A Simple Sewing Lesson

One way to keep your wardrobe in good shape isn’t to constantly buy new clothes, it’s to mend them. When a small hole appears, or a hem starts unraveling, sew it. Sewing is basically keeping two pieces of fabric together. With a little bit of sewing ability, you can fix little things that then make clothes wearable again. With a bit of practice and coordination, you can fix the little things on your own.

I have been sewing since I was a little kid. Recently, I learned that my husband doesn’t know how to sew! Since I wasn’t about to become his personal seamstress, I decided to teach him how to sew and mend his own clothes. Just recently, a button down shirt of his started coming loose at the cuff. With some supervision, he patched it all back up! I did help with the beginning and the end, but for his second time sewing, not bad at all.

Sewing doesn’t have to look the best or be the neatest and most professional. The secret is to hide the knots on the inside where others won’t see it, and use the same color thread as the fabric! Invest in a sewing kit for a few dollars. These usually come with different colored threads, a few needles, scissors, a thimble, and a threader.

So here goes, a simple step by step sewing lesson.

At the very basic, you need a needle, scissors, and thread. A thimble will help you not prick yourself as much. You place the thimble on your non sewing hand’s index finger. That way it protects your finger from getting pricked. A threader will help you get the thread through the eye of the needle. That’s the tiny hole in the needle.

I usually just wet the end of the thread, twist slightly to make a point, then thread it through the needle. Make sure you have a good length of thread. After pulling the thread through at least six inches, the total length of thread can be from half the length of your arm up to the full length of your arm. Any longer and the thread will get easily tangled and knotted. Snip off the thread from the end. You should end up with a threaded needle with one side longer than the other. With time, you’ll get better at estimating the amount of thread you need. More is always better, but you can always start a new line of thread if needed.


Take the end of the longer part of the thread, hold it against the middle of your index finger with your thumb, then twist that around the top digit of your index finger (left or right depending on which is your dominant hand) 3 or 4 times. Using your thumb on the same hand, roll the thread up to the very tip of  your index finger. After the thread is in a clump, pinch your thumb and index finger together, and pull down tightly to the end of the thread. If done correctly, you’ll have made a knot! This takes some practice, and you may end up with a weird looking knot, but you can always do this a couple of times to create the knot you want. For fabrics with looser weaves, twist more than 4 times to create larger knots.



Now you are ready to sew! Pick a point to start, and push the needle through at that spot. Make sure the knot is on the inside so it is hidden. Sewing is just pushing the needle through each side of the fabric over and over again. Push it through to one side, then the other side, then repeat. Each time, pull your needle and thread completely through until you feel it stop. By going back and forth, the 2 pieces of fabric will be stitched together. Smaller stitching is better than large stitching as it is stronger. With practice, your stitching will even out and look more uniform.

When you are finished and ready to knot, make sure there is still a good amount of thread to do this. Place the needle flat against the fabric with the middle point of the needle right next to the last point of your last stitch. The needle should point away from you. Hold the needle down to the fabric. Take the thread coming out of the fabric, and twist the thread around the needle several times. Move the twisted thread to the mid point of the needle. Pinch down the needle to the fabric where the twisted thread is. Pull the needle through all the way. You will end up with a knot at your last stitch! Snip, and done!

Do you know how to sew? What have you mended with your sewing abilities?

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