Posted 02 January 2010 - 11:18 PM
I've been through the topics and the pinned "learning to sew" but the links are bad and most of the posts are 2 years old. I need some suggestions for book titles and what would make a basic sewing kit. There's a recent thread on machines (electric or treadle) which is good, but that's a bit down the road for me. Right now, I'd like to put together something a rank beginner could deal with. I'm also going to check out the SCA links for needle arts in the middle ages. That way, if SHTF and we end up with a 'grid-down' situation, I'll just make believe I finally got to an SCA event.
Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow
for those who do not. ~Thomas Jefferson
Posted 02 January 2010 - 11:35 PM
You will need some good scissors just for fabric. They don't have to be expensive, either. JoAnn's usually have some good ones for a reasonable price. I like the magnetic pincushions, (Grabbit is one brand), I like longer pins with larger heads, not those dinky little pins that drive me crazy. A seam gauge ruler ( they are six inches long and will have a slide adjustment for measuring seams, hems, things like that. They help when pressing the hems. There are some nice fabric marking pens that you mark on the fabric, then just spray with water and the marks come off.
A good iron. Pressing as you go along makes all the difference in a professional looking job and a messy homemade look.
I would start with pillowcases. They are easy and will teach you how to sew straight seams, plus make a nice even hem on the top. Just measure one at home and use it as a guide. Normally they are about 33 inches long, and use the 45 inch width of the fabric as the total width of the pillowcase. Just take a yard of 45 inch wide fabric. Sew the fabric together to make a tube. Then sew across the bottom. Then, you finish the cut edges with a zig zag stitch. Turn down 3 inches for the hem and stitch it down on top to make the top border of the case. Voila ! Instant pillowcase. If you want a wider hem at the top then buy a little more than a yard and just make the hem wider when you press it down.
I don't know of any good books. I learned the basics in 7th grade and have been sewing ever since. Sort of self taught myself the rest of the way.
There are other gadgets and things you can buy, but to start with that is really all you need. Oh, and a tape measure.
Ask if you need more help.
Posted 27 August 2010 - 10:58 PM
Basic sewing box:
1. A box or basket, one that has a lid that latches is best so it won't spill, a handle on top to carry by is also good.
2. A good 60" long tape measure
3. Good sheers as mentioned in the previous post. For now, you can get a nice pair of Fiskars for about $10.00 but, if you take to sewing I would recommend investing in a really good pair. Mine are Ginghers and 20 years ago they cost about $35.00 but, worth every penny. Sheers are for cutting out the pattern from the fabric.
4. Scissors, smaller than sheers and used for cutting thread, clipping seams allowances, cutting open buttonholes, etc.
5. A selection of good hand needles, get a variety pack of different sizes so you will have a selection for whatever project you are working on.
6. Pins, I too like the longer ones with the colored heads on them, commonly called quilting pins. However, if you ever work with silk you will need to get fine silk pins since the larger pins will mark silk permanently.
7. A good pin cushion with an emery cushion, the big tomatoes with the strawberry emery attached to them are good for starters.
8. A seam ripper--even after 40 years of sewing I still have to use one too!
9. Dressmaker's chalk or marking pens for transferring pattern markings to your fabric.
10. Do be sure to get a gauge as stated above, invaluable.
11. Get a few spools of All Purpose thread in common colors like black, white, beige, brown, etc. whatever you think you will use the most.
This will get you off to a good start, hope this helps and Happy Sewing!
Posted 28 August 2010 - 08:03 AM
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