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I have just completed a course on using a sewing machine and don't know where to start.

(13 Posts)
WearegoingonaKwazihunt Tue 07-Jun-11 19:29:39

I have just completed a local course on using a sewing machine and want to get started on making somethings, but have no idea where to start.

I want to make some cushions, maybe bags, but I don't know where to go to find out how to make them.

Is there a book I can get?
An internet sight I can go to?

I am in danger of not making use of my new skills (well really I can now thread a sewing machine - but it's a start) and really need to do something before I lose the will.


bluepapermonkey Tue 07-Jun-11 19:36:34

ooh, there are some lovely books. 'making children's clothes' is good - emma hardy. the first thing i made was a top for dd and it was great!

also 'simple sewing' lotta jansdotter

chic and simple sewing (has full size tissue patterns) christine haynes

and then, bit on the naff side maybe but some great ideas and projects, martha stewart's encycopedia of sewing and fabric crafts
i also have a lot of books i just like to leaf through and daydream... lovely scandi embroidery. just browse around amazon.

as for patterns, i recently subscribed to a magazine which gives a good discount on paper patterns and reviews patterns from three of the main suppliers, 'sew today' again, i love leafing through it and dream of the clothes i would make if i had time etc etc. i'm not very productive but i'm happy reading and dreaming!

good luck and enjoy!

bluepapermonkey Tue 07-Jun-11 19:41:30

oh sites, sorry. lots of blogs, including some fab mners. i like sew mama sew

and burda - they also have online classes and sent me an email today offering 50% discount

and there are sewing forums and all sorts out there - browse and see what you fancy!

WillieWaggledagger Tue 07-Jun-11 19:42:30

there are some good blogs - I think this one belongs to an MNer (OMDB I think - am hopeless sorry and can't remember)

usually they do step-by-step instructions with lots of pictures - google the kind of things you want to make

WearegoingonaKwazihunt Tue 07-Jun-11 19:46:44

Thank you very much. I'll take a look.

I know I just need to get started - but I feel a little scared.

<deep breath>

bran Tue 07-Jun-11 19:47:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bluepapermonkey Tue 07-Jun-11 19:48:51

one thing which helped me was when i read something about everyone getting it wrong. just rip it out and start again, that's what the seamripper is for. just relax and give it a go. start with something easy and you'll soon have something to be proud of!

WillieWaggledagger Tue 07-Jun-11 19:49:47

i think the first thing I made as a beginner with my sewing machine was an apron for dp. i used an apron I already had as a template and machine appliqued a massive tomato on it like on ready steady cook

whyme2 Tue 07-Jun-11 19:50:36

I would suggest you buy some nice cotton fabric and just sew. If you are a novice just playing with your machine and some fabric, making hems, corners, pockets and testing all the different stitches is a good way to start. Try something simple to start - most patterns are rated in terms of difficulty.

I haven't made anything for about three years now (since the arrival of DC4 in fact) but I linger over the craft books in the library. In the past I have made everything from clothes to curtains, even a mai tai sling for Dc3.

Good luck and enjoy. grin

LatteLady Wed 08-Jun-11 21:00:00

Hi there Weare... here are a couple of tutorials from my blog that might help. This is for an applique cushion, great for playing with stitches on your machine. And here is one for bunting

Frankly just have fun, go to the library, check out the craft section and take out several books and see what takes your fancy!

overmydeadbody Wed 08-Jun-11 22:43:09

Hi Wearegoing, glad to see yet another MNer getting into sewing!

Loads of good advice on here already, thanks Willie for linking my blog!

LatteLady is one helluva talented woman, her blog is great, I recommend you have a look.

Weaergoing, whenever I want to make something new but don't know where to start, I do a google with the words 'tutorial' or 'how to' or 'free pattern' so, for example, when I wanted to make a circle skirt I googles "How to make a circle skirt" and also "circle skirt tutorial" and also "free circel skirt tutorial" etc. etc. and did lots of internet browsing and found literally hundreds of tutorials for making a circle skirt, which I then made here

Sew mama sew is great, already linked to by bluepapermonkey.

I also use craftster all the time, loads of people post tutorials on there, or there are links to the best tutorials online from there for just about everything you could possibly imasgine making.

I don't write many tutorials but I usually link to one from my blog if I used one. Messenger bags are a great first bag to make as they are pretty straightforward so I'd recommend them as a starting point in bags. Here's a list of a *lot* of online toturials for bags.

Also, prism pouches are also pretty straightforward to make, don't be scared off by the zip! Zips aren't so hard really, as long as you have a zipper foot.

WearegoingonaKwazihunt Fri 10-Jun-11 09:51:31

Thank you everybody.

Ok - so I need to get some material. Would Ikea be a good place to start for someone who is likely to get intimidated in a 'proper' shop?

overmydeadbody Fri 10-Jun-11 23:41:58

Ikea's good for cheap fabric if there is one near you.

Don't be intimidated by 'proper' shops, the staff are usually very helpful! John Lewis has a lovely selection of fabric but it's not exactly 'cheap' especially if you just want to experiment a bit to start off with.

I buy a lot fo fabric online, and find efabrics very good for a nice variety of light cotton and pollycotton (if you want fabric a bit more sturdy a good trick is to buy heavy interfacing and iron it onto the underside, that makes the fabric more stiff, which is what you need when making bags and gives a better result for pillow cases too).

Good luck, have fun!

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