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Topic: Help Need to learn to sew  (Read 545 times)
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jershyLA
« on: July 15, 2012 04:35:31 PM »

So I have been at this for over 4 years and I still have not master how to sew. With the occasional projects that are successful I just can't seem to get it right every time. I have gone through (destroyed) several machines and I would like to learn. Does anyone know of a sewing class or would be willing to teach me how to sew. I have checked my local colleges but apparently home ec is no longer a career. I live in Dallas Tx, and I am at my wits end. Please if you can help, PM me! Thank you.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2012 04:20:15 PM by TheSapphireMoon - Reason: to comply with Craftster guidelines » THIS ROCKS   Logged
Alexus1325
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2012 07:22:10 AM »

Hmm, were you using cheapo modern machines? I bought my $800 Janome new (and on sale!) and have abused the crap out of it. It still has 4 years on it's parts and labour warranty, but it also has a lifetime parts warranty. The tension is wonky these days, but she still sews like a champ!

Many modern machines, especially the cheaper brands/models, are simply not made to high standards of quality. If you were attempting thick layers, or tricky construction, or even just threading the bobbin improperly... you get the picture Tongue Those poor $100 Kenmore Walmart-specials are a waste of money in my opinion, and there are many people who would agree.

An older machine from as recent as the early 70s would be a sturdier choice, as the steel of the drive mechanism is thicker, the casing is steel, and they tend to also be more powerful (before the days of ridiculous electricity bills starting the whole energy saver thing). If you can find an older machine that is in fantastic working order for less than $100, you're in good shape! Sometimes a cosmetic defect like flaking paint can bring the price down dramatically, even if the machine sews amazing. Try to buy locally, and have the person selling it demonstrate it's sewing power by sewing through at least 4 layers of denim or canvas (bring some squares and a denim needle with you!).

As for finding you some sewing classes, try contacting local fabric stores. Many will offer classes, or at least know of someone who offers sewing tutoring. Tutoring isn't cheap, but at least that way, you get one-on-one training with YOUR machine. Classes are usually for skills development, like learning how to use a commercial sewing pattern, or making your first quilted piece.

I hope this was helpful, and good luck Cheesy
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sarah_charade
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2012 10:01:19 AM »

Really hard to say what you may be doing wrong, since we can't see you at work. However, machines shouldn't be breaking! As the poster above said, you may need to take a look at what kind of machine you're buying. You get what you pay for when it comes to sewing machines. However, you don't have to drop $800 for a good machine. (That number is even a little scary to me!) I have a Janome, and got it for little more than $300, and it's a tank. It can sew through a dozen layers of felt without breaking a sweat. Point of advice - just don't buy from Walmart, Sears, Kijiji, or Craigslist. Go to a proper dealer who can show you how to use and maintain it. You can easily look up dealers in your area on google. They offer all kinds of services that Walmart and private sellers can't, as well as trade in options in the case that you buy a cheaper beginner machine and want to trade up in a few years when you get better at sewing.

Try looking for "fashion" classes or "apparel construction" classes, not home ec. You may be able to find part time night classes concentrated on technical skills for fashion, which would help get you started. Although you can probably assume that colleges will have you use their industrial machines, the skills are all transferable to domestic machine sewing. Find a basic intro to machine sewing class and you'll be set to go from there.
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CarinaJo
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2012 12:53:07 PM »

I have something of the same issue: I sew fine but I can't follow a pattern for the life of me! What worked for me was googling my city and the terms "adult education sewing".  That got me better results and hopefully, I'll be starting a sewing class this fall.
Also, I use a cheapo Wal-mart sale machine -Brother LS-30- that is actually not bad at the beginning projects I've been working on. Make sure you know your machine and are using the right needles, feet, etc for your project.  I wouldn't try to do denim, leather, etc. with mine because I know it probably can't stand up to that. That doesn't make it a bad machine, that makes it a limited machine.

Hope that helps!!
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mandodeb
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2012 10:52:11 AM »

Here's a link to a place that provides sewing classes in Dallas, TX.  Click on "calendar" and up pops their schedule of classes.  Good luck!

http://www.sewingforlife.net/Classes.html
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