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What You Need to Know Before You Learn to Sew

Ready to learn to sew? Let’s start with the very basics! This series will get your started right! Everything you need to know before you learn to sew.

What you need to know before you learn to sew

What are all the different types of fabric?

What’s the difference between all the different types of fabric and what are they used for?

LEarn about the different types of fabric

learn more at the source

What types of fabric do you use for which type of project?

learn more at the source

How and where do you buy fabric?

Once you know what type you want, how do you buy fabric

How to wash and fold your fabric.

Now that you have the fabric, make sure you wash it. Find out why

Fold your fabric perfectly to fit your shelves! The Allison Show (with Susan from Freshly Picked) show you how! Genius!

Susan from Living With Punks also has a great tutorial to fold fabric perfectly.

How to fold fabric

 What is a selvage and grainline? 

 The selvage is the finished edges of the fabric. 

how to find grainline and selvage

The grainline (straight grain) runs parallel to the selvage. It is very important to know where your grainline is when you are cutting your fabric! 

You will need to “true up” or “square up” your woven fabric for almost any project you’re working on. Living With Punks has a great tutorial to show you how. 

How to square up your fabric.

Buy the right sewing machine.

You don’t need to buy an expensive sewing machine but a bottom of the line machine will give you more headaches and cause you to give up. Go to a quilt shop and try out machines or read online reviews. and are great places to read about sewing machines. I recommend this machine as the perfect starter. 

Purchase your supplies.

There are some great lists of essential sewing supplies. 

10 most important supplies on Go To Sew

important sewing supplies you need!

Must have list by Anna.

must have sewing supplies

Are you ready to start your first sewing project now??


  1. Tina Giaramita says

    AWESOME article! I’m a beginner to sewing and this is jam-packed with very helpful info. Thank you so much for posting!

  2. Jennifer says

    Thank you so much for this. I’ve had a sewing machine for several yrs now but never used it. My 22 year old son and I both want to learn to sew. This is great information for us. Thanks again

  3. says

    Chiffon, organza, satin, velvet and denim all refer to the weave or texture of the fabric and can be made from man made materials. Denim is usually made from cotton. Silk is often used for satin or chiffon. Don’t confuse the name of the fabric with what it is made from.

  4. N says

    I don’t like how the first graphic oversimplified natural versus man made fabrics…. chiffon isn’t – by definition – synthetic…. neither is satin….. That could be very misleading. In most sewing stores, the fabrics (especially chiffon, etc) ARE synthetic, but there are plenty of places where one could buy silk-chiffon. I dunno, I don’t mean to split hairs but that is a detail that could throw people off.

  5. Bunny says

    Be aware that much in the first link, fabric and fiber, is wrong info. So wrong the page has been pulled after the author received much flack. Velvet, taffeta, vinyl, organza and much more are not fibers and can be made of natural and synthetic fibers. The author doesn’t have the most basic fabric infor under her belt. For great info on fabrics and fibers see books by Claire Shaeffer and Sandra Betzina to get it right. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to comment and help your readers get the right information.

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