Learn to sew – Pattern Review

Right after I got my sewing machine sorted, which was the first step to starting my sewing journey, I started Googling. Thankfully one of the first websites that I landed on was an online sewing community called Pattern Review.

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This website became my sewing bible and lead me down a interesting journey reading up about patterns, finding people’s sewing blogs, learning about fabric types, good patterns, bad patterns, patterns that would suit my body type and much more.

If you’re starting out sewing, you’ll probably go out and buy a few well-known commercial patterns and one of the best things about this website is actually seeing what they look like finished. Plus, you can read about what people thought of the pattern, what problems or challenges they faced and if they recommend it themselves.

Even now after years of sewing, I still use pattern review to see what people think of the pattern before I make my purchase. Also, if you’re new to sewing, you can stick to the patterns that have been recommended for beginners only. You can identify these by their easy labeling such as, Very Easy Vogue. However, it’s still great to get feedback from what other thought worldwide.

While you’re on Pattern Review if you find someone who is a similar shape and size and if you love what they’ve created, then click on their blog and see what else they’ve made. Chances are, you’ll be overwhelmed with ideas and inspiration for things you can make for yourself. Really, the opportunities are endless!

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If you love Pattern Review as much as I did, you can purchase a yearly subscription and become a member yourself, which unlocks everything on the site. As you start to create and finish your own projects, why not take photos yourself and jump online to post your findings as a beginner sewer. You’ll be amazed at the incredible people you connect with, who will encourage you to keep learning. They can also offer you help and advice when you need it.

I can safely say that I’ve created some incredible friendships with women over the years from all across the world. They’ve never ceased to inspire, encourage and help me grow.

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Learn to Sew – Buying your first machine

The reason I’m writing this to start my “Learning to sew” blog posts is because working in the sewing and embroidery industry for almost three years, it became quite apparent that this step (the very first one) was often the most detrimental to someone’s experience in sewing.

It was more often than not, people would go out and purchase the cheapest sewing machine, that looked fancy but probably wasn’t even computerised or easy-to-use. These machines mostly came from larger retail stores. In Australia we have Spotlight or Lincraft. Some even came from Target, Kmart, online on eBay or other stores that were difficult to go back to and ask for advice.

While larger retail stores are getting better at classes and offering more for its customer, it’s unlikely that you can call up and speak to a staff member who can answer your questions about ‘why your bobbin thread and needle keeps getting jammed and how to fix it’.

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My Sewing Archive

It’s crazy to think I’ve been sewing now for a little over five years. I first started my old blog back in 2012 and that was to showcase learning how to sew, discovering new patterns, testing and trialling different fabrics and making heaps of mistakes! However, without going through that process I never would have been able to learn what fabric types I liked the most and what pattern styles suited my body shape. I was also able to learn the basics of sewing including how to cut a pattern, how to following instructions, how to use my machine and importantly, how to modify patterns to suit my own figure. Even though I still make mistakes, I’m more confident in my pattern and fabric choice to be able to create outfits that I’m proud of wearing.

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