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Message Board > Miscellaneous > Encouragement for beginner sewer... ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Encouragement for beginner sewer...
Learning to sew!
SMGSSG
SMGSSG
Member since 5/8/11
Posts: 7
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Date: 1/25/12 6:39 PM

I have made some great projects...night gown, pillow, peasant blouse and A line skirt. However now I am really trying to do some new projects...tops with some extra detail. I have really struggled with the instructions! Will it get better? Yoke necklines seem to puzzle me although I just may have it figured out. I have my top cut out out and I think I will be able to make it correct this time. I am a little afraid. I feel sad when I wad projects up in the scrap bag. Anyway for some odd reason I cannot give up....any encouragement and advise will be appreciated. I am teaching myself from books and the internet....I love in a rural area and must drive one hour just to buy fabirc. However when I have a success I feel awsome.....

hazelnut
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hazelnut  Friend of PR
Beginner
USA
Member since 1/7/09
Posts: 2310
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In reply to SMGSSG


Date: 1/25/12 7:09 PM

You're ahead of me with a peasant blouse and a skirt! To keep my morale up after numerous unsuccessful attempts, I keep telling myself "you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you get the prince"! LOL Sorry I can't be of help with a yoke, haven't tried one yet. Keep at it (sewing), eventually it will come!
There is so much to learn in the beginning with SM's, fabric, patterns, fitting and actual sewing techniques. It's rare when I get a top to both fit and be sewn nicely in the same garment LOL....but when it happens I too have that awesome feeling you speak of. :)

You might want to post this in the "Beginner's Sewing" topic board - you'll get more replies there than here in Misc. Hopefully the Moderator will move your post. Good luck! There are many nice people here full of wisdom and encouragement.
edited to add: I'm also mostly teaching myself, with a lot of help from the members here. I purchased quite a few second-hand books after borrowing many from the local library (which also had some sewing VCR tapes and DVD's. I haven't gotten into you-tube that much. I'm rural too, and do most of my fabric ordering online.
-
-- Edited on 1/25/12 7:54 PM --

MNBarb
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MNBarb  Friend of PR
Intermediate
MN USA
Member since 4/3/10
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Date: 1/25/12 7:33 PM

I'm sure there are a million examples of famously talented people who started at step one.

Of course you can't give up. Look what you have already learned. The drive to keep trying until you succeed is an admiral trait.

I think most people are visual learners. If you haven't tried Kwik Sew patterns I would recommend doing so. In my opinion, they have the best written directions and pictorals.

If you need some inspiration choose a few PR members who started here as beginners or advanced beginners and see their pattern reviews past and current. You will almost always see great improvement with more time and practice.

If there aren't any beginner's sew alongs going on at present maybe you could start one for a simple top or other garment. You won't feel so rural if you are part of a PR group.

Also, you may have neighbors who are advanced or experienced sewists. Get the word out that you are learning to sew and someone might be willing to give you some quick tips.

Hang in there. Wadders make everyone sad but a lesson is learned from mistake.

------
Barb
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Thomas Edison
"I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow." Woodrow Wilson

Canadian Jane
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Canadian Jane
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AB CANADA
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Date: 1/25/12 8:05 PM

Don't give up!!

I learn something on everything I make and over time I actually think I have gotten a bit better. I also nearly make a "blunder" on everything I make. Too bad I frequently repeat the mistake because I frequently don't remember until I do it again!! LOL - such is life.

It's hard when you don't have people handy that you can ask. I usually don't either and have found that the internet is one of my best sources. There are a ton of youtube videos and blogs out there. And then there are the mega talented people on this forum who are very, very helpful.

Hang in there... you might just be your harshest critic.

------
Forgiveness does not excuse the behaviour. It prevents the behaviour from breaking your heart over and over again.

SouthernStitch
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SouthernStitch  Friend of PR
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LA
Member since 8/24/02
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Date: 1/25/12 11:08 PM

I second You Tube and the blogs for great inspiration and helpfulness. Sometimes it just helps to see it in action. Keep on trying. It does get much better with patience and practice.

------
Bernina 780, and 530
Juki TL2010
Babylock Evolution
Singer 403a

When life gives you green velvet curtains, make a green velvet dress.

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
Intermediate
TX USA
Member since 4/1/08
Posts: 5537
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In reply to SMGSSG


Date: 1/26/12 0:12 AM

With the projects you've listed, I'm wondering if your projects have mostly been from woven fabrics. Knit fabrics certainly present challenges, but if you are learning to fit and are progressing with wovens you are moving along quite nicely. Not a lot of forgiveness in fitting those.

When approaching a new application (like a yoke collar) you can help yourself visualize it by cutting it out of any old paper you have around, even ironed out grocery bags. Use old tissue or discarded thin fabric for cutting out pieces that have gathering. You don't even have to cut the full length of the body pieces, just enough to help you play with how you are going to join the components. It helps to press the (approximate) seam allowance under on the yoke when studying your puzzle.

Are you working with a pattern and would you like to share the pattern number for more specific information on setting in that yoke? Different tips for different yokes.

It will get better. You'll become so proficient that you'll stop paying close attention and will end up with two left sleeves or your sleeves sewn in backwards. So, the best I can offer until I know more about your pattern is to be consistent.

Establish a routine for the basic steps and stick with it until/unless you come up with something better.

Be consistent in:
preparing your fabric and notions, preshrinking, etc.
safely returning your cutting and pinning tools to their designated storage spot
pressing your pattern pieces
measuring yourself, your pattern and a garment you wear with a similar fit
(measure seam line to seam line)
checking your grain lines
distinguishing front pieces from back pieces when you cut them
(and right side from wrong side)
.....I always put two pins on the right side of every back piece,
.....and one pin on the right side of every front piece.
.....someone else marks right/wrong side, front/back with chalk

There is more, but you get the idea. Routine in the ordinary things will let you focus on the new details.

Forget the wadded up projects. Cut usable pieces out of the trial project; press, fold and add the pieces to your stash or donate them to the local quilt group.

???Do you study your pattern pieces after you have rough cut them and before you actually cut out your fabric?

Marci Tilton has a two part video on tissue fitting a t, Part 1. For your yoked blouse, you could drape a sturdy hang with a thick bath towel folded lengthwise to create a neck and some shoulders. You could then similarly tissue pin and fit your yoked blouse onto your towel bodice form to help visualize how it will go together.

Truly, it seems as if you are advancing at an admirable rate.

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

M.S.
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M.S.
Intermediate
Member since 3/6/09
Posts: 1229
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Date: 1/26/12 9:56 AM

It sounds like you've caught the sewing bug. It does get easier, in fact you'll get to the point where you like to do things a different/better way than the instructions tell you. We've all had many failures, but it's how we learn! I've probably even worn some things that should have been thrown in the trash. Keep trying. It's really a neat thing to look back at some of my first projects and see how far I've come!

Tall Mary

Tall Mary  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
NV USA
Member since 12/7/04
Posts: 527
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Date: 1/26/12 12:32 PM

Hi,
Yokes are hard because they are difficult to envision how they will turn out. I second the suggestion of using paper or different colored fabrics (scrap) to practice making yokes. "The Reader's Guide to Sewing" has some info. on putting yokes together as does one of the Kwik Sew patterns for making a western shirt. My Reader's Guide book is my go-to book for clear info. and diagrams. You can buy it used on my sites.
Kathy

------
Sewing and reading about sewing are daily pleasures.
I hope to use up lots of stash in 2013.
2011-Sewing from Stash-SABLE

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
Advanced
OH USA
Member since 12/3/06
Posts: 6858
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In reply to SMGSSG


Date: 1/26/12 1:24 PM

Quote: SMGSSG
I have made some great projects...night gown, pillow, peasant blouse and A line skirt. However now I am really trying to do some new projects...tops with some extra detail. I have really struggled with the instructions! Will it get better? Yoke necklines seem to puzzle me although I just may have it figured out. I have my top cut out out and I think I will be able to make it correct this time. I am a little afraid. I feel sad when I wad projects up in the scrap bag. Anyway for some odd reason I cannot give up....any encouragement and advise will be appreciated. I am teaching myself from books and the internet....I love in a rural area and must drive one hour just to buy fabirc. However when I have a success I feel awsome.....

Me too - on the drive.

When a project starts giving me problems. I stop and set it aside.

Don't toss it away. Sometimes after "sleeping on it" the solution becomes clear.

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

SMGSSG
SMGSSG
Member since 5/8/11
Posts: 7
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In reply to hazelnut


Date: 2/4/12 2:25 PM

Well I for some reason have never be able to give up on things....it is my best and worst quality! It must be one of your best and worst quality's too. I bought some new books they have not arrived but I am hoping "sewing in a straight line" will be what I need. I am only 5 foot tall and most of the patterns dwarf me....hence cotton peasant blouses and skirts.....I have some DVD's too. Thanks for your encouragement....I did figure out the yoke with the help of a kind lady on pattern review. I was looking at ready to wear today and I know that I can do better....Keep trying.....I will too!

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