If you are a beginner to sewing, the first few projects you attempt, may decide the fate of your sewing adventure. Even if it does not have a long term effect, it can definitely mar your attitude to sewing.
If you choose the wrong project to start you may get frustrated with the complicated sewing involved and you may end up never going anywhere near your sewing machine for a long time. It has happened to me. I chose to sew a chiffon top with a yoke and zipper for my first sewing project and almost threw in the towel.
When you are starting to sew, try to start with some thing small and manageable. Something you do not need to bring your head around. Something you can complete without many complications.
You first few sewing projects - what to consider ?
Learn the basics - Check out this page to know what are the things you need to be aware of before you start to sew. Of course you learn as you sew. But it is good to know.
Choose a simple pattern - Do not be over ambitious or over confident. Do not start with a jacket as your first sewing project. You will likely stop sewing for a long long time. or the worse - you will end up ruining your expensive fabric.
It is better that you tackle buttons and buttonholes, darts, pleats, collars, plackets etc a little further in your sewing adventure. Start with a simple pattern you are comfortable and something you will use. You can be proud of your first project.
Choose uncomplicated fabric - Some fabrics are a dream to sew with but some are nightmares. Fabrics like cotton make sewing a pleasure. Try sewing with chiffon or satin in your initial days and likely you will end the adventure very soon. Delicate slippery fabrics are a no no for your beginner sewing.
Tip top Sewing machine - You do not need the latest sewing machine to sew, but the sewing machine you have should be well maintained and in good working order.
Make sure you learn everything about your sewing machine by reading your sewing machine manual. Refer this FAQ guide for any troubleshooting for your machine. It can be very frustrating to have your sewing machine decide to tangle all the thread or some such, when you start to sew.
Patience Patience Patience - This is very much needed especially in the beginning. You may have to refer a number of times for the correct techniques on the net or books. You may need to stop very often doubting about a lot of things.
Some good beginners sewing projects suitable for the sewing newbies are as follows
Every girl should have an embroidered kerchief with her at all times - you never know when it will come to be of use. It is also one of the easiest sewing projects which lets you try hemming, adding a lace edge and some sweet embroidery stitches.Checkout the 4 different ways of making embroidered handkerchiefs for or your loved ones.
These are straight pants with an elastic waistband. Sewing pajama pants does not involve any of the complicated stitching as is seen in other pants like, zippers, darts etc. These can be sewn in a less than an hour in your favourite fabrics if you know the pattern. I have a pajama pattern in sewguide - the best thing to lounge around or even go out with very convenient side slash pockets
Everybody needs shawl. You can have it all the colours to go with your outfits. If it is easy to sew, why buy them. It is, so go ahead and make them.
Checkout the post on 9 ways to sew Infinity scarfs with 20 free patterns or the hooded scarf pattern with pockets or the simple bandana diy which could do double duty as a scarf
A Poncho consists of a piece of fabric sewn with two seams and makes a very easy sewing pattern for a beginner. Can it get easier than two seams for your first project.
Other than the one given below Check out this page for 20+ free poncho patterns
The easiest skirt to sew is a gathered skirt; this one will teach you some basic sewing techniques like making an elastic waistband, hemming etc. Another easy option is to adapt / refashion a men's shirt into a skirt - checkout the easy shirt skirt tutorial
A simple bag
There are lots of bag and purse projects which can make you go mad very very slowly. but a simple tote bag is not one of those. It is possible to carry a sweet little bag you made in an hour for your next outing.
Start with this bag and you wouldn't stop making bags. I know from experience.
Pillow case dress
Made from a pillowcase or a similar yardage of fabric this is a very easy style to make.
Made in the pillowcase dress style this one is so easy and good looking, it is a dream first sewing project.
This is the best pillow case dress tutorial around and can be made for kids from 0-14 years. It even has a template to make pattern for the armhole. Isn't that sweet.
After tackling one or two of these projects you will feel more confident of your sewing skills and you will be ready to take on more complicated projects like a zippered bag or a full on dress.
After you have mastered basic sewing techniques you can go ahead and make beautiful things from these sewing patterns