Skip to content

Sew Boring: The Grandma Hobby You Should Try

As a kid, roughhousing often led to large amounts of damaged clothes. My mother would save the day with a sewing kit: stitching up a tear in a pair of pants, or patching a hole in a beloved teddy bear. She learned the skill in home economics, a class no longer available in most high school curriculums. 

Without the same exposure to sewing as in the past, people developed a negative view of sewing. The skill is seen as something meant for old people and talented seamstresses. However, that view is quite opposite of the truth. Sewing is incredibly simple to learn and there are “sew” many methods to try!

A great starting point for someone looking to begin sewing is hand sewing. Material-wise, all that’s needed is a needle, thread, and fabric. Lastly, one needs something to mend or even create. Selecting a needle and thread is seemingly straightforward, but for different types of fabric, various needles should be used. For a thicker fabric, the needle should be larger/thicker, making it easier to pass through tougher material. The same goes for thin, cotton-like material. The needle should be small to avoid large holes in the fabric.

Beginning to sew by hand takes four easy steps:

  1. Selecting a needle and thread. As described above, the needle and thread should be specialized for the specific project.
  2. Threading the needle. Threading a needle might take a few tries, but with practice, it becomes easier. Start by taking a needle and one end of the thread. Then, find the small hole at the un-pointed side of the needle. Stick the thread end through the hole and pull it through. Stop pulling it through once both ends of the thread are even, with the needle directly in the middle, as seen in the middle needle. Then just as the third needle, tie a knot at the end of the thread, large enough to ensure it won’t slip through the fabric while sewing, but small enough that it doesn’t bulk.
Three needles, how to thread a needle.

3. Starting to stitch. Now that the thread is ready, start the stitch by placing the needle on the inside or bottom side of what’s being sewn. For example: if a patch is being sewn on pants, send the needle through the inside of the pants so the needle pokes out. Pull it through until the knot reaches the fabric and causes tension. Depending on the stitch, sew it back through by poking from the top and pulling through the bottom side of the fabric. Continue pulling until there is tension. Continue going under and up. This basic stitch is called a running stitch. There are five to six other basic stitches that could be used for sewing but, for a beginner, this being the simplest one.

4. End stitch. Once the sewing job looks to be done, thread the needle back through to the bottom. Turn the fabric to see the needle and thread. Depending on the length of the thread, cut it with as much thread as possible to tie a knot and at the end.

These steps may seem intimidating at first, and stitching might prove to be a great challenge, but practice makes straighter lines in the sewing world. That explanation might have disengaged anyone reading, proving that sewing has a boring side. But for people wanting to begin somewhere, it’s just a brief how-to. Thankfully, there’s so much more that sewing can prove.

Trending around the summer of 2020, embroidery on shoes suddenly skyrocketed in popularity online. Intricate patterns of flowers beautifully sewn onto white converse encouraged others to sew hearts, words, names, and other patterns onto shoes. People began to explore and experiment with the art-heavy style known as embroidery. Taking embroidery floss and a needle, artists are able to stitch anything imaginable onto all fabric types. It also became a trend to sew initials onto a significant other’s sweatshirt or hat. Basic stitches that create letters require little to no effort. Embroidery is its own form of sewing. The distinguishing feature of embroidery as compared to normal sewing is that embroidery is an addition to something. Designs are added to clothing with embroidery, where sewing would be used to create clothing to embroider on.

Not only is sewing helpful and easy to learn, but it’s also affordable. Basic sewing kits can be found online for around two dollars and up. Thread also comes cheap if bought in bulk. Amazon has many options for embroidery floss sets that include various thread colors.

Learning to sew might make the old ladies at sewing stores want to chat with you about projects, but think of it as a great way to make friends. Sewing is not only for the older generations who were required to learn it. Anyone can take a poke at the wondrous world of handmade creations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.