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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Sequential list of skills for beginner ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Sequential list of skills for beginner
looking for list of skills & information to use to both learn (myself) & to teach my daughters
cczw
cczw
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Date: 4/26/13 9:13 AM

I am new to this group & am considering teaching my daughters (aged 9, 14 & 16) how to sew...though I think I might do well just to find someone. (Most of my sewing experience is from high school..some 30 yrs. ago or so.)
Anyway, I am interested in a book or some other written information that would guide me in moving along somewhat sequentially with skills...building upon each others & beginning with what is necessary. (Am I making sense?) Or, if anyone knows of tutorials that are sequential online, that might work also. It sounds like there may be a lady in my area that teaches classes in this manner, but I thought about trying to find resource(s) to teach myself and the girls. Of course it would be great if this included small fun projects along the way.
Thanks for any suggestions ~ Catherine

procraftinate
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procraftinate
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Date: 4/26/13 10:13 AM

My daughter is 8 and I have been giving her sewing lessons since she turned 7. First she did a pillow case which only had straight sewing. Then I had her sew scraps turning corners and curves. I will wait for her to master those things before I start her on anything else. She does like to watch me sew when she gets the chance.
Since your daughters are older they could try gathering and maybe button holes (on scraps first) and zippers.

SewRaeMe

SewRaeMe
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Date: 4/26/13 10:21 AM

I don't have any specific names but I do know at my local library there is a long list of books and DVDs on beginning sewing. Many books (The Sewing Book by Alison Smith for example) have projects listed in the back, that will cover most areas, eg. making a buttonhole, dart, hem, corners etc. They aren't big projects so don't consume a lot of time or materials.
I don't know if there is a "sequential" way of sewing as some people find some things easier to do while others may find that to be difficult, eg. some people find zippers to be a breeze and others will avoid anything with a zipper in it.

------
Formerly The Canadian

ShantiSeamstressing
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ShantiSeamstressing
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In reply to cczw <<


Date: 4/26/13 10:58 AM

There are two books that I think might fit the bill nicely for you ~

Diana Rupp's Sew Everything Workshop and
The Sewing Book by Alison Smith

reetsi
reetsi  Friend of PR
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In reply to cczw <<


Date: 4/26/13 11:55 AM

Hi Catherine,

As a beginner, I thought the book "Stitch by Stich" did a great job of starting me off with the basics and guiding me through more complex projects one step at a time. Here's the link to amazon:

Stitch by Stitch: Learning to Sew

It starts you off making a "stitch sampler" with your machine. You begin with napkins, bags and pillows and progress to skirts and button down shirts at the very end. Each project is designed to teach you a skill. It was one of my favorite books as an absolute newbie.

Fannie Rebecca
Fannie Rebecca  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/26/13 1:09 PM

There's a series of instructional videos by Pam Tripaldi called "You Can Make It". In the seven lessons you learn to layout a pattern, sew a seam, make a hem and gradually add to those basics. By the end you will have learned inserting a sleeve, installing a zipper, working with sheers and plaids, and making a jacket.

Here's a list of everything that is taught:

https://www.youcanmakeit.com/sevenlevels.asp

They will also find one of their teachers in your area if there is one.

The first video is somewhat stilted in narration and I don't like Pam's hairdo; but she improves a lot!
-- Edited on 4/26/13 1:10 PM --

ahrizel
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ahrizel
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Date: 4/26/13 2:35 PM

While a step by step lesson plan is a good idea, I do have a few suggestions for you. First, since it has been a long time since you've done any sewing, take a class. Actually you and you daughters take one together, one of the sewing machine 101 types. I know both our Joann's and our local sew and vac teach such a class. Brushing up on the basics with an instructor can be very helpful. Personally, for my style of learning, taking classes at least occasionally helps me learn a lot faster. But as an intro it can be quite helpful and worth the money. Joann's has regular half price class sales too. But I would check in with a few of the staff as to how good the instructor is, bad teachers are not worth the money.
Now when it comes to doing things in a set sequence, don't be afraid to skip steps occasionally. For some projects you may have to. Your daughter will pick up a pattern she loves, but it has darts which you haven't done yet. Just jump ahead and give it a try. Most of us beginners have some gaps in our sewing skills. Doing buttonholes and buttons well-not yet for me. Ask me to bone out a fitted bodice, now that I'm decent at. Myself I should get one of the books mentioned and methodically work my way through skills I've missed. But most of us sew what we like or what we have to make. Which means a hodgepodge of knowledge and frequent posting on the beginner board Thank goodness for the boards for questions.
Good luck on the sewing lessons with your daughters. They will be learning a valuable life skill and spending some quality time with Mom too. Let us know how it goes, we love to hear about people learning to sew.
Mary

tinflutterby
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Date: 4/27/13 2:05 AM

Having 5 daughters of my own and recently teaching a friends daughter to sew I will throw in my two cents. I have found learning is very individual. None of my daughters was interested until they were older (14+). The older they were the pickier they were so they started with costumes and other things that they were ok with using even if it was not exactly as they imagined it. The 14yr old started with doll clothes which I always considered harder than clothes for people but she had some fairly significant alterations so it was better for her as she could just follow the pattern. She moved on to PJ's, and can do most anything now 4 years later.
For all of them they did better making something they wanted that was a challenge than doing something simple that had no use or they didn't like. My only rules were that you can work through one mistake but if you make another mistake within 30minutes you must take a break because you are getting careless or tired and I hold the right to veto either the fabric or the pattern if I believe it is beyond any reasonable chance of success.
Sewing with my friends 9 yr old was a completely different story. She could sew a nice straight seam so we started with an elastic waist skirt. No pattern, machine hem. I wanted her to realize that she could make her ideas which with a 9 year old bean pole is pretty easy. Then we did a simple a line dress with a zipper and bias bound armholes. We did need to lengthen a size 7 6 inches. I would have probably encouraged shorts or PJ bottoms next had I not moved.

marymary86
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In reply to cczw <<
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Date: 4/27/13 6:22 PM

Knowing what I know now, here's how I'd try to approach it.

First - I'd make myself a pair of PJ bottoms just to refresh basic skills of choosing good fabric, laying out a pattern and sewing it up.

Then I'd ask my girls who wants to learn to sew. I'd pick the child who showed the most enthusiasm and ask them what they want to make. If it was relatively easy, I'd go for it.

Any other project would get dissected into needed skills. You want to make a prom dress from a bridal pattern? Great! But first you'll need to make a pillow case, then a dress and then we'll discuss the prom dress.

I like making PJ's and camisoles with teens. They'll get used no matter what and they can learn a lot of skills from sewing those projects. But I found IRL, teens will learn to sew if they can make what they really want to wear.

------
Mary


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