After 12 years of running my own sewing, crafting, and DIY blog, a lot of people ask me how they can improve their sewing skills. Many people want to know where to start, what to do next, what skills are essential, what skill do they need to add to their repertoire, etc. (Even after all this time there are some things I STILL don’t do well when it comes to sewing, and I’d prefer to focus on the essential skills that can make me a nice-looking outfit day in, day out.)
The cool thing is that ANYONE can get good at sewing through progressive practice – and it doesn’t take a lot of practice to sew a sturdy, good-looking garment! It’s a good idea to start simple and build your skills by tackling projects that, in succession, will teach you a new skill with each project, so you can build on your knowledge and abilities.
Here is my recommended sequence for anyone to improve your sewing skills:
7 Projects to Improving Your Sewing Skills
- A Pillow (New Skills: Measuring fabric, sewing in a straight line, trimming seam allowances, making perfect square corners, hand-stitching a seam closed)
- Simple Pull-On Top (New Skills: Taking your measurements, cutting pattern pieces, finishing seams for wearables)
- Simple Pull-On Elastic Skirt (New Skills: Cutting an elastic waistband, creating a fabric casing, sewing an elastic waistband)
- Keyhole Top with Gathered Sleeves (New skills: Creating bust darts, setting a ruffled sleeve, creating a keyhole closure, adding a button)
- Lined Skirt with Zipper (New skills: Creating darts, setting an invisible zipper, creating a lining)
- Pocket Sheath Dress with Zipper (New skills: Finishing a blind hem, creating side pockets, adding a hook and eye closure)
- Pants with Waistband (New skills: Creating a curved crotch, notching curves, creating a front zipper with placket, interfacing a waistband)
Though we don’t get into jackets (and jacket linings!) just yet, the above is a solid way to flex your sewing abilities, polish those skills, and brush up on your construction techniques. Let me know if this helps you improve your sewing skills in the comments!