I would definitely not recommend learning to sew the way that I did. It was a haphazard patchwork of my mother and grandmother’s tutelage, home ec (sort of), self-teaching, and finally formal industry training. The result is a hodge-podge of home sewing, couture, and industry techniques that has taken me 40+ years to cobble together. (Raise your hands if you started sewing at age 5, too!)
It works for me, but it’s a very long way to get there. I know that everyone moans about the lack of good home ec in schools today, but the truth is that I didn’t learn much in my ‘70s home ec class either. More than one woman has told me of the trauma of learning from harried mothers.
My own mother learned through 4-H, and she seems to be very confident about the right and wrong way to sew. All that I’ve come to over my many years of sewing and editing sewing magazines is that there is no one right way to accomplish anything sewing.
I have this dream that somewhere out there is the perfect linear sewing curriculum that teaches the skills to empower great creations, but I think the reality is more like my own experience. I take whatever I can get in whatever form I can find it, and add it to my ever expanding quest for sewing knowledge.
That said, I do think that this Handy Sewing Reference Guide by the editors of Stitch magazine is a good start at a reasoned approach to learning sewing. It includes essential techniques, terms, and a complete stitch glossary. This eBook packs a lot of learning into its digital pages, and you can find it in the Sew Daily Shop.