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Topic: Advice/Tips for newbies to the sewing world?  (Read 2818 times)
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Lethaldread
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« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2006 07:32:11 AM »

Well I just set my our sewing machine up yesterday. First time ever......... adn it only took 2 hours to figure things out. Now to learn the basics....
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McJulie-O
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2006 07:37:18 AM »

Ditto on almost all of the above (there are valid varying viewpoints)

If you are a visual or kinesthetic (must manipulate things with your hands before you understand) learner, you might want to take a class of beginning sewing or find a friend who will walk you through your first attempts. Don't be afraid to be compulsive about lining up the grain and other particulars... I had a friend tell me I was too much of a perfectionist (ME!!!!) because I wouldn't let her lay out her pattern every which a way (in order to save fabric!!!! It's not going to save fabric if you can't wear the garment!!)

Scissors: Keep your sewing scissors completely separate, away from your other scissors (buy a dozen of the cheapo kind if you must and spread them around the house, in order to save the sewing scissors from other uses) and warn any cohabitants you might have (roommates, husbands, children, etc) that their lives are forfeit if they use YOUR sewing scissors!!!! Hopefully they will get the message.

Good beginning projects: I believe many children's classes begin with one pattern piece pocketless shorts (similar to the longer legged pajama pants mentioned above), and I think I can remember making a flat apron that gathered on a waist tie that went through a channel at the waist for my first machine project back in the Pleistocene Age, all those years ago. With all the cute embellishments these days, I might suggest a flat apron with a bib above the waist and a pocket which would give you practice with hemming and top-stitching.

Good luck! The forums here at Craftster are a nurturing environment, and I wish I'd had them when I was learning. Kiss

PS: I'm not kidding about the scissors  Roll Eyes  At my house the RED scissors are off limits!
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sooper_nikki
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« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2006 07:45:41 AM »

I agree about the scissors thing. My mom was super anal about her sewing scissors when I was younger, and now their mine! I guess it payed off Smiley and of course I'm the same way, maybe they'll make it to to third generation!
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cheeky bastard
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« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2006 03:06:46 PM »

yes im finding out that scissors are one of the most important parts of the business... lol Smiley scissors for fabric only, no paper, no anything but fabric! Smiley

thanks for everyones great advice!!! Smiley
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ArmyOfMe
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« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2006 08:53:40 AM »

I'm a beginner and teaching myself. Patterns are so confuseing to me so I often look to Craftster for help, tutorials, techniques. These are really helpful in me gaining sewing experience. Browse around on here, theres tons of easy well done tutes to get ya started Smiley

And thanks to all who responded with *real* advice hehe. I just learned a few new things Wink
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Divabunny
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« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2006 11:16:23 AM »

Great tips! I'm new to the sewing world as well. Is there any trick to keeping the lines straight? or is that just something that improves over time?
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stacysews
« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2006 11:31:26 AM »

It just takes some practice to sew straight lines, but you can purchase a magnetic seam guide (Dritz makes one) that you attach to your throat plate of your machine.  It has a built up metal edge to keep your fabric from sliding over too far.  You can do the same thing yourself with a stack of post it notes.
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paroper
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2006 11:35:33 AM »

Your machine should have come with a seam guide.  There should be a couple of screw holes in the machine base.  THe guide is L shaped.  You lay the L on its back with the turn up toward the 5/8 seam line.  Many machines also have little screws and holes in the back of the presser feet.  Your machine may have a little twisted bar that is also L-shaped...like a bent hocky stick.  THe long portion slips into the back of the presser foot, you adjust to the place you want it and then screw the set screw into the back to hold it.  These more or less can ride on the fabric and are primarily used for quilting but can also be used as regular seam gauges.  There are also magnetic seam gauges but since almost all machines on the market (unless they are advertised as being manual) are electronic to some extent, you can damage your machines with these.  

Truth be known though your best bet is to learn to watch the seam guide that is built into the base of your machine (the lines) instead of a crutch.  You need to relax and learn to watch the guide, not the needle so much...it is like a farmer learning to plow a straight line.  He doesn't watch the plow, he watches something at the end of the row and plows toward it...sewing is the same way.  Relax and let the machine feed the fabric through.  watch the seam guide, put one hand in front of the project...FLAT on the fabric against the machine table OR let the fabric feed between your thumb and forefinger.  Use the left hand to guide the body of the fabric so that the fabric doesn't swing away from the machine and you'll be in business.  Let the feed dogs feed the fabric through and your seams will be closer to perfect than if you push or pull the fabric.
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McJulie-O
« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2006 03:34:26 PM »

Practice, practice, practice! Wink

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JustDontChange
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« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2006 03:41:08 PM »

i dont know if this is as obvious as it WASNT to me when i started sewing but

-keep the stitches a decent length......the smaller the stitches, the more of a pain they are to get out when you mess up!
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the glove compartment, is inaccurately named, and everybody knows it. so im proposing, a swift orderly change...
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