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How to sew

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi--

I just recently bought a sewing machine and want to learn "how-to". Is there a good website out there that explains things such as when to use what stitch, what is wrong if an outfit is puckering (do I need to change needles, change stitch length...etc...) Those kind of things for the new sewer.

Thanks!

--Jennifer
post #2 of 5
I'd suggest you just go for it and get a very simple pattern and some inexpensive material. See what works and what doesn't.
Many patterns will tell you almost everything you need to know in their instructions.
Read the manual that came with the machine.
Practice sewing on old worn out bluejeans, t-shirts, etc. Change all the machine settings, one at a time, and see what happens. Kind of like learning how to use a computer - what happens when I push this button?
post #3 of 5
I'm sorry, I don't have a website for you. But I'd also recommend reading hte manual for the machine. It should be very explicit about what stitches are best for what purposes, troubleshooting, etc.

As far as patterns, my recommendations are to go with Vogue or Burda. I've found that their patterns are the most explicit. Vogue, however, classifies something as 'easy' when it's a bit tedious, at the least, I just noticed when looking through their pattern book today. Burda used to exclude the seam allowance from their patterns, so make sure you get a new pattern that includes the 5/8" seam allowance. And McCalls would be another decent choice.

In my experience, New Look patterns are terrible! Simplicity and Butterick are fine, usually, but sometimes their patterns are a little bit more complicated than necessary, in my experience.

I took my time with my first pattern, when I was in junior high and making myself a little jumpsuit with sleeves and the whole thing. But it worked out fine because I was patient (and had my mom as a reference, but I did make the whole thing myself). So, I know you can do it!

Some simple items to make: pants, shorts, skirts without zippers/buttons/etc.
post #4 of 5

Try sewnews.com

They have discussion boards and chat sessions with experts and fellow sewers alike, who are very very helpful.

Aside from that, maybe link up with a sewing friend for one on one instruction? or even by phone if you don't have anyone nearby to help you out?

I've taught several friends to enjoy sewing (and my husband does his own mending now, yay!) and still keep in touch with some of them by phone, since I moved away.

As for 1st projects ... I wouldn't start w clothes, you can get bogged down w fitting problems. Try starting w somethin you need, like a tote bag for those library books, maybe some holiday pillow covers or placemats. If you must start w clothes, I'd try either elastic waist skirt or T-shirt.

Good Luck, and enjoy!
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your advice...all helpful!
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