Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Project

There's something I've been wanting to try for awhile and since it's also on my deployment goals list, I think I better get started on it.

I'm talking about sewing.



My Mom and Grandma both sew wonderfully. My Mom made all my Halloween costumes growing up and countless other dresses and outfits. I've sewed one dress in my life and that was with extensive help from my mother.

So, here is my question for those that sew.

1. What sewing machine do you recommend for a beginner?
2. What other tips do you have? Where should I start? Any books you recommend? Websites?

16 comments:

Julie the Army Wife said...

My tip would be that if you are getting a machine, make sure to use it. I got mine about 4.5 years ago and still haven't made anything...lol

Sara said...

I would love to learn to sew as well. I feel like its a basic skill. I wish I knew something about it.

lola said...

If you buy a sewing machine from JoAnn (I believe it has to be a Singer or Viking/Husquvarna (sp?)) you can get free lessons and troubleshooting. That was the deal with mine when I got it around Christmas!

Mrs. C said...

I have been wanting to learn to sew for awhile too! I am signing up for a sewing class to learn the basics even though I don't have a machine! I'm excited to see how others respond as I have no clue about sewing machines!

Magnolias and Mimosas said...

Honestly, I reconmend that a beginner get a basic machine (around 100 dollars) you don't want to make a huge investment until you decide sewing is a good hobby for you. Normally, I would tell you to look at Wal-Mart, Target or Sears...but I don't know if that is a bit difficult for you.

Make sure you never throw the owners manual away! Each machine is different, and you will need it to troubleshoot or discover how all of your stiches work.

Next, I would find a class or find someone to teach you. I actually took a sewing class on post when C was deployed. It really helps to have someone who actually knows what they are doing to help you.

As for books, one of the best books for reference is The Sewing Book by Allison Smith.

Jessica said...

Hi! Brand new follower!

I decided to take up sewing about 6 months ago. I have fallen in LOVE with it and can't imagine what I did with myself before I got my sewing machine! LOL!

The first machine I bought was a $100 "beginner" machine from Walmart. I was so excited to get it home and to start sewing! Two days later, I was ready to chuck that damn machine out the window! It kept jamming, and I kept breaking the needles. The few times the machine actually worked, I couldn't sew a straight line to save my life! I was convinced I was doing something wrong, but after much googling I discovered that wasn't the case. It was the machine. I took the machine back and exchanged it for another one. Same thing happened. I was ready to give up when a friend told me to come over and try her machine. She has a Viking sewing machine that she got from Joann's. I used the exact same techniques on her machine that I had read about in the owner's manual of my other machine, and there was no jamming or needles breaking! Hallelujah! For the second time, I returned the $100 machine to walmart, and then I went and bought a machine at Joann's. I think I spent about $300 including tax. That money included free classes and a few free accessories.

Based on my own personal experience and from talking with others, I would recommend at least spending a bit of money to get started. If my friend hadn't had me try her "nicer" sewing machine I would have given up on sewing due purely to frustration!

Jenn @ Bull Session said...

I agree with Magnolias...don't ever throw the manual away!

I sew every now and again, but you can't go wrong with a singer. I have both a new and a vintage machine and they are all basically the same. Simple is best when you start. You don't need the fancy stitches until you know if you are going to like sewing or not.

I've found that using the machine is the easy part. Construction with patterns is the most difficult part.

Good luck!

Kara said...

new follower here too. i guess i'm not sure it really matters what machine you begin with. i started with a really nice one given to me from my mom who is a HUGE sewer. i thought i was going to be in way over my head as this thing actually has a touch screen computer--way high tech. anyway, she showed me the basics and i read the manual for the rest. not too bad. i also rely on my trusty internet if there is any terminology, etc. that i may not understand. sooo, i concur with magnolias about the person to show you the ropes and the manual. you'll be good to go. good luck.

Crazy Shenanigans said...

Good luck with sewing, the only thing I ever made was by hand. I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Shoshanah said...

I can't give in any advice, because I'm in the exact same position. Both my grandmother and mom sew, and my mom made all of my Halloween costumes. I'd love to be able to do the same for my future kids, but I guess I need to learn how to sew first!

Yummy Mummy said...

Good luck!! I tried sewing once in my life. I made a halloween costume. The skirt was so sad. The hem was about 1/2 inch on one side and about 2 inches on the other.

fancypants said...

I love to sew and have been trying to get a class together so I can teach- just for the fun of it. (I also have been trying to get a sewing blog going- but have not had time to keep up with it.) I have been sewing on Singer machines up until last month when I bought a Janome. Singer is good- but I think the newer ones don't have the same quality as the older models. Try to looking for a used one. Once you graduate to sewing bigger things and thicker fabrics- you'll want to invest in a better machine. Patternreview.com offers online classes if you can't find any in your area. As for a book- I would suggest the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing- it has it all. Good luck- I am excited for you!

Lauren said...

New follower here! I hope you will share with us what you end up getting. I'm hoping to get one for my Birthday and I'm wondering the same thing. Good luck!

Sarah Ann said...

Yay! A blogger I love to read who is starting sewing too! You've made me a happy girl! =]
My humble little novice advice is to go with a cheap machine because like others have said, if you end up not liking sewing, then you haven't wasted a lot of money. And I prefer machines with a drop in bobbin as opposed to whatever the other ones that have them vertically are called. Oh and follow pattern directions to a T. I can't tell you how much that helps! If they don't have an index for the terms it uses look it up because not knowing can result in a disaster!
I can't wait to hear what you find out and get!

Beth said...

I got a Brother machine a few years ago from Walmart. I think it cost about $100 and it is literally all I will ever need. I'm not the type of sewer that will ever be embroidering things or anything like that. I think making a small simple quilt is a fun way to start out. It sounds daunting, but it really isn't too bad, you get to "practice" by sewing the squares together before you have to add the backing to it.

I'm glad you posed this, I need to get my machine back out and start a new project soon!

Kebi Cedawna said...

I have a Brother machine and have heard that the Bernina brand is really good too. I would say, for starting out, get one that is simple without too many fancy stitches or accessories. You probably won't use them, at lease I never really have. Maybe you'll get into quilting & we can do one together :)