My wonderful sixth grade daughter decided that she wanted to sew a dress for her sixth grade promotion. Bless her heart, she chose one of the most difficult sewing patterns that I have ever seen. Mind you, I am not a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination. I have sewn blankets, pillow cases, simple skirts, and even a grilling apron for my husband (which I think turned out pretty nice), but anything beyond these projects is really out of my realm. When I asked my daughter why she chose a complicated dress instead of a simple skirt her reply was, “Mom, have you ever known me to be simple??” I guess not…like mother like daughter.
I kept telling my daughter that I couldn’t promise that this dress would work out and really look like a dress primarily because it had pleats, an elegant neckline, and pockets. She did the cutting and most of the sewing, and I think it turned out quite nice. We didn’t do the pockets because I just knew that if we attempted that it would end in a horrible disaster.
All in all, we spent about 20 hours (or so) on this dress and she is happy with the final product, so I am too. Below are some definite don’t’s for novice beginners. Not all of these pertained to this specific project, but a few did…
- If you are new to sewing (at least complicated things), work your way up in complication…don’t start with the most elaborate project you can think of, like pleats, complicated necklines, pockets, and zippers.
- Don’t forget to oil your sewing machine. An un-oiled machine can cause the thread to break and the machine to not work properly.
- Don’t begin with projects that have tight deadlines. If the project doesn’t work the first time you try then you’re out of luck. Allow yourself plenty of time to complete the project (as my daughter and I did)…and for re-dos if necessary.
- If you are a novice to sewing, don’t begin with using plaid material or material with designs on it. Getting designs to match up can be next to impossible, unless you are a seasoned veteran.
- Don’t purchase fabric that is expensive for your first few projects. If you cut incorrectly or if you sew the wrong pieces together then you will have to replace that material…if it is expensive then you’ll be paying that much to replace it.
- Don’t purchase a pattern that has a lot of words in it that you have no idea what they mean because you’ll be spending all of your time researching the meaning of the words vs. actually sewing.
Are you a novice or a seasoned vet at sewing, or somewhere in between? What types of things do you like to sew?