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Everyone Should Learn to Sew

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A few weeks back I taught an appliqué class at a local sewing store which is 30 miles from my house. While I was driving {a term I use loosely because of the awful Austin traffic} I was pondering this idea: Everyone Should Learn to Sew.

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Before you verbally eviscerate me for such a strong opinion, let me explain. Sewing has so many layers. Sewing by hand, home decor sewing, sewing for children/grandchildren, fashion/garment sewing, quilting, crafts, upcycling, and a lot of other sewing areas I can’t even begin to recall. All that to say, sewing is a useful skill that is worth learning.

I think there are so many reasons people come to a screeching halt when it comes to sewing. Things like winding a bobbin or threading a machine are just too much for them to master. They have trouble breathing at the thought of inserting a zipper or making a buttonhole. What if a needle breaks or the bobbin runs out of thread? It’s all too much and so they never begin because small things overwhelm them.

Well, the rewards of learning to sew outweigh the unfounded fears that cause people to shy away. I promise you, if you commit to learning the skill of sewing you will find people who are more than willing to share their knowledge.


Below are a few reasons why I think Everyone Should Learn to Sew.

1. Home Decor

Around the home, sewing can be a real door opener. With an inexpensive sewing machine from Walmart or Joann’s you can take a builder’s grade home and turn it into something magazine worthy. And it doesn’t take a lot of skill or time either. If you can cut fabric and sew a straight line then you can make throw pillows and curtains for every room in your house.

Sewing is one of those necessary skills for saving money and making simple projects. From small repairs on garments to inexpensive home decor projects, sewing makes sense. Everyone will love Reason #4.

With a little practice you can make a fabric-covered headboard, recover dining room chairs, slipcover an occasional chair, or make some custom kitchen towels. The sky’s the limit here, too. Walk down the aisle of any fabric store and you will be amazed at the choices. If you love the cottage style, there’s a fabric for that. Is modern more your thing ~ well, there’s fabric for that. And there are tons of tutorials on the web to take you from total novice to complete expert.

Holiday decorating becomes a snap with limited sewing skills. If you can sew a straight line you can whip up a seasonal table runner and some kitchen towels. In no time at all you’ve got a new look.

Sewing is one of those necessary skills for saving money and making simple projects. From small repairs on garments to inexpensive home decor projects, sewing makes sense. Everyone will love Reason #4. | Popular Pin
Sewing is one of those necessary skills for saving money and making simple projects. From small repairs on garments to inexpensive home decor projects, sewing makes sense. Everyone will love Reason #4. | Popular Pin

Sewing skills can make your house a home by allowing your own personality to shine through ~ not to mention the money you will save.


2. Kids

Sewing for kids could be an entire blog post ~ I will try to break it into smaller bits here. First, there is the obvious: sewing kids clothes. There really isn’t much to making a simple gathered skirt for a little girl or a cute t-shirt for a boy. Both of these don’t require a lot of skill and your little one will really love them. Plus, they will be unique to your child and his/her interests {such as ninja’s around here}. Minimal sewing skills can allow you embellish ready-made garments making them personal and unique.

Sewing is one of those necessary skills for saving money and making simple projects. From small repairs on garments to inexpensive home decor projects, sewing makes sense. Everyone will love Reason #4. | Popular Pin

There are so many kid-themed fabrics it can almost be overwhelming. If your child loves trains or Disney there are fabrics you can choose from to satisfy their fascination. Sew something simple like a pillowcase and you can rock their little world.

Sewing is one of those necessary skills for saving money and making simple projects. From small repairs on garments to inexpensive home decor projects, sewing makes sense. Everyone will love Reason #4. | Popular Pin

Simple bags for little girls, hair bows, embellished t-shirts, repurposed dress-up clothes, matching Dolly & Me dresses ~ an unending list.

Fabric nunchucks for little {ninja-obsessed} boys, a play tent, super hero capes, pull on pants with really deep pockets {for all that hunting and gathering}, and soft things for throwing {if you’re around boys, you’ll get this one} ~ again, an unending list.

Of course, babies are the most fun to sew for. Think bedding, blankets, and burp cloths to name a few. If you’re a young mom with kids you are going to need baby gifts for your friends. Learn to sew in a straight line and you will always have affordable gifts to share with new moms.

Baby GiraffeSewing is one of those necessary skills for saving money and making simple projects. From small repairs on garments to inexpensive home decor projects, sewing makes sense. Everyone will love Reason #4. | Popular Pin

3. It’s Green

If you’re concerned about the environment then sewing should definitely be your thing. Sewing allows you to repurpose almost anything made from fabric. Thrift stores and yard sales will net you the best selection of fabrics waiting to be transformed.

Upcycled thrift store curtains become throw pillows for a bed. A used duvet becomes a new shower curtain. A men’s dress shirt becomes a little girl’s dress. Add a piece of fabric to some repurposed curtains to personalize them for your home. Turn an old sweater into a beautiful throw pillow.

With minimal sewing skills anything can be cut apart and turned into something unique. #unlimitedresources


4. $ave $ome Ca$h

It’s no secret that sewing can save you money. Knowing how to sew allows you to make simple repairs to garments. Hem your own jeans, sew on a missing button, repair an open seam. All of these will extend a garment’s life and save you a little money.

Sewing is one of those necessary skills for saving money and making simple projects. From small repairs on garments to inexpensive home decor projects, sewing makes sense. Everyone will love Reason #4. | Popular Pin

I cannot tell you how many baby gifts I’ve made using leftover fabric scraps and a little imagination. Think about your holiday shopping list and imagine all of the gifts you can make. Aprons, bags, pillowcases, and quilts make beautiful handmade gifts that everyone will love.

Sewing is one of those necessary skills for saving money and making simple projects. From small repairs on garments to inexpensive home decor projects, sewing makes sense. Everyone will love Reason #4. | Popular Pin

5. Sense of Accomplishment

The best reason for learning to sew is the sense of accomplishment that comes from creating something handmade. Seeing your own hand-sewn creations ~ well if you’ve ever felt it you know what I’m talking about. Conquering sewing jeans gave me this sense of accomplishment. I now have the confidence to make my own custom-fit jeans anytime I want.

Sewing is one of those necessary skills for saving money and making simple projects. From small repairs on garments to inexpensive home decor projects, sewing makes sense. Everyone will love Reason #4. | Popular Pin

A piece of fabric, an hour or two of your time, and you can transform almost any room in your house. Then, for months afterwards, you can admire your handy work. That’s the real value of learning to sew.

Sewing gives you power over a limited decorating budget. It opens creativity when you sew a simple garment. Over time, sewing can save you money by providing a means for making gifts. And, it insures unlimited possibilities for repurposing almost anything made from fabric.

Like I said, everyone should learn to sew.


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23 Comments

  1. I agree everyone should learn this valuable skill.

    I learned to sew from watching my mum as I was growing up and one of the first things I bought when I got married was a sewing machine. It’s funny that it never crossed my mind that not everyone could sew.
    Many years ago when a friend mentioned her curtains were to long I told her not to worry she could hem them, she asked how? Of course I said use your sewing machine; she did not have one! I could not believe that she did not have a sewing machine, didn’t everyone, how did anyone survive without one?
    In recent years I discovered patchwork and quilting and now I have a new sewing machine and my daughter has my old one.

  2. Amen sister!
    One of my favourite projects to lead – I’m a 4-H volunteer – is a sewing project. I enjoy sewing, the entire process, the choosing of pattern and fabric,the details of finishing and helping the club members learn the basics is such fun! Just started one last week and got to spend three hours in Fabricland. I am most relaxed and creative in my sewing room whether I’m conquering the mending pile, making a shirt for my husband or son or working on a quilt or stuffing pet beds for donation – two hours spent sewing trumps being or doing just about anything else. I always figure if I turn ONE kid on to sewing from a club of 2o I am doing well. I figure the rest will have learned how to at least do simple repairs or make better choices when buying clothing and sundries.

  3. I agree, tho I was very resistant to learning as a young girl. My mother was a home ec major in college. She could sew anything. I was rebellious and refused to learn. But when I was on my own, I changed my mind and decided to learn and it has been a very important part of my life. Sewing has saved me uncountable amounts of money and even made me some money. Sewing has made my house prettier, my friends happier, and given me a lot of confidence. I even learned to make my own clothes. My mother would be proud. 🙂 At one point, I thought it was old fashioned to learn to sew, now I believe it is self sufficient and freeing, even a possible source of income. So I agree. Where did you teach the class? I used to work at The Quilt Store, many moons ago when it was on Hancock Dr.

  4. Every time I hear a woman say she wished she could sew, it makes me ever grateful that I have the blessing of this skill! I have used it on every level you mentioned and agree whole heartedly. It’s like when someone talks about being able to play the piano. You never hear “I wish I’d never wasted my time learning” only “I wish I had continued learning”. Thank you for this post!

  5. I love to sew, I’m not real skilled but I can sew a simple pattern, and I have made pillows and covered patio chairs and simple curtains. I have noticed that people that sew, can do so many other things I think when you learn to sew at a young age that a part of your brain develops better and you are able to learn so many other skills, and these people can do just about anything, I think it gives you confidence to try most anything. Unfortunately I didn’t learn at a young age, but when I do complete something it brings such satisfaction and I love sewing. Does that make since? I don’t mean to imply that people that sew are smarter, but they learn skills and problem solving that can be used in so many ways. I happen to think it is relaxing and a good stress reliever, until something isn’t turning out the way I want. I do try to encourage anyone to learn young or old, male or female.

  6. It is shame that the school systems have discontinued teaching the skills of sewing. They need to rethink their reasoning. I also think the guys should know how to sew. How many single Dads are out there that need to know how to sew…..if for no other reason than to repair/mend items.

  7. I agree, I just took an early retirement and one of the things I promised myself was I was going to learn to sew.
    I’m far from doing anything fancy like clothing but I enjoy doing small gifts at this time for friends and family.I didn’t even know how to use my new sewing machine but I am practicing and learning something new every time I sew something new. I am learning to love it as well and grow more confident every time I sew. I saving money on gifts and making gifts personal which is so much fun.

  8. It seems like sewing is a lost skill nowadays. When I turned 40, I decided that I would learn to sew. It’s been a year and I believe that I could teach a class on blind stitch machine hemming and hemming jeans (which I love your tutorial). With three sons, this has saved me a lot of money (around here, people seriously want $8-$10 PER PANT LEG for hemming!!!!). I especially love home decor (again, your envelope pillows with french seams and piping are AWESOME). I only wish that I had taken the offers when I was very young to learn to sew from my mom and aunts! The self satisfaction from sewing is wondeful! I just finished using my first pattern to do a complete set of PJs. My kids were like, “Mom, you’re a professional now!” (If they only knew!!! LOL)

  9. What a wonderful article! I’m in complete agreement! My Mum started teaching me to sew from the time I was little, and once I grew up and moved out on my own, my parents bought me a sewing machine. I’ve gotten so much use out of it! Not just for myself, but like you said, there are so many people that aren’t comfortable sewing. I can’t tell you how much clothing I’ve taken in for friends, or how many children’s outfits I’ve made. It truly is an invaluable skill to have!

  10. Oh how I agree with you! My mum didn’t like sewing but loved knitting so I learnt that from her. Luckily at senior school way back in the 60’s they taught sewing by machine and hand. They taught all the real basics, looking at patterns, seams, French seams, making a skirt, apron(for cooking the next year), making a drawstring bag. I shot up to 185cms tall during that year and how glad was I to be able to make my own dresses and skirts after that! My daughter,has now, at 34 come round to wanting to sew and knit. She’s getting there with the knitting(she made everyone a knitted thing for Xmas) and we’ve started to sew. She made her first pair of curtains last year! Her experience of school sewing was 6 weeks to make a padded quilted tea cosy (what!) no basics, no seams just jump in on something difficult. Needless to say it was never quite big enough for the pot and put her off sewing for 16 years till now! I’m so pleased to see that sewing and crafting is coming back to the fore, and I’m learning to crochet!

  11. I love this post! The most important reason everyone should learn to sew is because it is so darn fun! I used to teach Life Skills in middle school. Every 8th grade student became proficient on the sewing machine. The class I taught no longer exists. I think they even got rid of all the machines. So sad!!! The students absolutely loved the class. I was at a BBQ one day a couple of years ago and the young man, who had since become a helicopter pilot in the army and had served a tour in Iraq, showed me that he still had the project he had made in my class in 8th grade. So another reason everyone should learn to sew, pride. People are proud of their accomplishments, of things they make with their own hands. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
    Kathi

  12. I agree with you. I learned to sew at a young age and I am so glad. I make most of my own clothes and it saves a lot of money and time shopping at the stores – I hardly ever go to the mall. Making your own jeans is very satisfying to me because you can make them the way you want and get the fit the way you like. Pillow cases are also a great things to make and make great birthday presents for kids – I usually embroider their names on the end band.

  13. I completely agree, sewing has brought so much joy to my life whenever I’m finally able to pull my machine out. After we lost all of our belongings due to a shady person storing our stuff during a move, one of the first things I repurchased was a sewing machine. Not to mention, the skill is vitally important when you need to fix something!

  14. I hate sewing to be quite honest. It’s not its really difficult, I just fine it annoying. That said, I am so glad that I at least know how to do. It’s come in handy in many situation. I keep a small stock of supplies in my craft room because every once in a while the urge strikes me to sew something. I recently made a purse and a tank top. It made me feel good to make something, but it’s not something I enjoy every day.

  15. I completely agree, however I have basically no skills. Sure I can sew a basic repair or a button but that’s about it. I made a pair of boxers for my son and the elastic was so difficult, I just haven’t gotten back to making more. I wish I knew of a good place to take a basic sewing class (our Joann’s doesn’t offer them!) so I could overcome my uselessness.

  16. I couldn’t agree more with your tips. I have so many sewing students who reach out to me years after they’ve taken my introductory sewing courses and share with me how much sewing has impacted their life. Sewing was really becoming a lost art, but I’m delighted to see the younger generations take up this wonderful craft.

  17. I’m just getting into sewing (just finished the most stunning tote this morning) and I have to agree with you – but I’m not sure it’s saving me any money – as soon as I see a crafty shop I go mad and cannot get enough of fabrics! I need to sew more and buy less it seems – haha! 🙂

  18. Love this post! I just discovered your site and am learning a lot by poking around. I am learning to sew at age 33 and wish I’d learned much sooner. But better late than never, I guess. Making home goods is proving my favorite thing…

  19. Love your website! I love to sew and feel accomplishment! My mom was a very good sewer, making her own patterns, winter coats with linings, etc. I taught myself how to make quilts! Love to sew small things now and get them done. I love handwork, too! I tend to have anxiety a great deal, but sewing puts me in a beautiful place. Thank you so much for your website! I love giving away my projects, too. I am that confident that I am giving away a nice gift!

    Thank you
    Joan Lamoureux

  20. Totally agree am old now but sewing has been a lifelong pleasure, helped through the hard times too and there is always something new to learn and then you’re off again on a new adventure.

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