What to sew first?

Now that you have your fabric and you’re ready to make that first cut and go for it… what should you sew?

First, let me tell you the story of when I started sewing…

About four years ago, my first sewing project was a minky fabric book for my keiki. I borrowed my mom’s sewing machine and pieced it together (with a lot of help from my seam ripper). It turned out so great that I made a few more to share and sell. Those few more turned into another dozen at which point my mom’s sewing machine broke (all signs point to it being my fault, but I swear it wasn’t!) so I was forced to buy my very own, first, sewing machine. 

With my new sewing machine in front of me and the world at my fingertips, I contemplated this soul searching question: 

What should I sew next?

I started with simple things…
burp cloths for a friend having a baby…
a blanket for a first birthday…
scrunchies for my first market.

Then I got adventurous and tried…
masks for my neighbors
a bathing suit for Pili…
new school dresses for Pili…
a bag for myself…
a clutch for my mom for mother’s day…

the list goes on and on.

I looked around and where I saw a need, I figured out how to fill that need

I found that while I didn’t love sewing in and of itself, I really enjoyed the puzzle of figuring out how to make something I saw on the internet or came up with in my head.

Even when the results don't look the greatest, I still feel amazing using and gifting the things I’ve made because of the process I went through to make it. There’s something really special about handmade items.

Who knows what I’ll make next.

If you’re feeling the itch to sew something, but you’re not really sure where to start, here are some tips and ideas that I thought might be helpful on your journey to create whatever your heart desires.

  1. Square Projects are going to be your friend in the early stages of learning. I promise. Square blankets, burp cloths, patchwork quilts are beginner friendly.
  1. Find pdf patterns with YouTube tutorials that will show you exactly how to sew it. Etsy has a lot of great pdf patterns, but look for the ones with video tutorials and good reviews from previous customers.
  1. Make patterns from clothes you already have. This one I’m not recommending you start with, but it is a great form of practice and a huge plus if you want to replicate your favorite shirt or shorts.
  1. Avoid traditional sewing patterns (like McCalls) if you’re brand new to sewing. These patterns are made for seamstresses so there’s a lot of seamstress terminology and minimal instructions. There’s also no one you can message or contact if/when you get confused.
  1. Make things YOU are interested in and want to make. (Don’t worry about what’s trendy). You’re going to get the furthest in sewing if you stick to making it fun. Sew projects that have meaning to you or the people around you.

What would you add to this list? 

I’m excited for you and would love to see what you choose to create! Remember that making mistakes along the way is a part of the process. (I have a blog post all about that read it here). Be patient with yourself and keep going.

I truly believe that creativity is a part of our human nature so whether it’s sewing or drawing or baking - get out there and satisfy your innate need to create.

What are you going to sew next? 

Is there a project you’re excited to try? 

Leave a comment because I’d love to hear all about it.

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