making your own clothes!

  1. My daddy brought me a sewing machine for christmas (project runway is my favorite show) and I have no clue what to do. I was just wondering does anyone know someone in the nyc area that would teach me how to use a sewing machine. I would take classes but I would prefer the one on one sessions instead. And i wanted to know are there any ladies here who learned how to sew without going to school for it and how long did it take before you could make your own shirts, pants and othe accessories?

  2. Hi, Quenda! When I was a teenager I tried to teach myself to sew following the directions in Simplicity patterns. While I grew somewhat proficient there were a lot of gaps in my emerging skills. And I was also developing sloppy habits like sewing cuffs on crooked and saying 'What the heck, I 'll wear it anyway.' My mom signed me up for a summer course at a local junior high and that helped me a lot. I later took an advanced sewing course at my high school and that really nailed things down for me.

    I don't live in New York, but where I live the local city technical college offers lots of sewing and tailoring courses for very little money.

    You can also take courses at sewing machine stores.

    I've taken both when I want to expand my skills in a certain direction and I've been very pleased because the courses are usually taught by true enthusiasts.

    Although I don't make clothes anymore (around here good fabric is impossible to find, a problem you won't encounter in NYC), sewing skills have proved handy for whipping things up for the house or for family members that may be difficult or expensive to procure otherwise. (For Christmas I made a reflective vest that my husband can wear over his parka when he walks the dog. And I've recovered all the cushions in the house for pennies.) So I say take a class, learn to muscle that machine even if you don't plan to sew clothes. The skill will come in handy.
  3. I took a sewing class once, but not in the NYC area. I took it where I live, at a local sewing goods shop. It wasn't very expensive, if I remember correctly; only thirty or forty bucks, although we had to pay for the mandatory sewing kit and for all of our materials. The class was small (only three or four individuals) so we were able to get a lot of one-on-one time with the instructor. You may want to just sign up for a class, but a class with a small number of students in order to get that personal assistance.

    I didn't really try to construct items like shirts or pants or dresses with my sewing machine. Honestly, I started out making pillows. I always wanted to branch into sewing bags (I have books on this, and this is actually why I asked my BF for the sewing machine in the first place) but I never was really able to put the time into it. I did do stuff like altering and reconstructing tees (t-shirts) on my own, though. Good luck.
  4. FIT has good classes for cheap prices. You should look into it if you're interested. If not, there are plenty of websites or books you can look at
  5. how fun! ive been dying for a machine because i looove to make things and sew! ive made like beautiful curtains and draperies all by hand. (pain the the butt by hand!) and im just sick of hurting my poor little fingers! let me know if you like your new machine!!

    where ever you learn your skills, i hope you enjoy it a bunch!! hey, if you get really good maybe we'll see you on the Project Run Way! HAHAHAHAA!! designing all the clothes.. wanna make my wedding dress?! probono!? AHAHA!! jkjk!
  6. Hey, I like Project Runway too! Tim Gunn is HOT, although I know I'm totally not his type! I just love the emotions he shows when he's checking up on their work.

    You know, being the old fogey I am, I remember this old Singer sewing machine my grandmother had when I was about 6. It had the foot pedal treadle... I loved that machine! She taught me to sew on it.

    My advice is to start out with a simple pattern, (Simplicity is the best) and a non-stretchy fabric like cotton to start with. Get to know your machine by just practicing for a while, learn how to thread it properly, how to fill bobbins, etc.

    Have fun!!
  7. :wtf:
    By hand!!??
    woo girl you must be a keen sewer....!! As for me... I can not even hem or sew on a button with screwing it up!!
  8. Now that is just plain sad. My great-grandmother, grandmothers and my Mom all taught me many forms of needlework. Right now I'm looking at a blanket my G-grandmother crochetted in 1957! They taught me to knit, crochet, embroider, bead, afghan needle work, sew by hand, ... gee, if it involved some kind of needle, they taught me! The only thing I never learned was tatting.

    We need to bring back the love for carefully crafted items. Start with a nice purse by a thoughtful designer. :p
  9. I taught myself how to sew. Simple skirts are the easiest to start with, followed by simple strappy dresses. Take a look at how your clothes are made and it's really not hard once you get the hang of it.

    I suggest buying the easy patterns from New Look or Simplicity. They have very clear instructions. Don't let the jargon throw you off, if it's too much, PM me and i'll explain it. If it's all still too much, getting lessons is an inexpensive way of easing yourself into the world of sewing (which is admittedly a rather big world).

    And to oo0ehxtahcee0oo... BY HAND?!!! You're incredible!
  10. lol this show makes me wanna make my own clothes too :smile: glad to hear im not alone. i just dont think ill actually take the plunge...
  11. I will describe quenda what I do with a pre-teen grandaughter..she keeps a 'look book' of styles that her favorite Stars wear..then when she comes over she chooses one out of her book and we go to the closest Thrift Store and pick garments that are similar to parts of the chosen 'Look'.. then we come home and hack apart the garments, a bodice from one, sleeves from another etc and totally remake her thriftstore finds into one or two great and original is fun, cheap, rewarding and a GREAT way to learn how garments are made..
  12. I learned by watching my grandma when I was growing up. When I got my own sewing machine a few years ago, I practiced by taking apart huge t-shirts and reconstructing them to something wearable. It gave me practice with using the machine and learning how to put pieces back together. Maybe you should do something simple like that. If you have a huge t-shirt that you can't wear, maybe you can turn it into a tunic or add some fabric to it.
  13. i dunno if you have a joann fabrics in your area but they have some classes too. when you start to make things post them! i have only done simple things like adding straps to dresses and turning halters to tanks and such. heheee.
  14. GUess what guys!!

    I found someone who will give me lessons. Shes being doing it for 25 years and she gives private lessons

    Im so excited!!!

    I will keep everyone posted!
  15. also quilter,

    when you take things apart do you trace everything, like making ur own pattern?