'F' for Fabric Crafty (& Handy)

I need to learn how to sew.

I ordered some fabric from reprodepot with the intention of making my own curtains.

Fabric for Curtains

Great idea, in theory! The problem is… I don’t know how to sew.

I’m a very crafty lady, and I can do a lot of home improvement projects (I used to be a handyman, er handywoman), but I never learned how to use a sewing machine. I own one, and I’ve never used it!

My Sewing Machine

Is it difficult to learn? I should probably practice on some scrap fabric, I suppose. I think I need to take lessons.

Sources & Paint ColorsNeed design help? Let's work together.

You Might Also Like...

  • kim.
    April 4, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    I don’t know how to sew either – that’s what I figure mothers are for ;) (she made my dining toom curtains). LOVE the fabric you bought!!!

  • kim.
    April 4, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    Ya, I can spell. toom? How about room.

  • Sarah
    April 4, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    Hey, I recommend taking Sewing 101 at The Needle Shop. I recently took a class there. They’re really friendly and you can get started with your sewing machine in like an hour.


    Your stuff looks great, I love your style!

  • Ashley M.
    April 4, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    Basic sewing is not that difficult, but I am just learning and I think a class would be a good idea…I am taking a “class” with my grandma who used to be a seamstress. I would get comfortable with your machine (using some scrap fabric) before you take the classes though! I love your blog and your PinkLovesBrown site! How neat!

  • Anonymous
    April 4, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    I just started sewing in February! It’s easier then you think. Just take a lot of time in the set up – measuring, laying out, pinning – and sew slowly at first! Curtains are a great first project. Also – ask the employees at your local fabric store; they love to sew and to help others sew! Those ladies have been like gold to me.
    Love the fabric!

  • lsaspacey
    April 4, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    I’ve been sewing for over 20 years and I taught myself. It takes patience most of all and a “measure twice (maybe thrice), cut once” mentality.

    About your curtains, what do you have in mind? Do you have pictures of what you want to accomplish, an example maybe? Then maybe one of us can direct you somewhere appropriate for simple instructions.

    For home stuff, my go-to book has always been Singer’s Sewing for the Home available used for about $2 now at alibris.com (my choice) and Amazon.

  • OMSH
    April 5, 2007 at 8:43 am

    I know this b/c all it truly entails is sewing straight forward, straight backwards, or taking a curve.

    Get some cheap muslin or scrap fabric of a regular weight (in other words, not denim or something heavier in weight). Then, sew together two pieces of fabric. Practice using different width seams and sewing straight.

    Hit your reverse button to back up at the beginning and end of each stitch session.

    With curves, I recommend tracing out a circle directly on the scrap fabric and then trying to sew straight right ON that circle.

    After you get that, try to sew 1/4″ off the circle you traced, then 1/2″ off the circle … work on how to slow down to make the curve without stopping and swinging.

    Once you get those down, you can go anywhere. You can do anything. I swear. :)

  • Martine
    April 5, 2007 at 8:59 am

    “You can design, ergo you can sew.” This is what my industrial designer boyfriend said as he bought a basic Singer and proceeded to make curtains, table runners, napkins, pillow shams, and iPod cozies. You can totally rock it!

  • Chrissy
    April 6, 2007 at 4:43 am

    Those fabrics are LOVELY!

  • Anonymous
    April 6, 2007 at 11:48 am

    I also think you should take a basic class, the hardest part was threading the machine.

    Once you get the basics you’re fine.

  • Andrea C
    April 6, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    An iron and iron board are just as important as your sewing machine.

    Just do a rod pocket this time. Don’t bother with pinch pleats.

    If your machine is too light (not good quality) you will hate the process.

    If your thread skips, do some research. It’s not you, it’s the thread/fabric combo.

    Get your machine maintained.

    Think about hand sewing the hems. I love hand sewing. Wine helps.

    You will make at least one major mistake each time which will require you to rip out a seam. This is part of the process.

    Don’t let the cat sit on the fabric.

  • Courtney
    April 7, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    I taught myself and the first thing I sewed was CURTAINS. They are easy just sew a panel. You can even cheat and use curtain rings with them.

  • erin
    April 9, 2007 at 5:26 am

    i love the fabrics you chose and like everyone else has said, you can do it!

    make sure you include your seam and hem allowances in your measurements, measure twice, cut once and use your iron. you need it!

    good luck!

  • Nicole
    April 9, 2007 at 11:53 am

    Thank you, everyone! I’m going to try starting on some scrap fabric, and I’ll see how it goes.

  • LouieB.
    April 10, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    I had to leave a comment..I have the same sewing machine..and I’ve never used it(I’ve had it for 3 years)…I really want to learn..but there seems to be a lack of resources out there…Anyone know of classes in the Northshore area of Massachusetts???

  • Ellen
    April 11, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    I’ve dusted off my sewing machine lately, but am trying my hand at clothes.

    I second the advice to practice with scrap fabric first, and then to test a couple of seams on scraps of your actual fabric, making sure the tension is right. My machine is 35 years old and a bit of a monster – your’s will probably work better, but it’s never a bad idea to test. Your fabric is so cute that you don’t want anything to mess that up!

  • Jennifer Ramos
    April 18, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    I know basic….but i am also going to take classes to learn more.


  • Anonymous
    April 22, 2007 at 9:30 am

    I am not so sure that your sewing machine will deliver the success you would like. I suggest going to a local machine store (one where they will repair and help you maintain your machine) and go from there. Tell them what you want to sew and they will guide you towards the right machine for you. Plus if they are a good store they will give you (free) lessons on your machine and be available for questions. And often they have classes also for basic sewing instruction. I worked at a store like that and they were awesome with their help. I own a Bernina and although they are expensive, I feel it was worth every penny. Janome makes good basic machines, also. Those are the brands I am familiar with. Hope this helps.

  • Genna-Marie
    January 29, 2009 at 12:04 am

    Yeah, so I just had my second child, and I’m looking at our budget and I was just thinking to myself that it would just be more resouceful to learn how to sew. Problem is well.. I dont know how. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Milusha
    February 4, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Speaking of sewing, I LOVE to sew but have been doing it the hard way, by hand for many many years until now. I bought myself a used good starter machine and since I am about to have a baby, have decided to sew plush toys, curtains, little clothes etc. Not that I know how to do that via the machine, but, I am going to attempt to (with a little help from my younger sister) do that and so much more this weekend! Ahh nesting, isn’t it great? I am sure by now you are pretty proficient with the machine, no?

  • Courtney Craig
    February 26, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Is this the same fabric that you ultimately used for your kitchen “roman-esque” shade? If so, I love this yellow Amy Butler fabric! Where did you buy this? RetroDepot? I can’t find it anywhere!!!!