Can I just start by saying this is the biggest lie we can tell ourself? It’s a lie we tell ourself when things seem too hard. Or maybe we tried it out a few times and decided, nope not talented enough. While we all do have unique talents, I believe that we can do whatever we set our mind to. Can I just share with you, I too said I am not talented enough to sew.
In high school I took a sewing class that I despised. When I took it, I didn’t really have the mindset that I couldn’t do it. It was more that sounds like fun I will take the class. There was no joy and no fun in it for me. I went on my way never looking back at sewing. I had a crafty sister-in-law who sewed and I always admired her work thinking wow, she is so talented. I believed I couldn’t ever have that kind of talent so I just stood back and watched.
In college I watched a friend sew some things and I even tried my hand at it again with my (now) mother-in-laws help. Again, there wasn’t really too much fun in it so I once again set it aside.
After I got married I discovered Pinterest and started trying my hand at DIY stuff. I bought some supplies to make “no sew” curtains. I got a $15.00 sewing machine “just to have on hand” incase I ever wanted to use it. I have always been a pretty frugal person and I figured I might be able to sew a few custom things cheaper than buying them so I again tried my hand at sewing. Following Pinterest tutorials I made and flopped a bunch of things. Seriously, I look back and laugh at some of the things I made. There was something about doing it myself. There was no one watching over me, to tell me no I can’t do that or I have to do it this way, that made me want to continue trying. The rest of the story is history.
There was a point in my life (a really long point) where I fully believed I was not talented enough to sew. Shoot, I even tried it a couple times before once again deciding it wasn’t for me. Yet, here I am today designing and sewing my own clothes. What changed?!
I share my sewing history because I think it is so important in the lie that we let ourself believe. It’s so easy to think we can’t do something because we aren’t talented enough. I believe that we can do anything we set our mind to. If you have a desire to sew but don’t believe you can (or maybe even tried it a few times like me), let me speak some encouragement to you.
- Learn your way, on your terms. For me that meant trial and error by myself. It meant reading tutorials and then doing them. When my project flopped I either threw it out or tried again. I didn’t respond well to the “rules” of sewing taught to me in a more formal situation. I believed well if it works, why not? Maybe that is your style, maybe it isn’t. I suggest finding what works best for you. There is a wealth of opportunity to learn out there. Try taking a sewing class or renting some books from the library, or browsing Pinterest/You tube. Maybe you should just go for it. Grab your manual, teach yourself how to thread the machine and get going! Find what works for you! Don’t just try one method, it may not be the method that works!
- Patience. I think this is absolutely the most important thing when it comes to sewing, or any skill for that matter. If you don’t have patience to learn and perfect your new skill, you won’t make it. Think about it, are we perfect at anything we try right off the bat? No where close! We fell off our bike how many times while attempting to learn to ride? Whenever we start something new it takes time to become good at it. I think where sewing is concerned, it is easy to give up right away because of the convince of running to the store and buying something. Sewing is not a required skill, so why have patience with it? Once you finally become comfortable with it, you will open yourself up to a whole other world. The options are endless. Patience is hard when you spend so much time on something only to have it turn out bad. Believe me if you keep practicing, you WILL make progress.
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you have never sewn before in your life, I don’t recommend making a fitted dress with zippers, buttons, french seams, darts, linings, etc. Break yourself in slowly with something like a pillow case cover. Start small, win some victories before tackling a huge project. The simpler and quicker a project the faster you will see progress and the more excited you will be to continue. If you start on something long and drawn out, you will most likely lose your excitement for sewing.
- Practice. Buy some old sheets at a thrift store for like $1.00 and practice making something with that fabric. Practice button holes on scraps. Go as cheap as you can before starting on the real thing. That way you will make your mistakes on something you don’t care about. I actually didn’t do this when I was starting. I thought it was a waste of time to sew something that wasn’t going to be useful, but I wasted lots of nice fabric and supplies because of my stubbornness. I recommend you using cheap fabric and supplies before starting your real thing.
- Believe you can. “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, your right” -Henry Ford. That pretty much sums it up. If you want to sew, you can do it. It may take hard work, but if you stick with it, you WILL BE ABLE TO DO IT.
Sewing may not be for everyone. You may have absolutely no desire to sew, and that’s ok. If you do though, don’t let yourself believe you can’t. Let’s not sit back and watch something play out through someone else just because we believe we can’t. Lets get up and go make it happen for ourselves!