Learning to Sew

learning to sew*disclaimer: this is not a how-to article. I have no idea how to sew but I have decided to learn how! This is more of a documentary on my first attempt at sewing*

A Crazy Idea

First, I want to start off by saying, I blame all of this on Gemma.  As soon as I discovered I was pregnant with a baby girl I got this idea.  It was a crazy idea but I couldn’t shake it.  I wanted to learn how to sew.  Everywhere I looked there were adorable little sewing creations for baby girls.  Ribbons, bows, bloomers, leggings, dresses, blankets… and the patterns were endless.  So I decided to let friends and family know that I wanted to embark on the adventure of learning to sew.

The Supplies

Next thing I needed after announcing to others that I wanted to sew was actual sewing supplies.  I didn’t own a single needle and thread let alone a sewing machine.  I was in luck because my birthday and Christmas were approaching and all of my family knew of my desire to sew.  Dallas was the first to get me a little bag of sewing supplies.  (Needles, Thread, Cutting Board, Rotary Cutter and more).  Then I got a sewing box with some scissors, and finally a small Brother sewing machine for Christmas.  All I had to do was make a trip down to Jo-Ann’s Fabric, use a coupon, and $8 later I was walking out with a tiny stash of adorable fabric.

Sewing, Minky Fabric, Gathering Supplies

Making A Plan

Then, I scoured Pinterest for some possible projects.  I needed something extremely simple, since I’d never sewn a thing in my life.  (not even a button onto a shirt) With some difficulty I narrowed my project down to a burp rag.  Surely I could take two pieces of fabric, run them through a machine, and stitch them together.  Easy-Peasy, right?  Life With My Littles DIY burp rag post was my main source of reference as I tackled this project.  It seemed simple enough.  I mean, I’m kind of smart (or so I like to think) and I like to figure out new things.

Time to Sew

At some point you just need to jump in!  So I set up my machine and in about 15 minutes figured out how to get the thread to the needle.  Who knew you have thread at the top and bottom of a sewing machine!?!  Once I figured out it was two separate things I was able to thread the needle and get to sewing.

Cutting Fabric, Rotary Cutter

So first thing you have to do is measure your fabric.  I realized besides on the cutting board, I didn’t have a ruler.  Getting a straight edge and even sizes was pretty much impossible and I decided not to be a stickler (first mistake) Also, rotary cutters are super sharp!  I barely touched it and had to wash my finger because I was bleeding.

Align Fabric, Right Sides Together

Next you align your fabric squares making sure that the right (or top) sides are facing each other.  I knew this was an important step so I made sure my adorable grey and floral fabric was facing inwards toward the white minky fabric… I did not however make sure the minky fabric was facing inwards (second big mistake!)

Now You Actually Sew!

I should have a picture of me actually sewing but I don’t.  Somehow they magically disappeared from my camera (or are hidden on my computer unedited because I can’t bare to show you the monstrosity)  I made my third big mistake by not knowing what direction to move the fabric as the machine was sewing.  Once I sewed almost everything together I flipped the cloth the correct way (only to realize the minky fabric was sewed inside out).  Then, as I attempted to sew the little hole closed the machine decided not to work anymore.   When that happens always check the manual first…

check manual, sewing

If you can’t figure out the error with the manual then you should research online and try and figure out why the machine is no longer sewing.  Maybe try tinkering with it yourself…

ReThread Sewing Machine

And ultimately when that does no good it’s time to just stop, turn off the machine and attempt another day.

I did however get a somewhat cute although not exactly efficient burp rag.

Finished Burp Rag

It’s crooked, incomplete, and one side is facing the wrong way but it’s a start.  I attempted to sew and ultimately I did sew… just not very well!  That being said this is what I’ve learned and will take into account on my second attempt:

  • Do not rush through your first sewing project (It might be a disaster either way but at least you can say you actually took your time and did the best you could)
  • Get a ruler… Measure the Fabric… and Pay attention to detail.
  • Maybe watch a tutorial or two on basic sewing.  Know how to move the fabric underneath the needle.
  • Double and triple check the fabric BEFORE you start to sew it together.  Make sure they are turned the correct way.
  • Have someone there to teach you.  Or just do more research before diving in because you don’t know the first thing about sewing!   (Okay, that last sentence is mainly just for me…)


There you have it!  I would love to know any tips, tricks or similar stories you may have.  Leave them in the comments below.


2 thoughts on “Learning to Sew

  1. Kudos to you for taking this giant step! The first step is the hardest. And how special is the burp rag?!?

    Sounds like you have a good start. I would advise you to buy a seam ripper. Every seamstress has to remove stitches so don’t let that intimidate you. And YouTube is a great instructor. Even got those who know what their doing.

    Good luck and bless your little family of three!


    • Thank you!!! Yes, I’m so excited to learn more. I will definitely look into a seam ripper… I’m sure I will get a lot of use out of one.


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