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Anybody dream of buying a sewing machine and making their own clothes?

(407 Posts)
laGrosellaEspinosa Sun 16-Jul-17 12:33:46

How delusional am I?

I don't want to make everything but just the odd thing. A jumpsuit or a dress. I see a very clear vision of an item of clothing in my head sometimes and I think it's beautiful and I both want it and I want to create it.

Anybody have a sewing machine? Can they recommend a good solid reliable one that threads the needle (essential). Is it useful for making alterations even if you're not Stella McCartney (I reckon my designes would be better than her :-p )

Lanaa Sun 16-Jul-17 14:49:17

I have one, it's a brother, pretty basic model but it works great. I knock up simple outfits and alter shop bought clothes all the time. I also use it to make wigs. It's paid for itself 10x over.

RhinestoneCowgirl Sun 16-Jul-17 14:53:42

I have sewing machine and I've made skirts and tops for myself, as well as lots of fancy dress costumes.

Can't advise on what machine as mine is a second hand one I've had since I was a teenager (think it's 70s). You don't need the fanciest machine...

laGrosellaEspinosa Sun 16-Jul-17 19:57:56

That's encouraging! I had one years ago and threw it out when I was moving from one crappy flat to another crappier flat! Now of course I wish I still had it. Mind you it was a demon to thread so if I get one the only fancy feature I'll insist on is a needle-threader.

I will start simply and not attempt a jumpsuit til I've grasped the basics!

Where do you buy patterns from? Or do you construct your own patterns?

LeannePerrins Sun 16-Jul-17 20:53:25

Have a look at Tilly and the Buttons and Sew Over It for patterns. They both do good picture and video tutorials.

YouWereRight Sun 16-Jul-17 21:14:42

I did that about 18 months ago. I've bought the odd thing since, but 90% of stuff I make.

I mostly buy patterns from charity shops, but I think I"be been very lucky to have found what I'm looking for, and simplicity. I was given a copy of The Great British Sewing Bee book and love their jump suit, and men's T-shirt.

MaryLennoxsScowl Sun 16-Jul-17 21:17:18

I would love to make my own clothes! I even have a sewing machine (a retro Singer from a charity shop - is a thing of beauty but no needle threader), but I don't really have the skills. I went to one dressmaking class and learned how to follow a pattern but then didn't get round to doing any more. I need to learn to sew straight with it, and what all the different stitches are for. I was just thinking I'd like to make my own trousers so I can get ones that fit and aren't bobbly cheap material.

laGrosellaEspinosa Sun 16-Jul-17 23:02:21

Thanks I'll check out the tilly and buttons tutorials (on youtube?)

TefalTester123 Mon 17-Jul-17 17:10:35

I have a machine & made stuff in my teens, but have only made curtains etc since. Given how much time I waste trying to find stuff I like then perhaps I should take it up again. You may have inspired a new hobby OP.

Niminy Mon 17-Jul-17 18:21:23

I have a sewing machine, a fairly basic Brother one. I started making my own clothes a couple of years ago and now wear something g I've made most days. There are loads of indie pattern designers now and gazillions of tutorials out there. I use The Fold Line quite a lot - it has a pat

Niminy Mon 17-Jul-17 18:28:10

(Posted too soon)

It has a pattern search facility as well as pattern reviews, the blog has a good round up of new things coming out plus info on online fabric stores and the like.

Tilly and the Buttons do online video based courses, which are very good if you can't get to a shop that runs sewing courses. I'm not that wild about all their patterns but their instructions are really clear and helpful.

It's a great time to start sewing, there's a huge revival on. The thing I like most is that I can make clothes that fit me, and I can use lovely fabrics. Today I'm wearing a simple shift dress in pale grey shimmer linen it's got a bit of lurex in). I'd never be able to buy that in the shops.

laGrosellaEspinosa Mon 17-Jul-17 18:43:37

Thank you Niminy! I will subscribe to that channel now. I'm afraid to go ahead and just make a decision and buy a sewing machine knowing so little but ... a fairy basic brother or singer would be safe I think.

I really want to make clothes that fit me too. I'm small and the backs of jackets and dresses can be too long. I can't wait to have the skills to alter a pattern!

Floisme Mon 17-Jul-17 18:45:13

I'm taking notes as I'm planning to learn when I retire - well I'll have to keep myself in clothes one way or other. If I hadn't been such an arse, I'd have paid more attention in school but I refused to learn because it was a 'girls' thing'.

laGrosellaEspinosa Mon 17-Jul-17 18:56:57

I know Floisme, I made a night dress for my junior cert when I was 15 at school and I haven't sewn since. I got in a bluster because I couldn't thread up the sewing machine and until fairly recently I thought, oh what's the point when you can roll around in H&M and come out with a new outfit. Only in the last 5 to 10 years have I thought about how exciting it would be to find that perfect pattern, amend it for my short back, perhaps add a bit of flair by using unpatterned materials but contrasting a lapel here or a sleeve there in contrasting colour. Just a detail. I'm so excited.

laGrosellaEspinosa Mon 17-Jul-17 18:57:28

Don't wait til you retire, do it now!

Floisme Mon 17-Jul-17 19:01:49

We had to made pyjama cases. .. Even my mum didn't keep it and she used to keep everything I did grin I hope it goes well.

Floisme Mon 17-Jul-17 19:06:12

Sorry cross post. That's a very good point. I kind of want to have a new project to look forward to though, something that'll inspire me and stop me spending the rest of my life on here or watching Jeremy Kyle.

IJustLostTheGame Mon 17-Jul-17 19:41:20

Toyota and singer do really good sturdy basic machines.
Good luck
It's addictive

OCSockOrphanage Mon 17-Jul-17 21:09:12

Merchant and Mills and the Maker's Atelier are two sewing websites that have given me the spur to learn some dress making skills (once the classes start). Both seem to offer patterns that look wearable and appealing but are suitable whether you are a novice planning to start in a standard cotton weave or an expert intending to make the same garment in a silk jersey. Planning to start at cheap cotton until I can sew straight! I was the refusenik who didn't do girl stuff in school too.

Niminy Mon 17-Jul-17 21:15:39

Those are two companies I really like too. Merchant and Mills especially are brilliant. The instructions on their patterns are second to none. I also have the Makers Atelier and the M&M books.

littlebillie Mon 17-Jul-17 21:26:02

I'm in the middle of a dress and I have made anything for 14 years!

MsUnderstanding Mon 17-Jul-17 21:28:57

I have a Janome. I make the odd thing from scratch but mostly just alterations. Merchant and Mills books are great if you prefer simple shapes. I've made thier vest top twice out of plain 100% cotton.

CardiCorgi Mon 17-Jul-17 22:01:30

I have a Bernina, but they are not really the budget option unless you find one second hand.
My advice would be to make a toile at least the first few times until you know what adjustments you may need to make. Plus, make friends with your iron, press as you go.
I also Google any pattern before I start to see if anyone has reviewed it and what they liked about it.

Somerville Mon 17-Jul-17 22:07:43

I said something v similar to your title about a decade ago, to a friend who is a dressmaker. She shrugged and said 'if you can read, you can sew.' It sounded simple, and teaching myself from YouTube tutorials and library books was less so, by its some of the best advice I've ever been given.
I still take the really fiddly things to her to help me with though!

SingaporeSlander Mon 17-Jul-17 23:01:33

Got two sewing machines. One just will. It sew without thread breaking. It is threaded correctly and have changed tension. Feel like chucking it but it is new and was a present l, but can find nowhere I can get it to to help.

Have been to several classes and managed to make reasonable things in them, but can't recreate at home, even on other working sewing machine. I also do something major wrong. sad

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