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Unread 12-02-2012, 04:30 PM   #1
RidinIntoTheSun
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Suggestions for newbies?

Hi guys,
so heres my problem. I really want to learn to sew. I have taken required classes back when I was in middles school a long time ago, I have even been told from friends (their moms as well) and family, yet I just do not have any sewing skill what so ever.
Where do I begin? How can I gain some skills? I literally am not exaggerating when I say I have none. I have no skills in regards to crafts/the arts what so ever (including cooking. I can follow directions perfectly and still ruin the food-have done with easy made mac and cheese)

I also want to create some glass bottle necklaces/crafty things (suggestions?)
Thanks for looking! Please feel free to PM me

Last edited by RidinIntoTheSun : 12-02-2012 at 05:16 PM.
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Unread 12-02-2012, 04:58 PM   #2
Evil Bishounen
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The best way to gain sewing skills is to look at your local community colleges and find out if they have a Fashion department. It might also be called Textile Arts or something like that. Anyway, these departments are likely to have courses in professional sewing technique, garment construction, pattern drafting, and fitting/tailoring. Community colleges are totally affordable, and are a cheaper alternative (especially for hobbyists) than taking courses at a dedicated trade school.

If you have no community colleges in your area, you can also check out local mom-and-pop sewing machine stores, which usually offer various types of sewing classes or even one-on-one instruction. Joann and other fabric store chains sometimes offer sewing classes too.

The problem with trying to learn from family members is that it depends entirely on their skill level, which often turns out to be very amateur or just not appropriate for costuming. (One of my friends learned to sew from his grandmother, but the problem was that grandma was a quilter and didn't know much about garment construction. I caught a lot of bad habits he'd picked up as a consequence.) They also may not be very good at teaching, which is a whole other skill in itself.
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Last edited by Evil Bishounen : 12-02-2012 at 05:35 PM. Reason: OP removed the sexist language
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Unread 12-02-2012, 05:16 PM   #3
RidinIntoTheSun
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I'm sorry, I forgot. I did not mean to offend. I'll take that part out

I'm actually at a local community college, but we don't offer it.

I'll look into joann's for a class
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Unread 12-02-2012, 05:38 PM   #4
Evil Bishounen
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Thank you. Just trying to keep things balanced and respectful.

Another thing you could do is look for a mentor and offer money for private lessons. You could post on the boards here and find out if there are any experienced cosplayers/sewing people in your area that would be willing to tutor you.
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Unread 12-02-2012, 06:06 PM   #5
chibi_saru
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Well it depends on how comfortable you feel with a sewing machine. you should try to start with a simple machine and take some scrap fabric and get the dials right. Also. NEVER GO FAST ON THE MACHINE. I've burned thread clean through and I've almost got my finger snagged in the needle.

to begin I'd suggest starting with something simple (my first project was as I call it 'free-style') I think you should try to start with a pattern for something simple like a single layered skirt like this:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/fp-pi-p/pro...jpg?1352850350

then gradually move onto harder things. such as ruffles and layers til you feel comfortable with the machine. Also learn to sew by hand. thats a biggie for some stuff thats to difficult to sew.

oh. and its good you have friends and family who know how to sew. they can help when something doesn't go right. (had that happen with the under sleeves of a kimono. mom helped and they looked great afterwards )

hope that helps!
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Unread 12-04-2012, 02:35 PM   #6
TheFontBandit
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Seconding Joann's or Hancock fabrics for classes. You might also see if your town has a community arts program. Our city's Center for the Arts has year-round programs for both children and adults that cover everything from photography to scrapbooking to dance. I've seen sewing and quilting classes listed a few times too.

Honestly, the only real training I ever had was middle-school Home Ec class, and everything else has been trial and error. Once you get the really basic stuff, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials and books to help with tricky things. I think sometimes, the best way to learn is just by doing something wrong a few times until you figure out the right way.

Also, your sewing machine might have a manual that came with it. If so, sometimes they have some basic sewing tips and instructions in there as well.
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Unread 12-04-2012, 05:47 PM   #7
Libis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chibi_saru View Post
Well it depends on how comfortable you feel with a sewing machine. you should try to start with a simple machine and take some scrap fabric and get the dials right. Also. NEVER GO FAST ON THE MACHINE. I've burned thread clean through and I've almost got my finger snagged in the needle.
Good gracious, how fast were you going?! I've never managed that, and I've broken needles from going too fast. Once a malfunctioning machine even sent a part of a needle into my chin, but I've never burned the thread. 0.0
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Unread 01-04-2013, 06:29 PM   #8
RidinIntoTheSun
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Ok Thanks guys! This has really helped I might post stuff on my d.a if you want to chek it out form time to time (haven't tried yet, but will soon!)
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Unread 01-04-2013, 11:36 PM   #9
Umbra.Exe
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Others have already suggested places to take sewing classes, so I can't help much more there.

As for beginner projects, maybe a simple drawstring bag, pajamas, or a simple stuffed animal? The simple skirt is also a good suggestion. Pillows are probably another good beginner project. You could make a custom pillow (or pillowcase) in your favorite colors.

And for crafts, I'm not sure what to suggest, really. maybe take some little bottles, and decorate them with wire/beads, and paint? I have no idea about that, sorry. A lot of people seem to like making polymer clay (Sculpey, Fimo) crafts and sculptures. I, personally, like to make stuffed animals (and we're back to the sewing bit there).

Oh, and when sewing with a machine, try to go easy on the speed at first, light on the pedal. I think most if not all machines have a dial you can hold onto a bit to help slow down the speed, and there's the option to hand-turn the wheel in tight/difficult places. When I first started sewing I had to hold on to the wheel a lot. ^^;

And ALWAYS pay attention while sewing on a machine! Watch your hands, because now I've had TWO friends who have sewn through their fingers while distracted (one even happened while I was there...). But as long as you're careful, you should have no problems. Also, make sure your needle is right for the job. There are different kinds of needles for different fabrics. And make sure you don't sew with a bent/damaged needle, always keep extras on hand.
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Unread 01-05-2013, 05:58 AM   #10
esclarmonde
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I'm self-taught. My grandmother was a seamstress, but she refsed to teach me because she tought I wasn't suited for sewing and wouldn't let me use her machine

I've relied heavily on sewing forums, youtube tutorials, a couple of very good books (clear pictures are essential) and a lot of practice and patience. Having some knowledge of hand sewing is useful, since some things will require them.

If you want to try your hand at patternmaking, I strongly advise to find a teacher/course.

If you'd like to know a couple of good books for general notion and/or with project suited for beginners, I'll be very glad to provide the titles
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