We ask that emails regarding swaps not contain any unsolicited advertising. If you have received an email which contains advertising, please let us know at contactus@mumsnet.com.

Is it easy to learn how to sew?

(29 Posts)
ZombiesAteMyCunnyFunt Wed 02-Oct-13 14:29:12

It's such a pain not being able to stitch a button back on or fix holes in soft toys/clothes etc. I'm saving loads of DD's clothes because I'd love a patchwork quilt made of her old things, but I want to do it myself. Is it really easy to learn?

ZombiesAteMyCunnyFunt Tue 08-Oct-13 11:52:25

Just spoken to my Grandma for advice on sewing/machines, she says she can't help with machines as she bought hers in the 60's and it's still going strong. She then had the idea of going to Harrogate so now we're going to the Harrogate craft fair in November smile

ZombiesAteMyCunnyFunt Tue 08-Oct-13 09:07:50

Thanks buttons! That site looks really good. I'll check it out.

bigbuttons Sun 06-Oct-13 22:13:55

This www.sewingmachines.co.uk/janome_sew.htm is a fantastic site, really good service, very helpful plus you get the most enormous load of cottons and scissors FREE with each order. After sales is brillint. I have linked you to the janome page because I have one and it's great. i also have a brother that is good but needs a repair and i haven't got round to it yet! Good luck!

ZombiesAteMyCunnyFunt Sun 06-Oct-13 14:03:24

Okay, can someone please very kindly find/recommend me a suitable machine, preferably no more than £100 if possible. Definitely no more than £200.

Thanks in advance!

missinglalaland Thu 03-Oct-13 08:22:38

No worries Zombies I wasn't as clear as I thought! blush

Then I would look for a simple, mechanical used sewing machine on ebay. Something like this:
www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Janome-Model-7025-Sewing-Machine-Hardly-Used-/231065828179?pt=UK_CraftsCollect_SewingMachines_RL&hash=item35cc98bb53

Bernina, Pfaff, Viking and Janome are all good names. I'd get one that does a "one step automatic button hole." You will need it to make clothes if the sewing bug really bites.

ZombiesAteMyCunnyFunt Wed 02-Oct-13 19:11:40

Ohh right, I see. Apologies, Missing blush

I could see if I could find someone that has one I can borrow. My mum doesn't, MIL doesn't but would love one, my grandma does but it's an all singing, all dancing very complicated and scary looking thing. I think DP's auntie does but iirc it needs servicing/fixing, I think a lady I know has one but she lent it to a friend and it came back without any cables. Sooooo this borrowing lark could be a tad difficult grin

bigbuttons Wed 02-Oct-13 19:01:57

you really need to start learning with well behaved cottons, certainly NOT knits! If you start quilting on a machine best to get walking foot, it makes it much much easier

pookamoo Wed 02-Oct-13 18:35:02

I'd second missing's suggestion of borrowing a machine.

The fabric sleepsuits, tshirts, sweatshirts etc are made from is called "knit" or sometimes "jersey". It is made in the same way as a knitted jumper but super-tiny to be stretchy. It's tricky to sew with, so the lady who made the bear is probably very experienced with a very good machine. smile

missinglalaland Wed 02-Oct-13 18:16:39

The problem with buying a really cheap machine is that if you like sewing, you will have to turn around and buy another machine quite quickly, when it would have been cheaper to buy better, but buy once!

The cheapest mechanical machine that makes an automatic button hole should be fine.

Could you borrow a machine from someone to see if you like it? There are a lot of old machines packed up in closets and lofts. Perhaps a mum or MIL?

jerryfudd Wed 02-Oct-13 18:08:55

Bobbins not Robbins

jerryfudd Wed 02-Oct-13 18:07:40

I think you might get frustrated with one of those mini machines - especially if you take to it (sewing that is). Also bear in mind that if quilting you need something sturdy enough to go through your top squares, waddling and backing. Saying that I don't think you need to pay the earth and don't need ones with all the frills. I went for a basic singer - half price in Argos for £80. Has a couple of different stitches and does button holes and easy enough to wind Robbins and re-thread etc. I've heard good things about the lidl machines but have no experience of them myself.

I'm definitely not an expert but as a novice love my machine/sewing (when I get time)

I'm not an expert but I think it is more about mixing different types of fabric - so mixing knits with cotton fabrics is not advisable for quilting. In addition knits have a different stretch to cotton fabrics and this isn't suitable for quilting. Making items out of the fabric itself isn't an issue IYSWIM. I have seen those teddies - they are gorgeous. I would love to be that creative - I need a pattern to follow smile

ZombiesAteMyCunnyFunt Wed 02-Oct-13 17:00:13

Knits? But we have a teddy bear made out of them, the lady that makes them seems to cope pretty well with using them. Are you sure we're talking about the same thing here? grin

missinglalaland Wed 02-Oct-13 16:41:55

So, the sleep suits are probably knits and therefore out, but the light weight tops should be perfect.

ZombiesAteMyCunnyFunt Wed 02-Oct-13 16:30:41

Missing, DDs clothes are mostly sleepsuits/cottony tops that have pretty patterns on. I don't think there's any knitty ones.

Thank you for the links everyone, most helpful smile

missinglalaland Wed 02-Oct-13 16:09:38

Uh oh! Just looked at your linked sewing machine. I doubt it is any good. A decent, new, simple sewing machine is just below £200 in Britain. Sewing machine dealers take trade ins when people want newer fancier machines and often flog them on ebay. I got a very good used Janome that way.

missinglalaland Wed 02-Oct-13 16:05:46

Yes! Sewing is easy! Especially patchwork quilting if you stick with simple squares. Light weight woven fabric is what quilts are made of. If your DD's clothes are mostly knit fabrics that could be a problem.
There are loads of beginner quilter books at the library. Or for inspiration look at these blogs:
www.ohfransson.com/oh_fransson/quilting-basics.html
www.freshlemonsquilts.com/?page_id=609
www.sewmamasew.com/tag/beginner-sewing/?tutorials
If that all goes well, then you can make some lovely things for yourself! grin
voguepatterns.mccall.com/new-sewing-patterns-pages-174.php

bigbuttons Wed 02-Oct-13 16:02:16

Definitely get a decent machine, not one with loads of frills though. If you get a cheap one you'll end up very frustrated.

pookamoo Wed 02-Oct-13 15:59:13

You'll find it easy to learn with books and youtube. Yes to wooly's suggestion of Surestart, sometimes local libraries and colleges have evening classes etc.

The sewing machine you linked to doesn't look very sturdy, to be honest. You really do get what you pay for, and as a starter, maybe something like this would be a better bet?

Good luck!

If you are in London there are lots of places to go and learn. Lots of local collages and fabric shops hold classes, try some books from your local library - that how I leant to quilt.

My local Sure Start centre runs beginners sewing classes. It may be worth checking your local centres smile

ZombiesAteMyCunnyFunt Wed 02-Oct-13 14:59:06

Sorry Jerry I didn't see your post. Do you think it's worth getting a machine and learning to use it just in case? Would a cheap one do? Had a quick look on Amazon and this one caught my eye. Does it look any good?

ZombiesAteMyCunnyFunt Wed 02-Oct-13 14:43:01

DD is only 2 so we've not done anything like that yet.

Thank you for that, I've just bought it for the grand sum of 8p grin plus £2.80 p&p hmm

jerryfudd Wed 02-Oct-13 14:38:56

I've taught myself how to use a sewing machine (having never touched one before) using the internet and books. Lots of stuff on you tube and good blogs and I've done several patchwork quilts too. Give it a go

Seeline Wed 02-Oct-13 14:36:37

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now