Author Topic: Interested in Sewing but...  (Read 4937 times)

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Offline Rozelyn

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Interested in Sewing but...
« on: December 15, 2012, 03:44:19 pm »
I'm not really sure where to start, I have a really tight budget right now. However, I wouldn't mind reaching out to my sisters and maybe some brothers who are wiser and more experienced to these things. As with anything new, I'm probably going to ask some really brain-dead questions that will likely make you want to plant your face firmly into a solid, stable structure. So I'll try my best to keep them minimal and to the point.

My goal is to make my own clothes, I have a variety of different sewing needles, scissors and a few spools of thread. I guess the most important step is to ask what else I might need. I don't think I have may fabric shops around my residence anymore, so my trips and purchases will be limited for a while.

Where is a good place to start with sewing? Is there any good books or something that can teach me proper stitching techniques and what not that would benefit a newbie like me?
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Offline Devlyn

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Re: Interested in Sewing but...
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2012, 03:59:37 pm »
A stitch in time saves nine. Oops, wrong thread, sorry about that! <wandering off muttering>
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Offline Damian

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Re: Interested in Sewing but...
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2012, 04:04:41 pm »
Do you have a sewing machine? that has saved me the most.
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Offline Rozelyn

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Re: Interested in Sewing but...
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2012, 04:51:05 pm »
Nice, Miss Devlyn, nice! XD

Alas, no I do not have a sewing machine, it is on my wishlist though. Having never made clothes before and only mended a few things in my history (and altered a stuffed rabbit into a an undead bunny purse for Halloween) I haven't needed one. A sewing machine is a little out of my price range right now. Hopefully in the future. *Fingers crossed*
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Offline Damian

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Re: Interested in Sewing but...
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2012, 04:56:28 pm »
Nice, Miss Devlyn, nice! XD

Alas, no I do not have a sewing machine, it is on my wishlist though. Having never made clothes before and only mended a few things in my history (and altered a stuffed rabbit into a an undead bunny purse for Halloween) I haven't needed one. A sewing machine is a little out of my price range right now. Hopefully in the future. *Fingers crossed*
My suggestion for you since you don't have a sewing machine is to practice on cinching waists of t-shirts to give you some curves/definition. It's good practice and low on budget :). Relatively easy for someone starting out, also if you want to do more, buying patterns always help :).
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Offline Rozelyn

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Re: Interested in Sewing but...
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2012, 05:20:15 pm »
Alright, thanks for the tips and suggestions. I'll try and get some practice in when I get the chance. Maybe I can go to the thrift stor and by some second hand clothes (and some scrap material) to practice on without running the risk to what little clothing that I do have.

Thank you.
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Re: Interested in Sewing but...
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2012, 09:54:29 pm »
Learning to hand stitch is a good place to start.  The finer the stitch the better the hold.  Our ancestors did not have a sewing machine.  Everything was hand stitched.  You can Google "hand stitch" and several things come up.

Offline Beth Andrea

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Re: Interested in Sewing but...
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2012, 10:05:15 pm »
Check out thrift stores...they usually have a fairly good selection of sewing machines, often in near-new condition. Prices should be in the $10--$30 range for an excellent machine.

My first one was a heavy steel one, made in Japan about 1960. It still had the instructions, but needed a bobbin holder (about $4 US). It lasted almost 10 years for me, and did many, many projects.

All you have to do is read the instructions, read them again, play with the controls while reading the instructions, learn to thread the machine (by...reading the instructions)...

First project shouldn't be a "project" at all, just buy some cotton fabric at the store, cut a few 8" squares, and practice sewing a straight line. Make one line, plunge the needle back into it, lift the presser foot and rotate the fabric 180^, and sew another line about 1/4" from the first. Continue as needed to learn forward/reverse, curving lines, zig-zag stitch (read the instructions for settings on the machine), etc.

Did I mention reading the instructions?  ;)

It's possible that the local sewing place (like Joann's) will have someone there who'd be willing to show you "hands-on" how to do these things (such as reading the instructions, threading the machine, straight stitch, etc).

I do like the older machines (20-40 years old) because they are very much simpler (less fancy schmancy stitches), they do 95% of what you'll need in the first 5 years, and cost about 10% of a new, store-bought machine.

Good luck, and happy stitching!!  :)

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Offline Beth Andrea

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Re: Interested in Sewing but...
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2012, 10:09:24 pm »
Learning to hand stitch is a good place to start.  The finer the stitch the better the hold.  Our ancestors did not have a sewing machine.  Everything was hand stitched.  You can Google "hand stitch" and several things come up.

This is a really, really good idea. Hand-stitching will impress upon you the finer points (no pun intended) of sewing, what is a "straight line", attention to detail, etc.

It is, by definition, more labor intensive...but that should just make you appreciate our ancestors that much more.

Plus, it is a useful skill to have, just for itself, but also because there will be times when you do a project that you'll have to hand-sew the hems, edges, etc.

Wanna get really fancy, learn embroidery! (That's what I'm reading up on now!)  :P
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Offline Anna++

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Re: Interested in Sewing but...
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2012, 11:07:22 pm »
My grandmother sews all kinds of things, and when me and my brothers were little, she had us practicing our hand stitching skills by making little pillows.  Very simple: sew two bits of fabric together around the edges like a pocket, except for a small gap through which to turn it inside out (so the seams are inside), then stuff it and close it up.

You make it sound so easy... actually, I think the tricky part is closing it up without leaving a weird looking seam.

Between hand stitching and sewing machine I'd recommend the sewing machine.  I can churn out beanbags much faster now that I have one!
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Offline DriftingCrow

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Re: Interested in Sewing but...
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2012, 06:18:35 pm »
You should get "The Sewing Book" by Alison Smith. It's a little pricey, it's $40 at Barnes and Nobel, but it's well worth it. The book goes through basically how to do EVERYTHING that you would ever need to know.

Here's a nice review of the book here: http://bundana.blogspot.com/2012/02/book-review-sewing-book-by-alison-smith.html
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Offline Terracotta

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Re: Interested in Sewing but...
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2013, 04:33:18 am »
If you look around on Google, and have access to a printer you can find free patterns that you can print out yourself, cut out and tape together! Patterns
are the biggest thing, aside from having a sewing machine.

Start off with pieces with simple constructions, like t-shirts and perhaps dresses and work your way into the more complex designs.

If you have a sewing machine but not an overlocker, look up how to French seam aswell and do your seam allowances a bit longer - otherwise your seams won't look to chic or be too sturdy.
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Offline Aoife

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Re: Interested in Sewing but...
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2015, 12:23:36 pm »
Everybody has excellent points in this thread.
I totally think getting a sewing machine is a must, but more important while you save money is to learn handstitching skills. Personally I'm learning embroidery at the moment and actually will be making a thread about it after this post. Good luck and hopefully you can post some pics of your work in the future.
The cost should not be something to worry about, you are learning a long term skill that might net you income in the future. Better than spending your hard earned money on electronic junk that needs to be replaced everytime there is a new update  :P lol
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Offline Laura_7

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Re: Interested in Sewing but...
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2015, 12:53:53 pm »
A sewing machine seems to be a good idea.
Its good to know a few hand stitches. But it can get boring when there are really long seams to do.
On the other hand, some finer works might be faster done by hand.

There should be quite a few good tutorials on the internet.
You might even look into cosplay etc, because they for example might have some nice cuts and some tricks others haven't.
They might have some easy to do patterns, I'd simply avoid too extravagant ones.

Some people take clothes they know they fit and take off parts of the pattern from there.

It might be a good idea to start with an old bed sheet as fabrics, for example. Its possible to sew the whole garment first with this, then try it on, change it some, etc, and use the finished pattern for the intended fabrics.

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Offline David1987

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Re: Interested in Sewing but...
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2018, 10:03:53 am »
I know that this thread is really old, I'm basically commenting for anyone else who may be interested. I think the best thing anyone can do to learn how to sew is to manually alter clothes. Buy something at a thrift store that you like but that for some reason or another does not fit 100% well and have fun deconstructing it and making it fit. I was pissed off earlier in the year when I bought a suit (from China) and they sent me size Santa Claus. I didn't trust the company anymore to return it, so I took on the challenge of sizing it down myself. I was a total beginner, I hadn't worn a shirt for a year because I didn't want to sew a button. However, with patience, I was able to downsize it and attain something weareable, far from perfect, but I can use it. Patience, observation and motivation, that's what you need. Oh, and losing the fear of deconstructing and ruining clothes.

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