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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Where to start with garment sewing? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Where to start with garment sewing?
Sanveann

Sanveann
Beginner
MI USA
Member since 2/27/08
Posts: 8
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Date: 5/29/08 2:05 PM

I'm a very new sewer -- so far, my projects have been really simple: a nursing cover for a friend, a baby quilt (from a kit), a pillowcase, a pair of pajama pants (that was for a class), an apron.

I'd really like to start getting more into garment sewing. Where would be the best place to start? What's the best garment? What should I avoid? Any recommendations for a particular brand of patterns?

Also, I have a very large bustline ... I'm trying to figure out if it would be best to learn to sew the patterns "as-is" first, and then learn to alter them after I'm more experienced, or if I should try altering them from the start. Please help! :)

------
~ Alexis, mom to Matthew (born April 7, 2007) and Baby Numero Dos (due Dec. 28, 2008)

FirecrackerKTM
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FirecrackerKTM
Intermediate
CO USA
Member since 3/28/08
Posts: 2333
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Date: 5/29/08 2:16 PM

I think skirts are one of the easiest things to do. You can do a wrap skirt or a gathered skirt with an elastic waistband to avoid having to mess with zippers, darts, etc.

Dolman sleeve tops are easy also, or shirts like this one:

CurlySu717
CurlySu717  Friend of PR
Intermediate
TX USA
Member since 10/26/06
Posts: 1043
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Date: 5/29/08 2:22 PM

I second skirts...super-easy, and minimal fitting with an elastic waistband.

Also, try the Kwik-Sew patterns or Simplicity's Sewing for Dummies line.

I saw that you have a little boy; childrens clothing patterns are usually pretty easy, too.

I also really recommend taking as many classes as you can...it's so much easier to learn with someone showing you how to do it instead of trying to make sense of pattern gibberish.

------
"To love another person is to see the face of God!" ~Les Miserables

www.lillianbettyandsibyl.blogspot.com

Orsi
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Orsi
Advanced Beginner
NJ USA
Member since 11/7/07
Posts: 117
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In reply to Sanveann


Date: 5/29/08 2:31 PM

Welcome,

You will get plenty of advice here, but here is what I think. There are many patterns rated as "easy" that have few pieces, no complicated techniques and are usually fast (not counting fitting). You can start with any of them you like. As far as fitting goes, skirt are easier than tops or pants. Especially if it is not fitted at the hip, just "hangs down" from the waist. I think these skirts are the easiest, but even a straight skirt is easier to fit than any pants.

Sewing for children is a great practice- using up less material and takes less time than sewing adult clothes, while you can practice any technique you like. Also, not much problem with fitting. If no kids to sew for, start sewing things you like for yourself and just work through it slowly. Don't expect it to be perfect.

Learning to fit as you learn to sew would be great, but it could discourage you. Maybe try to fit and if it doesn't work, just sew less fitted styles first. It is a long process. I sewed my first garment when I was in high school (grade school?), but only made one or two things every couple of years. Only recently did I get more serious and learned a huge deal.

Learn about fabrics, so you use the right one for the project and start with easy fabrics.

Good luck and enjoy!

michellep74
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michellep74  Friend of PR
Intermediate
WA USA
Member since 7/19/07
Posts: 2745
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Date: 5/29/08 2:32 PM

Kwik Sew is good for beginners.

I started off mostly with easy Simplicity patterns--largely because they're available so inexpensively via pattern sales. Simplicity also has a lot of styles that don't require a lot of fitting knowledge.

If your upper body has fitting issues, you might want to try to make a few skirts first, just to get familiar with garment construction.

On the other hand, if you're like me, and one of the reasons why you want to learn to sew garments is so that you can actually have tops that fit, you could try a few easy, loose-fitting top patterns. I'd recommend making a top or two to get familiar with the terminology and general construction skills to get your confidence up, and then tackle your first full bust adjustment. (FBA's can seem really intimidating at first, but they do get easier with practice.)

------
--Michelle

***
Blog: http://happilycaffeinated.blogspot.com/

2014 Fabric IN: 47.63 yards
2014 Fabric OUT: 70.5 yards
2014 Fabric Sewn: 20.5 yards
2014 Fabric Donated: 50 yards
2014 Stash patterns used: 5

michellep74
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michellep74  Friend of PR
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WA USA
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In reply to FirecrackerKTM


Date: 5/29/08 2:33 PM

Quote: FirecrackerKTM

Dolman sleeve tops are easy also, or shirts like this one:




I second this pattern suggestion. I made the "It's so Easy" re-issue of this pattern as my very first top. It's cute and loose-fitting enough (without being baggy) to work for someone with a full bust.

------
--Michelle

***
Blog: http://happilycaffeinated.blogspot.com/

2014 Fabric IN: 47.63 yards
2014 Fabric OUT: 70.5 yards
2014 Fabric Sewn: 20.5 yards
2014 Fabric Donated: 50 yards
2014 Stash patterns used: 5

KitnRose
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KitnRose
Intermediate
TX USA
Member since 6/18/03
Posts: 2074
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Date: 5/29/08 3:18 PM

One more vote for something loose fitting with minimal pieces. Whatever you pick, though, make it something you'd like if you found it at a store. The cutest elastic-waist skirt is still discouraging if you don't like it. Speaking from experience as one who simply can't wear 99% of the elastic or drawstring waist skirts out there.

Another pattern to get started on is a simple robe. I know it's not a wear-it-outside kinda garment, but it's a start! You can make it out of quilting cotton (so easy to work with!) for a chic summer robe that's perfect for mornings and any time you want to look nice around the house without getting all dressed up. I've got one that took all of an hour to make and I'm about to wear the print off of it, I wear it so much. Also, if you make it hip length then you've got your very own Momono which can be worn outside the house.

My favorite robe pattern is Simplicity 3696. Very chic and no set-in sleeves to deal with. One warning though, if you do tackle this pattern - the two hardest parts of construction, the pocket and the little belt loops, are first. Personally I'd make the first robe without the pockets and use ribbon for the loops. I'd also shorten it to just below hip length but that's me. While you miiight have trouble with the robe not fitting quite right due to a full bust, it shouldn't be as bad as a normal shirt would be. Anyway, that's my advice. Hope it helps and welcome to sewing!
-- Edited on 5/29/08 3:22 PM --

------
Kit
"Never underestimate the power of the right dress!" - drsue
"Hyu gots to know how to sveet tok de costumers, dollink" - Girl Genius, 11-24-08

Learn To Sew
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Learn To Sew  Friend of PR
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WA USA
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In reply to michellep74


Date: 5/29/08 3:47 PM

What is the pattern number of this top? I think I might like to buy it next sale.

Carol

------
I am a Quilter at heart. I love to play with fabrics, patterns and colors. Recently I have discovered I enjoy doing applique. I love making pictures. Using a sewing machine is much easier than counted cross stitch or oil painting for me. I enjoy landscape quilting as well. I am working on my first applique project in the spring of 2014.
Bernina 630, my main machine
Pfaff 2036, my class machine
Babylock Molly
Bernina 1200DA serger
Unique Sewing Cabinet 450L

FirecrackerKTM
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FirecrackerKTM
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CO USA
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Date: 5/29/08 3:49 PM

The Simplicity version is 4177. I don't know what the It's So Easy version is.

michellep74
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michellep74  Friend of PR
Intermediate
WA USA
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In reply to Learn To Sew


Date: 5/29/08 3:52 PM

The It's So Easy version is 3732.

The only difference, as far as I can tell, is that the "Easy" version only contains two of the (simpler) views.

------
--Michelle

***
Blog: http://happilycaffeinated.blogspot.com/

2014 Fabric IN: 47.63 yards
2014 Fabric OUT: 70.5 yards
2014 Fabric Sewn: 20.5 yards
2014 Fabric Donated: 50 yards
2014 Stash patterns used: 5

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