#EDTC300,  Learning Project

And Sew it Begins: Learning Project Week One

Getting Started

This week, I got started on learning how to sew! It is something I have always wanted to try, but never seriously committed to learning. I have done a fair amount of hand sewing throughout my life, mending holes or fixing buttons every now and again, but I have never used an actual sewing machine to make something new. My Grandma has done a lot of sewing over the years and she taught each of her four children the basics, so this year she gifted a sewing machine to each of our families. I figured there was no better time than now to get started on this journey!

The first order of business was to actually unbox the sewing machine that I will be using for the duration of this project. Luckily, my grandma had already done some of the work of setting up the machine for me, so I didn’t have to worry about that just yet. The second thing I had to tackle, finding supplies. After a quick Facetime call and trip out to my grandparents farm, I had most of the necessary supplies to get started.

This is where I ran into my first problem, of what is sure to be many. I had no idea where to go from here. So I took to the internet and started to create a list of resources, videos, patterns, and lessons for me to use and reference throughout this process. If you’re interested in looking at or using any of these resources, you can access the list here.

Next Time:

Over the next few days I plan on really digging in and getting started. Most of the websites and videos I have looked at so far suggest starting with something really simple so you can get a feel for your sewing machine; with that in mind, the beginning of my learning process should look something like this:

  1. Practicing stitches and seams on some smaller pieces of fabric without using patterns (i.e. making pillows).
  2. Using a simple pattern to make a piece of clothing (i.e. a top with only one or two pieces).
  3. Using a more complex pattern (i.e. a shirt with more pieces, adding pockets or zippers).

At this moment, I am avoiding putting too many expectations on myself. I want to give myself enough time to really get good at a skill before moving on to something harder so I have held back on planning anything more than a few weeks in advance.

Some thoughts

I had a hard time figuring out where to start with this whole project. I debated whether or not I should jump right into practicing my sewing or if I should first take more time to read up and prepare. I was feeling a little overwhelmed with all of the options that I had and information that I needed to learn. I did eventually choose to take it a little slower, but I want to know:

  • Did you experience any of the same doubts or cluelessness that I did when you first started your project?

And for any of you more experienced in sewing:

  • Is there anything I should know or keep in mind while I am learning this skill or anything that you wish you knew before you got started?

Finally, I will be giving updates on my twitter account and through the EDTC300 hashtag, so if you haven’t you can head over there and check that out.


  • Haley Miller

    Hi Abby, thanks for sharing you first learning project post. I enjoyed reading it and can’t wait to follow along your sewing journey. This is something I have never done but my Longa-Amma (great grandma) was a seamstress so my Amma and Mom have always sewn my Halloween costumes and things like that!

    • Abby Leonard

      Thanks so much for commenting! While I was growing up my grandma was constantly sewing something for us. Lots of Halloween costumes and Dance Costume alterations!

  • Sarah Stroeder

    Hey Abby!
    This is a fantastic first learning project post! 🙂 Your title made me laugh and instantly drew me in. Love that you added pictures and headers to help organize your post. It’s great to see that you set out clear goals for yourself to begin with. I have a feeling you are going to really surprise yourself this semester with how much you’ll improve! Excited to follow your progress!

  • Tina

    Hello Abby! I am also doing sewing as my learning project, but I am starting with hand sewing and buttons. I think sewing is a skill that isn’t well practiced or taught since the fast fashion industry has made clothes so inexpensive and readily available. I also love how you will be able to connect with your grandma throughout the project.

    Good luck and I am excited to see what you create.

    P.S your sewing pun title is so much better than what I thought of!

  • Ian Mansfield

    Hi Abby!
    Great post! I am a sucker for silly puns, so your title cracked me up :). I think that this is going to be a great project. My Grandma was also super skilled with all things sewing, she made all of my cousins outfits throughout her dance career and mended our whole families wardrobe many times. This seems like it will be a great opportunity to potentially spend some quality time with your Grandma and learn a useful skill.
    In regards to your one question at the end about doubts and cluelessness when starting my project, the answer is definitely yes! It can be intimidating trying to learn a new skill, especially when you have little to no experience with it (like me and yoga).

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