Learn To Sew – Sewing 101

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I have been teaching beginner sewists for over 30 years. You will find sewing fun and engaging once you know the basics. It doesn’t matter if you want to make clothes, pillows, bags, window treatments, or other fabric constructed items, you still need to know how to thread your machine, choose a pattern, and sew a straight stitch. Learn to sew – Sewing 101 will help you amp up your sewing game.

What is the best way to learn to sew? I need to improve my sewing skills (or acquire sewing skills); how can I understand sewing basics so I can get a few sewing projects under my belt? This beginners guide — Learn to sew – Sewing 101 — is the place to start. I will cover lots of sewing tips from which sewing machines are the best for beginners to where to get great fabric and patterns to what basic sewing tools you need to be successful.

As you click through the items in this learn to sew – sewing 101 beginner’s guide, you will find some of the links that take you to Minerva.com. Minerva is a wonderful sewing store located in the UK. Their quality is very good and the prices offer a good value. The shipping is fast and the customer service is first rate. I order from them regularly.

Sewing With Sandi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for my website to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon and other websites at no cost to you.

Sewing Machine

The best beginner sewing machine

Your first sewing machine will probably be a hand-me-down. But, when you are ready to purchase your first machine, check out my Brother CS-6000i review. It’s is a good starting point machine for beginning sewists. You will be less frustrated when you use a machine that works properly.

Using the correct sewing machine will make all the difference in your finished sewing projects. You will feel confident and ready to take on your next sewing project ideas. There are lots of great sewing machines in the market for the beginner/intermediate sewist.

I was 12 when I started sewing and I didn’t have a Learn to sew- sewing 101 class; I used the just cut and sew method. That’s what I want you to do, just sew! Have fun! Don’t worry about your stitches, thread, or pattern. Sit down and play, it’s the best way to learn to sew.

Spring Pattern and Fabric Haul

Sewing Projects

There are lots of easy sewing patterns on the market, perfecting your beginner sewing skills. Choose a sewing project that says “Easy” on the pattern, has simple lines, and is something you will like.

Start sewing projects today, why wait? With the help of this beginner’s guide, your sewing 101 skills will improve with practice.

I have listed a few easy sewing project options in the section below.

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Easy Sewing Patterns For Beginners

Make Your Own Minky Blanket

I recommend the beginner sewing patterns listed below to start on your sewing journey. They have easy to follow instructions (reading pattern instructions can sometimes be like learning a new language). Tutorials and sew-a-longs are another good way to learn how to construct a project and will give you tricks for successful sewing projects. Click here for my Easy Sewing Projects for Beginner’s Guide. I’ve highlighted a few below.

When all else fails – sign up for private lessons to get you over your stumbling block.

Sew A Tote

Beginner Sewing Projects

My lined Tote Bag Pattern available on Etsy has simple seam finishes. It teaches you to use your sewing machine and stitch in a straight line. I start all my beginner sewing classes with this pattern.

Sew An Apron

Learn to sew - Sewing 101

Do you love to cook? Then your Learn to sew – sewing 101 projects can be an apron. Aprons are simple to construct and you will have a fun apron to wear. You can find apron patterns and other simple craft patterns for a great price in my Etsy Shop.

Sew it in this sweet lemon print and you’ll have a hard time trying to decide whether to cook or sew.

Sew A Minky Blanket

Make Your Own Minky Blanket

Click here for my Minky Blanket tutorial. You can follow along on my free YouTube Sew A Minky Blanket tutorial.

Sewing Clothing

McCalls Sewing Pattern 7912 Review

Sewing clothes typically requires a pattern and some basic sewing skills. You need to create consistent, straight seams with your machine to ensure the pattern comes out the correct size.

Fabric, matching thread, a good pattern, and the right tools will help you to complete the project.

You can check out my How to measure your body for pattern instructions and start sewing clothes.


I have several YouTube Sew-a-longs where I go step-by-step through the pattern. I’ve listed a few below. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel while you are visiting! Please and thank you!

Style Arc Designer Teddy Top Sew-a-log

DIY Twirly Tulle Skirt

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Basic Sewing Stitch

Learn to sew - Sewing 101

The straight stitch is the most important of the sewing stitches. Sewing a straight line is one of the most important basic sewing stitches. Some machines have several straight stitches available. They vary on the type of seam you are creating, the fabric you are using, and have options for stitch length.

Your straight stitch is the stitch you will use on seams and basic finishes.

You will get off to a good start by correctly threading your machine (see my Machine Set Up video) and sew. Your machine stitches need to be even on both sides. The perfectly sewn seam will hold the fabric together.

Fabrics For Success

Learn to sew - Sewing 101

You will find an astonishing array of fabric types. The trick is to find the right type of fabric to make your sewing project perfect.

When you are starting out, I recommend you consider natural fibers first. They are easier to sew and press. Sometimes a polyester or other man-made fiber can be slippery, bouncy, or even simply difficult. For instance, Rayon makes a gorgeous dress, but it is very difficult to sew.

I have organized a list of my Favorite Online Fabric Stores. It is a great resource for all fabric lovers.

Types Of Natural Woven Fabric

  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Wool
  • Silk
  • Leather

Types Of Man-Made Woven Fabric

  • Crepe
  • Satin
  • Rayon
  • Polyester
  • Pleather

A Word About Knits

Knits and stretch wovens (think stretchy jeans) require an enhanced skill set to sew. I would recommend for your Learn to sew – sewing 101 project, you stick to cotton.

Essential Tools For Learning Sewing

Dunga Dress Pattern Review

The materials and patterns you use to create your sewing project along with the essential tools to do the job will ensure your success and enjoyment.


Please buy thread that matches your fashion fabric. Don’t use the thread in your mother or grandmother’s sewing kit. It’s old, it will break, you will end up frustrated. Buy a cotton covered, all purpose thread like the ones listed here.


I am a pin snob, I admit it! I suggest you use the proper pins that do the job correctly. These silk pins.


I wouldn’t recommend starting with a project that requires a zipper, but sometimes it happens. There are several different types of zippers. Invisible zippers are good for dresses and size zips in pants. Pant zippers are good for sewing pants with a fly front (like your jeans). Separating zippers are good for jackets.

Zippers also come in different lengths, check your pattern to see what length is right for your project.


You need spare needles for your machine incase they break or wear down. A package of general purpose needles are good to have in your tool box.


Measure twice cut once – So true. When you use a clear ruler and a measuring tape; you are statring off on the right sewing foot.


You need quality sewing shears, they are super important. Don’t skimp here or your hands will ache from cutting fabric with dull scissors.

Sewing Tips For Learning To Sew

Sewing Classes and Trips

As your sewing techniques grow, you will be sewing crazy little projects and loving it. All you need to do is start sewing.

Are you ready to take your sewing to the next level. Sign up for a private sewing class. I offer one-to-one online sewing classes in my central Massachusetts studio or on Zoom. I want to help you get started sewing or get you past a current road block.

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I hope Learn to sew – Sewing 101 gets you started down a sewist hobby path; one that you will love and enjoy. For me, it is the perfect escape from my work-a-day pressures. With the correct fabric, pattern, machine, and a good beginner’s guide you can accomplish basic sewing stitches and sew finished projects that you will be proud to say “Why yes, I made that!”

Have fun and Happy Sewing,


13 thoughts on “Learn To Sew – Sewing 101

  1. This brings back memories of the good old days. I used to sew when I was in middle school. I made shirts, jumpsuits, and aprons. I’m sure if I watched your YouTube Sew-a-longs, it would be easy.

  2. Years ago, we had a handmade minky baby blanket. It was a treasured gift! I love the idea of making them for the babies in our lives and am relieved to see they’re relatively easy.

  3. I love this and will be passing it on! It’s been years since I used a sewing machine so Ive forgotten everything!

  4. This was so informative and brought back many memories. My mom sewed a lot of my clothes when I was a child. I have very fond memories of all the dresses she made just for me. Alas, I never took up this as a hobby or a cost saving tool.

  5. I haven’t sewn with a sewing machine yet. I’ve only used my hands and boy is it tedious! I’d love to master the sewing machine though!

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