I have been wanting to learn sewing for a while now. I knit and I have a lot of fun with it, but there is only so much you can do with knitting. You can't make a knit dress (some may disagree, but I have yet to see a knit dress that works). Anyway, I got a sewing machine for my birthday a few years ago and it has just been sitting there, unused, for quite a while now, because it is broken now. The top thread doesn't pick up the bottom thread anymore, and I have started two different discussions about it and have received NO response from anyone... I would like to learn how to make clothing. I love fashion and I am so inspired by some of the things that I see people make and it's frustrating to me not to be able to make some of the things that I dream up.
So, my question is, what resources would you recommend to a newbie such as myself? Are there any books I should look into? Also are there any suggestions as to how to fix my sewing machine, or should I look into buying a new one? I have been considering the possibility of finding a new one anyway, are there reasonably-priced good brands out there that I should look into?
I also really want to know more about fashion in general, are there any good books or magazines that I should be reading? I just want to understand how to judge fashion and know more about the major designers out there. I see tons of names flying around on these boards and I have no idea who people are talking about. I'd really like to have some idea as to what their work looks like.
Anyway, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I have been blessed with plenty of money this Christmas, and I am looking to invest it in a new hobby. I'd really like to hear (see?) anything y'all have to offer. Thanks so much,