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#162548 Dec 20th, 2007 at 10:36 AM
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I'm getting a sewing machine for christmas and was just trying to get some ideas of what I should start with. Nothing too advanced, this is going to be my first sewing machine. What kinds of sewing projects are good for beginners?


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Very cool Cheryl! I am also getting a sewing machine for Christmas from my mom and I was trying to think of things to start out with too!! I will watch this to see what kinds of ideas you get!!

#162553 Dec 20th, 2007 at 10:42 AM
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I'm getting mine from my mom too, so we'll be getting into a new hobby together. Sounds like fun!


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Home ec classes always started with something easy. An apron or a wrap skirt. You do not want to start with something that needs darts, button holes, zippers. No set in sleeves. Do a few pillows or something with straight seams to get the idea of what you can do. Measure and see how it all works out for you.
Read your instruction book. It really will help you learn your machine. I have been sewing for about forty years and I still refer to my books for my machines.
There are inexpensive patterns called Sew Easy that will be fairly simple to follow for beginners.
Keep a seam ripper handy for when you mess up. Even pros do.

Last edited by jonni13; Dec 20th, 2007 at 11:06 AM.

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I too have been sewing over 40 years ,and I clearly remember making an apron at school.
But I think a good way of learning about what your machine can do is to make an easy jewelry bag, or cosmetic bag then you can experiment with the type of stitches too.


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I could really use an apron. I want to eventually get to the point where I'm making purses, hand bags, etc. Blankets I think too, I like the idea of a make up bag. Thanks Tina for telling me about Sew Easy, I will definitely be looking for those. Thanks!


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Sew easy patterns are the best for beginning, great idea Tina.


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i've been sewing for 40 years, and still prefer sew easy patterns to anything else. they are just so fast to make up, nearly instant gratification.

#162999 Dec 21st, 2007 at 07:19 PM
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When mom first got hers a few years ago she was a beginner.....she made TONS of curtains....really nice ones!!!! Very easy to make since it's just a lot of fabric and straight lines. She also made a bunch of pillow covers too! thumbup You could make duvet covers too....

#163390 Dec 23rd, 2007 at 05:55 PM
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When I got my machine a very years ago I made new cushions for the Kitchen and dining room chairs and tables runners for both,, and some toss pillows for the daybed in the computer room,, then My first grandaughter was born and I made a blankest and baby pillows,, BLANKET mind you NOT QUILT shock Quilting scares me,, too many blocks and angles ,batting and what ever else,, Tho I may attempt it someday I keep sewing simple for me,, lol lol for now!


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Originally Posted by jonni13
Home ec classes always started with something easy. An apron or a wrap skirt. You do not want to start with something that needs darts, button holes, zippers. No set in sleeves. Do a few pillows or something with straight seams to get the idea of what you can do. Measure and see how it all works out for you.
Read your instruction book. It really will help you learn your machine. I have been sewing for about forty years and I still refer to my books for my machines.
There are inexpensive patterns called Sew Easy that will be fairly simple to follow for beginners.
Keep a seam ripper handy for when you mess up. Even pros do.


yes Cheryl--I agree with Tina--the first thing I made was a apron too- also skirts are easy- and I would make sleevelsee dresses (jumpers) for first--it is easier to put in facing than to fit a sleeve in-
Once you have the basics down & feel confidant then tackle sleeves.

good luck--you should do great !!!

Last edited by JunieGirl; Dec 23rd, 2007 at 11:28 PM.

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I got my sewing machine! clap It came with a beginner's book with 4 patterns in it! I think I will try one of them after I mess around with the stitches and all that! Now I have to go and get some fabric!!

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thumbup what kind did you get??? grin

#164370 Dec 27th, 2007 at 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Jiffymouse
thumbup what kind did you get??? grin

I second that.

I went and picked up mine last night. Decided not to buy anything to go with it until after I opened it and figured out what I would need. Now I want to play with it and I can't yet. Maybe I'll just have to go run to the store. Mine didn't come with any patterns but my mom sent me one for magic quilts. She says their easy. I'm so excited!!!


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Get some rags out of your ragbags. Play with the stitches. Play with your tension adjustments (a very little) and see what they do. Raise and lower the dogfeet to see the changes they make. If your machine comes with stitch patterns play with those.
If you do all this, you will be better prepared for making a wearable. You will see when something is not working out before you ruin your fabric. And start with inexpensive fabric. A simple cotton is best.


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I loved making my daughter clothes when she was little. Shorts, and skirts with elastic waist. They were so little it took no time and it was fun. I agree those sew easy patterns are great.


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I sewed so much that my machine is done....I might invest in a new one for next winter.

Jessica and Cheryl, your gonna have alot of fun. Word of advice....just don't let people know how good you get at it....you'll be swamped by sewing requests lol


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I got a Singer. I would have to look to see what model it is but I am not home right now. I had some small pieces of fabric at home that I have used for craft projects in the past so I used those last night to mess around with the stitches and all that. But....my top thread keeps breaking and I can't figure out why. I can sew for a while and then it breaks. I oiled the hook like they said to do and that seemed to help for a while but then it happened again. Do any of you experienced sewers have any ideas for me to try so it stops doing that?? I need to practice more because I am not very good at sewing straight. lol James brought in some of his hunting pants last night and asked me to hem them up for him. I told him he better wait till I practice more because they will be crooked and not look very nice. lol I had fun with it last night though!!

#164527 Dec 28th, 2007 at 10:49 AM
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I don't know what the problem with that would be Jessica unless the top thread is threaded wrong somewhere? Someone in here would know I'm sure. I had a nurse at work already ask me to hem some pants for her and I told her that she would have to wait until I got the hang of it and had some practice. Tamara may be onto something about people having sewing requests.

I did end up playing around with it last night. After about a half hour of frustration getting it all set up right and a bobbin wound correctly, I think I got it. At least that part. I had bought some cheap fabric to practice with and now I have a blue square with a bunch of crooked stitches. Some not as crooked as others. Jessica, my b/f knows not to ask me to do anything yet but I made the mistake of telling him what all my machine can do which led him to ask me questions that I'm not advanced enough to answer yet. I did get ahead of myself though and I bought an apron pattern. I got it all cut out yesterday and today after I finish my chores and errands I'm going to see if I can get it put together correctly. This feels kind of like my cross stitch. I've done it a couple times before but it was over 10 years ago. I'll let you know how my over-enthusiasm goes with the pattern I ended up buying.


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One of my sisters is a great seamstress. She can make mens suits even. The rest of us can't sew. When my girls were small I tried making them some clothes because I want to sew so bad. They still talk about how I forced them to wear these horrible looking clothes. It's a talent I just don't have.

Home ec was a required course when I was in the 8th grade and I made an apron and was supposed to make a wrap around skirt. I couldn't make the skirt. I got a D in home ec. My sister finally finished the skirt for me and I did wear it once or twice.

I'm glad you guys have got the talent and NOW you have the equipment.



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plantqueen, I have a old Singer that I love. It sounds like your tension is wrong. On mine it has to match bobbin and top threader. Do you have a button on the front with numbers?

The other thing is it might be threaded wrong.

Check those two things and if not I will take some pics of mine and maybe we can figure out what is going on.

Tamara you gave some really good advice. Keep your sewing skills a secret unless you want to turn it into a business which is why I do not sew now. That made me hate sewing when I started sewing for money. The last time I did a wedding Bridesmaid gowns and flower girl. I was so upset when I finished with those people I have not sat down to the machine since. That was 20 years ago.

Bestfour you are too funny. I doubt it was that bad. Our kiks like to tease us.


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My mom sewed some Easter clothes for all 5 of us kids. All with matching fabric. She made me a sack dress. Picture a full moo-moo with the bottom gathered to a narrow band below the knees. Ugly. She never sewed again except to make repairs on a couple of items.
I have never even wanted to mess with bridesmaids or wedding finery. (shudder)


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Originally Posted by jonni13
I have never even wanted to mess with bridesmaids or wedding finery. (shudder)


I wanted to put my head in the oven with the flame out. If it was not for the fact I know I could not go to jail because my daughter needed me. I would have put them to sleep. They requested some crazy things. It went past the pattern and into designing totally different dresses. It was during my dark desperate time during the divorce. I needed the money so I did it but they took every bit of sew out of me. haha Maybe when I retire I will pick it up again.


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Originally Posted by jonni13
My mom sewed some Easter clothes for all 5 of us kids. All with matching fabric. She made me a sack dress. Picture a full moo-moo with the bottom gathered to a narrow band below the knees. Ugly. She never sewed again except to make repairs on a couple of items.
I have never even wanted to mess with bridesmaids or wedding finery. (shudder)


I laughed out loud when I read this. I can just see you in that dress. My kids begged me never to sew again. My oldest daughter doesn't even have a needle and thread in her house. I scarred her for life with those outfits. Now if a button comes off a shirt she throws it away.



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Originally Posted by cinta
Originally Posted by jonni13
I have never even wanted to mess with bridesmaids or wedding finery. (shudder)


I wanted to put my head in the oven with the flame out. If it was not for the fact I know I could not go to jail because my daughter needed me. I would have put them to sleep. They requested some crazy things. It went past the pattern and into designing totally different dresses. It was during my dark desperate time during the divorce. I needed the money so I did it but they took every bit of sew out of me. haha Maybe when I retire I will pick it up again.


This thread gets funnier and funnier. I for one am glad you didn't put your head in the oven.



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Oh Tina, I was laughing so loud that Johnny wanted to know what I was laughing about. Now he's laughing too.



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Are you laughing at my sack dress? I actually pointed something similar out to Jonni in a teen store. They might be coming back into fashion. I told her "Never!"
I like sewing from scratch. I see things in stores and say 'I can do that" and usually for a fraction of the cost. Sewing for little girls is fun. Not so fun when they grow to be teens and get pickier. I refuse to make anything black!
Sewing for Ted was fun when he was smaller, too. I made shirts that were interesting, like a collar that was a snake around his neck. But he won't wear anything with a design on it any more. It's the feel of the designs that he doesn't like.


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I'm laughing at "ugly" and the fact that your mother never sewed again.



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She had bought a top of the line Lady Kenmore sewing machine with drop in cams and things. It intimidated her. I own it now.


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I had bought a new machine too. Some of us got it and some of us don't. I tried but don't even have a desire to try again. You guys should discuss this. It's so funny. Once in a while my girls bring up the stuff I made and we have a good laugh.



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my mother couldn't hem a tea towel to pass home ec. when my daughter was born, she made the cutest outfits, on a treadle singer. i have that machine now. i also have a 78 model that doesn't do much, but i like it, and i've made a few things on it, including a shirt for scott. he loved that shirt. but these days, it is all i can do to make myself do repairs. and i don't like that. but i like to sew. just don't ahve the right set up here.

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When I first took Home ec , way back when, we practiced sewing straight by sewing (with no thread) and following the lines on notebook paper. You can just draw some lines on a piece of paper and "sew" along it. Soon you'll have the knack of sewing straight. :wink:


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you know glenda, i forgot about doing that! bored me to tears because i had been using my grandmother's electric machine since i was 5! lol

#164860 Dec 29th, 2007 at 02:02 PM
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I finished my first project! I really don't understand pattern instructions very well so I had to improvise quite a bit, but for my first project I think it turned out okay. Here's pics.


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thumbup VERY NICE thumbup i wish mine looked that neat. i just like "getting it done" and will forget to even try to follow the directions.


if you need help interpreting the instructions, you can always ask.

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Very nice, Cheryl. You are zipping along really well. Sometimes, the directions can get extremely hard to follow. I think you did really well. And you didn't choose the simplest project either.


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Very nice indeed, great job. How come we don't get to see you smiling while modelling? grin


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Thank you. Tamara, remember you're advice about not letting people know you sew? My MIL just got here today and saw my little project and asked me to make her one. I've only made one thing and I already have a request. The reason my face isn't in the picture is I hadn't taken a shower yet and my hair was doing it's "I have wings" thing, so I cut my face out of it. lol


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I told ya....hide and sew in private lol


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Originally Posted by tamara
I told ya....hide and sew in private lol
there is another solution... screw up the first thing you make someone, badly. then tell them you were too nervous, and you just can't sew for other people. they'll believe you, 'cause there will be proof lol lol

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