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Interested in Sewing but...

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Rozelyn:
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.

Ms. OBrien:
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.

Beth Andrea:
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!!  :)

Beth Andrea:

--- Quote from: Ms. OBrien 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.

--- End quote ---

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

Anna++:

--- Quote from: Liam Erik on December 15, 2012, 10:20:31 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.

--- End quote ---

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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