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Where to begin to learn how to sew...

709 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  lovingit
Should I buy a book? Take a class? I have an 18 MO girl and I LOVE to dress her, and lately I am in love with unique - boutique looking things that I know I could make myself if I knew where to begin. Any words of advice for a newby? I was thinking of taking a class at Joann - is it any good or should I look at the college instead? Or can you learn from reading and trial/error?

Thanks mama's!
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Hi Cheryl

I am a big believer in learning by doing. I am a grandma now, and I am still learning by doing!!

I would go to WalMart and check out their bargain table. They usually have a large selection of fabrics, cottons, prints, etc. for $1 and $2 a yard.

Then check out the pattern books there. WalMart sells Simplicity and McCalls all the time at half price, and also there is a line of cheap $1.99 or so patterns made by Simplicity at WalMart (can't remember the name offhand, but they are in revolving racks by the pattern books). There are lots and lots of really cute simple things for little girls. Just find one that says, easy sew, quick sew, or something to that effect.

Find a simple pattern you like and pick out a cute material. Check the back of the pattern envelope to see what else is required (probably just thread to match on something simple) and go home and jump in with both feet. The patterns give good directions and I think you will be surprised at how easy it is.

If you start with something simple, and don't spend too much on the material you won't feel pressure to not make a mistake.

If you never have even used a sewing machine before, you should just take some pieces of material and practice sewing along the edges of two pieces until you get the feel of using the machine.

I promise it's not hard and it's very rewarding to make something cute for your child. The main thing about sewing, I think, is the desire to do it. It's not complicated, but you need to take your time and not be in a rush to get through.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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I agree that it's good to learn by doing. I agree too about starting with cheap fabric and just experimenting-I started with some beanbags and soft toys, then little bags.
If you can take a class I think that would be helpful, especially once you get started then start to have questions about little details-so maybe wait a while before doing that.
KwikSew are the easiest patterns to follow I've heard from many people though I have not used them myself yet. you can get them as a book w/ tons of patterns for toddlers, youth, adults, etc or just buy individual patterns I think. Many of the other patterns can really be hard for a beginner even when they say 'easy'
I did check out some soft toy sewing bks from the library and that gave me some great ideas and pointers when I first started.
Good luck!
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I took at class at a local fabric store in August and would highly recommend doing so. I went one evening to a "Learn how to use a sewing machine" class and then took a beginning sewing class that lasted 4 evenings. The store also offers smocking classes, which I will definitely take if I ever have a little girl.

I learned so much in the five classes and had a lot of fun. All the women were about my age and none of us really knew how to sew at all before the class. The cost was about $40-50.

Since then I have sewed several tote bags (one as a gift for my Grandmother) and some curtains. I just bought fabric to sew a Christmas tree skirt and will do that next.

Have fun learning!
hi mama!

sewing is just so gratifying...because in such a short time, you can see the fruit of your work...

i learned to sew on my own, but i learned the ins and outs of a sewing machine from a class from a local fabric store. i learn by "doing", and i think the short class placed me in the right direction. if you can spare a couple of hours a week, i would suggest it...

you may find that you are a fabric-holic ! teehee...

(i sure am!!!)

have a great time!

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