Top 10 Sewing Mistakes Beginners Make and How to Avoid Them

Sewing is a wonderful hobby, but you won’t be a pro overnight. Learn about these 10 sewing mistakes beginners make and how to avoid them, so you can come that one step closer to being a pro.

sewing mistakes beginners make

10 Sewing Mistakes Beginners Make

Sewing is great, it allows you to create beautiful garments and accessories with your own hands. However, if you’re just starting out, it’s easy to make mistakes that can result in undesirable outcomes. To help you avoid these sewing mistakes beginners make, let’s talk about them. Here are 10 common sewing mistakes beginners make:

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1. Not Reading the Instructions Properly

My mother taught me to sew when I was 11 years old and she would always tell me every time to make sure I am reading the pattern properly and properly understanding what is being said. For the longest time, I would rush ahead to the fun part, sewing, and just skim-read the instructions. I only learned when I was older that the reason why so many of my sewing projects looked warped is that I wasn’t following the instructions properly.

To Avoid this Sewing Mistake Beginners Makes

Follow the instructions step by step, and read, and fully comprehend what the instructions say. If you can’t understand what the instructions mean, try googling it and asking a person that has been sewing for a long time

2. Not preparing the Fabric

How does one prepare fabric for sewing? Prewash, iron, cutting. If you are learning to sew and don’t own an iron, definitely invest in one. It is one of the most important steps to ensure that your fabric isn’t warped and twisted when sewing. When I was younger this is another step that I didn’t take seriously, but as I grew up I started to understand why it’s so important.

How to Avoid

Before you even think about starting to sew the pattern pieces together, wash, iron, and cut the pattern pieces together.

3. Ignoring the Grainline

The fabric has a grainline, which shows the direction in which the fibers go. If you don’t follow the grainline when sewing it can result in a skewed garment.

How to Avoid ending up with a Skewed Sewing Project

Always mark and follow the grainline, however, your pattern says. This should ensure a very professional-looking end project. Learning about the grainline takes a little bit to get your head around. So I recommend using YouTube to learn as much about fabric grainlines as possible.

4. No Pinning and Cutting the Pattern Pieces Correctly

I know that the fun part is sewing, but pinning and cutting is an essential steps in sewing. If you don’t take this step seriously, you will result in uneven seams, mismatched pieces, and even wrong sizing.

To Avoid not doing this Properly

Learn to love this part, take your time and make sure it is as perfect as possible to ensure the best end results. Use paperweights to help cut your fabric and use sewing clips instead of pins if that’s easier for you. I personally love sewing clips, they are super handy for a lot of sewing projects.

5. Forgetting about seam allowances.

A seam allowance is a space between the edge of the fabric and the stitching line. All patterns will let you know if the pattern pieces include a seam allowance or if you need to add one yourself. Forgetting to incorporate these into your sewing will result in inaccurate sizing.

How to Avoid This

Read the pattern, always measure the seam allowances, and mark them too if you are a beginner. The sewing foot on your machine should have notches on it to help sew seam allowances.

6. Not Back Stitching/Reverse Stitching

When you start stitching and when you finish stitching you should backstitch to secure the line of stitching to prevent them from unraveling

How to Avoid This Mistake

Get used to using the backstitch button on your machine. This button should be like your best friend.

7. Sewing with the Wrong Tension

Not setting the correct tension on your machine can really muck up your sewing. The stitches can unravel, be too tight, or too loose.

How to Avoid Stop Sewing in the Wrong Tension

Read the user manual, it will probably recommend a tension setting that is suitable for most sewing projects. Every machine is different so the manual will help. Your sewing machine will probably have an online manual if you can’t find your physical copy.

8. Forgetting to Press Seams

As you sew you should be ironing too, so learn to love ironing. If seams aren’t pressed flat, the end product can be bulky and won’t lie flat.

To Avoid This

To help you not forget, try to buy a mini iron that can be kept by your sewing machine. Having a mini iron is so useful for the seams on a garment. I find it way easier to use than a normal-sized iron for things like this. It’s a lot less hassle.

9. Not Checking for Mistakes as You Go

Mistakes happen to everyone, but it’s better if you catch them earlier than anything in life. A few mistakes include, fabric not catching, skipped stitches, mismatched pieces, etc. Some mistakes are harder to fix down the line than others, so try to get to them early.

To Avoid Making Sewing Mistakes

Check as you go, to help this, it helps to iron your pieces as you check, check the stitches are correct on both sides, and that the piece looks like how it’s supposed to look via the instructions.

10. Giving Up Too Easily

I know a lady who bought a sewing machine with the hope of learning to sew but sold it within a month because she couldn’t get the hang of it. Don’t do this. If youtube can t help, try sewing classes, or befriend someone who can show you in person. There are a lot of resources out there to help you. Your sewing projects definitely won’t be perfect overnight but it’s important to be consistent.

How to Avoid This


Have You Been Making Any of These Sewing Mistakes Beginners Make?

In conclusion, sewing can be a rewarding and enjoyable hobby, but it requires attention to detail and patience. By avoiding these common sewing mistakes beginners make, you’ll be well on your way to creating beautiful and professional-looking garments in no time. Remember to read instructions carefully, prepare your fabric, follow the grainline, pin and cut accurately, sew with proper seam allowances, secure your seams, adjust tension settings, press your seams, and always check for mistakes before moving on and most importantly, DON’T GIVE UP!

More Sewing Content For Beginners

If you are interested in more sewing content, take a look at these other blog posts.

sewing mistakes beginners make


3 responses to “Top 10 Sewing Mistakes Beginners Make and How to Avoid Them”

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