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 Post subject: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:29 am 
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Wears Durian Helmet
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Location: asheville
I just bought a sewing machine because there have been so many projects I want to do but pretty much needed a machine to do it. I haven't used a sewing machine in a LONG time. Although I used to be quite good at sewing, I am guessing now I am back at beginners mode.

So how to get back into sewing... easy fun little projects? Things I should get? I just have the machine and bobbins. I didn't even buy thread yet because I am not sure what colors I will need for projects. Any cute beginners sewing project sites out there?

I'd like to make stuff for the home, dog stuff, baby stuff etc...


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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:43 am 
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I just buy thread as I need it to match the fabrics I am using, but you could start out buying big spools of white and black, which you'll use most often. Snuggle sacks are easy, for dogs...basically a fleece-lined pillowcase. Pajama pants are pretty easy too. :) I like buying broken-in, super soft flat sheets at thrift stores and making PJ pants out of them.


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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:50 am 
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ten some years after i started sewing, i still have three cones of thread- white, black and an olive green heavy duty polyester that i use for strength. most of the time i use my machine for fixing chewed dog accessories, curtains, or random clothing repairs. i think recently i've done a lot of clothing re-sizing (i lost some weight) and that was using repurposing websites. i also made a plastic-bag-holder-thing from this site, which has some nice practical stuff (along with some totally bizarre things)
http://www.makeit-loveit.com/

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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:13 pm 
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<3
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Sewing is a lot of fun. I look forward to the day when I can have a dedicated craft room.

I'm not great at sewing but I enjoy what I make. I make my own grocery totes. I know some could take issue with this comment but I guess they are good enough that numerous cashiers have asked me if I sell them. I would never sell anything I make, I'd give things away though.

So perhaps try totes, pet beds, curtains, pillows, table cloths or runners, pot holders, coasters.

http://www.craftster.org/forum/
http://tipnut.com/

I recently found this bag I want to make:
http://www.mesewcrazy.com/2011/06/knot- ... orial.html

There are many many blogs and sewing sites out there. Just search for whatever it is you want to make and you should have no trouble finding free patterns and tutorials.

Another site:
http://www.favecrafts.com/Sewing


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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:24 pm 
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Should Write a Goddam Book Already
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I found a book (One Yard Wonders) that is full of awesome but fairly simple projects. It also has a lot of good info on basic techniques and an envelope of patterns at the back of the book. And all of the projects use one yard or less of fabric (not including extras, like batting, etc.). I don't have a lot of time or money for sewing projects, so I've enjoyed this book.

I've made: wall organizer, folklore purse, laptop sleeve, ruffled cafe curtain, baby bib (I've made several for baby showers), gardening apron, and a few I can't think of right now. None of them were super difficult, and I've been impressed with the results--considering I am far from an expert sewer. There are a few more projects I really want to make, like the jewelry organizer, sewing machine cover, and the summery dress/tunic.

If you are looking for a challenge, you might not like the book. If you just want to make some simple, practical stuff and hone your sewing skills, I can't recommend it enough!

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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:22 am 
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This is the thread i need!

I am teaching myself to sew, so that I can make more of my clothes.

I am finishing a valance for the kitchen window (tonight I hope, I will post pics) and then finishing a simple pillow covering for a throw pillow.

I have three patterns I just bought that I can't wait to bust out and try. Including a little sundress.

The problem for me is that I don't really understand how to read a pattern. I can drape, but the patterns often seem backwards to me.

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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:05 pm 
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Should Write a Goddam Book Already
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Pattern reading can be tough. I know I sound like I get some sort of kickback from pushing that book, but it really is helpful. The patterns for most of the projects are really simple, so they are a great way to get used to reading patterns. Also useful for tricks and tools for making a finished product look finished.

I've been sewing on and off for over ten years, but I was really bad about being patient and reading patterns. I've found that finding a simple project that you really like, with fabrics you love, is a good way to practice sewing skills without getting overwhelmed. What did it for me was a purse that I really liked with super cute fabric. I even used the appropriate interfacing and other dodads instead of cutting corners (ha).

By the way, here is one of my favorite little projects. It's great for practicing basic pattern reading skills, practicing zipper stuff, and the finished product is so cute and awesome. I made a bunch of these for presents this past Christmas. I don't have a rotary cutter & mat, so I just used my fabric scissors & pinking shears, and it turned out fine.

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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:26 pm 
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I've made some simple pillow covers for the living room... it's much cheaper than decorative pillows and I don't need a pattern. Adding some pipping or edging is easy and looks fancy. Sometimes I use a zipper, but I usually just do a flap on the back. I also saw a cool idea to use placemats, fold in thirds, sew and use as a small pillow cover.

I've never followed a pattern, but I would love to make baby clothes!! I've seen McCall's or someone makes simple patterns that might be a good start...

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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:06 pm 
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great ideas! I am going to check out that book you suggested, crowderpea


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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:35 pm 
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Ahhh this thread makes me excited!! I just bought a sewing machine, so I'll be lurking a bit before I have anything to contribute.

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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:35 pm 
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I got one for Christmas, but I have no idea how to use it or where to start. I should probably get out of bed and read the manual.

In other news, my mom found the Jo-Ann's gift card she got for my birthday after misplacing it for over a month. It came today. Time to buy fabric. Parents are rad!

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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:17 am 
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Heeeerrrrree's JACKY!
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I promise I will get home and remember to post pics! I finished the valance and am in love with it. It was simple and maybe that is why it looks so nice.

I whipped the pillow cover (using awesome vintage fabric my mom scored) but I am not thrilled with it. I didn't have a pattern so I made due. Not at all happy about the corners.

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Don't mind my breasts and vagina, I'm a gay man.---Idatetatooedguys.

"Tots: the universal food band-aid... better than a mother's kiss. Healin' wounds since 1954." Meggs


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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:58 pm 
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I recently picked up a serger from craigslist for way cheap. I'm excited to take my sewing TO THE NEXT LEVEL *lightning flashes*

Or you know, be able to sew knits all fancy-like.

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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:07 pm 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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When I was first learning to sew, I took a quilting class and it was really awesome. I like making things like pillows, napkins, wallets, and the quilt squares better than trying to following a pattern for making clothes.


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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:54 am 
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I am also looking into making clothes and bits and bobs for the house, but local classes are thin on the ground... and right now I can't afford a sewing machine.... :(

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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:59 am 
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I'm resurrecting this thread! I just started learning to use my MIL's old sewing machine and my first project is a super simple curtain to cover the window in our bathroom door.

It's pretty hard though. I spent 45 minutes threading the machine & pinning a hem into my fabric and then the machine just stopped working after about 5 inches of sewing & I have no idea how to fix it! It's still making a noise when I press the pedal & both bits still have thread but the needle isn't moving. I wonder if it's because it's so old & hasn't been used for years?

Also I am yet to work out how people manage to make it stay in a straight line! I've never seen such a wonky hem!

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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:10 am 
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Jojo - if the fabric is still in the machine, check the back side to see if there are knots. I had this problem initially because I was putting the bobbin in the machine wrong and it would work for a while and then seize up. Same for doing something slightly wrong in the threading process up top.


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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:38 pm 
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Thanks karichelle! I had a look at the underneath of the fabric & there are definitly a few knots. The bobbin underneath looks okay, like, it looks like the diagram in the instruction manual. I'll take it out & re-do it incase something's wrong inside. My husband came home & adjusted the wheel thing on the side of the machine, it'd come loose & now that it's been tightened it's working again. Yay for boys who used to hang out with their mums whilst they were sewing.

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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:22 pm 
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Sewing machines are finicky creatures. ;) The diagram in my instruction manual is confusing in the way it's laid out, it's not really clear on the directions that the thread goes after you lay the bobbin in...thankfully YouTube helped.


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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:13 pm 
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Aired her grievances, lost the feat of strength
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Oooh that's a good idea, I'll YouTube tomorrow! This is a 70's machine (I think) and the instruction manual has way less info than I'd usually expect for something so complicated.

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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:21 am 
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i own a sewing machine and i don't know how to use it. i don't understand how i should get the thread in :/

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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:23 am 
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if the machine is old, you may have to go through and lubricate/check for rust. i hadn't used mine for a few years and the bobbin actually rusted into place. (so i brought it to the mechanic's and got it ground flush again). give moving parts a squirt with the lube you'd use for squeaky doors/bike chains/skate wheels.

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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:55 am 
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no, its new. I got it for my birthday. i just don't know how it works... i used to use one but a different one and its ages ago.

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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:34 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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oops, sorry, my post was aimed at jojo.
VeganinBerlin, see if you can find a manual online for your machine, they will have diagrams on how to thread.

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Buddha says 'Meh'.--matwinser
I'm just a drunk who likes fruit. -- Desdemona


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 Post subject: Re: beginner sewing
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:21 am 
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i actually got the manual in my hand and i still don't get it. It tells me to put a into b and i can't find a b even on the drawing! i asked my parents but they both have no idea and i don't really know anyone who sews. I used to hand-sew for so many years, these machines still look daunting to me ..

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