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  • Newbie to sewing

    On a whim yesterday, I bought a sewing machine and it came today

    Never sewed with a sewing machine since I was at school and erm, to say that I'm a bit clueless is an understatement.

    So, I'm going to do some practice excersises like I remember from school (paper, going along lines etc) and then try to make something, probably a simple dress/skirt/top.

    I've bought some jersey material, cause I know that it's quite forgiving and I've got some satin-y stuff and I also bought some black cotton. The black cotton is because I really want a specific black dress and I can't find it anywhere, so I figured that I'd try to make it!

    I've always wanted to make some clothes and so far I've only ever made cusions and fixed things, all by hand.

    So...I suppose I started this thread to tell you all, listen egarly to any advice and to let you all know how I get on (which with any luck will be quite well - but I don't have my hopes up too high!)
    Nattelie xx

  • #2
    Hi Natalie, I make clothing too so I will try and help if I can.

    If you really are a beginner (and if its not too late) I would highly recommend trialling with some fleece or woven fabrics. Fleece is really really easy to sew as is something like calico, they are both very cheap to buy so if you go wrong at least you won't have spent a fortune.

    Skirts are dead easy to sew, especially if you make them with an elasticated waist but on us adults thats not always the easier look to get away with - lol! Button holes and zips are not as difficult as you might imagine and if you google there are lots of tutorials and tips to help you along.

    If I can help at all, pm me or leave a message on one of the boards

    Good luck and remember to post some piccies of your projects
    Karen
    www.angelicfolk.co.uk
    Bespoke clothing for your little angels
    http://angelicfolk.etsy.com
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/angelic.folk?ref=profile

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    • #3
      Good Luck - it's surprising how quickly it all comes back to you. I was really slow to begin with, now i zip along. just make sure you put the bobbin in the right way...it took me a day to work out that the machine doesn't work properley with it the wrong way round. How about some little fabric hearts to start, you can fill them with lavender and sew on a button, or ribbon to hang them up with....good practice for curves!

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      • #4
        thank you for your speedy replies and suggestions.

        I'll definately post some pictures up when I've done something though.

        I have to admit that you've hit the nail on the head there, tipsylipsy, I've been googling for stuff all day, downloaded some simple patterns (that in retrospect I'm not all that keen on, lol) and a zip is kind of bewildering to me (though admittedly I can't use them on my own clothes, so I'm not all that fussed at the moment)

        I'll show you the kinds of things that I was thinking of trying.

        http://www.simplybe.co.uk/productcac...C202ML.html.gz (something like that - I do actually have that dress anyway)

        (again, I have a skirt like this and really love it!)

        I think that the skirt should be fairly easy to make though, it's ony 4 panels and a waistband, with jersey material, so it's stretchy anyway.
        Last edited by Nattelie; 23-07-2009, 05:29 PM.
        Nattelie xx

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        • #5
          They are perfect as first projects they should be pretty straight forward to draft and sew up. Good luck looking forward to seeing the finished items
          Karen
          www.angelicfolk.co.uk
          Bespoke clothing for your little angels
          http://angelicfolk.etsy.com
          http://www.facebook.com/#!/angelic.folk?ref=profile

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          • #6
            thank you

            I think I also have a bit of a challenge as I'm plus size, but TBH those ones should be fairly easy to do.

            I'm quite excited now, lol
            Nattelie xx

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            • #7
              Congratulations on your enthusiasm to start sewing again.

              Do you mind if I offer a word of advice? Don't sew paper with your sewing machine unless you are prepared to keep changing the needle. Paper blunts sewing needles (hand and machine) like nobody's business and trying to use a needle on fabric afterwards could ruin the fabric.

              Personally, I would start off practising on small things (like the sachets someone suggested) and on woven fabric. Knitted fabrics like jersey can easily stretch during the stitching process and you can find that the seams look dreadful because of this. Satin and other slippery fabrics need to be very securely tacked or pinned in place before they go near the machine as the layers very easily slide over each other during the machining.

              Good luck with your venture and I look forward to seeing pictures of your finished items.

              Linda

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              • #8
                good luck with the sewing, I'd love to give it another go one day
                Emily

                Hand Carved Rubber Stamps by Skull and Cross Buns
                Etsy Folksy Twitter Facebook

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                • #9
                  If you'd like to learn from my mistakes -
                  yes, I'd say try things out on firm fabric first. I noticed, when I was buying a new machine, the sewing machine shop owner used calico to demonstrate on.
                  Maybe try a calico reusable shopping bag, keeping all the sewing lines straight as a first project?
                  Cotton is easy to sew. A wrap around sarong type skirt?
                  Then you can try sewing in curves and I would put stretchy fabric - jersey - and slippery stuff - satins and silks last.....with velvet! I've been sewing for 40 years and still swear a lot when sewing silk and velvet - they slip out of line.

                  When you've been sewing happily then it suddenly goes pear shaped check the needle isn't bent or the tip is blunted or broken off. If that's OK check your threading. Still wrong, fiddle with the tension.......but I've wasted hours doing that when it was a bent needle problem - doh!

                  Have fun
                  AnnieAnna

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                  • #10
                    Good luck!
                    I totally understand the buying-on-a-whim thing, I randomly bought a ukulele a few weeks ago haha!!

                    And I agree, stretchy fabrics are forgiving in the fit but can be a bit tricky to sew so I'd definitely start with something more solid to begin with.
                    I never learnt how to sew "properly" but make corsets and things now and I love it, though there will inevitably be moments when things all go pear shaped and you want to chuck the thing out of the window. But it'll be worth it in the end if you keep going!
                    And most importantly - HAVE FUN!
                    Emily Richard Jewellery
                    www.ejr-jewellery.co.uk

                    Emily Richard Jewellery on Facebook

                    Now on Twitter! @EmilyRichard
                    Jewellery Making Blog

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                    • #11
                      Great project to start with... you will be suprised how quickly it will all come back to you... enjoy your new craft and dont forget to post a pic when its ready
                      Sarah

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                      • #12
                        Thanks everyone.

                        I've never done sewing before TBH - it's other crafts that I usually do - mostly paper crafts.

                        Over the past year I've started dabbling in other things too like making things like towel cakes, and I did the wedding stuff (literally everything, invitations, cake decorating, flowers etc) for my sister in law when she renewed her vows.

                        I guess I just like to try things out, lol.
                        Nattelie xx

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                        • #13
                          Word of warning - anything you make yourself you won't be able to part with. So it'll sit in your wardrobe for years and years and years ........until its back in fashion again!!!!!!!
                          AnnieAnna

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                          • #14
                            Glad to hear that I'm not the only person who randomly buys things like sewing machines when we don't really know what we're doing!!

                            I bought a sewing machine a few months ago, and like you I hadn't used one since school, as yet it's still boxed but I'll get around to using it one day lol.

                            Good luck with your projects - can't wait to see what you create!!

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                            • #15
                              Thank you

                              I'm kinda half finished a skirt, it's a bit big so I was just going to use elastic TBH, but it just needs hemming at the bottom and top.
                              Nattelie xx

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