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Lauren Guthrie on going easy on yourself
Lauren Guthrie of Guthrie and Ghani and The Great British Sewing Bee says it’s okay to accept that perfection is not an overnight thing in your sewing. Her sewing encouragement is this:
My advice for someone who is a beginner dressmaker would be to just go for it and don’t be afraid to make a mistake. As adults we can be really hard on ourselves and expect ourselves to be perfect at something right away. Just enjoy the process, learn from any mistakes and keep practising!
Owner of fabric emporium and sewing school Guthrie and Ghani and finalist on The Great British Sewing Bee, series 1
If there’s one thing I learned from The Great British Sewing Bee and Lauren and all of her lovely castmates, it’s that a cup of tea and the sympathy of friends goes a long way in soothing an annoyed heart.
The next time you find yourself in a place of having to use your faithful seam ripper, take a break. I highly recommend a cup of tea with that break. If you have a sewing buddy you can vent to over that stupid fly front zipper or whatever it is, even better. No doubt, you’ll come back fresher and ready to fix what’s wrong.
Colleen G Lea on being proud of your work
Colleen G Lea of Fashion Sewing Blog TV is a fountain of sewing knowledge. She has this to say to the beginning sewist:
Be proud of every project that you sew, the magic will happen when you least expect it.
Colleen G Lea
Certified fashion design lecturer, Youtuber #fsbtv, love to design my own patterns, business professional and influencer
The magic Colleen speaks of here that happens when everything goes right in your sewing is not something you can force. Be diligent as you learn the basics, hone your craft, and keep sewing all the things. One day, you’ll look up from your work and realize that you’ve just made something truly spectacular.
Until that day, take pride in everything that’s going right at that moment. Maybe your zip is crooked, but doggone, you matched seam intersections in your dress like it was nothing–enjoy that!!!
Amy of Almond Rock on looking past imperfection
Amy of Almond Rock and the editor of Love Sewing Magazine has one of the best analogies I’ve ever seen for looking past your imperfections in your sewing. Here’s what she has to say:
Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t like your first few makes or aren’t happy with your sewing. You’re experimenting! If it goes a bit wrong then the worst that happened is you wasted some fabric… but you will have learnt something in the process. No one complains if a cake has wonky layers, so be proud of yourself and your wonky seams.
Editor of Love Sewing Magazine
“I’m not going to eat that crooked cake.”
Said no one ever.
If wonky cake is as delicious as it is a little off, so it is with those squiffy seams we’ve all at some point sewn. Enjoy wearing them. The next ones will get better!
Helen Wilkinson on enjoying the ride
Helen Wilkinson of Helen’s Closet and the Love to Sew podcast has this to say about enjoying where you’re at in your sewing learning:
My biggest tip is: enjoy starting! We can get so focused on the finish line, but in reality, there isn’t one! There isn’t a ‘final’ version of yourself that is an expert at sewing and is 100% confident in making anything. Enjoy the beginning stages of your sewing journey and embrace the mistakes and the fails. It is all part of the experience!
Sewing pattern designer, blogger, @Helen’s Closet and one half of the Love to Sew Podcast
I think a lot of times as beginners it’s easy to get jealous of other people further on down the road. But to echo what many have said here, you only get to the point of making truly noteworthy garments by first starting at zero.
To enjoy right where you’re at, to say, that’s too much for me today, but I’ll try it tomorrow–that is a big key to your sewing learning success.
Anita Morris on the fear of failure
And finally, Anita Morris, the dear face of Anita by Design and champion of all beginner sewists out there wants you to stop it with this fear thing:
The ONE thing I would say to a beginning sewist is: Don’t be afraid of mistakes! Sometimes beginners allow fear of mistakes to prevent them from trying. Fear of messing up fabric or creating a garment they classify as a “FAIL” is probably the #1 reason beginners become paralyzed in the learning process.
Remember this: Mistakes are your BEST teachers!
They teach you what not to do and provide you with experience. There are no complete fails when you’re learning something new. Each time you try, there’s a lesson learned. Even if the project doesn’t turn out the way you had hoped, an opportunity to practice both old and new techniques is winning. So pull that fabric out and GET TO SEWING!!!
Sewing blogger, sewing teacher at Anita by Design
If you keep thinking you’re going to mess up, that’s exactly what you’re going to do! Overcoming your fear starts with starting up your sewing machine.
Looking for more sewing advice? Here’s 7 pieces of sewing advice that totally transformed my creativity. And if you find that all your sewing projects end up as unfinished objects, here’s 5 steps to conquer your sewing UFOs.
So, I hope all these folks inspired you to keep going, learning, and growing in your sewing journey. Let me know if the comments, what’s the one piece of sewing encouragement that’s been the game changer for you.
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.