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Topic: Help! I just got my first sewing machine!  (Read 935 times)
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knitsabit06
« on: October 23, 2006 04:06:11 PM »

Hi all! My lovely boyfriend just bought me a sewing machine! I'm very excited but also hesitant because I'm not sure where to start. Last night my plan was to read through the manaul and I accidently stepped on the pedal and broke off the needle! I now know how to fix that ...Smiley

Anyway, if you all could recommend some easy first projects that would be great! Also, what do I need to pick up from Wal-Mart to get me going?

Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2006 05:39:51 PM »

Ha!  I just got my first new machine and serger last week Smiley  I highly suggest playing around with it using some super cheap fabric or old ratty clothes you'll never wear again.  Then browse crafster Smiley  Ideas abound!
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stacysews
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2006 05:58:19 PM »

What do you think that you'd like to start first?  Skirts and elastic waist pants\shorts are a good place to start - make sure that you start with fabrics without stretch, that also helps.  If you're planning on using a pattern, measure yourself before you pick one out (if you can).  Areas to measure would be your bust, waist and hips.

When you go to Walmart so things to pick up are fabric, thread to match, a seam ripper (or two, they will become your best friend), scissors used only for sewing (if you cut paper with them, they will become dull and won't cut fabric anymoe), needles  both for machine and hand (sometimes you'll have to do some hand tacking or stitching), one of those 'slide' rulers (they help measure seam allowences, etc.), straight pins, elasitc (if you're planning a pull on skirt or pant).  That's all that I can think of off the top of my head.  Be sure to get extra fabric so taht you can play around with your machine, practice stitches, etc.

Have fun and good luck!
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paroper
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2006 06:36:22 AM »

You'll need a tape measure too. 

The scissors you purchase should be labeled as DRESSMAKER scissors and they should be in the fabric department, not in the office supplies.  Fiskars are good for starting out.  The dressmaker scissors may be right or left handed depending upon the scissors.  They are bent to allow the scissors to more or less ride on the table surface as you cut.

A pattern and the notions listed on the back of the pattern for your view, including thread to match your project. 

You also may want a tracing wheel and tracing paper.  It goes on the wrong side of the paper and allows you to transfer the pattern markings to your garment.  If you don't use it with this one you'll use it sooner or later. 

You may want a pin cushion.  You'll need one if the pins are not in some sort of loose pkg.  Even if they are, you may find it convient, not absolutely necessary.  Tomatoes or the kind that have a little pillow that fits on your wrist are always convient.

You may need a place that is hard enough and large enough to cut out your projects.  A kitchen table, floor, whatever may work.  If you don't have a large hard surface, (for instance, a carpeted floor is not good, nor is a bed because you'll cut your covers and can't get your fabric flat, you may want to look at a folding cutting board.  They are just a large piece of cardboard that folds up and lays flat for cutting.  I used to use one on my bed.   

As near as I can tell, Stacy has most the other bases covered.
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jloveg
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« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2006 06:53:24 AM »

oh and  you need an  iron.......  iron  you seams!!!   it  makes a  world of  difference!
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knitsabit06
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2006 07:55:43 AM »

Thanks guys! I'm loving all your help! I picked up the ugliest (read cheapest) fabric I could last night and was actually able to figure out how to thread my machine and sewed a bit! I now have a piece of plaid fabric with lots of crazy stitches on it!
I'd love to try out a skirt pattern if I can work my courage up. Do you guys have any suggestions for an easy first pattern?
Thanks again!
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jloveg
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« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2006 09:04:11 AM »

a simple  wrap around  with an elastic  waste it the  easiest  by far.
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looking for instant coffee from australia or russia made with mustard and champagne.  VIOLET CRUMBLES and VEGEMITE would be welcome swap items!!
paroper
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2006 09:15:33 AM »

Skirts are a WONDERFUL place to start.  You can start with an elastic casing OR you can start with a zipper.  When I started sewing we always had waistbands and zippers.  Most of the skirt will be pretty simple, except for the zipper.  An invisible zipper is a little easier to put in than a lap zipper although a lap zipper is not that difficult There is a method I leaned when I was starting out where you tape the zipper shut for a lapped zipper and it turns out well every time! 

Try to do one new thing with each pattern. 

As for patterns, start with something simple to start out...

http://www.mccallpattern.com/item/M4258.htm?tab=skirts_pants&page=3  (view a or b would be easiest, view c a little harder because of the circular hem...not too bad)

http://www.mccallpattern.com/item/M3830.htm?tab=skirts_pants&page=3

http://www.mccallpattern.com/item/M2029.htm?tab=skirts_pants&page=4

http://www.mccallpattern.com/item/M2192.htm?tab=skirts_pants&page=4

http://www.mccallpattern.com/item/M2255.htm?tab=skirts_pants&page=4

http://www.mccallpattern.com/item/M3341.htm?tab=skirts_pants&page=4

That'll give you some ideas...and that's just one pattern company.  There are tons of pretty nice/simple patterns out there to get you started.  Have fun with it!  You'll be a pro in no time!


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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2006 04:31:30 PM »

I just got my 1st machine 2 weeks ago!  Woohoo!
So far, I made:
-a dog puppet (to appease my 3 year old)
-A kimono shirt
-fleece kimono pjs (for the 3 year old, again!)
-a baby blanket
-bean bags for the church carnival
-and a bunch of ATCs!

A few things I recommend:
-A yardstick for STRAIGHT seams and cutting.
-Some of those little thread snippers
-A small light for your sewing corner if isn't bright
-BOBBINS!  You'll want a bunch of colors.
-Invisible thread (use it if you don't have the right color)
-chocolate.  for frustrating moments.  Smiley
-Find a box for buttons, ribbons, elastic, zippers, etc...to keep it all together.  Even a shoebox will do for awhile!

Have fun!

I recommend you hit your library up for sewing books/videos.  I found these SUPER helpful!
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TheDishclothQueen
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2006 06:29:21 PM »

-BOBBINS!  You'll want a bunch of colors.

BUT, don't buy the pre-wound ones.  In my experience, they're usually wound with cheap/inferior thread and not really worth the money.  You'll be better off in the long run if you wind your own.
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