I know because I share a lot of sewing tutorials that it looks like I’m some sort of professional, perfect sewist. But the truth is, even with years of experience, I rely on tools like these free sewing practice sheets to take my skills up–and keep my other skills from getting rusty.
Plus, let’s be honest, no matter how long I have been sewing, though, I remember back to when it was a constant struggle to make a straight line. Those days are not so far behind me. And it was hard. I felt like every inch, every stitch was headed off in the wrong direction.
So, when you’re starting off especially, taking the time to practice your sewing using free sewing practice sheets in PDF format is definitely a beginner sewist trick I’d recommend. You can print this and make all the mistakes you need without messing up your materials. I love the idea of almost having permission to mess up and taking that stress away, then taking my improved skills to my more expensive fabric (I mean, more expensive than paper, so there’s that).
All that being said, if you are ready, let’s get sewing!
Who Should Use Sewing Practice Sheets?
I’ll be honest, if you have a new sewist in the house, like a teen or a young adult, they’re going to love having some free sewing practice sheets to give them the freedom to make a few mistakes, get their personal rhythm down before putting an actual needle and thread together. So, definitely get the younger sewists in on a practice sheet set. But older users, who are starting out or even those more experienced.
But I’d also say that any sewist that gets a new sewing machine or if you’re just working on changing your settings. Because sewing a zig zag stitch is much different from a typical straight stitch and wouldn’t you prefer to do that on a practice sheet a couple of times rather than making a mess of your fabric? I would. Ha!
It’s more than that, though, it’s also about building confidence in your skills and getting the confidence necessary to do a project without messing-up. I mean, I know that when I first started, I really had a hard time putting needle to thread when I wasn’t sure of my skills.
So that’s what you’re really doing when you’re practicing your stitches on these sheets–building confidence in your sewing skills, which is something every sewist would benefit from!
What Do You Need To Use These?
Now, I say you need a sewing machine, but the truth is that you can use these sewing practice sheets to practice sewing by hand, as well. Just like using a sewing machine, if you don’t frequently exercise your hand sewing skills, making a straight line or even a nice corner can become a challenge.
So, to use these free sewing practice sheets for hand sewing, all you need is a needle and thread–you don’t even need cloth.
Why Use Sewing Practice Sheets?
Like learning to ride a bike, you can’t just hop onto a sewing machine and start running a seam expecting it to be perfect. And like riding a bike, over time, you need to practice your sewing skills, whether hand or machine driven, will get more consistent, cleaner results. You don’t have to practice every day, but the more you do practice, the better you’ll be.
Think about it like surgeons in school. To really perfect their stitches, make them less noticeable and more clean, they practice their stitches constantly. Once they’re out of school, they still occasionally practice their stitches, to keep their skills strong–who wants a wonky scar?!
So, of course the rules would be the same if you’re sewing a shirt. Because the seams on a hem can be just as visible. And while you might feel like “eh, it’s just a pillow” or “it’s only a scarf”. The truth is, whether you’re making this as a gift or as a wearable for yourself, a nice clean hem will not only look better, but it will help your item to wear more evenly.
How To Practice Sewing with Free Printable Sheets
Once you have your free practice sewing sheets printed, you have a choice. You can use thread with your sewing machine or skip the thread.
There are benefits to working without thread on the paper. For one thing, it’s going to keep your paper from bunching up and pulling. But then it’s also going to make your actual movements more obvious. Because you won’t be focusing on the thread, you’ll be looking at the holes and their relationship to the line. This takes the thread out of the equation, effectively and literally.
But then there are definitely advantages to working with the thread. You’ll get a better feel of how the tension on the thread interacts with each turn and fidget you might have with the paper, it will give you a good idea of how much the thread is going to pull on the needle, too, keeping you from staying on the straight and narrow.
So, I recommend you think about it like this: step one for the earliest beginners is to start with sewing on the paper without thread. Once you’ve got that down, then it’s time to run through the sheets again with thread.
That way you get the experience of both learning to sew “in a straight line” and doing the same–but with the added tension thread will provide. Basically, though, there’s no real secret to using your free sewing practice sheets. It’s just a great way to make sure you’re able to sew a straight line before you potentially ruin your actual project piece with un-practiced shifts and jogs.
Now, if you’re loving these free sewing practice sheets, but you’re not ready to hit print just yet, be sure to pin this to your favorite sewing tips board on Pinterest so you can find it again fast when you’re ready to go.