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 Post subject: Sewing Machine for Beginners
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:39 pm 
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Hey crafty people. I mostly crochet, but in the last few years I've been making halloween costumes and little felt toys and I keep sewing by hand. This takes a long time and I'm thinking maybe I should learn to use a sewing machine.
I'm not planning on doing a ton of sewing so I don't really want a top of line machine. Does anyone have recommendations for a relatively inexpensive, but adequate sewing machine. And any recs for how to learn some basic sewing? Maybe I'd want to make a skirt or two? Can I learn that from youtube videos?

For example, I've been making felt pokemon and hiding them around lately. Easy enough to sew by hand, but it's making me want to do more sewing projects.
https://twitter.com/PaulaSimone/status/ ... 3183077377
https://twitter.com/loganbonner/status/ ... 1970420736
https://twitter.com/FWesSchneider/statu ... 0557828096

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 Post subject: Re: Sewing Machine for Beginners
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 1:45 pm 
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I haven't sewed in years. I made my first skirts by taking apart a favorite one that had worn out and using it as a pattern. Skirts are really good first projects. I bet there are some really great books these days. I had an ancient Simplicity sewing encyclopedia that I got at a library sale. It was really old fashioned by had great basic information.

I don't have anything else useful to add so I'll just wish you lots of fun!

Eta: a circle skirt with a zipper and a simple self waistband is super easy and a good way to learn some basics.

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 Post subject: Re: Sewing Machine for Beginners
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:58 pm 
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I have no advice on specific machines because I use my mom's 1969 high school graduation present machine. But I did learn to sew from YouTube, and I now make all kinds of things like clothes for myself and my daughter, quilts, curtains, etc. So it can be done! My early work was certainly pretty shitty so I'm sure a class wouldn't be a bad idea to speed up the beginner phase. Have fun!


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 Post subject: Re: Sewing Machine for Beginners
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:55 am 
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I don't have a machine recommendation but can recommend some easy skirt patterns to use for beginners. Check you local community college and see if they have any sort of sewing classes. Ours does a lot of continuing ed type classes and I did apparel classes that were fantastic.

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 Post subject: Re: Sewing Machine for Beginners
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:17 am 
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I would see what machines are available on CL and then check amazon for reviews. I tend to gravitate towards older machines because they just seem 'sturdier' to me. I had a Husqvarna that powered me through four years of fashion school and beyond, but when that died a few years ago I got a Singer from CL that isn't anything super fancy but fulfills my needs just fine (I also have a super fancy 5-thread serger that does 12 different stitches- you know, for balance) and only set me back about $200.

As for sewing, I second the recommendation to take a class through community college/continuing ed/your local fabric store. Some things, especially tactile crafts, are just better learned in person than through YouTube or a book. When I was first learning to sew, before I did any garments I did a 'sample book', where I just took small squares of muslin and practiced different techniques- different seams, different stitches, techniques like sewing & clipping corners and curves, setting in zippers, etc. So by the time I moved on to a basic garment (I think it was an a-line skirt) I had already practiced the most common sewing techniques. I really recommend just practicing something on scrap fabric until you are comfortable enough with it to try it on your project.

I would volunteer to teach you and have craft days if I lived closer!

ETA: the easiest thing in the world to make is pillowcases. That's a good place to start!

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 Post subject: Re: Sewing Machine for Beginners
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:02 am 
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I really recommend a basic Kenmore machine. I got mine at Sears about 10 years ago for $140. The Kenmore 385 is similar. It was well worth it. I mostly make really basic things--skirts, pillows, napkins, curtains. It's really fun. I highly recommend investing in a few classes when you are starting out--if there are any sewing stores in your area they should have classes. Is Redmond near Seattle? This place looks promising: http://stitchesseattle.com/pages/events.html

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 Post subject: Re: Sewing Machine for Beginners
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:25 am 
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Hey, thanks! I somehow missed all these posts! Redmond is close enough to Seattle, but the traffic getting there is a major bummer. But if it's not at rush hour, it's not too bad. I will look into that place! Thanks for the recommendations! If I get started I will let you all know.

We have a ben franklin craft store near by. I should check if they have any classes.

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 Post subject: Re: Sewing Machine for Beginners
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:33 am 
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My landlady recommended getting a second hand one on a selling website to start with and to learn on. Planning on doing that when I get paid and she is going to teach me a bit so I can eventually make some clothes for myself. My plan is to start with cushion covers when I've practised the stitching part a bit then eventually move up to clothing.

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 Post subject: Re: Sewing Machine for Beginners
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:40 pm 
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Singer makes pretty reliable and cheap home machines.

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 Post subject: Re: Sewing Machine for Beginners
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:57 pm 
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Patterns for Pirates has a code in their Facebook group for a free pencil skirt pattern. You can also find suggestions for beginning machines and help through that group as well. J-Dub has made some of their stuff. She might have suggestions for other easy beginner patterns.
http://www.patternsforpirates.com/

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