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Before I bought my sewing machine I spoke to lots of women who sew. I wanted to know if buying a sewing machine, especially if I've never sewn before, was a good idea. Without fail, every single one of those friends said “yes!” They quickly followed it up with something like “I'm not an expert or anything, but I really love it.” Everyone I spoke to mentioned the overwhelming joy of creativity, achievement, satisfaction and pride.

I loved their enthusiasm and it inspired me to try something new. Something I previously thought didn't interest me.

It's been a couple of years since I first stitched those wobbly lines, and I recently realised that sometime since then I shook off the ‘newbie' tag. I'm not quite sure how that happened.

It's hard for me to remember that I once stitched so slowly a sewing teacher said “I was going to ask the mechanic to look at your machine because it's making a funny noise, but you're just stitching really slow“. It was said with scorn and I didn't go back to that class. Ridiculing students is pretty poor form.

After that less-than-stellar class it took me a while to give it another go. I made a nappy bag for an expectant friend and although it took me ages to complete, I was thrilled with the results. I finally understood the satisfaction all those sewing friends had mentioned. I made a lot of mistakes but I got a shot of confidence, and the creative problem solving was such a buzz. Unpicking mistakes – not so much!

I've moved beyond basic bags and skirts, and a year or so ago I made my first couture-style retro shirt dress. I'm still no expert, but I'm not a newbie any more either. I want you to experience the pleasure of sewing too. I want to give you the confidence to give it a go – you're gonna love it! So I'm preparing a series just for newbies (minus the scorn and ridicule – I promise!). Together we'll cover Preparation, Tools, Paper patterns, Useful resources and we'll wrap up with a simple and easy Project that will pass on some confidence.

You don't have to be an expert to enjoy sewing. It doesn't matter what skill or innate ability you have, creative self-expression is immeasurably good for the soul. In fact, it's the sense of pride and satisfaction that drives us to shift from newbie, to intermediate, and ultimately to expert.

Let's start on this journey together, shall we?

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