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5 Beginner Sewing Fears (and solutions)

We asked our Facebook fans what beginner sewists are most afraid to learn. Our fans shared what their biggest sewing fears were when they started. We weren’t surprised to find that most of our respondents seemed to be afraid of the same basic sewing techniques. To rid our fearful friends of these worrisome woes, we’ve collected the 5 Beginner Sewing Fears and some solutions for these troubles.

Beginner Sewing Fears (& Solutions)

5 Beginner Sewing Fears (and solutions)


1. Measuring and Cutting

This fear seems to exist for two reasons. First of all, measuring can be a little overwhelming. Especially for those of us who aren’t mathematically inclined, measuring can be trickier than some would expect. Apart from the terror of stretching out that measuring tape, finding your reading glasses to identify the tiny marks, and then marking your fabric, the idea of cutting into any fabric is scary. You’re basically mutilating something you just bought. Not to worry, before slicing into your fancy yardage, remember there are tons of resources out there to help. For instance, this post from Craftsy shows you How to Take Measurements for Clothes.


2. Gathering Fabric

We’re thinking because it looks so nice, beginner sewists get intimidated when confronted with gathering fabric. We’re not talking about hitting up the store and selecting fabrics; we know you can do that. Gathering fabric refers to creating those gorgeous ruffles you find on sleeves, skirts, or as added details in decor. It’s an eye-catching addition to any project, and it’s easy to do.

Gathering Fabric

3. Buttonholes

Merely sewing a button on your projects by hand isn’t that scary. After all, nowadays no one is really verifying your elegant sewing skills. However, the buttonhole is still something that terrorizes the beginner sewist. How does that edging appear? Is it magic? Do I need a Serger? Most modern sewing machines have a function on them that allows you to sew a buttonhole. The attachment foot you need is that big plastic one that you probably considered throwing out thinking it was some packaging. Learn how to sew buttonholes to give your projects a prim and polished look.


4. How to Make Sleeves

These are admittedly complicated, especially if translating a pattern to fabric is difficult for you. It’s important to remember that sleeves usually require more fabric than you realize before cutting into your last bits of fabric. This tutorial, Learn How to Attach a Set-In Sleeve, is extremely helpful for those who need step-by-step guidance when it comes to this feature on your project.

How to Make Sleeves

5. Zippers

This is hands down the biggest fear of new sewists (according to our Facebook friends). Installing one of these babies is TERRIFYING for the young and afraid. Not to worry. One of our much-loved designers, Deby Coles, has a fab video on how to sew an invisible zipper. You’ll want to check out this charming step-by-step. It’s so easy to watch and understand and will let you see how this technique is accomplished in real time.


What do you think, are you (or were you) afraid of these? What’s your biggest sewing fear?