Sewing is a fantastic skill to have, I was very lucky as I was encouraged to sew from a very young age. I come from a family of prolific crafters (you can read a little more about that and the reason the blog is called Sum of their Stories here) Not everyone is as lucky as me and if you are new to sewing you need the right kind of projects to get started with. When you are learning any new craft skill I think you need a few quick wins and successes to encourage you to continue. We’ve all started a monster project that ends up hidden at the bottom of the wardrobe or stuffed at the back of the cupboard of shame! You don’t want that when you are learning.
So I’ve joined a group of sewing bloggers to bring you a collection of simple, easy sewing projects that will teach some basic sewing skills and boost the confidence of any beginner. Most only take a small amount of fabric and just basic equipment so they are perfect for beginners of all ages.
I often read comments of social media of people who say they have a sewing machine but are too afraid to use it. That makes me so sad! They are really pretty straightforward and it doesn’t take long to become best friends with your sewing machine. The most important things to remember when sewing are:
cut things out carefully
take your time
go slowly on the machine
and ENJOY THE PROCESS!
Oh and accept that sometimes it will all go wrong. That’s ok. Just take a break, make a cuppa and get your seam ripper out.
Of course more experienced sewers can make these projects too, we don’t discriminate here!
A couple of years ago I shared a list of all the things you need to get started sewing. There are a lot of equipment and tools out there that you don’t need straight away so I put together my list of basics, the things I think are essentials to start your sewing hobby. You might find it helpful before you dive in.
Easy Sewing Projects for Beginners
1) Yesterday I shared my Book Bag with extra pockets made from 2 old tea towels. I love a good upcycling project and this was a perfect way to give these pretty tea towels a new lease of life. You use the hems already on the tea towel so this really is a quick and easy make - plus it has a whole load of pockets!
2) If repurposing tea towels is your thing then you might like this idea from Vicky Myers Creations too. Vicky shows you how to turn tea towels into useful drawstring bags.
3) Another great eco friendly idea is this one from Apple Green Cottage to make reusable makeup remover pads. They make lovely gifts but don’t forget to keep some for yourself too!
4) You only need small scraps of cute fabric to make simple loop key fobs, like these from Life Sew Savoury. Another idea that make a wonderful gift, you could make them for all your friends.
5) I love these popsicle covers from Sook Ee Design. Where I live in the centre of the UK we call these icy treats ‘Tip Tops’ but I think that is a very regional thing. They are also known as ice pops, freezies, otter pops, ice poles and I’m sure many more names! Whatever you call them a little cover for your hands is such a fun thing to make. Maybe the kids can learn to sew by making them for themselves.
6) Anyone who wears glasses (especially those of us who wear reading glasses - “glasses on, glasses off”!!!) knows how important it is to keep them from getting scratched. A simple glasses case is the answer and as luck would have it they are super simple to sew. Sew Simple Home has a brilliant basic tutorial to show you how.
7) A slight upgrade on a basic drawstring bag and you can make a travel noughts and crosses game (or tic tac toe if you prefer)
8) Talking of travel, how lovely to have a roll for your pencils and space for a notebook to take everywhere with you. This tutorial from Sisters, What! makes it easy to sew your own from felt.
9) Heather Handmade has a great tutorial to make a knotted headband from stretchy knit fabric. Knit fabric can seem a little scary and more difficult to work with for beginners so this is a fantastic project to ease yourself in!
10) Who would have thought that the concept of making your own curtains would be on a list of beginner sewing projects? Curtains must be difficult to sew right? Actually no, they are really very simple and Phat Quarters shows you how. You do need a bit of space to lay them out to pin the hems etc but it’s all sewing straight lines - easy peasy!
11) These little magnetic bookmarks from Lorelei Jayne are so easy to make and are another brilliant gift idea when you just want to send someone a little something.
12) Cucicucicoo has the ultimate beginner project with these lovely fringed fabric napkins. If you have never sewn a thing before then this is the project for you. Lisa goes through a lot of the basics with fantastic tips for cutting out and using your sewing machine for the first time.
13) Orange Bettie has taken a basic drawstring bag and upgraded it into a useful drawstring backpack. This looks more complicated but it’s still an easy project and perfect for beginners if you follow Anne’s wonderful step by step instructions.
14) Does the thought of stitching faux leather fill you with dread? No need at all! Jennie Masterson shows you all the tips you need to great great results making these cute faux leather card wallets.
15) One of my all time favourite fabric scrap projects are these little tissue pack pouches. And the best bit - they are super easy to make, honestly they are so ridiculously easy that you will want to make them for all your friends and family!
16) One of my earliest sewing tutorials here on Sum of their Stories was this cushion cover (or pillow cover if you prefer) that has just 4 seams, all just a straight line of stitching. I feel my fabric choice may be a little dated now but the covers are so simple to make they are a great first sewing project if you want to make something for your home. Kids could make these for their bedrooms, no problem at all.
17) A great gift for someone who spends a lot of time watching outdoor sports or going for long walks is pocket hand warmers and they are super easy to make.
18) Ditch the plastic shopping bags for good and make a few simple shopping bags than roll up to pop in your handbag or pocket, keep a few in the car so you are never caught without one. This tutorial includes a panel of embroidery but you can easily skip that bit and make a bag with any fabric you have.
19) Drawstring bags are so useful for storing all sorts of things; shoes, toys, underwear, craft materials and much more. I made this bag with a patchwork front but you can easily simplify things and make a plain bag to start with and move onto the patchwork once you become more confident with your sewing
20) Another simple coaster idea is this one that uses a technique called reverse applique. The good news is that it is not as complicated as it sounds!
You can find some of these and many more sewing projects for sewers of all different abilities and experience on our “Sewing and Embroidery” page if you are looking for more ideas and inspiration.
Helping children learn to sew
If you have children who want to learn to sew you might like to check out the brilliant Sew a Softie project. It’s organised by Trixi from Coloured Buttons and has a website full of tutorials and tips plus a facebook group you can join for more ideas. I’ve had the pleasure of joining in by sharing several tutorials to make simple hand sewn softies suitable for children to make themselves.