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Thread: Sewing beginner... what do I need to start???

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Default Sewing beginner... what do I need to start???

    Ok, well, my sis has just given me her sewing machine. It's a Singer, and not exactly new, but still pretty good.

    And that as far as I've gotten with it. I have a sewing machine. And an instruction book to explain how it works. Well, I know how the machine works anyway as its straightforward (LUCKILY!) and very easy.

    I know almost nothing. I loved when we did sewing in high school, but I didn't go past year 8 sewing, so I made some very dodgy shorts and thats it lol! I don't even know what's the best fabric to start out with... I tried asking at Spotlight but they weren't very helpful which was frustrating. I also tried to look for a sewing class at Lincraft or Spotlight, but they only have more advanced classes near me!

    I really want to know whats the best to start out with. What kinds of things would you suggest I practise making to get the hang of it. What do you think are the sewing essentials that I need?



    ETA: I should probably also point out that my sis decided to keep her sewing kit, so I don't have any needles, or thread or scissors or even a measuring tape... so I literally am starting from scratch and need all the help I can get. And yes I did ask Spotlight all this, but they tended towards selling me things that I'm not even sure what they were used for but they said it was very important that I have (I got the feeling I would have eNded up with 101 things I would never use!) so I would LOVE to have some sort of idea next time so I don't feel so lost!!!!!
    Last edited by Indadhanu; February 11th, 2008 at 10:56 AM.

  2. #2

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    Default

    No essentials, just decent thread so it doesn't break

    I suggested baby wraps as a good starting point in another thread...
    Buy a metre of flanelette & hem the edges! Basically all you need to do is fold the edges over a little bit, around 1cm and iron them (makes it easier). Then, on your machine with a straight stitch close the hem. SIMPLE! If you're worried about fraying fold the hem over twice & it won't be an issue at all. It gets you into practice doing straight lines, you can adjust tension & everything so you get it right.

  3. #3
    DoubleK Guest

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    *watches this thread*

    i am also a beginner - i have DP's nans sewing machine (which MIL has tested and told me it is fine!) i also bought some material off ebay - i thought about making some doll blankets for Krystals 'babies'.

    Alisia you and i can be beginners together! lol ill let you know how i go with the blankets!

  4. #4

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    Yep Rach you'd just do the same thing for doll blankets, just on a smaller scale I have some patterns that might work for Krystal - pillow case dresses!! It's pretty much a dress made out of a pillow case... Not much work to it & they would be good to practise with & just wear round the house or day care.

    I think I have some good beginner patterns bookmarked somewhere on here, I'll see what I can find

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    I tried to remember what my mum had in her sewing kit and bought few things, scissors for material, pins, pin cusion, measuring tape, dressmaker pencils, unpicker (for those stuff-ups!), needle and thread.
    When I bought my machine I was lucky to get a sewing book in there that explains lots different things which was great cause I had no idea of all these sewing terms on patterns.
    I'm still looking for a sewing class to join.

  6. #6

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    LOL good thing Shell!! I hadn't thought of that stuff!

  7. #7

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    Do you have a local adult ed? Sometimes they have basic sewing classes.

    There are some very basic beginners patterns out there that step you through what to do, nothing particularly classy, but better than nothing when starting out. Patterns will tell you what material and notions (buttons, zippers etc) you need. Often you get better help once you have picked a pattern, that way the assistant knows exactly what to help you with.

    Basics (not in any particular order)-
    tape measure
    tailors chalk
    pins (berry and basic, also pins do need replacing after a lot of use)
    generic needle pack, needle threader (often comes in needle pack),
    needles for sewing machine - basic ones to start, book should tell you which ones- these tend to be cheaper from the sewing machine stores (well I have found that so for Janome needles)
    good scissors (honestly do not skimp here and look after them, do not let your partner use them on leather)
    stitch unpick
    spare bobbins for your machine - get more than you think you need
    bobbin container for already threaded bobbins - warning some have really dodgy clips and always open, so get a big rubber band if you get one of those
    needlework scissors (good for fiddly bits and unpicking) - optional initially
    small containers for all the little things you gather over time.
    Container for all the stuff - I found a tool box from Bunnings to be much better than the "proper" sewing kits, the lid on them tends to break off over time. Also some tool boxes come with a small box in the front for the little stuff. Mine is a double layer one on wheels (I have a lot of stuff)
    Threads in basic colours - handy for mending, so black, navy and white are often good

  8. #8
    DoubleK Guest

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    wow, im looking forward o this sewing thing.. now all i need to do is dig out the machine - which is hiding in the WIR in Krystals room, aka storage closet!

    Sarah i cant picture a pillow case dress.. just Krystal standing in a pillow case! lol

  9. #9

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    LOL Rach!! If you google "red instead blog" there are instructions on there - on the right hand side about halfway down the page there is a "looking for these" heading & the link is in there

  10. #10
    DoubleK Guest

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    oh i see Sarah... makes a lot more sense to me now!

  11. #11

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    wow the girls have given you plenty of great tips, definately helps having the right thread for the right material doesnt it!!! also check the size of the machine needle too.

    Try op shops for cheap material and other sewing stuff, you can pick up plenty of new stuff there and at least if you make any mistakes you wont feel guilty about spending alot.

    I find that the best patterns are found on ebay and at op shops too, I paid 20 cents for an unused pattern, unbelievable!

    Do you like going to the library? perhaps you could borrow some books on sewing techniques. I found that really helpful


    happy sewing! I swear it can get really addictive

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