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Self-tought or attend classes
I am wondering how newbies pick up their sewing
CozyCotton
CozyCotton
Advanced Beginner
Victoria Australia
Member since 11/1/12
Posts: 13
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Date: 11/5/12 3:22 PM

As a newbie, I have been struggling in the last couple months learning myself by reading books and watching Youtube videos. While I can pick up some basic stuff like using sewing machine, using patterns and measuing, I feel I usually spend long time on one project and the project results oftem do not turn out to be what is surposed to be like on books and videos.

So I decided to register sewing classes, although it costs quite a bit of money. I am wondering how many people there actually teach him/herself, and how many use a mentor. How does everyone pick up sewing from start.

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http://cozycotton.blogspot.com.au
Love my Bernina 440

Elona
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Elona  Friend of PR
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In reply to CozyCotton <<


Date: 11/5/12 3:44 PM

I've been sewing since I was a child, and I have to say that my skill level increased very quickly with instruction from 4-H sewing teachers. This process gave me a real leg-up for sewing progress by providing the basics in an organized, economical time frame.

Since then, I've seen a lot of people teach themselves, some of them doing quite well, but IMHO there's no substitute for the hands-on opportunities, shortcuts, and tried-and-true methods that you will quickly learn in your sewing course. It's a lot faster than slooooowly discovering these things for yourself over the course of many years.

Courtney Ostaff
Courtney Ostaff
Intermediate
West Virginia USA
Member since 11/23/10
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Date: 11/5/12 4:13 PM

My grandmother taught me to sew when I was elementary school, and I did OK for a while doing progressively more difficult patterns. However, I bought the Craftsy class with Susan Khalje this summer, and learned a LOT!

So, I think learning with a person at first is best, and then you can progress to different techniques with some videos and books. Does that help?

AdaH
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AdaH  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Iowa USA
Member since 11/21/09
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Date: 11/5/12 4:21 PM

As a child I was exposed to sewing because my mom sewed, however I didn't really start sewing for myself until I moved away from home and had a family.
I learned by trial and error. One thing in my favor was the pattern instruction sheets. They were a lot better when I started sewing than they are now.
Around the time I was 30 I found a fabric store that offered sewing lessons. That is when my sewing really improved.
Sewing classes can become addictive.

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Ada

missticky2
missticky2
Intermediate
Member since 12/14/09
Posts: 145
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Date: 11/5/12 4:36 PM

My mum was a basic sewer out of necessity. I guess I learned a bit by watching and then in my teens started sewing for myself, very trial and error. Then I started buying patterns and learnt from those over the years, improving as I went. I still have a lot to learn...lol. I've never had a lesson and there were no computers and therefore none of the wonderful resources we have now, like Youtube. I often go online to see if there's a better way of doing some of the things I do. Sometimes there is, sometimes I prefer my method...lol.

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Blessings
Janice

misschris
misschris
AUSTRALIA
Member since 2/3/06
Posts: 1573
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In reply to CozyCotton <<


Date: 11/5/12 5:16 PM

Where in Australia are you? Perhaps someone on the Sewing Down Under thread knows of some good local classes. Do you have an Australian Sewing Guild group nearby?

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chris

Melbourne

DonnaH
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DonnaH
Intermediate
Texas USA
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Date: 11/5/12 5:29 PM

Mostly self taught here - but still have a lot to learn! LOL

You may just be a slow sewer - we have a sew along, lol, and don't make nearly as much progress as some of the others.

Not sure why your projects aren't turning out. Could be more complicated than you are ready for, or you are rushing through some of the steps because you feel you are going too slowly. Take your time. There really is no deadline.

If you've already signed up, go ahead and take the sewing class. Don't be afraid to ask questions, especially if you don't understand. You are paying them for that knowledge. Practice what you learned in class when you get home (or the next day). Try to do it a few times before the next class so you can bring up any issues you had.

But I learned the most by doing. Choose a project that has as few new parts to it as possible - don't try a new fabric on a blouse w/ buttons, ruffles, and a collar if you never done any of that! Use a fabric you are comfortable with and a pattern w/ either buttons or a collar. Practice several times on scraps. As many times as it takes until you have done one (or more) that looks good, and you know what you did. Or choose a pattern you've done before (and liked) to sew with a new fabric.

mssewcrazy
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mssewcrazy  Friend of PR
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Mississippi USA
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In reply to CozyCotton <<
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Date: 11/5/12 6:30 PM

Do all of this. Take classes when you find a good one, watch you tube, and tutorials online(didn't have this resource). I was mostly self taught but did have some classes through the years and had a couple of one on one sessions with a very skilled mentor early on when attempting a men's collar band, and a few things I wasn't sure about doing. The older patterns have a lot more pictures and instructions inside. When I was starting out I could mostly follow the detailed instructions. Now there are about 15 statements in several languages so maybe sew some from some oop patterns some basic pieces that are classics for the extra instructional help inside these patterns. I like the instructions in kwik sew patterns as I think they still do a good job of explaining. Find some new or used sewing books for reference material. I have picked up lots of used ones for almost nothing. I got an older vogue sewing book at an estate sale for $1 I think it was and it is an encyclopedia of instructions. Mostly just keep at it. It really is a good thing if sewing garments to make muslins so you don't work really hard and get something that doesn't fit or should have had some pattern adjustments. Working hard on something that winds up useless is a sure way to get discouraged. Ditto picking a fabric that doesn't marry well with a pattern. There are suggestions on the pattern back and ask anyone that is helpful or willing in a sewing store to pass an opinion on what you are choosing as far as fabric content and pattern.
One thing about classes is they are not all created equal. Some are excellent and some aren't worth a flip. You can supplement the classes with some sewing dvds also. Some that are in a good library system can rent them. I tend to zone out after a little while watching so it is nice to be able to watch them in bits and pieces when you feel like it. My dvds are more on fitting at this stage but I am sure there are some sewing technique ones available. I once rented some of the islander videos on sewing that had lots of close ups of techniques that were good.

Sewncooknmom
Sewncooknmom
Advanced Beginner
Member since 6/2/12
Posts: 289
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Date: 11/5/12 6:52 PM

I am mostly self taught with a few sewing classes sprinkled in. Right now I am taking a sewing class and love it. And I agree with PP: there are tips that you can pick up from a good sewing teacher that you might not learn otherwise. Not every sewing teacher is worth their weight in salt, however. I had one who was getting ready to retire and didn't help me one bit. I was very disappointed in that class. But later I found a teacher whose passion was sewing...what a difference!

Also, you may have this book already, but I do want to recommend SEW Workshop by Diana Rupp. It's an excellent sewing book, and it helped me really get into sewing.

Sibilance7
Sibilance7  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/6/12 1:02 AM

I started out by taking sewing classes, and it was the best way for me to learn. I loved having someone there to answer my questions and verify that I was actually doing things correctly. After taking a lot of classes, I realized I wasn't learning as much anymore and started doing things on my own. I've been able to figure out most things and for those that I haven't been able to figure out, Pattern Review helps so much. When I move on to more complicated things, I'll probably want some classes again, and I'll take them if I can find them. But once I had the basics from my classes, I found I was able to understand things better on my own. I think you'll get a lot out of classes as long as your teachers are good.

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My blog: www.feministstitch.com

I sew on:
Olivia, my Pfurple Pfaff Creative Performance
BabyLock Evolution

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