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The Sew What’s New Archive

This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: BrittanyAnne
Date: 05-26-2007, 10:39 PM (1 of 11)
Ok..So I am only seventeen and brand new to sewing!! My family and I own a bridal salon and I have been watching our seamstress and the beautiful work that she does and I've decided that it is what I want to go to school for! The only thing is, I don't know where to start!! AHHH! No one in my family sews or knows where I should start. My grandmom bought me a sewing machine for Christmas but...well I don't really know what I am doing. I have played with it and done small hems and things along those lines but not much. Anyone have any suggestions on where to start?? THANKS!!:bg:
User: BrittanyAnne
Member since: 05-26-2007
Total posts: 5
From: PaulineG
Date: 05-26-2007, 11:26 PM (2 of 11)
Hi BrittanyAnne and welcome.

We're a friendly and helpful bunch here and we're always happy to have more on board. First thing to do is to learn how to use your machine properly. Did it come from a sewing machine dealer or a department store? If it came from a dealer they should help out with a bit of instruction. If not then reading the manual and asking questions here (let us know what sort of machine - somebody else probably has the same one) might be the way to go.

Here are a few easy starting projects.

These are just a few projects that are on this site - if you google "free sewing patterns" you will get a lot of other ideas. The advantage here is that most free patterns are of necessity fairly simple to make. Once you've got the hang of sewing and your machine a bit better, go out and try a couple of simple patterns. Simplicity has a range of Sewing for Dummies patterns and most of the others have an Easy range to try. Nearly all of the Kwik Sew patterns are suitable for beginners because their instructions are so good. Don't forget if you have any trouble we are here with answers.

I only really started sewing about 12 months ago but the amount that I've learnt from the ladies here is incredible.
User: PaulineG
Member since: 09-08-2006
Total posts: 901
From: Addicted2Sewing
Date: 05-26-2007, 11:48 PM (3 of 11)
YouCanMakeThis.Com has some really cute patterns and has very easy instructions. I'm new to sewing as well and I seem to understand these better than regular patterns. The instructions come with step by step and plus great pictures to go along. They have different range stuff to choose from, childrens clothes, aprons, purses, etc. With you being 17 i'm almost positive you will love this site. The patterns come in E-books and some can be priced slightly higher than regular patterns you get in the store, but is well worth it to me. I have become addicted to buying these and the reason is because they are so simple to follow. I have also bought patterns from the store. Simplicity is pretty easy to read. If you aren't familar with sewing terms, it can be a little difficult. I do know that one of the most simple things to make is pants. Simplicity has cute lounge pants patterns. What girl doesn't like Pj pants? LOL. Which ever you decide, if you have any problems you can always come here, this sewing forum is the BEST on the net. GOODLUCK to you :smile:
User: Addicted2Sewing
Member since: 02-01-2007
Total posts: 133
From: amandajane
Date: 05-27-2007, 03:39 AM (4 of 11)
hi there, I am a self taught sewer and I regret not taking lessons early on as really simple tricks can improve the quality of your sewing immensely and I have had to relearn much of what I know as only now have I become interested in achieving a professional finish.

You mentioned that there is a quality dressmaker in your parents shop, why dont you ask her if she could give you afew lessons, or maybee just shadow a dress she is making from start to completion and see how she works? Maybee there is something you could do for her in return such as babysit her children? Just I thought, I hope it all works out for you. Amanda:smile:
User: amandajane
Member since: 05-27-2007
Total posts: 3
From: PaulineG
Date: 05-27-2007, 03:46 AM (5 of 11)
If it's not too far to travel I'll teach you in return for looking after mine. :bg:

Here's another link I found earlier - looks pretty good with just a quick glance. Step by step from basically no knowledge.
User: PaulineG
Member since: 09-08-2006
Total posts: 901
From: cshortsew
Date: 05-27-2007, 07:27 AM (6 of 11)
Hi BrittanyAnne,

In the area where I live some of the schools offer sewing classes at night, maybe you could check to see if anything is offered where you live.
Projects Completed in 2007:
Sewing: biscuit quilt, 7 baby dress sets, piggy pillow, 7 baby pants, eyeglass holder, purse, 5 baby outfits, toddler dress set
Crocheting: red purse, piggy slippers, sweater shawl, 5 pr. sock trims, 89 squares, baby sweater, 2 afghans, toddler harness, baby poncho, baby dress
Other: 14 Autism pins
Works in progress:
Sewing: toddler overalls & shirt
Crocheting: vertical stripes afghan
User: cshortsew
Member since: 06-28-2006
Total posts: 380
From: BrittanyAnne
Date: 05-27-2007, 08:15 AM (7 of 11)
Thanks soo much!! I probably will take some night courses and I'll definetely look at these websites. And I would love to watch you're kids PaulineG!!! haha...I love kids! I bought a few patterns from Simplicity, McCalls, and NewLook. They just get so confusing, especially because I don't have any idea what I am doing! I was considering asking our seamstress if I could shadow her for the summer because she works out of her home but she is pregnant right now and she is due in June. Her mother is going to take over for her while she is out, but her mother does not speak very good English. They are both from Brazil. I'm going to have to see if there is anyone else in the area that would be interested in me shadowing for a little bit. But again, Thanks soo much everyone! I really appreciate it!:bluesmile
User: BrittanyAnne
Member since: 05-26-2007
Total posts: 5
From: lendube
Date: 05-27-2007, 12:13 PM (8 of 11)
HI BrittneyAnne,

Just posted about the kitties and realized I hadn't welcomed you to our great board. You got some wonderful advice here and it's just a taste of what we have to offer.

Good luck, Lennie :bg:
User: lendube
Member since: 08-06-2006
Total posts: 1548
From: MartySews2
Date: 05-27-2007, 02:41 PM (9 of 11)
Hi Brittany Anne, welcome to the group. Hope you will visit often. Check into your local community college and sewing machine dealers for sewing lessons. Also you can check out the Home Sewing Association website for a trained sewing educator in your area if you want hands on lessons. The website is Also check out the American Sewing Guild at their website of for a chapter near you. Often members teach private lessons. Hope this helps.
User: MartySews2
Member since: 05-03-2007
Total posts: 293
From: rachael220
Date: 05-27-2007, 06:59 PM (10 of 11)
I'm completely new at this too, and I too have no idea what I'm doing, so don't feel bad. My mom used to sew, but she lives in another town about 30 minutes away, and it's kind of hard to understand what she's telling me to do over the phone. So any tips you get, please share and I'll do the same. good luck!
User: rachael220
Member since: 05-27-2007
Total posts: 2
From: LeapFrog Libby
Date: 05-28-2007, 12:01 PM (11 of 11)
I agree with Marty.. Check your community college for sewing classes.. The ones here in my area are the best.. And of course, the price is the best of all. Some persons register with the Hancocks in my area, and they teach privately.. I am a firm believer in the community college system, I have really had some great courses there.. They only require 12 people to request a course and they will teach it..(hows that for small classes??)
Sew With Love
User: LeapFrog Libby
Member since: 05-01-2002
Total posts: 2022
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