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Teaching Myself How to Sew
SewMadeUP
SewMadeUP
Member since 8/29/12
Posts: 2
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Date: 9/13/12 7:36 PM

Hello out there...

I'm going to try to teach myself how to sew. I've been reading and trying a few things on my machine. I signed up for a class near my home, but the teacher didn't even show up for our fist lesson, and she was so sick at the second lesson that everyone became sick by the third lesson and she just closed the class. I learned NOTHING. So here I am.

SMU

JocelynJ
JocelynJ
Intermediate
Member since 11/29/11
Posts: 317
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In reply to SewMadeUP <<


Date: 9/13/12 9:49 PM

Really think you will love it here--it'll probably become your go to site for help. Most of us do not have anyone close by us to turn to for sewing help and learning, but with the ability to post pictures and ask questions it is really wonderful. Some others can give ideas on how to get started when you are on your own. I can only say its like learning anything, start simple and work up slowly, and you will learn from inevitable mistakes. Let us know what you want to learn, such as home dec, apparel making, etc and if you have any certain goals in mind for your sewing. So many avenues to go and so many helps available on this site. Also there is youtube that has visual instructions that talk you thru anything from making a skirt or apron to pillowcases for gifts--it never ends, the learning process, but is a great adventure. Glad you turned to patternreview--just a bunch of learners in progress.

maryl
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maryl
Intermediate
Massachusetts USA
Member since 6/24/05
Posts: 528
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Date: 9/13/12 11:15 PM

I also taught myself how to sew. You got many good suggestions from JocelynJ. I would just add that I used books, from the library and ones that I bought.

Don't be afraid to try doing things your own way, and don't be reluctant to just throw the piece out if it's not working out at all. I threw out many!

Good luck to you. Sewing is a huge joy in my life now.

Fictionfan
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Fictionfan  Friend of PR
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Vermont USA
Member since 5/19/06
Posts: 1269
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Date: 9/13/12 11:22 PM

Welcome, welcome, welcome!

There is so much online these days! Videos on YouTube and sewing guru sites, all kinds of tutorials, blogs, online classes, and of course, PR!

So what do you want to sew? Garments? Quilts? Home decor? Art? Specialty items? Costumes? Crafts? Accessories? Something I haven't mentioned yet? How much of a beginner are you? Just learning to use a machine? Returning after a long time away so that you may as well have never sewn? Got some basics and now you need to grow your skills? Having a teacher is nice but hard to find for so many people. Ask anything here; there is so much expertise in so many areas. Check out the reviews for the sorts of things you want to sew. And watch out for that infection, SMAD (Sewing Machine Addiction Disorder), that PR members enable so badly!

------
Fictionfan

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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USA
Member since 12/3/06
Posts: 7517
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In reply to SewMadeUP <<


Date: 9/13/12 11:40 PM

Quote: SewMadeUP
Hello out there...



I'm going to try to teach myself how to sew. I've been reading and trying a few things on my machine. I signed up for a class near my home, but the teacher didn't even show up for our fist lesson, and she was so sick at the second lesson that everyone became sick by the third lesson and she just closed the class. I learned NOTHING. So here I am.



SMU

What a disappointment!

Threads Magazine has Teach Yourself To Sew DVDs
Click here and watch a few of the segments.

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

paulakiss
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paulakiss  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Indiana USA
Member since 1/14/10
Posts: 115
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Date: 9/14/12 2:11 AM

Welcome! I am completely self taught. Before I found PR here, the best thing I ever bought to help me learn to sew was the Sewing For Dummies book. Everything is explained so well and you don't have to read it cover to cover, just skip around if you want!
PR is awesome though, lots and lots of knowledgeable sewists here who are friendly and so helpful! Enjoy!

jadamo00
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jadamo00
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New York USA
Member since 3/13/06
Posts: 1264
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Date: 9/14/12 7:52 AM

Oh, my dear, you are going to love sewing.

If you want a black jacket with red sleeves,
you make yisself a black jacket with red sleeves.



j.

Baychel3
Baychel3  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Massachusetts USA
Member since 1/21/10
Posts: 28
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Date: 9/14/12 8:57 AM

I, too, taught myself to sew even though I come from a very long line of sewers. When I started sewing I used my daughter as my guinea pig. Each time I made something I tried to add a new technique -- elastic band/casing for pants; zipper; pockets, etc. I just kept going -- very slowly and followed the pattern step by step. My daughter had more clothes that summer, was the envy of her little friends because the fabrics I chose were "little girl" fabrics. I ended up making things for her friends as well. Eventually, I did some more experimenting with clothes my size. That was over 30+ years ago --- I'm still sewing and still loving it! Good luck to you!

gramma b
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gramma b
USA
Member since 7/25/08
Posts: 3111
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Date: 9/14/12 8:59 AM

Classes run by stores often require a certain pattern/fabric designated by Corporate for the teacher to use, so it might not be right for instant success. Hopefully you have a friend/relative around as a gentle guide who can get you thru those hands-on frustrating little fixes like tension/needle/stitch issues?

I know a college gal who got free lessons from a sewing mom while in school in exchange for some babysitting-you might try something like that on Craigslist. Check to see if you have a local Sewing Guild or Home Extension Univ. courses too. The latter offers better 4-H type classes here.
You can practice cheaply by picking up items at thrift shops to re-purpose--many of those tutorials online. Some of us use old mechanicals, so you don't need a fancy machine either.

-- Edited on 9/14/12 9:05 AM --

Ariadne

Ariadne
Intermediate
Texas USA
Member since 7/27/08
Posts: 129
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Date: 9/14/12 10:16 AM

Okay, so you can run the machine? That's key. Straight stitch, and zig-zag can take you nearly anywhere you want to go.

Can you stitch in a straight line? Or curved? The best way to learn this is with a single sheet of paper. Draw a line, or a spiral or a shape, and then stitch over what you drew. That's how my kids started. I wish I'd started that way. There's a really good kids book that starts like that.

For Christmas cards- get the pack of cardstock from Michaels- the blank papers. And stitch down cool stuff that reminds you of Christmas. You'll get a feel for stitching, and the paper won't tear. My daughter makes these odd paper-dolls this way. She draws a character, and then stitches down scraps of fabric. She sews decorative seams around the picture, or around the name.

The "patterns for dummies" in ? I think? Simplicity patterns, shows how to sew each thing in detail. You might want to start with an apron, a pot-holder or flannel pajama pants. Really, the pajama pants are good for Christmas coming up. Pair the pants with a tee-shirt, possibly with iron-ons- and you're set for nice Christmas gifts for everyone in every size. For some families, it's a tradition.

After that- PR, blogs from PR, and videos. Threads has amazing specialty videos. Sew Simple the magazine has good photos of simple projects that look amazing.

College sewing classes require The Reader's Digest complete book of Sewing. Don't worry- it's nearly always on sale at a half-price bookstore. It has step by step diagrams for every little detail.

And, sewing is open-ended. You'll have very pleasing results early, and then you'll get to improve.

Oh- press. Iron every seam when it's sewn. Yes, you can sew a bunch of pieces all in a row, and then snip them apart, and press all of those. But- pressing and straight seams are what set apart lame home-sewing from really great home-sewing. Such simple little skills pay off with great results. It's like a force multiplier. When people get yenchy about home-sewing-that's what they are noticing- wobbly seams, and no pressing.

It's fabric. You can't hurt it. You can, and should experiment wildly. The only stitches that are important are the ones in front of the needle, and the one under the needle. By focussing on those two stitches- you can sew anything, anything at all, from the beginning.



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