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Where and how does one learn crafty skilks?

(13 Posts)
GoldPlatedNineDoors Wed 19-Sep-12 20:15:41

I don't know how to (but want to):

*use a sewing machine
*build things out of wood

I don't have anyone to show me, and know I wilk need equipment but dont want it to sit unused. I see tons of stuff on pinterest that I want to be able to make DD.

How do I acquire the relevent skills?

TheWoollybacksWife Wed 19-Sep-12 20:26:09

Have you looked to see if your local Sure Start Centre runs sewing classes? Colleges sometimes run evening classes too.

My DD has just started sewing lessons at a local fabric shop. Two weeks in and she has cut out a pattern, and started sewing the pieces together.

Not sure about where to suugest you go to learn the building things out of wood though. Evening class perhaps? My local country park has a chap who comes and creates chainsaw sculptures out of the fallen trees. That's a very niche skill grin

FaintingGoat Wed 19-Sep-12 20:59:46

If you can get hold of a sewing machine, there's a good chance you can find an instruction manual for it online to help you figure out how to thread it up, just google the make and model number, which will be somewhere on the machine.

There are a million books out there with beginner sewing projects in, to get you started, and get you used to your machine. If you're unsure which books would be useful, go to your library, I just discovered that ours has a brilliant craft section! I have this book which tells you how to do just about anything, and will continue to be useful as your skills develop.

Look online for tutorials, there are lots of step-by-step instructions for how to make all sorts of things.

I imagine the same sources would be good for wood working skills too, but I would second what TWW said about looking for evening courses at your local college.

chocolateteabag Wed 19-Sep-12 22:27:35

I learnt sewing mostly by trial and error and then the odd night class
Woodwork and upholstery has been night class.

I've also done a few week long courses on each - there are loads of them around now so may be good to get some recommendations near to where you are.

DorothyGherkins Wed 19-Sep-12 22:30:03

What sort of things do you want to sew? I ve got a lot of help in the past from various websites, and the tutorials on Youtube are brilliant.

flubba Thu 20-Sep-12 08:11:58

I learned to sew by reading the instruction manual and then just giving it a go. I'm a bit blush at some of my first attempts, but I now make things good enough to sell so it can't be too bad.

With woodwork stuff, unless you're going very high-tech, I would say you can do it yourself again. I've made lots of things starting with a dolls' house which is still standing four years later. A lot of it is common sense, although if you're going to be doing more complicated stuff, then I would suggest a course as you'll be playing with serious machinery. I have a few of my own tools but borrow my dad's circular saw and, as I'm a teacher by profession, I could pop in to the woodwork classroom and use their jig saw etc from time to time.

Good luck!

EvaLongoria Thu 20-Sep-12 08:45:00

GoldPlatedNineDoors that is exactly what I wanted to do. I saw these lovely dresses online and on Facebook but costs more than buying pretty dresses from Debenhams. When I bought some homemade dresses for my 2 DD's it didn't look that difficult. I had an old Singer Machine from 1950's from my Nonna in the garage. Couldn't get it serviced decided to buy a secondhand machine from gumtree paying £30 for one worth £350.

I tried to look for sewing classes but all fully booked until October. I really wanted to get started to make my own decorations for DD1's birthday in October. Used the manual and YouTube tutorials. Started last 2 weeks in August and so far managed to make 2 cushions for my sofas, a small quilt using an old duvet and some pretty fat quarters I found on eBay and bought some fleece in my local shop for the backing. My kids love it. I have now started on a fabric calendar and will hopefully finish it end of this week. I also bought a couple of craft, sewing magazines and took out a craft book in my local library. I still want to attend a few classes to teach me how to make actual outfits for the girls and then hopefully I'll spend less than £40 per dress next summer and save more for our holiday.

GoldPlatedNineDoors Thu 20-Sep-12 08:54:37

I want to make (specifically) some little number beanbags, taggies for friends babies that are born, pillowcase dresses, bunting. And a play kitchen grin

babesdontlie Thu 20-Sep-12 09:46:38

have a look on pinterest, there are lots of free patterns and 'how-to' links.

Prima, Essentials, Popular Crafts, Make and many other magazines will have photos and instructions to make los of projects.
This is from the Prima website:

I make lots and lots and lots of things!

QueenOfToast Thu 20-Sep-12 17:07:42

Don't know about woodwork but I found a 5 week beginners sewing class not too far from my home by doing loads of Googling.

I had my first lesson this week and have just ordered myself the sewing machine that the teacher uses and recommends. (It's a Janome 2050 and cost me £99 from Amazon.)

However, the lessons are not cheap - its £30 per 2.5 hour session - but includes all materials. In addition, there are only 6 people to a group so you can get plenty of help and support as you go along. I'm not particularly confident with crafty stuff so, to me, the lessons are worth the money; if you're already fairly creative you might be able to get buy with a beginners sewing book and You Tube!

Good luck!

chocolateteabag Sat 22-Sep-12 20:27:45

I would also massively recommend just starting to have a go with your sewing machine and practise. I am now making up a practise version of every piece of clothing I make for myself ( dresses coat etc) so I can see how the pattern works and test the fit
But it is the same principle as just having a go using scrap or old fabric for the things you want to have a go at. You can use old clothes or bed sheets, or get really cheap fabric from a market, anything close to the fabric you want to use for the real thing. Then just have a go. You can then see how much fabric you need for a dress etc without risking wasting good material.

It feels a bit weird and like you are wasting your time, but it SOOO beats the crap feeling of having cut out something slightly too small or only realising half way through that you've got a piece in the wrong way round - both of which I have done several times over the years

I still have loads to learn though - going to the Harrogate knit and stitch show and doing the workshop on zips as they are those of my biggest hang ups. To the point that I have taken 2 dresses to my local alterations place to have them put in rather than risk cocking them up again

TunipTheVegemal Sat 22-Sep-12 20:37:57

You need to combine messing around doing it whichever way you feel like, with reading books that tell you the 'right' way to do things. When you read the books without messing around it feels like a set of abstract and arbitrary rules. Once you've made a few mistakes you learn which ones have some point to them.
I totally agree with ChocolateTeabag. Get cheap fabric or cut up old clothes so you don't worry about going wrong. For tricky garments make a practice one (it's called a toile).

ChocolateTeabag - I find zips are so much easier if you have the right sewing machine foot.

HollyDaise Sat 29-Sep-12 17:16:32

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