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Topic: So you want to learn how to sew on a machine? A beginners checklist  (Read 18346 times)
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kurtthesnail
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2008 10:47:52 AM »

This is perfect! Thank you for the much needed direction! Smiley
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Kitten1318
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2008 07:21:56 PM »

I am new to sewing and just got machine yesterday.  It is still in the box because I am VERY intimidated.  Thank you for this list, I now know where to start!
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New to it all...
44sunsets
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2008 09:22:02 PM »

Thank you for this post!  I just picked up a vintage Singer, and was sort of at a loss for what to do first.  I'll definitely spend some time with the machine now and make some fit-free items before starting a pattern.

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Sew-Classic
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« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2008 03:26:45 PM »

Below is a link to a PDF from Threads magazine call "Drivers' Ed for Sewing Machines".  I've given a copy of it to every new sewist I know.

http://www.taunton.com/promotions/pdf/Threads_DriversEd.pdf
 
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Jenny
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Michelle Creates
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2009 10:40:11 AM »

This is VALUABLE info! I got a machine as a gift for my bday a couple days ago. I'm nervous, to say the least. I'm off to the store now to buy some material and try to make some pillows!!  Thank you!!
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tcornell
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« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2009 10:02:35 PM »

I just got my first machine today! I am soooo excited! Thank you for all the valuable info! It's all high-tech, computerized, and VERY intimidating!
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Tracy Cornell of Braggin' Rights!
singermachines
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2009 04:27:27 PM »

Thank you.  It's nice to have a simple place to start! I will have a question soon about finishing my first "train wreck".  I only know how to do basic sewing by hand as taught by the Marine Corps, but I would like to learn machines now that I am retired and want a zero stress environment! lol
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« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2009 05:47:18 AM »

This thread will quite possibly save me a ton of time and heartache. Thank you.

I bought my first sewing machine this morning at a yard sale for $20. It doesn't have a manual but I'm pretty sure I can find one online.

 Cheesy
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QuantamSinger
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2009 12:02:37 PM »

I find myself repeating the same thing over & over, so I've cleaned it up & embelished it a little & it's here for the taking Smiley

You want to learn how to sew on a machine? Great! Once you get through the initial learning phases it's pretty easy. Sewing on a machine is very much like learning to drive, at first it can seem very daunting because there is so many different things to learn, some dealing with the machine, the machine itself, some seemingly having nothing at all to do with the machine (cutting, pattern reading, etc). Just like adjusting your seat and mirrors & finding the wiper and light switches before you pull out onto the road, getting to know the machine itself is the first step in sewing. Working from patterns is more akin to learning all the laws of the road, merging, yeilding, what to do in an emergency- all terms that you need to understand the proper definitions in order to carry them out correctly.

Actually the first thing I reccomend doing is just grabbing some scrap fabric & playing with the machine.  If it's been sitting it likely needs to be cleaned & oiled, break out the manual & look up the tutes for both those functions & do 'em. Grab that scrap and go through all the things the machine has, try out all the stitches, see what the feet do, make a button hole, whatever. Spend a day with just the machine.

Now your first real sewn item, a pillow. Either get a pattern or follow a tute, there are lots to be had out there, find something simple in a fabric you really like. Next, I reccomend aprons as the next 'non-sized thing but involves more than a square' project (and they are useful!). Use a pattern if possible to get familiar with them. Terms, phrases & things like cutting layouts are going to follow the same style whether you are making dresses or chair cushions.

Next, get a measuring tape & paper to make notes, find a willing accomplice and practice measuring them, and get them to help you measure yourself. This is a BIG part of sewing is knowing your measurements so you can find the right pattern. Go just look at patterns (not the picture book), open a drawer & grab any ol' anything & read it. Using that, figure out what pattern size you are. Read the fabric requirements, read the notions list, write down any terms or phrases you don't understand. Grab a few patterns you like & read them, too, even fancy or complicated looking things (just looking, remember?). Go home & look up the stuff you took notes on. Yes, I'm telling you to do homework Smiley But it's worthwhile, I promise.

Now you are ready to go pick a simple pattern & try it.
Hit the store for an "Easy" or "beginner" pattern. Wraps and elastic waist items are obviously more forgiving than fiited garments requiring zippers.

I know this looks like a six week course 'just' for a simple dress, but sewing has a much larger learning curve than most realize. If you are off school & work (i.e. have all day free for a significant period of time), you could easily go through all my reccomendations in a week and have a dress for Saturday night.

Buying a machine:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=214760.0
Following patterns: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=234650.0
Cutting: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=222004.10
And of course the Sewing Machine Q & A stickied at the top of this forum!!

Good luck and Happy Sewing Smiley







Thank you I'm new here and this is much appreciated!
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joygoddess
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2009 05:58:02 PM »

Just came across this as I was browsing around. This is going to be SO helpful, as I am thinking about getting into sewing and have been researching machines and all kinds of tips online for several days now. Thank you so much! I'm very much looking forward to expanding my crafty horizons.  Grin
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