric fondler at Heather Handmade
Mistakes in your sewing are inevitable, dear beginner and seasoned sewist friends. When you royally mess up think,
With these couple moments of self-reflection in the face of another annoying round of seam-ripping, I promise you’re setting yourself up for major winning down the road.
Carolyn Norman on determination in your sewing
Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic is never short on helpfulness when it comes to sewing. She has this treasure of sewing encouragement for all beginners:
Mine would be “Don’t give up!”
You are going to make some crappy clothing that you will wear proudly and not realize it’s not made well until you have better skills. And you’re going to have a boatload of mistakes which will make you want to fling your sewing machine and materials out the window…but don’t give up! Every sewist that got to be the kind of sewist you admire, started the very same way. The reason we’re still here sewing, inspiring and making amazing garments is because we didn’t give up!
So don’t give up!
Sewing blogger extraordinaire at Diary of a Sewing Fanatic
I love how she says don’t give up multiple times. Let it etch itself in your brain. Frustration comes friend. Do you know how you get better?
Just keep going on in your sewing journey.
Designer Joi on always learning
The always inspiring Designer Joi is here to remind beginners that instant isn’t in the equation. Instead, she has this to say about always being willing to learn:
Sewing is a life long learning journey. Overall, it is a fabulous hobby, past time, creative outlet and more. Enjoy being able to create and experiment. However, in our fast paced society everyone want’s instant results. Sewing is a skill that you can constantly learn and grow with. So if you have a project that turns out enjoy it. If you make something that did not turn out quite the way you wanted realize that you have actually had a valuable learning experience. Take what you learned and the next time you will be one step better.
Sewlebrity, Designer, Author, Licensed McCall Pattern Designer, Craftsy Instruction, Mettler Thread Ambassador, Baby Lock Influencer
We hold in our hands the power to make what we want to when we sew. Some days that turns out even better than we imagine, and others it’s Struggle City, population you. Troubleshoot and learn from your struggle, and squash that mistake the next time!
Judy Hale on mastery
Judy Hale of Pattern for Pirates fame offers some practical sewing encouragement for sewing beginners:
Everyone starts as a beginner! The most helpful thing for me as a beginner was to make the same garment over and over again until I would call myself a master at it. Then finally move on and add a new garment/pattern until I could do it easily. Soon you will have a long list of things you are a master of! Doing the same pattern again and again will help you really get those skills down and also give you a final product you’re proud of more quickly then moving from pattern to pattern only trying it once.
I also usually advise… Start out with something intended for sleepwear. That way if it isn’t perfect it will still get use and be loved!
Designer at Patterns for Pirates
Girl, I have a drawer full of “wearable” pajamas LOL.
Beyond that, sticking to one favorite pattern might not seem glamorous at first.
But if you do it, you’re teaching your hands and your brain to know exactly what that step/skill looks like in practice. I call these “sewing etudes.” In my life as a violinist, an etude is a short little musical exercise meant to teach you a specific skill.
Really, a sewing pattern is a series of little sewing etudes. A bunch of skills all in one place that when you finish them, you get something you can wear. All that fine practice over and over will solidify that skill in your head until you’re ready for that next hurdle.
Carrie Cunningham on sewing fearlessly
Carrie Cunningham, owner of Endless Dzns by Carrie is one of the most encouraging sewing teachers I know. She’s always in Sew Much Talent dropping helpful advice and kind words wherever she goes in between her own beautiful projects. On sewing fearlessly, she has this to say:
Don’t fear and don’t fret! Fabric is an inanimate object that you are in control of – it’s just fabric. Don’t fret – “mistakes” are just new designs! Go for it!
Owner of Endless Dzns by Carrie and sewing blogger at Sew Carrie Sew
This reminds me of my college violin teacher. When working through a really difficult passage, and things weren’t happening, he would stop you. He’d have you put down your violin, look at your fingers and utter:
“I am the boss of you!”
This always got a laugh, but I kid you not, the second I picked up my violin and tried again, it was always better.
If you mess up, the fabric isn’t sitting there mocking you. [It will totally feel like it at times!] You’re in the driver’s seat. Keep going and without fear!