How to learn sewing and things you need to get started

Do you want to learn how to sew and build a business or career around it? Welcome to this beginner’s guide to sewing where you will learn the necessary steps and the things you need to know to get started into professional sewing!

Sewing is one of those crafts that you would never regret learning. It gives you this joy to know that you can recreate styles and designs that you or someone out there would love to wear.

It is something so cool if you can make lovely dresses for clients, friends, and family, and have people admire your beautiful designs!

Sewing is fun if you put your mind to it. It’s a gradual process, you might make mistakes, plenty of mistakes on the process, but that’s normal. So, don’t hesitate to get a bag dedicated to damaged materials. LOL. It is part of the learning process.

But then, you’d get through it, every step of the way!

Now, let’s talk about getting started…


  1. Things you need to learn sewing
  2. Steps in learning how to sew
    • Mastering your sewing machine
    • Sewing a straight seam
  3. Get better at sewing
  4. Choosing what to sew

Things you need to learn sewing

You need a couple of essential tools to get you started with learning to sew. Described below are those tools you should and get to make the entire learning process easy for you.

Sewing machine

Sewing machine
Sewing with a sewing machine

If you do not have a sewing machine yet, you will need to get one as you would need to enhance your training by trying out all you’ve learned on your sewing machine. Before you get a sewing machine, you have to consider the following factors:

Factors to consider when choosing a sewing machine:


How much do you have in place for a sewing machine? You have to go for a sewing machine that is within your pocket’s reach.

You can get a fairly used sewing machine for #40000 and above as the case may be, depending on your location.

Where to buy

Sewing machines can be bought online or at a local shop/market around you.

You can check online or in shops where they’re sold to compare prices and check out the specs of the ones you like.

The right sewing machine for you

There are different types of sewing machines available in the market and online stores; manual, electric, portable, industrial sewing machines and so on. You have to choose the sewing machine that would be most comfortable for you.

For Starters, it’s best to start with a manual sewing machine instead of Industrial or electric sewing machines.

Most manual machines come with a plug for the electric motor. So you don’t have a problem switching to electric mode when you’re perfect.

There are several brands of sewing machines out there. You just have to go with someone who is very conversant with sewing machines if you’re buying from a local shop, or have them check it out for you if you’re buying online.

Sewing tools

sewing tools
sewing tools

Just like every workman, you need sewing tools to learn how to sew. These tools have their specific functions.

Although one can improvise in the absence of a particular tool, there’s no big deal in having them if you can. These tools include:

  • A pair of scissors for cutting and drafting.
  • Packets of the needle because you will break a whole lot of them.
  • Measuring tape.
  • Pack of pins for holding the fabric/paper in place.
  • Chalk for drafting.
  • Bobbins of threads.
  • A seam ripper- your best friend at this stage because you will make a lot of mistakes.

Other sewing tools include safety pins, thimble, needles, a pincushion and a purse/ container to pack all your tools.



As a beginner, you can source for cheap fabrics at the local market, use your old fabrics or clothing, or make use of paper.

Steps in learning how to sew

Sewing, just like every other craft has a procedure. These steps are there to guide you through each process.

Do you dream of becoming a world-class fashion designer? Do you have an interest in fashion but do not know how to start? Why not try these few steps and see where that leads you?

Mastering your sewing machine

If you already have first-hand knowledge of the sewing machine, it’s assumed that you know how to thread the machine and get your sewing started. If not, the sewing machine manual has all the answers you need.

You can also ask a friend or family member to guide you through these steps until you’re good to go. Pull off the thread and try fixing it yourself, that way, you’d learn faster.

Sewing a straight seam

The first thing to learn after you’ve mastered your sewing machine is a straight seam.

Cut out a portion of your fabric or paper and try sewing a straight seam. You can make a line using your chalk to guide you. Straight seams are usually tacky for beginners. Some end up running off the edges of the fabric.

Remember constant practice makes you a pro, so don’t give up when the seams are not just coming out the way it should.

You will learn with time. Practice as often as you can, till you’re comfortable to move to the next step.

Get better at sewing

Now you’re comfortable with your sewing machine, you can sew a straight seam with your eyes closed. Phew! You’re almost there. It’s time to sew that jumpsuit you saw on BellaNaija’s IG page!

Oh well, you need a little more lessons here and there and you will be ready. You can attend training classes at fashion centers around you if you need classroom experience. You can take fashion courses online or watch YouTube videos if you prefer to learn on your own.

I would suggest you opt for training classes, as that would give you a good hands-on experience that would open you up to a whole new world of sewing experience as you have to deal closely with a professional in the field.

You can also ask a friend who knows how to sew to put you through. Whichever option you choose, you still have to push yourself with constant practice to get better than you were yesterday.

Choosing what to sew

sewing with hands
sewing with hands

You can start with little projects like pillow covers, hankie, scarfs, and anything you can try your hands on.

Next, you can sew a simple skirt, blouse, gown. The finishing might be rough and imperfect. Don’t bother yourself about it. The good news is that you’re on the road to becoming a pro!

Now, you can try folding the edges/hem of the fabric to make it neater, You can also use bias. Try fixing the buttons and creating the buttonholes on a shirt, fix the zipper on the skirt or gown.

It’s going to stress you, or maybe not. It’s all for the best.

Your seams are getting neater and your sewing close to perfect. Soon, you’ll be sewing your dreams to reality. Kudos!

Take that step!

This article could be the zing you need to set your fashion dreams on fire again. You could have a sewing machine covered in dust, or probably still in its birthday box. dust it up, set it free, learn on the go and watch you sew wonders. The world is your showroom!

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