Sewing is a great and valuable skill to have. If you have a basic knowledge of the equipment and vocabulary, then you can take on a seemingly endless number of sewing projects and create just about anything made of cloth.
Now, I am no great tailor – I am just a beginner sewer. Everyone starts as a beginner so if you haven’t picked up a needle before, never fear. It is easy to get started…
If you’re like me, learning to sew was a way to stretch my budget and make something new and unique for my home. I’m always on the lookout for new sewing projects that are perfect for newbies, so I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you.
Whether you’re looking to make a new quilt or just patch up some old clothes, these projects will help you get creative and save money at the same time.
So what are you waiting for? Start sewing!
You Will Need…
Now, if you are just getting started with sewing, you do need a little bit of equipment to start. It is great to get hand-me-downs to keep the costs in check, but you can find great deals on Amazon or locally at your neighborhood crafts store.
There is nothing like being able to see and touch a sewing machine, and a good store will let you have a little test drive at the machine, too.
Here is a thorough guide about selecting a sewing machine for beginners for your reference. I like the Brother XM2701 and it’s normally available for less than $100. It’s designed to be easy to use and versatile.
Many of the projects are quite simple so you can just use a needle and thread.
In the preparedness space, we often think about and prepare for not having electricity – so a needle and thread may be all you have.
When you visit a link in this article that takes you to a different website where you can purchase something, I may earn a commission. Read my full disclosure for more details.
- Variety of needles
- Variety of pens
- Pin Cushion
- Safety Pins
- Fabric Scissors
- Tape Measure
- Tailor’s Chalk (optional)
- Sewing Machine (optional depending on your goals-this one is pretty affordable)
- A book about sewing
33 Best Sewing Projects for Newbies
Some of the projects you can do by hand – via needle and thread – while others require a sewing machine to complete in a timely manner.
Technically, you can do all of these by hand but they may take you a while! They are roughly sorted by difficulty, easy to harder.
1. Repair a Fray or Tear
You can get more life out of your clothing if you can do simple mending. I know I have busted through the sleeve with my elbow while working outside. Instead of scrapping an otherwise good working shirt, I can pull out the sewing kit and repair the sleeve.
A more advanced application would be to add a reinforcing patch to frayed blue jeans. Many times you can get iron on patches that can be sewed on for extra strength. You can also use scrap fabric for the patches, too.
2. Sew on a Button
I must be hard on buttons because I seem to blow one off once a week. Sewing on a button is a critical skill to have.
I bet if you have a fuller homestead than me, that you have to sew buttons on daily! It is simple enough to do, and a great skill to teach the children as young as they can safely handle a needle.
3. Cinch Sack, a.k.a. Bag with a Drawstring
You can never have too many bags around. Kids can use them as a backpack, you can use them as a grocery bag, or you can use a larger bag for a hamper. They are easy to make and totally versatile.
Here is a great plan for a sack that is a little more decorative than I prefer so you can adjust for your tastes, too.
4. First Aid Kit
This is a cool carrying case for your first aid kit – you should probably have one in your car or truck, one in the barn or shed, at the office, and in the tool box.
Having access to an antibacterial swab, ointment, and band-aids are critical to prevent small scratches from becoming infected. Here is a full tutorial with images so that you can follow along.
5. Sling for an Injured Arm
Breaking or spraining any part of your arm is a traumatic experience! I haven’t had to go through a broken bone (luckily!) but it can be even more traumatic for a child.
There is a way to make a tough situation better with a custom-made arm sling. You can add super-hero-themed patterns to the sling or simply use a fun, bright fabric. Here is a good example of a homemade sling.
When you are considering the survival and preparedness angle, you can see the value of having the ability to create your own medical rehabilitation appliances.
If you can’t get to a hospital for some reason, then you can improvise a solution in the field.
6. Face Mask
Over the last couple of years, my family has gone through what seems like dozens of disposable face masks! Face masks are a great way to prevent illness but are also helpful on the homestead when you’re working with animals.
You can easily sew your own – just follow this tutorial!
7. Ice Packs
You can also sew your own ice packs – or “rice” packs. If you get hurt, all you need to do is grab one of these packs from the freezer (or put one in the microwave). They’re great for sore muscles or menstrual cramps!
Here’s the tutorial.
8. Eye Mask
Have a headache? Eyes hurt from too much time on the computer? Just need to block out some light so you can get some shut-eye?
If so, you may want to sew your own eye mask. It’s a great and easy sewing project to tackle. Here are some instructions.
I love sewing pillowcases because you can use scrap fabric – and just a few simple pillowcases have the ability to change the look of any room.
Of course, you can always whip up a few throw pillows, too – here’s a complete guide on how to do that, even if you don’t have a sewing machine.
If you’re new to sewing and want a project to practice on that’s easy and quick to learn, you might want to make your own mittens.
They can be used to play in the snow or take care of animals – perfect for any homesteader.
11. Drawstring Bag
From coins to other collectibles, drawstring bags have a lot of potential uses. They’re also super easy to make. Here’s a tutorial to teach you how to sew your own:
12. Portable Sewing Kit
Once you start sewing, you’re not going to want to stop. Make yourself a place to hold all your gear with this fun portable sewing kit DIY.
Check out the tutorial here.
13. Reusable Snack Pouches
Have little ones in the house? You’re probably well aware of how many snacks they go through- and perhaps even more aware of how much plastic waste this all generates! Pack lunches with these healthy and fun reusable snack bags instead.
Check out the tutorial here.
14. Skillet Handle Cover
We all love cooking in cast iron. Is there any better way to add flavor and personality to your meals? Unfortunately, the handles can get hot – especially if you’re cooking over an open flame. Here’s a fun sewing project to try that will keep your hands protected – and your cast iron looking fine!
15. Ironing Board Cover
Ironing is essential – but those ironing boards? Not always the most attractive. Here’s an easy tutorial you can follow to make an ironing board cover that classes up the whole room.
16. Zipper Pouches
Need a few pouches to hold toiletries or cosmetics? These DIY pouches are perfect for taking with you on trips out of town! Make extras to share.
Here’s a guide on how to do it.
17. Fabric Bowl Covers
These convenient and easy to make bowl covers are much more sustainable than plastic wrap. Plus, they’ll keep your chips or leftovers from getting stale or going bad. Bonus!
Here’s how to make them.
Curtains are quintessential beginner sewing projects. Here’s a quick guide on how to make a set!
19. Notebook Cover
If you homeschool your kids, you probably have tons of notebooks lying around. Tell them all apart with these fun notebook covers. You can whip them up in a flash!
20. Laptop Case
This sewing project isn’t for the faint of heart – it takes a bit more practice to get it just right. However, once you find the right pattern and have a bit more skill in the sewing department, this project is a super fun gift to make for anyone on your list.
Check out this tutorial for more information.
21. Tote Bag
You can even make your own tote bag! Tote bags are great for – you guessed it – “toting” to the grocery store. Reusable plastic bags are fine, but these homemade heavy duty bags can support even more weight.
Check out this tutorial and make your own bags today!
22. Microwave Potato Sack
You can cook baked potatoes or even corn in the microwave in a matter of minutes once you whip up a few of these fun microwave potato sacks. Here’s the tutorial.
23. DIY Shirt Dress
Want to look as stylish as possible – even if you’re on a budget? You can easily convert an old men’s shirt into a fun and stylish shirt dress. Check out this tutorial for more information!
Sewing napkins is almost as easy as sewing face masks and other easy DIY homestead projects – plus, once you learn how to make your own napkins, you can save money by not having to buy any at the store.
Check out this tutorial for more information.
25. DIY Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets are comfortable and perfect for alleviating things like anxiety and insomnia. Make your own weighted blanket by following this guide.
26. Flour Sack Towels
Don’t throw out those old flour sacks- repurpose them to make your own towels. Only a little bit of sewing is required, and they’re easy to customize.
Here’s a helpful tutorial to get you started:
27. Baby Swaddle Blanket
Have a baby on the way – or a friend with a baby on the way? A swaddle blanket is a great gift, and it’s easier to sew one than you might think. Check out this tutorial!
Again, quilts require a bit more experience to make – but once you start quilting, you’re probably going to find that you’re totally addicted! You can easily make your own quilts out of fabric scraps you just have lying around.
Here’s a guide to help you get started.
29. Homestead Casserole Cover
Nothing hits the spot quite like a casserole, especially on a cold winter’s day. If you’re carrying your dish with you to a potluck or anywhere else, for that matter, you need something to keep it covered.
This fun casserole cover will make it easier than ever for you to transport your creation!
30. DIY Apron
With all the cooking, cleaning, and sewing you’ve been doing, it’s about time you make yourself an apron to hold your gear and keep you clean. Here’s a tutorial you can follow.
31. Hot Pads
Make these DIY hot pads to give your dishes a place to rest when they come out of the oven. Here’s how to do it.
32. Draft Stopper
Slide these draft stoppers up against your door to block the cold air from coming in. Easy peasy! Here’s the tutorial.
33. Cloth Diapers
Last but not least, cloth diapers! This is a fun project you can tackle in a few hours and will help you cut down on the amount of disposables your family needs. Genius!
Here’s a video to walk you through the process:
Ready To Get Started?
I hope I have convinced you that sewing can be an ultra-valuable skill to have for homesteading.
It can become a lifelong hobby which you can reap the benefits for years to come.Remember that you can start with very basic equipment, and you can usually get them as hand-me-downs. A veteran sewer is always happy to share this great hobby.
If you haven’t sewed before, start with some basic projects first. Practice makes perfect and you can expect some of your very first projects to be a little rough around the edges.
Happy Sewing! BE SURE TO PIN THIS TO YOUR FAVORITE BOARD FOR LATER.
Heather’s homesteading journey started in 2006, with baby steps: first, she got a few raised beds, some chickens, and rabbits. Over the years, she amassed a wealth of homesteading knowledge, knowledge that you can find in the articles of this blog.