Learning to sew can be intimidating, but the best thing to do is to jump in and try your hand at making something. Be sure to choose an easy design when you’re starting out, and you’ll love the feeling of completing your first sewing projects.
Top picks: easy sewing projects for beginners
As a new sewist, it can be hard to decide which is the right project for you. It’s important to choose something that will allow you to practice your skills and create a fun or useful item. At the same time, you don’t want to choose anything too challenging as this will make you feel discouraged.
We’ve found nine easy sewing projects that are ideal for beginners to sink their teeth into. Experienced sewists will also enjoy whipping up these handy items!
1. Laptop Sleeve
Our devices are such an important part of our daily lives. This practical laptop sleeve from Crazy Little Projects will protect your computer while being light and portable, meaning you can easily and safely carry your laptop with you wherever you go.
This simple pattern is also fast and easy to make. Additionally, you can create a stunning sleeve with just a few, cheap materials, making this much more affordable than any commercially-made laptop sleeve.
The pattern suggests using felt, which is soft enough not to damage your device, with a bit of padding to keep your laptop safe. The Velcro fastener keeps your laptop contained, while being easy to sew.
The project can also be easily customized to fit any laptop size, so is appropriate for devices of all sizes. The tutorial explains how to measure your fabric and cut out the pattern to fit your laptop.
You can also choose to use just one layer of felt, or make it with two layers of felt for extra padding.
Check out the instructions to make your own DIY laptop sleeve here.
2. Reusable Snack Bags and Sandwich Wraps
These reusable snack bags and sandwich wraps from Better Homes and Gardens are ideal for eco-conscious sewists who want to cut back on single-use plastics. These bags and wraps can be used to wrap up meals for school, work or any time you want a meal on the go.
Then, all you need to wash them, and then you can re-use them over and over again. The versatile snack bags can be used to store a range of items, from makeup to jewelry while traveling.
This is also an easy sewing project that you can whip up quickly with less than a yard of fabric.
The tutorial recommends 100% cotton for the outer fabric, though you can use any durable fabric of your choice and decorate your wraps with bright colors and patterns. You should use a moisture-resistant fabric such as polyurethane laminate or riptop nylon, though the latter is more difficult to sew.
You’ll find the tutorial to make your own sustainable, reusable snack bags and sandwich wraps here.
3. Rockabilly Hair Bandana
This super cute, rockabilly-style hair bandana or headscarf is super easy to make. It is a fun accessory and makes a great sewing project for beginners who are still finding their way around their sewing machine.
The bandana is made with a very simple pattern piece that you can cut out yourself following the instructions in the tutorial. This is clearly explained in the video (courtesy of What Abi Makes on Youtube) and is an opportunity to practice basic patterning!
All you need to do is cut out your pattern piece on paper, cut out your fabric, and then sew it together on your machine.
You can also adapt the size of the pattern to make a longer or wider bandana according to your preferences. You can also choose any fabric you like to suit your personal style, but this kind of head scarf looks best in retro prints.
Watch the video tutorial here to make your own rockabilly hair bandana.
4. DIY Handkerchief
A handkerchief is just about one of the simplest sewing projects you can make, so this is a great place to start for new beginners. It is also a useful item that makes a great gift too!
This easy-to-follow tutorial on sewing.com shows you how to whip up the perfect handkerchief in just five easy steps. All you’ll need is fabric, thread, a sewing machine and a few basic sewing accessories.
At the same time, the project allows you to practice the essential skills of sewing such as marking up your fabric, cutting out, and sewing straight seams.
Even though it’s a simple pattern, you can still show your individuality through your fabric choice. You’ll achieve a very different effect depending on if you choose plain fabric or prints, and vintage or super-modern fabrics.
The pattern uses 11 and a half inch squares of fabric, so you can use scraps you may have in the cupboard.
Want to make a handkerchief for yourself? Check out the tutorial here.
5. Scrunchie Hair Accessory
The scrunchie is a beloved hair accessory that’s perfect for bringing some retro flair to your outfits. It also makes a cute gift for loved ones of all ages.
This is another simple project for using up scraps of fabric. This tutorial from Youtuber Erica Arndt uses three-inch strips of fabric and you can choose just about any color, print, or type of fabric depending on your personal preferences.
As well as being easy to create, the scrunchie lets you practice some key sewing skills, such as gathering and working with elastic.
The video tutorial walks you through the process step by step, showing you how to make your own scrunchie with clear demonstrations. The project requires a sewing machine and just a few basic accessories and supplies, such as elastic, sewing pins, and a large safety pin.
The only fiddly part of the project is folding the raw edges under and putting one edge inside the other to create a closed loop.
However, if you follow the instructions in this video, with a little practice you’ll have a perfect scrunchie in no time!
6. Chapstick Holder Keychain
This easy little sewing project from Crazy Little Projects creates a very innovative accessory: a chapstick holder that fits easily on your keychain. With this fun accessory, you’ll never lose your chapstick again and always have it handy!
This project is so quick and easy that you can whip it up in virtually no time at all. And there are few things more satisfying than completing a sewing project from start to finish in one sitting. You could even set up a production line and make multiple chapstick holders to give away as gifts.
It is also easy enough to be suitable for beginners of all ages, and makes a great project for kids or teens who are learning to sew. The completed project will fit any chapstick and many sizes of lipstick.
The pattern uses small pieces of fabric so it is ideal for using up any scraps you may have lying around. The tutorial walks you through the process with clear instructions and photos to walk you through every step.
Ready to make your very own chapstick or lipstick holder to put on your keychain? You’ll find the instructions here.
7. Face Mask
Face masks have become a necessity in recent times, being an important part of protecting ourselves and others from infection. Luckily, this DIY facemask from Melanie Ham on Youtube is an easy and affordable way to keep yourself safe!
This style of face mask has two pieces of elastic that wrap around your ears. This is a style that is as easy to make as it is to wear: just pop it on and the elastic keeps it firmly attached.
Plus, having elastic that fits around your ears rather than elastic or non-stretch straps around the back of your head means you don’t need to worry about your mask messing up your hair!
The face mask is also pleated on the sides to create a rounded shape that comfortably fits around the front of your face, covering your nose and mouth without blocking your eyes.
This video tutorial shows you how to make the mask easily in a few simple steps and each step is clearly shown in the video. It also offers an alternative method for making pleats, so you choose the one which is easiest for you.
The tutorial includes pattern sizing with different size options for men and women, as well as fabric recommendations to make sure your mask is as protective as possible.
8. Picnic Blanket
This picnic blanket from flamingotoes.com is so easy to make you can sew your own in just 15 minutes. This sewing project is ideal for beginners, and creates a handy blanket that you can use for heading to the park, relaxing in your own yard, or to take with you on your next road trip.
The light-weight design makes it ideal for taking with you wherever you go, as it can easily be rolled up and stored in the trunk of your car. If you make it from cotton and vinyl or waterproof materials, you’ll find it’s also extremely easy to keep clean.
The simple pattern uses two ready-made table cloths, making it easy to put together. You’ll just need a cotton and a waterproof table cloth, a few yards of twill ribbon and some thread and you’ll have a perfect picnic blanket in no time.
Want to make your own picnic blanket in a quarter of an hour? You’ll find the instructions here.
9. Fabric Basket
Looking for somewhere to store all your pieces of fabric and fabric scraps? This fabric basket from Polka Dot Chair is the perfect solution to organize your sewing room!.
Of course, you don’t need to limit yourself to using the basket for fabric only. You could also use these handy baskets to store a range of other household items such as towels or linens.
Although you need to sew both the outside and the lining of the basket, this tutorial shows you how to do this in a simple way, making this project perfectly suitable for beginners.
You can keep the basket nice and simple, add a bit of extra flair with some decorative applique on the front. The tutorial has a free template for a scissors applique that is perfect for your sewing space.
Check out the instructions here to make your own fabric basket for your sewing space.
Even if you’re a complete novice, you can create cool projects, from laptop sleeves and food wraps to hair accessories and face masks.
Follow these simple tutorials to develop your sewing skills and enjoy the satisfaction of creating something all by yourself.
If you’d like your fellow sewists to enjoy these easy patterns, go ahead and share this roundup with your networks! Be sure to check out our other posts for more inspiration, such as this list of 13 modern quilt patterns for all levels and nine basic embroidery stitches.