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Anyone who has taught themselves to sew...

(12 Posts)
TotallyAddictedToLurking Fri 25-Apr-14 21:16:31

I am starting a dressmaking course soon and my great grandmother has given me a sewing machine as a gift. She is trying to pass down her craft before she goes so I want to do he proud.

If you are self taught where did you start? What were your first achievements?

craftysewer Fri 25-Apr-14 21:21:30

I started as a child when my grandmother used to give me the scraps of fabric left from when she made her own clothes. Then did a GCE at school and started with an apron for the next terms cookery class followed by an A line skirt, then a jumpsuit. When I was about 28 I got involved with Civil War Re-enactment so started making costumes. This led me to go to college where I got a C & G in Pattern Drafting and a C & G in Tailoring. If you want to start with something simple, why not try cushion covers or get a pattern for a vintage style apron?

SunnyL Fri 25-Apr-14 21:35:46

I started 2.5yrs ago. I started out with pillows and makeuo bags. Soon got bored though and moved onto clothes. There are so many YouTube tutorials out there that are great. I've also had great help from my MIL who is v experienced.

Good luck and enjoy!

JimmyCorkhill Fri 25-Apr-14 21:39:02

I have hemmed and lined some curtains and made some beanbags! Next project is bunting grin All straight lines so far. Google and YouTube have been great but also got a free lesson from the shop I bought my machine from.

ishouldcocoa Fri 25-Apr-14 21:44:02

Its quite technical, but great for trying to figure things out when YouTube won't come up with the goods! Its for clothes sewing, mainly, and alterations, too.

Readers Digest Guide to Sewing You do need this version and not the newer one!

LettertoHermioneGranger Fri 25-Apr-14 21:51:07

I started as a child, learned how load the thread and do a straight line, then followed some simple patterns for doll's clothes and blankets. Would your great grandmother be able to show you those basic steps? Otherwise check youtube, and look online for a PDF of the sewing machine manual if you don't have it.

When I wanted to learn how to make real garments and follow more complicated patterns as an adult, I picked up The Sewing Book by Alison Smith. It has very clear instructions with photos for every type of seam, hem, fastening, and explanation of terms. It includes some patterns as well but I haven't tried them. When teaching myself I didn't know any terms or the 'right' way to do things, I just sewed things in ways that worked, that book taught me how to sew properly, I love it, refer to it all the time.

VerucaInTheNutRoom Fri 25-Apr-14 22:08:25

I started a year or so ago. My first project was a make up bag. I've since made a quilt and curtains for DD's room, some clothes for her and a top for me. I'd like to do more dressmaking for myself but am not confident about dealing with fitting issues. I find sewing blogs a great source of inspiration, tutorials and patterns. I particularly like Made by Rae, Tilly and the Buttons (although she is just a wee bit too pleased with herself), Craftiness is not Optional, Dolly Clackett, By Hand London and Flossie Teacakes.

RavenRose Sat 26-Apr-14 08:00:08

I started when I was 8. I made a pair of velvet trousers - no one told me velvet or trousers were difficult so I just did it!

Both my mum and my great aunt sewed. My great aunt worked in couture and I picked up lots from her. If your great grandmother wants to pass on her craft could you learn some from her? It's much easier to learn from other people plus she may know vintages methods etc which wouldn't be in a run of the mill sewing book.

Otherwise these lots of books out there plus websites. The readers digest guide to sewing is good and often turns up in charity shops round here. The pictures may date but the techniques are still good. You tube also has lots of tutorials.

deepinthewoods Sat 26-Apr-14 08:13:05

My father taught me the basics of sewing ,ut school ( where it was one of the girl only subjects) drummed the joy out of it.

I still do "functional sewing", making fancy dress stuff, altering curtains, hems and repairs, but I wouldn't make a garment. Too time consuming and cheaper to buy.

slackcabbage Sat 26-Apr-14 18:06:35

I worked my way through this at prep school with the help of a sewing teacher - the projects guide you through all the basic steps/techniques in a clear and logical way - and now almost 40 years on I am using it to teach my 10 yr old dd to sew!

EATmum Sat 26-Apr-14 20:01:34

I wouldn't say that I've taught myself to sew (because that sound like it's been achieved but definitely a work in progress!), but I've been sewing since January and following some basic patterns, looking up instructions on YouTube when they make no sense to me, and I've done six skirts (def easiest) and a child's dress so far. And two bags, but I made them up. I'd definitely be interested in a book, but the various blogs and websites are really helpful - and I spend lots of time reading them these days. YouTube as well - not sure how long it would have taken to get the very basic level of knowledge without the internet!

Halsall Sat 26-Apr-14 20:08:47

I did sewing at school and hated it - took me about 2 terms to sew a horrible corduroy skirt, which I hated and never wore.

But my Mum always sewed - there was a sewing machine at home and I just picked it up in my own time. In my teens I made a lot of my own clothes, even a pretty decent pair of jeans (I find that quite hard to believe now!). It helped that I had a holiday job in a fabric/haberdashery/wool shop.

Then I stopped sewing for years as life, career etc got in the way. Just getting back into it now and for anyone starting, the internet is your friend. It's 'cool' to sew now, and here are masses and masses of blogs and tutorials; there really is no substitute for seeing how something is done. Plus sites like Craftsy, where you can sign up for classes.

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