Friday, 11 February 2011

Tips from a beginner

by Stuff Mummy Makes

‘OK, so I got this sewing machine for Christmas….’

Probably not the best way to start a blog post on a site with so many clever and talented people on, but hey, everyone’s got to start somewhere, right?  So I did! Well, actually, everyone was ill over Christmas, so I didn’t actually get to even look at it properly until well into January. I kept looking at it watching me from the table in the corner…and decided it was now or never!

So, although I really am a newbie at all this, (yes, it was Christmas 2010 I got the machine!) I thought there must be some more people out there like me, and decided to share a few things I’ve picked up through trial and error, friends, and Google along the way! 

Firstly, and most importantly – read your machine manual. Seriously. I fought with my machine for an hour (from somewhere I seem to have picked up the male ‘I don’t need a manual’ mentality!), and after broken nails, threads, and spirit, I decided to admit defeat and read. Twenty minutes later, she was whirring away like, well, a sewing machine! One for the ‘I told you so’ group….lol!

A good way to get started is to raid your wardrobe. I say yours…the husband, kids, pets, laundry…leave no fabric unturned! Rather than forking out for expensive fabric that you’ve just ‘gotta have’, only to ruin it because you’ve cut the pattern with arms where the head should go…cut up something old! You loved it enough to buy it once – why not turn it into something fabulous and get a whole new lease of life out of it?

This is the first item of clothing I ever made…a long sleeve tshirt for my son made from an old short sleeve tshirt of my partners! For a pattern I just laid one of my son’s tshirts on the big one and cut round it – I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, and it still turned out ok!

The internet is such a valuable tool for inspiration and ideas (well, you’re here, right? ‘nuff said!) – so use it! There are a plethora of free patterns, blogs, websites, etc, and everyone is so keen to help you out! Go surfing and see what you can find!

Now for a few little things that I’ve found helpful…

Have a bin or rubbish bag next to your machine. You don’t want to be picking little pieces of thread out of your carpet for weeks…believe me. I know.

Try and make sure you have everything you need handy when you sit down at the machine – there’s nothing more frustrating than having to keep getting up and down every five minutes!

Big pins with big coloured heads are GOOD. Tiny pins with tiny silver heads get lost in your clothing, carpets, etc, and end up in your fingers, feet….you get the picture.

Lastly…enjoy yourself! Before you get bogged down with making Auntie Mabel 20 pairs of new bloomers…make some things for you. Pretty things. Things you don’t need! After sitting and reading this post, you deserve it! There is no end to your creativity!!

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1 comment:

Caroline's Crafty Adventures said...

Fantastic post. Shame I read it after just completing my first sewing project, those little silver headed pins are a nightmare!!!!! Lol

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