If you’re a tried and true DIYer, then you’ve worked with a lot of different materials: it could be paper for party decorations, paint for furniture facelifts or sugar and flour for cookies. One medium you may have shied away from, though, is sewing — after all, working with textiles can be tough, and a sewing machine is an investment. But learning how to sew is actually pretty easy! There are a lot of projects, like attaching buttons or making baby booties, that are totally doable when you have the right tools and tips. With just a little bit of practice and a lot of creativity, you can go from wondering where to thread the needle to wielding a machine like a pro. Here are eight projects that’ll help you master the art of sewing.
Master the Basics
Imagine this: you’re 15 minutes away from walking into an important meeting or leaving for plans with friends, and the button on the shirt you’re wearing pops off. It could happen to anyone — so whoever you are, whatever you do, you need to know how to sew on a button. Just keep a needle and thread in your junk drawer, and you’ll always be good to go.
Fix Your Wear and Tears (Finally!)
We all have a pile of clothes in our closet that we know needs mending, whether it’s a rip in a pair of jeans or a hole in a top. Take some time to learn how to mend with creative patches and embroidery. The next time your clothes approach the trash can or donation pile, bring this option to the rescue and wear them just a little longer.
Learn How to Shorten a Skirt
Remember that skirt you have that you wish was just a little bit shorter? Get it out right now, turn on your sewing machine and DIY your own shorter hem. Once you’re bitten by the hemming bug, you’ll want to tailor all of your skirts and dresses.
Tackle Next Summer’s Threads
Once you’ve mastered the essentials, you can graduate to more advanced techniques. Here are six projects to help you sew with elastic thread to take your skills up a notch. This project will help you master off-the-shoulder tops or swim coverups by next summer.
Try a Leather Project
Here’s an idea: the next time you see a pricey leather jacket for sale, just snap a pic for inspiration and make that jacket at home. Read how to work with leather on a standard sewing machine, and then customize your creation to your heart’s content.
Sew Your Next Baby Shower Gift
One of the best parts about sewing is that you can make tons of projects and give them all away to your friends and family. When you get an invite for a baby shower, spend a weekend afternoon making a set of bandana bibs. All you need is some fabric, matching thread and Velcro. Oh, and your ride-or-die sewing machine.
Upgrade Your Paper Bunting
Hosting an upcoming party? Skip the paper garland that you’d normally buy from the store and go for fabric flag bunting instead. You can use it over and over again, and celebrate the fact that you made it with your own two hands.
Craft an Adorable Pair of Baby Slippers
If your extended family has a new baby coming in the new year, then set a goal to sew pairs of booties for everyone by Christmas. We won’t blame you if you get jealous and make a pair for yourself. Once you’re comfortable with a few sewing techniques and a handful of projects, you’ll wonder why you never took up the skill before.