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Sewing for beginners: Fabric prep, pattern layout & more | Sewing Tutorial with Angela Wolf

Do you have a pattern in-hand and gorgeous fabric picked out, but don’t know where to start? Enter these quick tips for the sewing beginner, from seamstress Angela Wolf. Want more smart tips like these? Keep learning with Angela here —
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In this video
Sewing garments is not as difficult as you might think, even if you are total beginner! ! It all comes down to doing the proper fabric prep to make your sewing super easy.
Hi, I’m Angela Wolf – with some essential techniques that every beginner sewer should know! Before you even lay out your pattern and cut the fabric, it is important to pretreat it.
If you plan on washing and drying your finished garment, pre-shrink your fabric by washing and drying it, especially if you are using a natural fiber like cotton or wool.
If you plan on dry cleaning your garment, just go to the drycleaner and ask them to steam-press your fabric. Once you’ve prepped your fabric, grab your pattern pieces, and prepare to cut them out.
Each pattern piece has an arrow which refers to the grainline, or the direction you need to lay out your pattern. The lengthwise grainline runs parallel to the selvage.
The selvages are the two finished sides of the fabric – they’re the tightly woven edges that stop the fabric from fraying
There is also the crosswise grainline, which runs perpendicular to the selvage. (The main reason to lay a pattern out on the cross grain is to get more stretch in the fabric or if you want to change the direction of a print.)
As you get into more advanced sewing projects, the pattern might call for fabric cut on the bias.
The bias is a 45° angle from the grainline. If I were to fold this corner right here, this fold would be a 45° angle.
Before you can cut your fabric pieces out – pin your pattern pieces to the fabric – I like to insert the pins perpendicular to the seams to stop the pattern from skewing.
To cut the pattern pieces out, use sewing scissors and hold them flat along the table to get nice long, smooth cuts.
Take a look at the key pattern markings, starting with these little triangles – they’re called notches and they’re important because each notch shows you where to match up the opposite pattern piece along the seam.
The easiest way to transfer them from pattern to fabric is to snip about an eighth of an inch into the seam allowance. But be very careful to not go past the seam allowance – or you will end up with a hole in your project!
These are darts – it’s also important to transfer these markings.
The easiest way to do this is with carbon tracing paper and a tracing wheel.
Always mark on the wrong side of the fabric by sliding the carbon paper underneath. Use the tracing wheel to trace the dart.
At the outside edge of the dart, I like to put two little snips at each stitch line. It’ll make it easier to find and line up when you’re sewing.
So those are the basics of prepping your fabric. Once you have this down pat you are ready to get to the fun part–sewing!