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Teach yourself to sew???

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Did you teach yourself to sew??? If so, how did you go about? Are there any books, videos, or websites that you recommend? What kind of things did you start with?

I tend to be the type to decide to try something (knitting, scrapbooking, etc) and want to immediately be able to complete beautiful masterpeices....I inevitably fail because I set my standard too high...

So give me your advice on how to teach myself to sew, and where to start...and recommendations for relatively inexpensive machines or suggestions on where I could get second hand ones would be helpful and appreciated as well

Thanks
post #2 of 25
I started by reading the manual- several times. Then learned to thread the machine- several times until I was comfortable with it. Then straight stitching projects just getting used to the machine. I did not use the internet to learn, I felt that it would be more distracting. Just forcing myself to sit down and keep trying worked best for me.
post #3 of 25
My first project was a fitted cloth diaper. I'd only sewed a straight line on a small piece of fabric in front of the person who'd given me my machine before that. It was great because it incorporated a few things, straight stitch, zigzag, elastic, velcro, rounded corners, straight corners, etc. And then at the end I had something to be used. I just followed the directions on a diaper sewing site and googled anything I didn't understand.
post #4 of 25
I taught myself. Although first I had someone thread the machine and show me out to do it. Then I sewed straight line after straight line on scrap fabric. Then I played around with other stitches on more scrap fabric. But I would say I also learned a lot from sewing cloth diapers. I sew AIO's cuz that's what I use and I learned a lot of diff. things by doing it. It's really not hard at all and so pleasing when you are done.
post #5 of 25
'I tend to be the type to decide to try something (knitting, scrapbooking, etc) and want to immediately be able to complete beautiful masterpeices....I inevitably fail because I set my standard too high...'


I'm the same way I sewed when I was a kid (I mean under 10, so I din't really thread the machine myself or anything) so you can't really count it! some places , if you buy a machine give you free sewing lessons. sometimes stores like joanns have classes as well.
What I did (a few years back now) is pick a simple pattern and sew several of them to get the hang of it. for ex. if you need cloth diapers they provide so much practice because you need a ton of them. baby receiving blankets are great, simple first project and you'll be happy with the results. just start with something easy!
post #6 of 25
I bought some fabric and a very simple pattern and went at it. It helped me see if it was being done right (ie the next piece would fit or not LOL) and learn about things like tension, stitch width, shaping and so on while doing a real project .

I am too impatient to learn it step by step LOL
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesimplelife25 View Post
Did you teach yourself to sew??? If so, how did you go about? Are there any books, videos, or websites that you recommend? What kind of things did you start with?

I tend to be the type to decide to try something (knitting, scrapbooking, etc) and want to immediately be able to complete beautiful masterpeices....I inevitably fail because I set my standard too high...

So give me your advice on how to teach myself to sew, and where to start...and recommendations for relatively inexpensive machines or suggestions on where I could get second hand ones would be helpful and appreciated as well

Thanks


Books are wonderful and I highly recommend getting to the library and finding a good basic sewing book. My sewing machine manual is also very helpful in basic stuff. Get some inexpensive fabric and maybe a good simple pattern (KwikSew is wonderful for beginners).
The internet has a wealth of info. You can check out places like SewForum, Patternreview or Sewingmamas (tell them sabrinat sent you) to hang out among other sewers and pickup tons of tips and hints.
Inexpensive machines. I'm prone to vintage so I think you should start by asking family members and friends...check craigslist, freecycle, goodwill, garage sales. Look for machines that are pre1980's. Great brands are bernina, white, viking, singer and kenmore. You may need to clean it up and give it some oil and lube, but you'll probably score a great little number that works well. I just picked up Viking 6440 off craigslist for $75. The owner was a little lady that obviously loved her machine. She still had the original box and tons of accessories. I even got her pin cushion and sewing box! It's absolutely awesome and has become a very much loved machine in my collection.
Good luck and happy happy sewing!
post #8 of 25
Oh, I almost forgot. It's like anything...in the beginning you feel awkward and unsure of what you're doing...but with time you get better and each project will get easier and easier.
post #9 of 25
Great ideas, Sabrina!
But I'm a little confused. Can you explain why I'd want a machine that was pre1980's???? Please excuse my ignorance, but I simply don't know what I'd be looking for in an older machine.

xoe
P.S. Thanks Simplelife, for starting this thread!!!
post #10 of 25
I think older sewing machines are generally simpler, sturdier, and cheaper (in case you don't like to sew you don't waste your $$).

My mom and grandma taught me when I was a kid, but a great and fun book to learn by is Sew U by Wendy Mullen. It even comes with patterns. A shirt, skirt and pants, and then shows you options to customize them. I made the pants and they fit great! Then I ruined them in the dryer, so I must make more.
post #11 of 25
The guy I bought my machine from explained to me why you either need to have a really good (read: expensive) new machine or an older one (pre MIC for WalMart). There is a huge difference in the parts. He had a WalMart machine and an older one, I can't remember what brand, torn open to see the inside. The new WalMart machine was full of plastic parts and as he explained, I really saw why I was spending $800 on a machine. I got a deal because it listed for $1200. Really, I couldn't be happier with it either. It does everything.

I learned to sew from the internet and the Sewing for Dummies book. I knew a little from home ec and sewing with my mom when I was a kid, but I pretty much learned on my own. I still can't read a pattern though. I have a WAH sewing business but everything I do is something I make up. If I can do it, it isn't so hard.
post #12 of 25
i learn to sew from my mom when i was teenager, nothing schmancy, she taught me to sew my first project, a rug and that was it. fast forward almost 15 years later, i got back into it again, i never lose the skill just had to perfect it.

if you are the kind that gets interested in something and then get bored of it easily, i do suggest you get a good machine, not overly expensive but overly cheap either but a good basic beginners machine. i've heard buying a sewing machine is like buying a car, you get what you pay for. dont get a machine that is going to break down every so many weeks since you'll end up hating the machine and also hating to sew.

i am in the midst of sewing diaper stash for my DS. its not a fun thing i must say..lol i found out that i dont like sewing diapers but since i still need the stash done, i sew something else in between like a dress for DD or something for the house, a quick refresher and then i am back at those diapers. lol

i dont own any sewing books yet though i would love to get my hand on a few. the internet is a wonderful tool, i've seen many tutorials and used them. i am also a quilter so its great to have new ideas. i like sewing, i might get my hands into doing some embroideries and i am intrigued about knitting..lol
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your replies!!! Thanks to sabrinat's suggestion I posted a Wanted email on Freecycle and ended up with a 1975 Sears Kenmore machine that is in great condition. I also took some books, including Sew U, out from the library. My MIL is coming into town next week for our spring breaks (we both work in schools) so she is going to help me get started....

Thanks for all the advice
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xoe View Post
Great ideas, Sabrina!
But I'm a little confused. Can you explain why I'd want a machine that was pre1980's???? Please excuse my ignorance, but I simply don't know what I'd be looking for in an older machine.

xoe
P.S. Thanks Simplelife, for starting this thread!!!
Xoe, PM me if you want to be beginner sewing buddies
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xoe View Post
Great ideas, Sabrina!
But I'm a little confused. Can you explain why I'd want a machine that was pre1980's???? Please excuse my ignorance, but I simply don't know what I'd be looking for in an older machine.
You'll more than likely be able to get a machine that is "all metal...or mostly metal (sometimes they have nylon gears that can go), sturdy and uncomplicated. They are generally less expensive, but better built then any machine for the same price you could get together. Hope that answers your question. Please let me know if you have any brand questions, I'd be happy to help you.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesimplelife25 View Post
Thanks for all your replies!!! Thanks to sabrinat's suggestion I posted a Wanted email on Freecycle and ended up with a 1975 Sears Kenmore machine that is in great condition. I also took some books, including Sew U, out from the library. My MIL is coming into town next week for our spring breaks (we both work in schools) so she is going to help me get started....

Thanks for all the advice
Oh super! What model number is it. 158.???? ? I bet it's awesome, it will give you years of sewing!
post #17 of 25
I taught myself how to sew...

christening in two weeks
want dress to be made out of my wedding dress
no money to pay someone
free pattern from grandma
free sewing machine from MIL

All i had to do was buy the thread.
It took me the full two weeks to realize that I needed to BACKSTITCH so the thread would keep the fabric together.

But I DID IT!
And if I can, I swear I wish you knew me, you CAN TOO!! ! LOL
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xoe View Post
Great ideas, Sabrina!
But I'm a little confused. Can you explain why I'd want a machine that was pre1980's???? Please excuse my ignorance, but I simply don't know what I'd be looking for in an older machine.

xoe
P.S. Thanks Simplelife, for starting this thread!!!
I have a sewing machine form the 40's its a old singer that I got from my husbands cowoker. She redid the cord and refurbished the gears. I love that thing better than my brand new brother sewing machine.
post #19 of 25
P.s I taught myself how to sew. Both hand and machine.
post #20 of 25
Thesimplelife25 how is the sewing come along?
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