Not sure if this thread is in the right place, but thought it seemed as good a place as any.
I've just bought my first sewing maching and haven't got a clue what to do next! Any tips out there from any sewers?? My intention is to make the odd thing for my home (bunting, cushions, duvet covers) then moving onto clothes or fancy dress costumes for my kids when I'm more experienced.
Any tips of what to buy next to get me started would be greatly appreciated.
Argos had a pretty good sewing kit and box when I started about a year ago. I would say that you at least need a good pair of scissors, a seam ripper (for all your mistakes!), plenty of bobbins, tailors chalks, tape measure, pins and decent thread (gutterman sew all works for most stuff).
Thanks, I'll take a look. So, after a year of sewing, how are you finding it? Would you be confident now to, for example, make clothes for your kids or yourself?
I would have a look at one of those books that comes with patterns, e.g 100 ways to sew a meter. Buy a book thats full of stuff you think you'd like to make and that has fairly easy instructions.
Then buy fabric. Cotton is good to start with, something nice and non slippy that won't move when you are cutting or sewing it.
Next scissors, good all purpose ones and then never ever use them to cut paper and they will stay sharp very long time, there is nothing more irritating trying to cut cloth with blunt scissors.
Sewing thread (Gutermann is good, most haberdashery shops/departments have a huge rack of thread).
Box of pins.
Unpicker (if you didn't get one free with your machine).
A pen that lets you write on fabric and then washes off (rather than one that fades after time).
Then just start. You will soon lean kit you need, you can buy it as you go along (always read all of the instructions before you start so you have everything you need).
I'm loving it. I go to dressmaking classes and I'm still learning a lot. I could probably make a simple dress on my own, but I like vintage patterns and they seem to be a lot more complicated.
I've also done quilting classes and I'm now on my 8th quilt! Quite confident making quilts by myself now. Easier than dresses - It's all straight lines...
Oh yay! I love hearing about somebody starting out in sewing!
What you need are some machine needles, thread, and some material to play about with. Re: needles, get plenty, because you'll break or blunt them quickly, occasionally they'll have burrs on straight out of the box, and there is nothing more frustrating than running out of needles mid session! Order online for the best prices, and get a few sizes, definitely including 70s and 80s. I agree with kitten about quality thread... The cheap stuff is an endless source of sewing machine misery. I like gutermann and mettler. But fabric: be open-minded to everything! Old jeans are great for everything from shopping bags to skirts. Children's clothes make great bunting or patchwork. An unloved blanket can be turned into expensive looking cushion covers. Don't forget to think about how you can work in rivets, frills and fringes into the finished article.
I reckon you could do with two books: one for general inspiration and a few simple projects to get you started. I like the Liberty Book of Home Sewing, but there are a bunch of Cath Kidston ones, the sew-a-metre types and all sorts of others. The projects will be simple, but that's how you build up skills and techniques, and confidence, for more complex sewing. The other book I'd suggest is a reference to general sewing techniques, so when you find yourself trying to do zips, or buttonholes, or set in sleeves, you've got a full description with photos and diagrams, so you know what to aim for. I've got a Dorling Kindersley one, cheap from a book club... It's nothing flash, but it's a great safety net.
Get stuck in and just sew something. It doesn't really matter what, as long as your machine isn't left to gather dust. If you get stuck, you're bound to know someone (mother, colleague, elderly neighbour) who knows their way round a sewing machine and who'd get a buzz out of teaching you a few tricks.
Craftsy has some great online sewing courses, there are a couple that are free and are a good introduction. Never pay full price for the paid content ones though, just wait for their next sale! also if you ever get stuck on a technique look it up in YouTube, there are millions of tutorials on there.
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