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Sew Your Heart Out: Beginner’s Tips

Some of the world’s most respected fashion designers got their humble beginnings in fashion by learning to work with a sewing machine. We all have dreams and hobbies, but some take more dedication than others. For many fashion design school students and amateur seamstresses, sewing projects are a serious, time-consuming hobby, and their skills are perfected over a lot of time and practice. Maybe you have a budding interest in bringing your own imaginative designs to life, or perhaps you are a fashion school student who is already a skilled seamstress that has been working with a sewing machine for years! Either way, here are some sewing project ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

1. Pillowcase. One of the easiest patterns to cut and sew, a pillowcase is a great way for a beginner to start experimenting with sewing machine maneuvers. Since the shape of a pillowcase is so simple, all you’ll need to do is cut the rectangular shape out of a pattern and then sew the edges. You can get creative by choosing a super-funky pattern to use, or by mixing up the shape of the pillowcase for some oddly-shaped pillows!

2. Tote bag. A slight step up from the pillowcase project, making a tote bag is still considered a relatively easy task on the sewing machine spectrum, plus it will functionally fill your fashion school needs if you make it strong enough to be used as a book bag. Simply select a pattern, cut it into rectangular shapes, sew them together and then sew on the thinner strips of fabric to be used as handles. You can even use multiple fabrics to create a unique, patchwork-looking bag.

3. Mini-dress. This is a great way to recycle any old, oversized t-shirts you might have lying around at the bottom of your drawers. Take your shirt, and take a still big but slightly more fitted t-shirt to place on top of the bigger one. From this, you will get an idea of where you need to cut your shirt in order to get it down to the size you want. Cut around the body of the shirt and sleeves and re-sew the hems you opened up with the shirt inside-out. Save the extra fabric you’ve cut out as you will need it later. Next, cut a “U”-shaped dip in the front collar for style. Next, take your extra fabric and begin cutting narrow strips from the hem all the way up. These will be fastened together to become your waist-ties so that your shirt-dress can have a tapered waistline. Try the altered shirt on to see if it fits you probably in the arms and body area. When you have fitted it to your correct size, it’s time to find the proper places to put the ties. Feel around until you find a good spot and then mark it with a safety pin. Then, take the shirt off and find a spot directly across from the first one for the other safety pin. Sling the tie through and tie it in the front of the dress or the back. Voila! You’ve made a t-shirt into a dress!

The level of difficulty increases, there are endless possibilities of fashionable, sewing machine craft ideas. A truly dedicated fashion design school student will experiment with as many of them as he or she can! Find out more on the easiest sewing machine for beginners.