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Is sewing hard.?


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#1 Oriental lily

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:07 PM

I am really struggling to find clothes I really love for myself and my 9 year old daughter.

I have toyed with the idea of learning to sew for many years but have never found the initiative.

Mainly because I am afraid I will invest in a machine and it will gather dust.
Ad DH will say I told you so rolleyes.gif . ( like the home gym, like the keyboard,like the expensive easel, like the aviary and other hobbies I have started that I lose interest in....)


But this seems much more practical....

But is it hard for a total novice to learn?

I know there is some community sewing classes that occasionally pops up now and then and spotlight has classes.

I have also noticed some you tube tutorials.

But how long would it take for a total novice to say... Learn to make a pretty plain skirt.?

What's harder, learning how to work the machine or following a pattern?

Also what's a very basic, fairly cheap novice machine?

Thanks for any feedback.


#2 Guest_3Keiki_*

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:14 PM

I think Spotlight has a machine on sale at moment for 179, it is a brother (I think) and looks good for price.
Learning to sew.... well honestly with some instruction from say Spotlight on how to use your machine and some of the online tutes I think most people could be having a pretty skirt made up in their first weekend.
It is honestly not hard, I have to head offline now but will pop back with a list of my favourite beginner patterns and tutes.

#3 AnotherFeral

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:15 PM

You'd probably get the hang of using the machine within a lesson or two. Following patterns can be harder - it depends on the pattern, how good the instructions are, etc..
Start with really simple patterns and a second hand machine and go from there. Lots of people have sewing machines that they don't use - perhaps you could borrow one until you have a better idea whether you want to keep sewing or not.
You would probably gain a lot of confidence from a few classes.

#4 FiveAus

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:20 PM

it's not hard, you'd probably be best off with a few lessons to get you started....it's easier when you have someone to show you rather than trying to follow an online tutorial or book.
Once you've mastered the basics, start with some simple patterns that have not much detail and no fiddly bits or shaping, then work up from there.

My best advice would be to go slow, unpick mistakes as soon as they happen, pay attention to detail, finish everything properly and press all your seams as soon as you sew them.


#5 belindarama

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:20 PM

If you stick with a pattern that is labelled easy you would probably be ok. Any terms you don't understand are usually explained in the tips part of the pattern.

You can also google a process and watch a you tube video.

I have just started sewing after years. I don't think I had made anything since high school. It's going really well. I'm really enjoying it.

I bought a new machine, a Singer Simple, for $130. It is basic and as simple as name suggests but does everything you need it to do. It is knobs and dials only, less to break and easier to use. It came with a great DVD to show you how to use it.



#6 Expelliarmus

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:25 PM

No, I don't think it is. I have been sewing since I was 10. A simple gathered skirt is very easy and once you master the basics it's very simple to gradually add skills original.gif

#7 Bam1

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:26 PM

It's not hard if you keep it simple and build up. Avoid commercial patterns they have very confusing instructions. Use a tutorial from the web which not only gives you the pattern but detailed sewing instructions. A circle skirt is great to start with especially if you use a length of wide elastic as the waistband

#8 **Tiger*Feral**

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:28 PM

----

Edited by Tyrone Finkelmeyer, 26 March 2013 - 08:27 PM.


#9 rachel*t*p

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:28 PM

I sew a bit for my kids. But I am a total beginner I just follow free tutes and patterns on the web. Dd is 2 so she mainly gets peasant dresses, pillowcase dresses and simple skirts with elastic waists. These are all easy to sew as there is no shaping and quite loose so errors are not noticeable.  DS gets basic shorts and appliqué shirts. I have also made dolls, bears and Barbie clothes.

I would love to sew for myself, but I am afraid of the shaping needed in clothing for myself and also needing to make adjustments to patterns so they fit better.

I enjoy it and I love seeing the kids in something I made. I make other crafty things too, so I already have the craft interest.

I use my Mum's 10 year old super cheap machine she bought to take up hems. I find it is not hard to sew, but it takes practice to do neatly and in a looking good way. Plus it must take me at least double the suggested time to make things. But practice makes perfect!



#10 Oriental lily

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:30 PM

Thanks everyone.

That machine sounds perfect belindarama.

Any machine with 'simple' in its name is going to be a winner lol.

I suppose I could get a machine, muck around with it and then decide if I need lessons?

If I have urges to throw it out the window or am left sobbing in despair at my failures it would be a big hint to get external help.

Now I might go and have a little daydream of discovering my amazing hidden talent and becoming a famous fashion designer.


Aaahh that would be nice. Collette Dinnigan watch out!

#11 Funwith3

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:36 PM

If I could just hijack your thread for a second, as I'm interested in learning to sew too.... wink.gif

For those of you who sew often, do you think it works out cheaper than buying clothes? I just know that material can be quite expensive, plus the machine itself, and if you factor in the time it takes too....and Kmart have pretty cheap clothing (granted, it's quite tacky and not great quality). Do you think that the cost, time and effort of sewing is worth it in the long run?

#12 Expelliarmus

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:41 PM

It is cheaper to make formal wear by sewing. Not so much most every day wear these days but the benefit I find is that I can make what I like instead of relying on 'fashion'. I don't have a lot of time these days but by sewing it's long enough (I'm tall) and I can make it fit perfectly. I also use it when i need something with sleeves since they are impossible to buy these days  rolleyes.gif

#13 Mootmoot

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:46 PM

Check out your local library for some learn to sew/ beginner sewing books.  They're good at explaining sewing techniques like basic stitches and zips and darts, and also how to read patterns (which marks mean "cut on a fold" and "adjust here" and so forth).  Some of them also come with patterns that you can copy (I get interfacing from Spotlight or wherever and use it as pattern paper; cheap and it last well).

I have started with some baby clothes (loved "Making Baby's Clothes" borrowed from the library) and am working up the courage to tackle something for me - pj's to start with I think, so i dont' need to wear them outside the house.

#14 Oriental lily

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:48 PM

I am the opposite howdo.

I am short and i love wearing maxi dresses that are FAR to maxi for my  158 cm height.

If I buy a dress for fifty dollars it takes me 30 dollars to get it adjusted.

That makes me unreasonably angry lol.

I was also walking around spotlight the other day and saw some gorgeous fabrics.
Fabrics that you just don't see in the shops.

So for me it's not the cost, more me not getting something I can not get in the shops

But yes I will not try and be to ambitious.

#15 CupcakeMumma

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:48 PM

Not hard, just start with simple things, classes are very good, even just the basics.  At sewing maching stores, you will often get free lessons when you buy your machine.  

As for cheaper it depends on what you are making, but you can make them so much more individual and original.  Fit perfectly and don't fall apart or loose buttons after the first wash.

There are a few sewing forums around too, and lots of people ready and willing to help.

#16 **Tiger*Feral**

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:50 PM

----

Edited by Tyrone Finkelmeyer, 26 March 2013 - 08:27 PM.


#17 Oriental lily

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:59 PM

Oh this is gorgeous tiger filly
http://tigerfilly.blogspot.com.au/2008/12/...tiness.html?m=1


I would love to make something like this one day.

Out of curiosity what sort of skill level would you need for this.?

I imagine it would be far from novice.
What would the trickiest bit of it be?

#18 **Tiger*Feral**

Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:15 PM

----

Edited by Tyrone Finkelmeyer, 26 March 2013 - 08:27 PM.


#19 Froger

Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:15 PM

Sewing is as easy or as hard as you want to make it. As a beginner if you avoid buttons and zips you should be right. Plus when you buy patterns you will notice that they usually have some sort of grading system on them, to guide you as to the level of skill needed.

Skirts are incredibly easy to make without a pattern - no matter what sort, whether layer, tiered, straight, elastic waist or even a button and zip once you get a little bit of experience. Same as little girl dresses.

Also trousers with an elastic waist are dead easy. You can make a pair in an hour or so once you get a little practice.

I love sewing as I can design whatever I like. My kids often have stuff in mind that they like, and we design it together and then make it. My kids often sew simple stuff themselves as well.

I actually do think for the most part it is cheaper than in the shops - expect for the very cheapest of shop stuff. And the stuff I make looks much better! And my kids for some reason are really fascinated with 70s style, so I tend to make a lot of flares and tunic tops for them, which they all love. You don't find stuff like that in Kmart, LOL.

I also have never serviced any of my machines ever!  blush.gif I have a 30 year old singer, a 20 year janone and a 6 or 7 year old janone overlocker. I do oil them though - but never been serviced and all still going strong! So while a machine may cost a lot initially, I have certainly gotten plenty of use over that amount of years (and one of them was given to me, so didn't cost a thing).

I also tend to make my own patterns now, so I save heaps on that. Once you have a good collection of patterns you can always adapt stuff, or you just learn to make your own.

Plus you can repair stuff. So things which get holes and rips can be made to look good again with the addition of a pocket over the hole, or the rip repaired.

I could go on and on about the joys of sewing. But I guess I better stop now.  tongue.gif

Anyway, maybe see if you can borrow a machine and have a go. After you have made a few things and get a bit more confident, you'll be able to judge as to whether you want to continue and buy a machine of your own.

#20 Soontobegran

Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:21 PM

Start out simple and work your way up but I would definitely have a couple of lessons. If you buy from Spotlight or Lyncraft they give your freebies when you buy the machine. I think having the lessons in person is better than watching a DVD. I learnt at school for 3 years so it was pretty standard for my age group to know how to sew.

I don't think it is a cheap option these days. You can get such reasonably priced decent clothes I sometimes wonder how they sell them so cheaply.

I just made Christmas outfits for a size 1,2 and 3 year old girls and Christmas shorts for 3 boys in size 2 and it cost me about $200 for materials/buttons/cotton etc. I used a 30 year old pattern I had and just altered it to suit but the kids will be able to wear these for at least 2 or 3 seasons as I left lots of seam and hem and in bought clothes you don't get this.
Wish I knew how to post photos, I was so proud of them and they looked so cute. original.gif

#21 monkeys mum

Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:00 AM

QUOTE (Funwith3 @ 02/01/2013, 09:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If I could just hijack your thread for a second, as I'm interested in learning to sew too.... wink.gif

For those of you who sew often, do you think it works out cheaper than buying clothes? I just know that material can be quite expensive, plus the machine itself, and if you factor in the time it takes too....and Kmart have pretty cheap clothing (granted, it's quite tacky and not great quality). Do you think that the cost, time and effort of sewing is worth it in the long run?


Its cheaper for me, but mind you the cheap kmart or big w clothing i hate. I made my dd and two nieces patchwork circle skirts for Christmas, if i wanted to buy these for some not as unique, and just layers not made from squares would be $50, cost of the three i made was maybe $20 and years of scraps lol Obviously those scraps have a cost but this was already covered from when i was making to sell to buy more material.

Also my sons are tall, i dont want my daughter dressed in clothes that are too old for her, and if i didnt sew my mid twenties brother would be without costumes lol Which mind you at his old job won him quite a few exxy prizes. Sewing quality clothes for adults can be beneficial too. I made my brother a pure wool long jacket to fit him, he could have bought it online for over $600, cost of material was $240, and my time was covered by a few nights babysitting, and a gorgeous pair of scissors.

Sewing as a never sewn before, depends how well you can read and understand a pattern, whether you are more of a learn by being shown, or learn by reading type of person. I taught myself how to sew, yes at the start it was wear at home clothes, but that did not last long at all. Skirts are so easy to sew, try googling for skirt tutes, a circle skirt is very easy, read through a tute or two and see how you fair understanding it.

My first machine i still have, no foot pedal, lots of stitches, if i bought it myself back then it would have been out of my budget so would have started on a beginner machine, but am so happy i didnt as foot pedals drive me crazy.

Watch the spotlight catalogues, wait for either a decent special or vouchers.



#22 Queen Yoda

Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:31 PM

QUOTE (**Tiger*Filly** @ 02/01/2013, 08:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sewing clothes for children is much easier than sewing clothes for adults as they are generally a simpler shape and it doesn't matter so much if they don't fit perfectly. It is definitely easier to use a pattern IMO.
Overall it's impossible to answer whether it's hard or not as it depends on what sort of clothes you want to sew. Sewing can be fairly simple or it can be a highly exacting skill that takes years of training. I've been sewing for 30 years and IMO it is not easy for a beginner to get a professional finish, and I won't leave the house in something I've sewn if you can tell it's home made. That is not meant to be discouraging as I love sewing, but if you are worried that you will buy a machine and not stick with it then it's better to be prepared with the notion that yes it will take practice, and you will need to start with very simple shapes, and you will probably need to have lessons.
There sewing threads and blogs on EB are a good place for inspiration and there are also lots of you tube tutorials these days for just about anything your want to sew.

totally agree with this.  For a beginner, I would always recommend a pattern, but it doesn't have to be a commercial pattern.  It just needs to have good instructions.

QUOTE (Funwith3 @ 02/01/2013, 08:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If I could just hijack your thread for a second, as I'm interested in learning to sew too.... wink.gif

For those of you who sew often, do you think it works out cheaper than buying clothes? I just know that material can be quite expensive, plus the machine itself, and if you factor in the time it takes too....and Kmart have pretty cheap clothing (granted, it's quite tacky and not great quality). Do you think that the cost, time and effort of sewing is worth it in the long run?

If you are planning to make clothes of similar quality to Kmart, etc, then no, it is not cheaper.  If you want to make decent clothes that last for ages, yes.  But probably not so ideal for kids as they grow so fast.

I find it is much easier to sew for the kids.  Skirts and pants are really easy for me too.  I'm just starting to get into the swing of sewing tops for me - my next sewing job for me will be a dress, I suppose.

I reckon ring a few sewing shops and ask if they have any second-hand sewing machines.  They are likely to throw in a few sewing lessons and will be happy to answer any questions that you have afterwards.  I personally wouldn't buy another machine from Spotlight or Lincraft, because half the time the staff really have no idea about the machines.  It's quite frustrating.

Helpful sewing books that I have on my shelf
The Complete Book of Sewing

The Singer Sewing Book

The Sewing Book

How to Use, Adapt and Design Sewing Patterns

Sew a skirt for YOU! - Sew What! Skirts

A-line dresses for girls - Absolutely A-Line (great for ideas, good for summer and winter and really easy to sew/adapt for the beginner sewer)

Make It Perfect has a good book and loads of patterns

Plus, Google and YouTube are fabulous!!  original.gif

I just made my kids some Christmas shirts - $4 shirt from Target, appliqued some Christmas material on the front (a swatch of fabric picked up from Spotlight for $2, heaps left over).  They loved it!  

But agree with others that you don't sew to save yourself money from buying clothes.  But if you persist with it, what you will get is good quality clothes that fits you perfectly that no-one else has.   biggrin.gif   I find I buy daycare clothes for the kids, but I try make their 'better' clothes myself.  It's pretty easy to change/adapt a pattern to make several outfits from the same pattern.

I haven't been sewing much over the past 12 months (something I am planning to rectify shortly) but I have sewn a bit over the past couple of years. (http://www.wannabese...logspot.com.au/ - nothing fancy - mostly straight line sewing, LOL!)

When you are starting out, pick patterns that explicitly say they are easy or simple.  And build up some experience before you do zips and buttonholes.  They are not too bad, but certainly not something you want to try on your first sewing project with no experience.

have fun!


#23 Chocolate Addict

Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:50 PM

It is easy for most but not all. Some people just dont' have the hand eye coordination or know how to wrap their head around it.

I have taught sewing classes and with some people no amount of lessons was going to work on them.

I would take some lessons at a place that supplies machines. There is no point buying a machine then finding you don't have the skills/patients/whatever to do it. Then, if you find you are ok with it there are plenty of good second hand machines around. original.gif

Also, all domestic/regular machines are different, have a different feel etc.. so if you are comfortable with say, the Singer that Spotlight supplies then go for a Singer for home.

#24 Queen Yoda

Posted 03 January 2013 - 02:10 PM

QUOTE (Chocolate Addict @ 03/01/2013, 01:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It is easy for most but not all. Some people just dont' have the hand eye coordination or know how to wrap their head around it.

I have taught sewing classes and with some people no amount of lessons was going to work on them.

this is true.  One of my friends tries so hard, but she is truly useless at sewing.  But she is outstanding at other things that I am woeful at. Swings, roundabouts.

Also agree with PP that getting into some local/community sewing classes will probably be a good idea.  Even better if they supply machines so that you can get some idea if you think you will persist with it before you buy a machine.

#25 crazyone2989

Posted 03 January 2013 - 03:42 PM

QUOTE (howdo @ 02/01/2013, 09:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It is cheaper to make formal wear by sewing. Not so much most every day wear these days but the benefit I find is that I can make what I like instead of relying on 'fashion'. I don't have a lot of time these days but by sewing it's long enough (I'm tall) and I can make it fit perfectly. I also use it when i need something with sleeves since they are impossible to buy these days  rolleyes.gif


I find the above is so true. I made my year 10 formal dress and it was so much cheaper (and I think nicer) than anything in the shops, plus no one had anything like it!

I have been sewing since I was a kid and I remember I used to make pj shorts or pants which were really simple (the tops not so much) so that could be a good start as well. I also like Simplicity patterns if you are going to use a pattern. I find that they are really easy to follow, unlike the random American pattern I had for a flamenco dress...now that was tricky.

Start with something like pj pants, simple dresses or skirts and I think you will be fine. I also second sewing for kids first because you don't have to worry as much about the perfect fit!




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