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Topic: Learning to sew clothes?  (Read 2235 times)
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« on: January 13, 2010 07:01:42 AM »

I want to learn how to sew clothes. Like really badly. But I've just started sewing. (I've mostly made fleece hats, and one bag) I was thinking of starting with children's clothes (smaller garments, smaller learning cost?) but I'd have to find a child to sew for, lol.

I've never sewn with a pattern, and I can't find lessons. Help?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2010 03:33:43 PM »

I've been thinking of making/buying/finding a doll to make clothes for.  Even smaller clothes than for a kid, and it'll stay still!  LOL  (This is a really crazy concept, because I didn't even play with dolls as a kid..  seems insane to start at 25!)

Reconstruction is another good way to start, so you're working mostly with stuff that you would have gotten rid of or let sit in the back of your closet forever, or stuff you get at a thrift shop. 
Turning old sheets into clothes is another way to get practice without spending money. 
And of course fabric sales!  When Joann has 50% off on the red-tag stuff, there's a bunch of fabrics you can get for a dollar or two a yard.  I go a bit crazy on the dollar-a-yard fabric..

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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2010 05:21:43 PM »

I actually find doll clothes harder to sew because the pieces are smaller, so more difficult to manipulate and the seams seem bulkier. Since you've already sewn hats, you should be pretty fine, just start with things that don't have a whole lot of pieces and mainly straight stitching lines.
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2010 06:07:04 PM »

I agree with Thesingingllamas. Not only doll clothes, I also find kids clothes harder to sew than adult clothes. I've made similar pants for a baby and shorts for myself. The ones for me were much easier because I couldn't maneuver the machine inside the leg holes of the baby pair to hem them.
Circle skirts and gathered skirts are two nice things to start with in addition to reconstructing. Tutorials on here are usually pretty easy to follow and can give you some simple garments to start with. Try searching for "____ tutorial" (putting whatever garment you want to make in the blank).
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2010 06:33:53 AM »

Hmm.. I thought working on stuff that was difficult but didn't use much fabric would be ideal..  You don't lose too much if you screw something up, and if you practice on something more difficult than what you actually want to do, that makes it seem easier.  But of course, I'm crazy..

« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2010 07:13:18 AM »

Also kids don't have the shape adults have, so most likely you wouldn't learn the things you need to do to shape garments (darts and the like), although it is a good way to start.  I agree the easiest is a skirt, start with that.  Also it is best to start using material that's easy to manipulate, or it'll drive you crazy.
And another idea, to learn how to deal with commercial patterns:  why don't you choose a pattern and ask for peers to sew it along?  If you like this idea and don't find anybody interested, pm me.

50 projects for 2011:  15/50
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2010 06:34:25 PM »

A line skirts are the way to start.  A yard and a half of cotton and a zipper (or elastic) and your money.  Plus there's something about a summer cotton skirt that doesn't scream homemade which will make you more likely to wear it.

Have you looked at those Bend the Rules Sewing and Simple Sewing with a French Twist (?) books and the like at the bookstore?  I'm a big fan of Barnes and Nobles cheap research - sit down with a stack of fancy new craft books and a cup of coffee (which is how they make most of their money anyway) and flip through to get inspired.  The stuff is simple enough to adapt 99c patterns to - the books are just good at showing you how to use more modern fabrics and embellishments to make it cool. 

I do however recommend the Built by Wendy books - Sew U and Home Stretch (the one for knits) have really nice straightforward explanations and there's patterns in the back to pull out and work from. 

Buy some fun cheap cotton (MLK sale?) and go to town.

A state of confusion is unpleasant, but a state of certainty is ridiculous.  - Voltaire.
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2010 05:49:42 AM »

Thanks for the suggestions guys! I'll be looking into my options.
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2010 09:35:35 PM »

Do you have any community colleges near you that have a fashion design department? I took sewing classes at my local CC and I had so much fun while only paying $50 per class per semester.

« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2010 11:40:53 AM »

i dont think that children's clothing are the best way to go when starting, is not smaller garments smaller sewing cost is just less sewing.. i'd say you should start with tube tops and tank tops,or pillow cases and such.. it'd be more fun if you were making the garments for you

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