My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Getting started! March 18, 2012

Filed under: Sewing lessons — blankenmom @ 12:04 am
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So you’ve decided you really want to sew! 

Your MIL sew’s and is insisting you need to or you’re just not a good mother to her grandchildren and wife to her son.  Or your girlfriends all sew and you don’t want to be left out.  Maybe you saw a dress you fell in love with, but the color was hideous, so you want to make it instead. 

Most likely it’s because the stores haven’t figured out that you’re not a 5’10” and 100 pounds; instead you actually has a chest and hips!  In my case it was that they didn’t make maternity clothes in my size (about the size of a small 10/12-year-old – so we should be thankful I guess!)

Well great!  What ever the reason – everyone should know how, even if it’s just a button on a shirt!

All four of my boys know how to use a sewing machine and stitch by hands, cut out patterns and select fabric – it’s not a girl thing!

Most of my students had grandmothers or mothers that knew how to sew, but it was never passed along to them, but they grew up watching it done.  As I’m learning, however, some of my students have never even seen a sewing machine up close, let alone someone sewing.  Most of this beginning information will be for you folks.  You know you want to sew – or at least think you know you want to sew, but have no idea where to even start? 

I’ll be going through what you need to get started; terms, tools, machines.  I’ll be going over pattern envelopes and instructions.  Pinning instructions; when I say I’m starting at the basics – I mean the basics!

Tonight I’ll just let you in on a few secrets that people who have never sewn, don’t know and should, before they start.

  • Sewing is not quick.  On occasion, you can pop out an item in a weekend, or maybe even an evening, but you won’t be invited to a party on Friday and show up in a magnificent gown on Saturday – you can make a cute little purse that will go great with the gown you bought though!
  • Sewing if done correctly, can and often will be, tedious.  A great outfit is all about the details!
  • Yes, you will have to iron… a lot!
  • You WILL NOT be able to buy a pattern, cut it out and have a perfect fit.  There will be alterations and adjustments to the pattern.  Even the pattern companies have to use a standard size – that seem to fit no one?
  • You WILL make mistakes.  A lot of them.  Everyone one of us does – even the most experienced sewers do.  (You’ll learn about a tool called a stitch ripper – it will be your best friend and worst enemy.)  Some day I’ll show you a few of mine – I hide them in the closet to peak at every so often to remind myself of what not to do.
  • Most importantly *SEWING IS NOT CHEAPER THAN BUYING!*  You will not save money by making your own clothes.  If you’re planning on making your children’s clothes – it will not be cheaper; it will be more fun than buying though. (and for little girls, a bit more modest – especially with the low-rise pants trend)  There are cheaper ways of buying the items you need, but you will always find premade clothes for cheaper!

I’m sure there are a few I’ve forgotten – please let me know if you know of one.

There is so much creativity to be had with sewing once you get the hang of it.  But, as with anything new, the beginning will be stressful, sweat inducing, curse-word inviting and loathsome, but once you get past the beginners frustration you’ll see a whole new world open up! 

If I haven’t turned you off from it from that description – congrats!  You’re ready to think about the tools you’ll need.

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2 Responses to “Getting started!”

  1. Ria Says:

    I can contest that making your clothes is sometimes cheaper than just buying them at the store, but only sometimes. At least for me. I’m lucky enough to have a large thrift store nearby that sells leftover bolts of fabric, and I always make a point of checking to see what they have. I rarely go in there with a specific project in mind, but can nearly always find something usable. I once came out of there with enough material to make two long skirts for myself, and the cost was around $6 CDN. Granted, that doesn’t take into account the cost of labour, but if I was going to be spending that time sewing anyway, I don’t usually take that into account. 🙂

    But for the most part, you’re right. The material and supplies you need for a project usually ends up at least double what you’d pay for something at a department store.

    • blankenmom Says:

      I LOVE those finds!

      At some point I will be addressing ways to get better deals on items we need, so if you have any more ideas like this, jot them down to help me out!


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