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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Fabric store freak out ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Fabric store freak out
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Jen Jambon
Jen Jambon
Member since 5/31/12
Posts: 3
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Date: 5/31/12 9:13 PM

I'm going to put the "no silly question" rule to the test. I am Bipolar (tmi, I know) and have picked sewing as a new hobby. I just purchased the Brother SE400 and my classes start soon. I made my first trip the the fabric store today and it was completely overwhelming! Are there any tips out there for organizing a trip. I thought all I would have to get was fabric and thread. I don't know what anything else is for. I have read the books and researched. I really need help with a very simple list of necessities. Can anyone out there help? The fabric store may be my downfall as it is so overwhelming to me but I would really love to learn this art!



Member since 12/31/69
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Date: 5/31/12 9:20 PM

Are you garment making, or using the embroidery part of the machine?

Jen Jambon
Jen Jambon
Member since 5/31/12
Posts: 3
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Date: 5/31/12 9:30 PM

Both. But I'm starting with garmets.

heathergwo
heathergwo  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
California USA
Member since 11/14/11
Posts: 958
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Date: 5/31/12 9:36 PM

For me, it's easiest to start with a project or pattern in mind.

For example, my very first project was to sew a cover for the sewing machine I bought. I had a pattern and it listed exactly what I needed. So I went to the store and purchased just that. The fabric, thread and bias tape that I needed for that one project.

After several trips like this, I started buying fabric just because I liked it, with maybe a vague idea of what I'd use it for. Now I'm a full-fledged fabraholic with a decent sized stash.

Besides what you need for each individual project, you should probably pick up some spare bobbins, some additional needles (for various types of fabric) and some basic thread in colors like white, black, navy and off-white. Of course, I'm assuming you have the other basic sewing stuff like scissors, a ruler, pins, etc. If not, those are things you will need to buy as well.

Project based shopping I think will keep you focused and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.

Good luck!

PS - When you decide the project, the pattern will recommend the types of fabric to use and that will help guide you in the store of where to look for the fabric you need.

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

GrandmaNewt
GrandmaNewt
Intermediate
Member since 6/5/10
Posts: 350
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Date: 5/31/12 10:02 PM

A short simple list of necessities (and I am sure others will add in whatever I forget!)

Scissors (for fabric cutting only, dont use the paper cutting scissors you have at home!)
Measuring tape
Pins
Hand sewing needles and Sewing machine needles
Seam ripper (one might have come with your sewing machine)
Chalk, washable marker or tracing paper and wheel for transfering pattern markings onto fabric
Short ruler for measuring hems etc.
Iron and ironing board

Thats all I can think of for the "must have" list. I am sure I have forgotten something though! There are a whole lot of other items out there that are nice additions to the basics, but it is possible to sew without them.

MissLadyAudrey
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MissLadyAudrey
Beginner
Georgia USA
Member since 12/2/11
Posts: 73
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In reply to Jen Jambon <<


Date: 5/31/12 11:30 PM

Fabric shopping in the beginning can be extremely overwhelming! When I first started sewing - I made a list of the basic items (the earlier posts have those covered) and I used a pattern to determine the type and amount of fabric, and the notions that I needed.

I ended up buying a basic sewing kit from Joanne's (it had basically everything that I needed). My very first project was a pair of PJ pants (free download pattern on Simplicity.com) - and, I got just what I needed in the clearance section at Walmart.

After, I had a successful project - I ordered the fabric, thread and elastic from fabric.com (it's $35 for free shipping - so I ordered enough of everything for 3 complete projects).

HTH!

------
Needles Up!
http://sewreinventedaudrey.blogspot.com/

sagittmama
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sagittmama
Intermediate
Arizona USA
Member since 3/17/11
Posts: 46
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Date: 6/1/12 2:19 AM

I remembered when I started out sewing again couple years back, I spent a lot of time browsing the fabric section while picking up tools and gears. I didn't make my first buy until much later and getting refreshed how to order yardage.

A lot of that goes into planning too. I usually start with pattern in mind first and try to visualize what I want in the end product. My rewiew for the Cosmo bag actually took a lot of planning and took at least 4 separate trips to find the 3 coordinating colors I wanted. I was waiting for the colors to jump at me and be pulled together. It worked really well for me!

I also use a running list of what I need (with some information next to it so I know which piece goes to what project). For me, that was the system that worked so far. I'm sure you will quickly find what works best for you!

------
Risa

www.risashoebox.com

wendyrb
wendyrb  Friend of PR
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Member since 12/30/11
Posts: 3220
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Date: 6/1/12 2:35 AM

Even for experienced sewers, a stocked fabric store can be overstimulating and confusing to find things. Lots of good info here to get you started. A few more tips.

* Get and the pattern first and read the envelope front and back for guidance. Besides fabric, all the notions required are listed. Read the instructions for how your garment is assembled. It helps in understanding how to use all the ingredients, rather than buying things blindly.

* If possible go to a store with knowledgeable staff. Most likely prices are higher, but I consider it an education cost and an investment in my mental health. Ideally, a sales person can take you right to what you need and explain the different options.

* 1 more notion- something to contain pins- pin cushion, wrist cushion, magnetic holder, etc. Maybe I'm just a klutz, but cleaning up a mess of spilled pins- yucko!

I suggest picking simple things that don't take too long so you can get some immediate gratification. I wish you lots of pleasure as you learn this wonderful art.

------
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Andy Rooney

Pfonzie- my honey Pfaff Creative Performance, Bernina 930 and 830, Evolution serger.

Jen Jambon
Jen Jambon
Member since 5/31/12
Posts: 3
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Date: 6/1/12 5:49 AM

Thanks for the info. I have found so many great posts on the site! Everyone seems so helpful. I'm sure I will be spending lots of time here in the newbie section! Great welcome and great advise.

marec
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marec  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Member since 5/11/08
Posts: 4208
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In reply to Jen Jambon <<


Date: 6/1/12 10:53 AM

Welcome, and please let us all know how your project is going.

------
my blog: http://kf-biblioblog.blogspot.com/
Sewing through my pattern stash-145
completed.

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