6 Simple Ways to Avoid Sewing Frustration


6 Ways to Avoid Sewing Frustration - Sewing isn't fun when its frustrating

If you are a beginner to sewing you may be a little intimidated. You may have tried out a sewing project before only to find how frustrating and difficult sewing can be. Sewing is fun except when it is frustrating. I have 6 tips to help make sewing easier and less frustrating. 

6 Simple Ways to Avoid Sewing Frustration

1. Get to know your machine

Watch a YouTube video or take a class at your local quilt shop to learn about your machine. Practice threading and re-threading multiple times. Sew scraps together over and over to practice keeping an even seam allowance. Wait to start a project until after you feel comfortable with the basics. then refine your skills as you sew easy projects.

Get to know your sewing machine - 6 Ways to Avoid Sewing Frustration
My sewing machine - Bernina  B380

2. Choose a project wisely

Start with an "EASY" or "Beginner friendly" project. Hot pads, pillowcases, baby quilts, and throw pillow covers are a good place to start. Straight line sewing projects allow you to learn how to use your machine, let you practice threading and rethreading, and let you get comfortable keeping an even seam allowance. 

Small projects that don't take a long time are satisfying and the feeling of success and accomplishment keeps you coming back for more. Try out this Super Simple Tote Bag tutorial. 

Super Simple Tote bag - 6 Ways to Avoid Sewing Frustration

3. Build skills little by little

Once you've mastered your machine and straight line sewing it's time to move onto patterns written for "Confident Beginners". Choose a project that pushes you a little for the next thing you sew and build skills gradually if you are someone who gets frustrated easily.

 Learn to tolerate being a little frustrated. Frustration tolerance is something that can be built like a muscle. You will get better handling it with practice. It's a good life skill to practice too. Try out this Easy Key Fob Tutorial. These make great gifts too!

DIY Wristlet Key Fob  - Build Skills Little by Little - 6 Ways to Avoid Sewing Frustration

4. Ask for recommendations

Ask a sewing friend what project they've enjoyed making lately. Join the Sewing community on Facebook and Instagram and see what other people are sewing. To find your community scroll the hashtags on Instagram and start following fellow sewists. Checkout these hashtags out to get you started #sewsimple, #easysewingprojects, and #memademay. Soon you'll have a whole world to draw from for ideas. 

I have 2 IG accounts (personal and sewing) to help keep my sewing "world" together. @sewcanshe, @madeeveryday, and @polkadotchair are a few of my favorite people to follow.  There are so many Facebook groups out there as well, just search "sewing group" and join a few.

Instagram inspiration - Ask for Recommendations  - 6 Ways to Avoid Sewing Frustration

5. Expect mistakes and take a break

When you start a project just assume that you are going to make a mistake, possibly a lot of them. Let's be real!  I make sewing mistakes all the time and I have been sewing since I was 8. I still have to unpick something on almost every project I sew.  

 Making mistakes and unpicking is part of the process no matter how talented or experienced you are. It doesn't mean you aren't good at it. In fact you never have to get "good" at sewing to enjoy it. It's a great place to practice letting go of your perfectionism.

When I find myself too frustrated I walk away and take a break. Returning to the project with a fresh mind makes everything easier.

Expect Mistakes - 6 Ways to Avoid Sewing Frustration
I sewed this zipper to the wrong side of the project in the new tutorial I'm working on right now. I had to unpick it all. 

6. Get the right tools

And finally, using the right sewing tools really does make things easier. Check out my post on my Top 10 Sewing Tools post to see which tools I can't sew without. 

Sewing tools - Get the right tools - 6 Ways to Avoid Sewing Frustration

That's all for today! 

I hope these tips help convince you to give sewing another chance when you find yourself frustrated. So many people decide to give up on things when they are hard. But the challenge is just what I like about sewing. If it was too easy it would be boring. Accomplishing a frustrating sewing project can be a big confidence booster that can keep you coming back for more.  It has been for me and I hope it will be for you too!

Do you have any frustration free sewing tips you'd like to share? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Happy Sewing!


  1. Great suggestions. For me, taking a break and making sure I have the right tools spoke to my soul!!

    My husband’s go to suggestion to avoid frustration when I sewed was volunteering to go to a hotel until I was done.

  2. Hahaha! That is a very clever suggestion. Wise man!