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Topic: Beginner!  (Read 3408 times)
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« on: October 20, 2009 11:29:46 AM »

Hello everyone! I have decided that I want to learn how to sew at the ripe old age of 24! My mother was never a sewer and I lived too far away from my grandmother to learn so I was never exposed to sewing at a young age like others. I basically have nobody in my immediate circle that knows how to sew either! So I thought I'd ask all of you crafty people! Any advice for someone who has never sewn before..except for maybe in 6th grade home ec class. Are there any good books? How did you learn how to sew? Any tips? Should I find a class? How do I know what machine to buy?? I really want to learn! Smiley
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2009 12:48:01 PM »

I would start by contacting sewing machine dealers in your area. They will be more than happy to point you in the right direction toward buying a machine. They often have classes to learn how to use the machine, and beginners sewing classes.

Resources online and books on sewing are endless, but I think you'll get the best results through a class or by private instruction. I've never seen anyone learn to drive by reading a book and it's the same for sewing.

Good luck!
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2009 10:02:17 AM »

I'm 27 and I just started sewing about 2 weeks ago, too.  It's never too late to learn LOL!  I bought a Janome 3128 for my first machine, and it is is serving me well for the things I have been doing.  My advice is to get some inexpensive fabric and just jump right in.  I've made 2 different aprons, 2 pairs of pj pants for my son, a pair of pj pants for myself and some tote bags.  I haven't tried a pattern yet, but the things I've made have been really easy to do without one.  Just find a tutorial that looks easy and straightforward and run with it.  Your confidence will gor quickly and you'll be cranking out stuff in no time.  Good Luck!
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2009 05:10:41 PM »

I'm the "old" beginner here, I see. I just taught myself to sew (at 31 years old!!!) last weekend. I bought a cheapie Brother machine from Walmart and it sews like a dream for a beginner! I've made 8 pillowcases and an apron - and am making a duvet cover this weekend. Then I'll tackle skirts! All from online tutorials (definitely check out the blog "Sew, Mama, Sew"!!).

I'm happy to see some other beginners on here as well!

Clutter and mess show us life is being lived...
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2009 05:41:30 PM »

I'm 22 and just bought my first machine (about 2 days ago), its a Singer I bought for about $90 from Walmart. It doesn't have a whole lot of bells and whistles, but its super user-friendly. I'm not sure what kind of projects you're wanting to do, but I've successfully made two sets of curtains so far!

As far as classes go, I know there are some good classes out there somewhere but I was only able to find quilting classes in my area, but hopefully you'll have better luck. I know that most fabric shops and crafty-type stores like JoAnne Fabrics often hold classes.
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2009 05:44:33 PM »

I still consider myself a bit of a beginner. I started out when I was ten and I had this REALLY dinky little sewing machine, you know, one of the toy ones from the Sears catalogue. But I had a lot of fun with it and made some clothes for my Barbies and it gave me a pretty good handle on the basics. So I would suggest getting a basic sewing machine and just playing around with small projects, so that you don't invest too much time and effort on something that may not work. It's fun to do!

« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2009 05:32:32 AM »

Another beginner here at 27. Just got my sewing machine up and running this weekend - after figuring out all the bits and threading etc... I had used my mum's sewing machine as a kid, so I can sew in a straight line and stuff, but the setup was ALIEN to me!

I've just found some scrap material and been practicing using it randomly. Going to the fabric shop later on though as I'm going to try and make some simple things in the next few weeks. Plus I'm expecting and due in 6 weeks but have already finished work so going to try and get some things made for baby's room.


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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2009 11:19:39 AM »

Hello!! WOW congrats on making the decision to get sewing! I've been sewing for a few years and am also self taught for the most part.

My first machine, by choice, was a vintage metal singer... You CANNOT break those things, which really helped ease my comfort level and not worry about breaking my machine. Those old girls are built TOUGH!! ... and if you do happen to need to have them repaired they aren't a fortune to have ckecked out. I now sew on an advanced husqvarna computerized ($$$cha-ching$$) sewing machine, there's NO way I would have been able to experiment and not worry about making begginners "errors" with that thing. I love my metal machine and now have 4 in my collection, they all sew perfectly and a couple of them even get used fairly often.

I'd check ebay, garage sales, craigslist and local thrift shops for one... models 99 or 99k. They can't be beat!

all the best!!!
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2009 04:18:10 AM »

You're not at all the only one to start late and all on your own, I promise Smiley

For sewing machines, I agree that you shouldn't spend too much money on the first one, but be prepared to resist the temptation of buing a new and fancy one as soon as you start discovering the wonderful world of mechanical, computerized and antique machines and begin to see what your preference tends towards. It took me about a year from I bought my first, cheapie, budget line Pfaff till I just couldn't resist the beautiful, fancy schmanzy Husqvarna I now own and adore. Have a look at PatternReview for by far the best machine resource online. You have to sign up to see all reviews older than 3 month, but it's SO worth it! If you can't find a positive review of the machine you're looking at there, the chances are good that you ought to stay away from it.

About where to begin technique-wise, it's all a matter of your preferred learning methods. I have a friend who sewars by YouTube tutorial videos, another who uses huge sewing reference books. Personally I can't stand either method and just poured through sites like Craftster for cute projects with tutorials that I tried to mimic. Eventually I discovered Burdastyle, that at that time had loads of free patterns. Now most cost a few dollars, but they still have some free ones that can be an inexpensive way of learning to use patterns. Maybe the Coffee Date Dress, that one of the members have uploaded? Or a very simple basic men's tee?

Good luck!
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2009 01:25:34 PM »

I'm also a beginner, and just purchased my first sewing machine! It's a Singer Simple that I got for about $90 at Walmart. It jammed immediately but I think I have the solution to the problem. Unfortunately it's at my boyfriend's house (he kept it there because I had a huge test to study for and knew if the sewing machine was in my hands, I wouldn't get anything done), but I'm very excited to try fixing that jam tonight.

Right now, I'm looking at simple tutorials online. I plan to start by making pillows. Pillows pillows pillows, and then continuing onto other things.

There's also a beginner's class being offered here by my local fabric store, but it's in January. I'm thinking about taking it!

Also, I saw this book at the fabric store here yesterday.. it's called Subversive Seamster, and it's a cheap $15 book that gives you simple ideas for things you find in thrift stores! It was really interesting, and I've got my eye on it..
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009 01:32:55 PM by euphorisme » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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