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Our FREE beginners' guide to basic sewing equipment and techniques - get your copy now!
If you are about to embark on your first sewing project or have just a little sewing experience and would like to master the basics, then this free starter kit is for you! In this handy resource we introduce you to the basic sewing equipment that you will need to get started and familiarise you with other materials and sewing tools that you are likely to come across when making soft furnishings.
The main objective of the guide though is to help you master the key stitches and seams that form the basis of any sewing project. We have also included a glossary for reference and some of Wendy's top sewing and workroom tips. Its all completely free so there's no to to get started now!

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Also available - 7 great value, easy to use sewing guides from only 7.99!
Select from: Cushions - advanced cushions - curtains - roman blinds - stiff pelmets - valances - Lambrequins
Basic Sewing Equipment and Techniques is the first of two introductory sewing guides available from SimplyFurnishings.com. It is available free of charge and can be downloaded in a matter of seconds, or viewed directly from our website and printed out ready for use in your sewing workroom! We hope that you will find this guide useful and that it will inspire you to learn more about making your own beautiful soft furnishings.
Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 1 - Basic Sewing Equipment and Materials
This section is divided into two sections, the first part deals with basic sewing equipment and contains information on the sewing equipment needed to you get started. It is presented in alphabetical order with diagrams for extra clarification. Some of this equipment you will probably already have to hand, but I have found that there are a few extra items that prove invaluable. They guarantee a better finished article, save a great deal of time in the long run and are clearly well worth the financial investment.
The second part deals with details of some of the soft furnishing ancillary materials that I use on a daily basis and that you may well feel are worth buying ‘in bulk’ if you are going to do a lot of sewing. It is much more expensive to have to buy ancillary materials by the metre or in small amounts. You may well feel the extra convenience of having all you need readily to hand is worth the extra initial outlay. Again the items are listed alphabetically with illustrations for extra clarification when necessary.
Section 2 - Glossary of Terms

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The guides have been written clearly and concisely for ease of use but do contain some technical terms that you will need to understand before progressing. These terms are frequently used in the world of interior design and the making of soft furnishings. Our glossary should help you to understand these words which we use frequently and to help you to become conversant with them.
Section 3 - Stitch and Seam Library

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The Stitch and Seam Library is set out in two sections, each organised in alphabetical order. The first will explain with clear diagrams the types of seams that are used in the Teach Yourself Guides. The second, will introduce you to stitches that are used in the making of soft furnishings, along with some basic sewing stitches which you are probably already conversant with. Clear descriptions of their uses and illustrations will enable you to master these few easy stitches, and give you the confidence you need.
Section 4 - Top Tips

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This is to give you a taster of some of the ‘tricks of the trade’ I have found invaluable over the years in making soft furnishings both for my clients, my friends and family and for my own home. Many more are included in the Teach Yourself Guides, but here are a few of my top favourites!

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Next steps

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Once you have explored this free beginner's guide and mastered the basic techniques, you should feel ready to learn about some of the more specialist sewing techniques used in making soft furnishings. Our second introductory guide Soft Furnishings Sewing Techniques will help you develop these skills and is available for just 7.99 / $16.50.
With the help of these handy resources you should have everything you need to begin making your own beautiful soft furnishings with confidence. To find out more about our comprehensive step-by-step guides, select a soft furnishings project from the list at the top left of this page.
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  Last modified: January 04, 2009