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10 Sewing Projects For Beginners

10 Sewing Projects For Beginners

September is National Sewing Month! 

During the pandemic, the popularity of sewing skyrocketed. If you are a new sewing enthusiast wondering what to make for your first sewing projects, look no further! Zulily has 10 sewing projects for beginners to help you build confidence as you hone your new sewing skills.  

Basic Sewing Tools For The Beginner 

Having the right equipment is very important. Of course, the most important tool is a sewing machine! If you are a beginner, I recommend sticking with a basic easy to use sewing machine that doesn’t have a lot of fancy bells and whistles. In addition to a sewing machine, it is a good idea to invest in some sewing notions. Sewing notions are the basic sewing accessories that help you complete a sewing project like pins, thread, needles, cutting, marking, measuring, and pressing tools.  

Fabrics For Beginner Sewing Projects

Choosing the right fabric for sewing projects is essential because not all fabrics are the same. For now, stay away from fabric that will slip and stretch like shiny polyester, silk, rayon, and cotton jersey. Instead, start with woven fabrics like cotton, linen, and cotton-linen blends that are easier to use and don’t shift around as much while you are sewing.

10 Inspiring Sewing Projects For Beginners

1. Tote Bag 

You can never have too many tote bags! There’s always something that needs to be carried like library books, baby gear and snacks making tote bags an essential part of every mom’s life. Making your own tote bag is a great sewing project for a beginner because it is relatively simple and the size can be adjusted to meet your needs. Choose a durable sturdy fabric like cotton canvas (also known as cotton duck) for the outside of the tote bag and a coordinating cotton print for the liner. To keep this project super simple, use a colorful length of cotton webbing for the handle straps.  

2. Pillowcase 

This is one of the best beginner sewing projects that will really help you learn how to use your sewing machine. Transform one yard of colorful cotton fabric into a useful bedroom necessity, a pillowcase! If you can sew a (relatively) straight line you can successfully make a pillowcase.  

This sewing project can also introduces you to a new sewing skill, the French seam. Don’t be intimidated by this fancy term! It just means that the raw edges of the fabric will be enclosed within the sewn project so no raw edges are seen. Raw edges fray easily creating a snarl of threads therefore a French seam eliminates this messy problem. Once you make your first pillowcase, I guarantee you will want to make more! Handmade pillowcases make great gifts and instantly freshen up any bedroom.  

3. Rice Heating Pad 

Chase away those sore achy muscles with a homemade rice heating pad. After a minute in the microwave, the rice heating pad is ready to work its magic. Sewing your own takes less than thirty minutes and the size can be customized to your liking. A popular shape for a beginning sewing project is a long rectangle divided into smaller sections. The small sections are filled with dry uncooked rice then sewn closed until the entire heating pad is completely filled with the rice. Besides a sewing machine, the handiest tool you will need to make this project is a funnel to pour the rice into the fabric sections. Before you pour the rice into the heating pad add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to give your heating pad an aromatherapy boost. 

4. Fabric Headband 

Tired of plastic or metal headbands pinching behind your ears or digging into your head? Fabric headbands not only look great but they don’t pinch or hurt like plastic or metal headband do. Sewing your own headband is fun, easy, and totally customizable! Sew a wide-banded headband for a boho look or a narrow-banded headband for a more subtle statement. After sewing a few fabric headbands for yourself, be sure to make some for your kids too. Don’t worry if they get it dirty because these headbands are washable!

5. Scrunchies 

They’re back! Scrunchies, the popular 90’s hair accessory, are back in style. Scrunchies are super easy to make and can be sewn quickly. Plus, they can be custom-made in any color you like. As someone new to sewing, these fun hair accessories are very forgiving if you are still working on perfecting your sewing skills. To make a scrunchie a long narrow rectangular piece of fabric is sewn into a tube with a small one-inch opening along the side left unsewn where the elastic will be inserted. The fabric tube is turned inside out and folded in half with the top and bottom raw edges are sewn together to form a ring.  A piece of skinny elastic several inches shorter than the fabric tube is inserted into the one-inch unsewn opening and threaded through the fabric ring. Sew or tie the ends of the elastic together then sew the small opening in the fabric ring closed and your scrunchie is done. Practice making several scrunchies from cotton fabrics. Once you get the hang of it, try using more challenging fabrics like silk, velvet, and other plush fabrics.  

6. Simple Fabric Potholder 

With many families spending more time working, cooking and eating at home, chances are your potholders have taken a beating from all the extra use. Fabric potholders are another great beginner sewing project due to their simple construction and easy to follow patterns. For safety reasons, be sure to use 100% cotton fabric since synthetic fabrics can melt or burn, posing a fire hazard. Fabric potholders are constructed with two square pieces of cotton fabric on the outsides and a center layer of thermal batting on the inside. Thermal batting is a special type of batting that contains a layer of mylar which protects your hands from the heat. After you finish sewing several new potholders, be sure to toss out your old worn-out ones and replace them with the new ones you just sewed.

7. Cloth Napkins 

Sewing projects that are eco-friendly and budget-friendly are a match made in heaven. For a beginner, this is a relatively simple project to make too. In addition to your sewing machine, an iron is required for this project. Cloth napkins are simply squares of material with well-ironed hems stitched down around the perimeter of the fabric. I love how a simple cloth napkin can bring such charm to your table. Cloth napkins are a great housewarming or wedding shower gift so be sure to make a few extra sets to give away as gifts.  

8. Apron 

Aprons are an accessory that people have been wearing for centuries as a way to protect their clothing from splatters and spills. If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking, baking and preparing meals for your family, having several aprons on hand is important if you want to save your wardrobe. If you are looking for good beginner sewing projects that are easy and useful, an apron is definitely one of them. Since your apron is sure to take a beating, make sure you use good quality cotton fabric like quilters cotton so it will last. Everyone loves pockets so consider adding a large pocket or two smaller pockets to the front of your apron too. 

9. Rag Strip Quilt 

Rag quilts are easy to make because they are the most forgiving type of quilt you can sew perfect for the beginner. Play around with different fabric colors and prints until you find the right combination to make your quilt. Double layers of cotton or flannel fabric strips are sewn together with the raw edges exposed. To start the ragging process, snip along all of the raw edges with small cuts making sure not to cut through the stitches. The little cuts will encourage the fabric to fray creating the soft edges this type of quilt is known for. Wash and dry the quilt several times and watch your rag strip quilt come to life. 

10. Pajama Pants 

Have you ever wanted to make your own clothing but weren’t sure where to start? Pajama pants are the perfect project to start with if you are a beginner. Light cotton fabric with an elastic waistband makes a great pair of pajama pants. Creating a casing for the elastic waistband might seem challenging at first but rest assured it isn’t as hard as it looks. Sew matching pajama pants for your whole family to get ready for the holiday season. 

Have fun learning how to use your sewing machine as you accomplish these great beginner sewing projects. 

About The Author

Erin Evans

Erin Evans is a seasoned homeschooling mom of four from West Michigan. Her blog, MommySuburbia.blogspot.com is about family, faith, food and fun with some life adventures sprinkled in. If you are looking for a simple kid’s craft project, homeschool advice, parenting tips or a delicious recipe you are in the right neighborhood!

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