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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > pattern issues ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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pattern issues
apricotusm
apricotusm
Member since 1/11/12
Posts: 3
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Date: 2/29/12 4:29 PM

I'm new enough to sewing I'm just now tackling clothes. I don't really have anyone to show me how to piece a pattern together after I've cut it out. Any suggestions for online tutorials? Most of them tend to be really beginner. Thanks in advance!

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
Intermediate
Kansas USA
Member since 12/13/08
Posts: 3245
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Date: 2/29/12 6:46 PM

If you choose a commercial pattern with quality instructions, it will show you the order in which to construct the garment, hopefully with good illustrations. Reading reviews for patterns you're interested in is a good place to start; the reviews will say whether the instructions/illustrations are any good and/or suitable for beginners, etc. There are a couple of brands of patterns that include NO instructions (the names escape me at the moment); if you are a beginner, I certainly wouldn't recommend you start there. They assume a level of familiarity with garment construction that you don't yet have, and you'd be making the process that much harder for yourself.

Before I start a project, I read through the full instruction sheet several times, making notes, until I have a basic understanding of the construction steps. Anything specific I'm confused about, I either look up tutorials online, or see if it makes sense when I actually go to do that step (it often does! Some things really are easier *done* than said!).

Eventually you'll have enough experience to know when you can deviate from the instructions--decide which order to do steps in, put things together in a better way, etc. If you're lucky enough to have a good grasp of spatial relations and an intuitive understanding of how things go together, you'll get to this point a lot faster.

I've been sewing for a while and draft my own patterns (which, obviously, come without instructions! LOL)... but for commercial patterns, I still rely on those instructions for a first read-through. Sometimes things aren't totally clear, though. For instance, I'm working on my first raglan sleeve pattern, and the pattern instructions (rated Very Easy) did not include a good illustration of how the pieces went together. I had no idea! I did look that one up online, and found some good diagrams thanks to helpful bloggers. :)

Good luck!

------
~Gem in the prairie

Marilly
Marilly
Advanced Beginner
Oregon USA
Member since 7/9/06
Posts: 747
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In reply to apricotusm


Date: 2/29/12 6:52 PM

Are using a purchased envelope pattern? It will help if you list what company & number it is ie. Simplicity 2556, etc. Someone might have the same pattern and can chime in on anything to watch out for or at least know what garment type it is.
If it's a download a link would help too.
There's a difference in sequence when sewing a dress vs. a pair of pants, for example. : )
Shel

jenleeC
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jenleeC  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Western Australia Australia
Member since 6/4/11
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In reply to apricotusm


Date: 2/29/12 7:06 PM

If you are really new to sewing and have no-one around to give you any direct guidance I would highly recommend an introductory sewing class if this is an option for you (time, money etc). There are lots of great sewing blogs/tutorials and people here are really helpful, but sometimes there is nothing like having someone by your side to show you the next step! Your progress will be much faster than just muddling through on your own.

Here in Australia we have Adult Education classes given by our local technical colleges. They are quite affordable and most are structured so that you either work through a simple program (skirt, top, etc) or just turn up once a week with your pattern and sew your garment at the class with someone there to guide you along the way. Most of the larger sewing stores also do lessons. I am guessing there will be something similar wherever it is that you are living. Goodluck...

------
Jenny, Perth, WA

apricotusm
apricotusm
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Date: 3/1/12 9:56 AM

My first pattern I did (I don't have that info with me right now) was a pair of pajama bottoms. I normally wear extra large but these were EXTRA large. Huge! and boxy. I wish I new how to make them more mine, custom. ANd I really want to make a summer dress but it just intimidates me. And shorts too! I have high hopes as you can probably see! Thanks for the recommendations.

CraftAddict
CraftAddict
Intermediate
Ohio USA
Member since 9/1/10
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In reply to apricotusm


Date: 3/1/12 10:07 AM

the first pattern I did was a pair of pajama bottoms using a Kwik Sew pattern and they too were/are super huge but I wear them proudly because I labored to make them.

probably the first step to using patterns is learning how to select the right size. you need to consider your body measurements in addition to the finished garment measurements.

You might consult your local library for books on learning to sew. I would recommend a library for a "basics" books because more than likely you will quickly outgrow it.

Check local sewing machine shops, community centers, etc for sewing classes. As has been mentioned, sometimes there's nothing like a personal instructor to hand down little tips as simple as how to easily line up your grain line.

Start with simple projects. Skirts are usually relatively simple. Just don't be intimidated. It'll be a gradual process of learning new techniques.

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
Intermediate
Kansas USA
Member since 12/13/08
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In reply to apricotusm


Date: 3/1/12 12:49 PM

Quote: apricotusm
I normally wear extra large but these were EXTRA large. Huge!

I think the most common problem we hear from brand-new sewers is either:

--"I followed the size chart but my project is HUGE!!"
OR
--"I used my size, but everything was too small! I didn't realize that pattern sizing and ready-to-wear sizing were different."



For some reason, lots of commercial patterns include far more ease than ready-made clothing. (Ease is the difference in size between your measurements and the finished garment measurements.) Finding the finished garment measurements (usually printed on the pattern tissue) can help, as can tissue-fitting the pattern (pinning it together and trying it on) or making a mockup (cutting it out of inexpensive fabric first).

------
~Gem in the prairie

heathergwo
heathergwo  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
California USA
Member since 11/14/11
Posts: 958
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Date: 3/2/12 12:41 PM

Being a fairly new sewer, I recommend all of the above.

I started with a sewing 101 class at my local Joann's which showed me how to use my machine. Then I bought a book which guided me through my first project, a very simple sewing machine cover (which i still have and love). Then I took another class and bought another book. When something new came up, I searched on the web and watched YouTube videos - i.e. how to sew a dart, blind hem, slipstitching, etc.

As long as you're having fun, that's all that matters! And don't be afraid to take risks and try something. Just maybe don't do it with a really expensive fabric

------
Brother Innovis 1250D
Babylock Enlighten
Singer Curvy 8763
Brother 1034D
Janome 385.19606
Brother 2340CV

Fictionfan
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Fictionfan  Friend of PR
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Vermont USA
Member since 5/19/06
Posts: 1268
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Date: 3/2/12 6:11 PM

Welcome to the wonderful world of sewing!
Pinned at the top of the list for the Beginner's Forum is a thread on sewing books. It's a good idea to have a general sewing book. The ones with photos are probably more useful to beginners, and the ones with more details in the text will take you beyond the beginner levels.

You might want to check out the other pinned topics, too.

Threads magazine has some online tutorials that are free.

There's a ton of free stuff on YouTube if you want to wade through it.

Sandra Betzina has an online subscription service called Power Sewing that has a lot of information and some free lessons. I haven't used the subscription so I don't know if it's worth the money.

Measurements are a tricky thing for new sewers, and eventually we all get around to wanting the perfect fit. Fit For Real People is probably the most popular book for learning how to pick the right size and how to tissue fit a pattern, which means trying on the pattern before you cut fabric. They also sell a DVD that I haven't seen. Sandra Betzina's Fast Fit and Nancy Zieman's books are also good ones, and there are many more.

Sarah Veblen just published book on fitting that is getting high praise in the reviews. She teaches classes on PR that are very good for learning groundwork once you know your way around the machine and the very basics.

Shannon Gifford taught learn to sew classes on PR until she died. Her lessons are sold here on PR as ebooks.

David Page Coffin has a book on shirtmaking and a book on making pants. They both have companion video. I think the pants one is available as an ebook.

Craftsy.com has some sewing lessons that aren't really beginner level, but may interest you.

I am taking Kenneth D. King's Jean-ius class on craftsy.com, where we learn to copy a well-fitting pair of jeans. We're making a pattern from the ready-made jeans. The concept translates to any garment, but he only shows how to make jeans from copying to finished garment.

I am also taking Susan Khalje's couture dress class, where we start with a dress pattern (one is provided for the class as part of the fee), pick the size according to the main measurements, and then basically forget the instructions from there. It involves making a muslin, or mock-up, that she then shows how to fit it perfectly and use the muslin as the pattern for the final dress, which is made with couture techniques. Couture isn't fast sewing, but it is the best way to get a well-made, custom-fitted garment.

Lastly, there is totally free and sometimes random advice from PR members who are as enthusiastic about sewing as you could ever want.

HTH
(NAYY to any of my suggested resources)
-- Edited on 3/4/12 1:30 PM --

------
Fictionfan

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
Intermediate
Kansas USA
Member since 12/13/08
Posts: 3245
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In reply to heathergwo


Date: 3/2/12 10:46 PM

Quote: heathergwo
Then I bought a book which guided me through my first project, a very simple sewing machine cover (which i still have and love).

My first project with my first machine was a sewing machine cover, too! I found the most adorable cotton print of ladies in Victorian dress (I do historical costuming). My current machine has a hard cover, but I'm giving serious thought to making a cover for my new serger!

------
~Gem in the prairie

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