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Topic: Completely newbie at sewing...I want to sew!  (Read 1227 times)
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« on: April 04, 2012 11:22:04 AM »

Hello there,

Not only is this my first post...its also my first exploration into sewing. I remember using a sewing machine at school but not sure whether this actually happened or whether it was a dream!

Basically I've gotten bored of spending too much money buying a dress to fit my 5ft9 size 20 frame. To get a maxi dress from Evans is nigh on 50 and I'm fed up. I also love 50s pinup/rockabilly style and the last dress I bought was 50.

I must be able to make dresses for less than this and also be able to make ones I really will treasure.

So....where do I start? I have a Singer sewing machine, maybe 20 years old but it is robust and just had a service (machine was given to me) I'm currently reading through a Simplicity book about using your sewing machine etc

Any ideas to a good starting point? Obviously I should go buy some cheap fabric to practice on but what should I attempt first?

I learn pretty quickly and am rather handy around the house but I understand sewing is a skill to learn. I just don't want to throw myself in at the deep end as I know that is probably the most ridiculous thing I could do Smiley

I await your wise words
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2012 01:21:05 PM »

I posted this in the wrong board very sorry!
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2012 03:03:19 PM »

It is on the wrong board, and one of the mods probably should move this to somewhere more appropriate, where you might stand a chance of getting some replies.
However, until then here's my tuppence worth.
  • For cheap fabric try bed sheets and curtains, either bought new or from charity shops, car boots and jumble sales. Bed sheets, especially kids sheets, often have the best prints and tend to be nice easy car fabrics.
  • Invest in a decent pair of fabric shears. It may sound silly, but nothing is more frustrating than trying to cut out pattern pieces with blunt, rubbish scissors. Also, don't cut paper with your shiny new fabric shears, it completely buggers the blades.
  • For free patterns, try looking on http://www.burdastyle.com. It's a great resource for clothing of lots of different styles. However, the selection for plus-size is limited. There's also a thread on here listing free patterns from around the web people have found and shared. https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=159624.0
  • Certain things you can cheat on, others you can't. I tried being lazy and not ironing my fabric before starting project...Really doesn't work... Other things you can get away with; blind hems look good, but they're definitely not a detail you need to worry about when you're starting out.
  • Knits are not scary. They just need a zig zag stitch, and lots of pinning!
  • Have fun. It sounds silly but this is not school or work, you're not being judged or graded, and if you screw up it really doesn't matter. If you can't figure something out, ask questions. There is a wealth of knowledge on these boards just waiting to be tapped. Try poking around here https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?board=9.0 for a little inspiration.
I hope that helps a little!

« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012 06:41:33 PM »

To start off with, you'll want to try easier patterns that will be less frustrating.  Pick patterns that require only a few pieces to cut out.  The more pieces you have to cut out, the more confusing it is when you're trying to figure out where they go!  Also check out this website for *easy* rockabilly-type tutorials:  http://www.whatthecraft.com/tutorials.php

« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2012 06:52:26 AM »

So, so out of date, but here's my two cents: I remember in Home-Ec, we drew shapes onto paper and traced the shapes with thread to practice controlling the machine. Getting comfortable with how your particular machine works is going to be important once you start using "nice" fabrics. Also, walking foot. Best invention EVER.

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