November 6, 2023

Teach yourself to sew? You can do it!

Have you ever wondered “can I teach myself to sew?” If you’re wondering whether it’s possible to learn to sew on your own, keep reading!

If you’ve never learned to sew before, or been around people who sew clothes, it understandably is a total mystery. I compare it to knowing how to build a car—I use my car all the time, but the idea that I might be able to learn how to MAKE one? It seems impossible! But I’m here to tell you that not only is it possible to teach yourself to sew, but it’s the way most people I know learned—and it’s likely a lot easier than you think.

So let’s get into it!

How to teach yourself to sew

The great news for beginner sewists is that in the last decade, there has been an explosion of fantastic sewing education, mostly thanks to the internet. In the past, you needed a relative to teach you, or to enroll in expensive and often inconvenient in-person lessons. But now there are tons of resources, some of which are interactive, to help you teach yourself to sew.

Sewing books for beginners

My first recommendation is my book, “Sewing the Curve: Learn How to Sew Clothes to Boost your Wardrobe and your Confidence”. I wrote this book specifically with plus-size beginner sewists in mind, taking you through everything from how to buy a sewing machine and toolkit, through to getting your machine ready to sew, sewing your first seam, and your first garment.

There are comprehensive videos to accompany each section, and the book comes with 6 beginner-friendly patterns so that you’ll be sewing in no time. You can order a signed copy here!

Sewing workshops for beginners

If you prefer to learn through video, you’re in luck! There is a huge amount of video sewing instruction online, some of which is free, and some of which is paid. Here are a few different resources:

  • Cashmerette online sewing workshops. We have 7 online workshops, from learning to sew garments like shirts and jeans, to learning to fit, and even how to “hack” patterns to create different styles. There are also bundles available for a great value option! You can watch them any time, ask questions and get answers from the Cashmerette team, and your access never expires. Learn from the comfort of your sofa!
  • Closet Core Patterns “Learn to Sew Clothing” class. Our friends over at Closet Core have an online class specifically aimed at beginners, which comes with three patterns to learn with.
  • Tilly & the Buttons online workshops. Tilly is known for her beginner-friendly instruction, and has a range of classes to help you master basic sewing skills! (To note, not all TATB patterns have a wide size range, so check before signing up.)

Free sewing tutorials

The internet is now FULL of free online tutorials. It may be a little harder to learn this way as it’s a little more disjointed, but if you’re happy to search out the content you need at each step of your sewing journey, you’ll be able to find what you need.

There are many great sewing channels on YouTube, and brands like ours also have directories of online tutorials—you can see Cashmerette’s free tutorials here.

What if I want someone else to teach me?

Depending on your learning style, you may find that nothing quite replaces having in-person tuition. While Cashmerette no longer does in-person classes, there are many independent fabric stores around the world that regularly hold in-person classes. Many of our stockists run these classes—check out our directory to find possible classes near you!

What questions do you have about teaching yourself to sew? Drop them in the comments below and I’ll be happy to help!


Photo credit: Linda Campos

Let me know what you think!