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Topic: Advice/Tips for newbies to the sewing world?  (Read 2963 times)
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roses are red
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« on: November 26, 2006 01:01:17 AM »

Hi everyone. I've had this older sewing machine for ages now. It is so old it doesnt have a bobbin case and its really confusing. So my boyfriend went out and bought me a new one.

I'm sitting at it today, browsing craftster getting all excited to make something and I realize... hmmm I don't really know where to begin. So of course I started with a simple bag. Only problem is I made it too small, and I was having great difficulty with it.

So I thought why not make a topic and see what people can add to a topic of advice and tips for newbies to sewing clothing because that is essentially what I plan to do with my lovely new machine...

for example... what would be an easy piece of clothing to try to attempt to make? and any other newbie tips people can give....

I'm not 100% sure what I really want to accomplish with this, I'm just wondering if anyone has anything to share with a new sewer (no not soo-er. sew-er. hehe)... or even like sewing terms which newcomers may not understand (ie. darts... i still dont really know what they are)

okay well thanks. *shrug*

hope this post isnt repetitive Cheesy


oh! and another question: is there such thing as fabric scissors? i used kitchen scissors to cut my fabric, and it didnt cut very well Sad
« Last Edit: November 26, 2006 01:18:45 AM by roses are red » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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rachikus
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2006 01:14:45 AM »

Get a book. from the library or something.
buy patterns from thrift store.
don't be afraid to make mistakes.
start with something easy.

don't stress about darts.

have fun.
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roses are red
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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2006 01:17:29 AM »

thanks Cheesy.. i make lots of mistakes. hahaha. and im always up for a challenge Smiley so this should be good times
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rachikus
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2006 01:28:13 AM »

yup. all the way.
sewing is mucho fun. i like making stuff to wear. then i get exactly what i want.
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Lethaldread
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« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2006 02:14:08 AM »

I just bought a sewing machine yesterday for my wife and I to use. We have no idea what is what on there, so tomorow we visit the public library for some books. Wish us luck!
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stacysews
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2006 07:05:53 AM »

Practice sewing straight lines and curves first - this helps you give you some practice before you start a pattern.  Then buy yourself pattern that you like that's easy to make - elastic waist skirts and pants\shorts are a good place to start (like pj pants).  Most pattern stores run specials (patterns for $1 or $1.99), so start there.  Work with cottons that don't stretch first.  These are the easiest to work with as knits can pucker, stretch out of shape, the stitches can be harder to rip out, etc. and in general give you a real headache.  Aslo stay away from slippery fabrics at first too - they can also be a pain.

Make friends with a seam ripper - find one that you really like and buy several because no matter how experienced you become, everyone always makes mistakes.

You may also want to look into reading a few books or magazines.  They can give you some great tips and are a good source of inspriation!
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« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2006 10:32:11 AM »

rachikus: thats exactly why i want to get into sewing. especially me being a bigger girl. im too big for normal sizes and too small for plus sizes, lol. go figure.

Lethaldread: good luck on your sewing adventures!!!! i'm sure you and your wife will do JUST fine Smiley

stacysews: thanks for the advice!!!! so is t-shirt material good to start with??? or is that too stretchy?? Smiley


thanks again everyone.
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stacysews
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2006 11:43:40 AM »

Usually t-shirt material is pretty stretchy....and sometimes thin which can be disasterous if you're trying to rip out stitches.  The seams and hems can get wavy which makes it a bit harder to work with.  Here's some suggestions if you decide you want to go ahead and try it:  use a walking foot (or an even feed foot) - this will keep your fabric from getting as wavy, always use a small zigzag stitch, tripple stretch stitch or stretch stitch for seams, never pull the fabric when sewing (let the machine do the work.  Knits don't generally need to be hemmed so the nice thing about t-shirt fabrics is that you can leave them when the seams are done, however for a finished look hem.  Tips on hems - use stitch witch for hems, this keeps from getting them puckery, uneven, stretched out hem.  If you use stitch witch, you don't always have to sew in a hem at all.  Use a zigzag or double needle for hems - this keeps it stretchy and keeps your threads from breaking.  If you buy a knit - purchase a quality knit, the cheepo kinds do not generally sew as well.  Besides, more expensive fabrics will last longer in the long run.

I would suggest using a fun cotton, non-stretch print for your first few projects (and then tryin out a knit or two).  It's very forgiving and easy to sew and you'll get less frustrated with your garment.

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Lethaldread
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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2006 01:19:51 PM »



Lethaldread: good luck on your sewing adventures!!!! i'm sure you and your wife will do JUST fine Smiley


Thanks, so far I have no idea what a bobbin is.=(
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Kaitlinnegan
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2006 02:31:42 PM »

I agree that a knit might give you a lot of frustrations if you're just starting out.  A lot of people here use old sheets (either ones you have on hand, or from a thrift store) for practicing and also for making clothing if the sheet has a neat design on it.  For me, it was nice to make something I could actually wear right away, but if you just don't think you'll wear something made from a non-stretchy woven cotton fabric, it's nice to just play around with some cheap fabric until you've mastered the basics.  Then it'll be a lot easier to move to a more difficult fabric, such as a knit or slippery fabric.  Purses/bags are a great way to start too -- the major pattern companies make patterns for those too.  Although it might seem silly to buy a pattern for something so (seemingly!) simple, sometimes it's really nice to have the steps laid out for you.  It's great not to have to worry about measuring -- you can just cut and sew.  Smiley
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