Discussion Forums - Crafting

Topic: Learning to Sew

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Subject: Learning to Sew
Date Posted: 2/16/2009 6:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2008
Posts: 1,050
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I have been wanting to learn to sew for years. I would really love to make clothes. Could anybody recommend some good books or patterns I should look for to teach me? It might be helpful to know that the only thing I have ever done with a needle and thread is cross-stitch. Thanks!

Date Posted: 2/16/2009 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2007
Posts: 1,739
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I dont know about any books, but the best help I've ever gotten, beside Granma, is from the fabric store ladies.  The women at Joannes are always extremely helpful, as have they been at Hobby Lobby.

Date Posted: 2/19/2009 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2005
Posts: 1,239
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I would recommend looking online at sites like youtube.com. I'm new to sewing also and there are some really helpful books that maybe you can find  here or at your local library. I have a listing of websites that I think are nice too so if you'd want the url's then PM me.

Date Posted: 2/20/2009 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2008
Posts: 203
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My parents got me a sewing machine for Christmas and to go with it they got me the Singer New Sewing Essentials: Updated and Revised Edition (http://www.amazon.com/Singer-New-Sewing-Essentials-Updated/dp/1589234324/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1235148620&sr=1-2).  Keeping in mind that I don't have much to compare to, it seems like a pretty good beginners book geared mostly toward clothing.

Date Posted: 3/7/2009 8:52 AM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2006
Posts: 2,077
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I picked up Sewing for Dummies, and that's how I learned to sew. I also second Stephanie's recommendation for Singer New Sewing Essentials. Singer puts out really good sewing books.

I checked out a lot of my sewing books from the library to see which ones I liked before buying any. Good luck!

Subject: a good website
Date Posted: 4/11/2009 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/22/2008
Posts: 839
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Try looking at the beginners' questions at patternreview.com.  Then when Joanne's has patterns on sale for $2, buy an easy-to-sew wardrobe pattern.   Many people find that the patterns for knits are easier to fit than patterns for woven materials.   Open the pattern envelope and glue the whole thing onto a large mailing envelope so you have plenty of room to store the pieces.  Then cut out the pieces, select a garment you want or need, and put the pattern pieces together on the table and just trace your finger along the seam line so you see how the garment goes together.  Read and study the whole pattern primer (set of written directions, and make sure you understand it.  When you're ready to shop for fabric, bring the pattern in and get a solid-color fabric that goes with something else in your wardrobe.  Check with the staff to make sure this fabric will be easy to work with.  When  you get home, zigzag the ends of the fabric and wash it the way you intend to wash your garment, detergent, dryer, and all.  That way the fabric will do its shrinking before you cut your garment.  Then you can press out your fabric, cut one garment out following the suggested layout guide unless someone has taught you another system of cutting.  The wardrobe patterns give you a lot, so you can learn a lot and get a lot of clothes from this one $2 pattern.  Most wardrobes give you pants, a skirt, a top you can make with either short or long sleeves, a jacket, and often something else, like a purse.  Happy sewing!

Date Posted: 6/22/2009 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2009
Posts: 406
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Where are you located? I am a clothing design student, and you can often find students to give you cheap lessons. I would suggest starting out with pajama bottom, those are really easy.
Date Posted: 7/3/2009 7:37 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2009
Posts: 2,524
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Last Edited on: 11/23/10 11:28 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: sewing books
Date Posted: 7/29/2009 10:13 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2008
Posts: 87
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I just posted several sewing and craft books. I will be posting more during the rest of the week.

Check out my bookshelf.



Date Posted: 10/8/2009 8:01 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 1,157
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"The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing", from Singer, is very good. I review a number of other sewing books on my web site at:


Date Posted: 10/9/2009 8:54 AM ET
Member Since: 7/16/2008
Posts: 64
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You've gotten great advice.  I would also recommend the Singer books and online videos.  I think it's always easier to start with smaller projects so you don't have so much fabric to deal with while you are learning.  Simple purses and tote bags are a great beginner project and you can find a bunch of free tutorials on Craftster.


Like someone else mentioned, PJ pants are also a good beginner project.  I have a Simplicity It's so Easy pattern that just has 1 piece for each leg and it's very simple.  I find that pants patterns that have a front and a back to the leg may fit better, but they are easier to assemble incorrectly.


Date Posted: 10/10/2009 10:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2009
Posts: 451
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I belong to a historical re-creation group, the Society for Creative Anacronism (www.sca.org), and am a seamstress of historical clothing.  One of my favorite websites has some basic sewing demo's that are relevant for modern sewing.  http://www.renaissancetailor.com/demos_main.htm.  Singer has a basic sewing book out there that is good. I purchased it so that my sons could learn to sew when they were showing an iterest.  Unfortunately for me, it was a fleeting interest.  I just looked it up, The New Sewing Essentials, Singer Sewing Reference Library.  I would offer it to you via PBS, but my niece nabbed it from me.