Trying to Learn to Sew. Anyone Want to Take Me Under Their Wing? ^^;

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Faber, Jun 18, 2015.

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  1. OK, so my grandmother gave me her old sewing machine today and I would love to sew myself a cosplay (steampunk) for next summer, but I have absolutely no clue where to start and no one in my family (including my grandmother) knows how to sew. *Cries*

    Could someone please point me in the right direction to start learning? I got a little overwhelmed when I got to YouTube so I'm just completely lost.

    It's an older machine without a manual so that only adds to my confusion.

    Any help is appreciated.
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  2. You're going to want an IRL teacher :( It's hard to teach over the internet without way too much back and forth sending you looking for bits that may or may not even be on your machine.

    Ask around your school or ask your parents if they have friends; maybe your grandparents can help? Any sewing clubs in your community?
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  3. Ahh I see. I suppose that makes sense. I'm not allowed out of my house too much so joining a community club would be rather difficult. I know a girl who sews but let's just say it's been a little rocky with her.

    The machine has pictures and such on it to tell which lever does what. I just have to puzzle it out I think. I'm more concerned with reading patterns and putting the damn things together.
  4. Yeah that's definitely something you need Irl help with.

    My advice is to start on a very simple project. Make a pillowcase, a tablecloth, a drawstring bag, then an elastic waist skirt, and so on with simple shit until you're comfortable running the machine.

    Patterns usually come with instructions.

    The main thing is don't expect to be great at it immediately, or even soon. It will take lots of time and patience, it WILL be very frustrating at times, and there will come a point where you truly believe your machine is sentient and hates you.

    But it is a super useful skill, it teaches patience, and when you do get it all down, it's pretty badass.
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  5. Hmm that's very sound advice. I think I will do that. :3. I'll start with a pillowcase or bag or something.

    Thank you very much ^.^
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  6. Edited with an addendum!
  7. I sew and have made small projects and now working on my 5th or 6th quilt I've lost count. Now when it comes to clothes that's another ball game all together.

    Clothing sewing is tailoring. You will need different needles and thread along with fabric from what you would use for making a blanket or throw.

    Keep that in mind when your buying supplies. They will ask you at the stores. Also ask them questions. Most people will be kind and SHOULD be... or don't shop there. I hate rude quilters and the like.

    Anyway, I agree with starting simple and small. Getting down a pillowcase is a great idea. It will take 90/14 needles and regular cotton fabric.

    I usually got a yard that folds over and makes a perfect pillowcase (extra left over even) depends on what size ya want. The instructions are rather straight forward on MOST sewing links.

    Here are a few that have helped me.

    Good luck and take on small projects. Please... please remember don't be hard on yourself if you don't get perfect seams. A seam ripper and unsewing is perfectly normal. I've done my fair share.

    Nancy's Notions is wonderful along with Craftsy

    Nation had a bad stroke years ago that is why her face is a bit off but she is wonderful and her books and videos are really great. Let me know if I can help more. I'd love to. :) Good luck.
  8. An extra clip I found of stuff that makes sewing so much easier. I have a whole different view of supplies now from that of what I used to use when I first started sewing.

    Now if you want to make the investment, because believe me it's not cheap get your self a rotary blade cutter and a cutting mat. Scicors are ok for a small job but for dead on cutting and a crisp clean line nothing comes close.

    and forgive me but I found one more that might help you. Its about thread. Now I know what its like when you find a great color thread and want it but have no clue if its ok for your project of what needle it goes with, well here ya go. This should help. :) Grab a note book and take notes or put into a memo on your phone. I always forget I have that feature on my phone. That way the info is handy in the store when the notes are safe at home. I hate how that happens.

  9. Oh, speaking of sewing accessories

    Make sure your needle, thread, and fabric are good. Have extra bobbins, pins, a fabric measure, and a seam ripper. If you can budget for it, a sturdy pair of shears that you use ONLY for fabric is a good investment.

    But remember that having the tools doesn't make you good at things, and don't let salespeople load you up with extra dodads on the implication that 'real' seamstresses/tailors would have one, or that having it will magically cure something you presently find difficult. My Oma was one of the best seamstresses I know; she made wedding dresses and clothes and dolls and anything you like, and she had very little more than what I listed above.
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  10. These are all handy tips! O___O

    So what would a gal need in a very basic starter's sewing kit?

    I haven't done any sewing in a really, really, really, long time. I used to use my mom and grandmom's sewing boxes. Now I have no box of my own, and I need to create one from scratch. D:
  11. I've got a few tips:
    1. Take the machine in to get the tension set. That shit's hard to do on your own and there ARE people out there who can do that for you. (If it's too tight, the thread will often break, if it's too loose your seams won't hold well.
    2. Get paper, make some lines in it and poke holes in it with the machine. This lets you get used to the speeds and moving the fabric/paper around (that's how we started when I was in middle school back when schools actually had Home Ecc class)
    3. Start small. Maybe make some pillows first, move your way up to quilted pillows, maybe even plushies (stuffed critters). That can help you learn how the machine works with different fabrics.
    4. Have fun. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

    Bonus: When starting and stopping a seam, go back over the line about an inch then come back to the end. it helps hold the seam!
  12. Well, if you have a sewing machine...
    If you want to hand-sew...

    Fabric shears are still a good investment.
    Needles in a variety of types
    Pin cushion
    Seam ripper

    Thread is something you pick out for the project, same with fabric.
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  13. Always take your machine to a GOOD repair shop. One that specialize in the brand that you have. If own a Janome, take is to a Janome shop.

    Same for Bernina.

    If your not sure call the local shops to make sure they service your brand. Don't just hand it over to some guy who knows some guy.

    It might be $100 and take a few weeks to get it back. (As it was with our embroidery machine. - but money well spent)

    If you not sure check with the manufacture online if they have a website. Most have emails/800/888 phone numbers you can call for help.

    Oh and as for a good kit? Well I have a whole room at my disposal with years worth of stuff that has just piled up but... in my go to drawer I have the following.

    Tape measure
    Seam ripper
    Thread Scissors
    Pin holder
    Quilting gloves
    Empty bobbin
    Full bobbin of (mud color - a very off off white great for bobbin and most of my projects)

    Now in my other box I have loads and loads of thread and a room full of rulers and fabric and books tons and tons of books and just stuff. We have a studio... but hey we are lucky. Years of investing is another way to say it. One drawer with ummm 15 rulers yeah... lots of money there. But start simple and small. Stay on your own budget and don't buy what you don't need.

    Out of the 15 rulers I like two. The others are project rulers for certain patterns.. so that's a quilters pit fall. Anyway.. good luck. :)
    #13 Drew, Jun 22, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2015
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  14. ^ this

    I have extra stuff besides what I listed, like a glue that stops edges from fraying, a box to sort my bobbins in, a sharpener for my shears, embroidery scissors for tiny projects, washaway fabric marker, fabric glue, bias tape, etc. But you buy things as you need them; I was working with an edge that kept fraying so quickly that I had to cut pieces way bigger than I had budgeted for to account for it, so I picked up some fray-stopper; my shears had a burr in them from hitting a pin, so I bought a sharpener, etc.
  15. I've been getting flyers for 4th of July sales and if you have a smart phone with Apps and whatever you can get coupons on your phones for the stores. I like this idea but I always forget. Plus my funds are tight for extras so I haven't shopped for extras in a while but... for anyone who can they have some great sales coming up at JoAnn Fabrics, Hobby Lobby (my Fav) and the like so check it out come this weekend. I think the sales start on the 3rd for some items.
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