If you’ve read a lot of the articles on these pages, you probably think you’re pretty knowledgeable about sewing, so why not put your knowledge to the test in this fun quiz?
1. The thread keeps breaking on your sewing machine. You’re sure it’s threaded correctly, the bobbins are neatly wound and you’re using the right needle in the right position. You’ve used this thread before and it’s been fine. What should you check next?
- A. The movement of the fabric
- B. The stitch you’re using
- C. The tension of the thread
2. You’re working with a beautiful fabric, but the edges of it keep fraying. What should you do?
- A. Use an overcast stitch all along the edge
- B. Make a narrow hem as your first priority
- C. Chop off the fabric to create a new edge
3. You’ve finished sewing a zip into place. What should you do with the lower end of it?
- A. Simply fold it out of sight
- B. Fold over the end of it and hand stitch it into place
- C. Cut it off
4. You’re trying to cut your fabric but it keeps slithering around and distorting your neat lines. What should you do?
- A. Grip it firmly at both sides
- B. Use a knife rather than scissors
- C. Stick it to a thin layer of felt
5. When laying out a pattern on a fabric with nap, how should you arrange the pieces?
- A. In the most efficient way possible
- B. All in the same direction
- C. On the top side of the fabric rather than the underside
6. How should you take a correct hip measurement?
- A. Measure around the hip bones
- B. Measure around the upper thighs
- C. Measure whichever is widest
7. You’re asked to mend a shirt that keeps pulling apart along the back seam. What should you do?
- A. Insert a patch of stronger fabric underneath, anchored to the side seams
- B. Close the gap, using as little fabric as possible, and secure it with a hemming stitch
- C. Try to reclaim fabric from the side seams to make the back panels larger
8. You need to press a finished garment to get it into shape, but don’t want to burn a delicate fabric. What do you do?
- A. Use a cold iron and apply extra pressure
- B. Iron the fabric through a damp tea towel
- C. Gently warm the fabric first so it doesn’t change temperature all at once
9. You’re trying to create a lace-up feature on a garment, but the metal eyelets you’re stamping into place keep falling out of the fabric. what’s the solution?
- A. Use plastic eyelets with a wider base
- B. Sew in eyelets like buttonholes
- C. Attach a strip of stronger fabric to the reverse of your material
10. You can’t get the collar of the blouse you’re making to stand up the way you want. What should you do?
- A. Insert a piece of starched fabric for support
- B. Re-stitch the seams supporting the collar
- C. Steam-iron the fabric into the proper shape
How Did You Score
10 – You really know your stuff! Congratulations – you’re a sewing mastermind. You’re ready to start designing your own clothes from scratch and taking on challenging projects like tailoring suits or developing new concepts for accessories.
8 or 9 – Very impressive. You know you still have things to learn, but you’ve got a strong knowledge base and a good understanding of how to solve problems from first principles. It’s time for you to start stretching yourself with more difficult tasks. If you’re good at making dresses, try shirts. If you’re confident with coats, have a go at hats.
6 or 7 – Not bad. You’re no expert, but you’re well on your way. This is an exciting place to be, with so much still to explore. You may find it useful to look at some of the videos on this site to help sharpen up your techniques. Don’t go too fast – concentrate on one type of task and keep working at it until you’re fully satisfied with the result.
3 to 5 – You’re very much a beginner but you’re gradually finding your way. Don’t lose heart – there’s lots of interesting stuff you can do even if you only know the basics. Re-reading the articles on this site – especially those on basic techniques – will improve your skills, and with practice your confidence will grow. For the meantime, keep working on simple projects such as skirts and curtains.
1 or 2 – It’s back to the drawing board for you! You’re still finding sewing very difficult. But don’t despair – this site is here to help, and persistence will be rewarded. Why not return to this quiz in a couple of months to see if you’ve managed to improve your score?