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Obtain the useful ability to mend and create your own clothing, backpacks, furniture covers, stuffed toys, etc. Noisebridge has a sewing machine which may be used for this, or if you prefer to use your own that is fine too.

None of this is at all hard. Once you know the basics, the main requirement for successful sewing is attention to detail (or, alternately, low standards).

Subject Matter Experts


  1. Thread a hand sewing needle; knot the thread ends
  2. Sew on a button by hand
  3. Thread a sewing machine, top & bobbin threads.
  4. Operate the machine to produce various different seams.
    1. straight stitch
    2. zigzag
    3. reverse (backwards) seam
    4. decorative (optional)
    5. buttonhole (optional)
    6. tack (optional)
  5. Wind a bobbin
  6. Use a seam ripper to remove a seam
  7. Demonstrate understanding of these terms (define or show examples)
    1. seam allowance
    2. right/wrong side of fabric
    3. grain of fabric
    4. "straight of grain"
    5. bias
    6. nap
    7. facing
    8. interfacing
    9. lining
    10. backstitching
    11. topstitching
  8. Demonstrate understanding of basic fabric types
    1. knit vs woven (extra credit: the 3rd main method of constructing fabric)
    2. various fiber contents
    3. common washing gotchas
    4. flammability
  9. Demonstrate minimal knowledge of various fasteners & their appropriateness
    1. zippers
    2. velcro
    3. buttons
    4. snaps
    5. ties
    6. hook & eye
    7. buckles
  10. Make a small project. Some suggestions:
    1. pillow
    2. wrist warmers
    3. hat
    4. project bag