So You Wanna Sew…

Its almost Friday, Its almost Friday, Its almost Friday, LOL
Okay, I posted a “guide to beginner sewers” months ago but I get asked the same questions often so I am reposting and adding a few coupons for you guys today. There is a long weekend ahead…YAY!!! and that means time to sew and be creative so here are two coupons to help you do just that.
I would show you a look of the day but I don’t feel like taking pics today, lol 
This one expires today but it is a good one!
Gorgeous Fabric is having a sale HERE
If you just want to shop… H&M 20% off one item click HERE

Repost: Sewing Basics to Know

1. Do you sew for other people?
No. I use to do so and on very rare occasions I might if its a friend, special occasion etc. but I am a selfish seamstress all the way 🙂 The good news is that you can learn to sew and reap the rewards of turning a flat piece of fabric into something fantastic that you can wear.

2. Did you teach yourself or go to school?
Both, I learned to sew when I was 12 by watching my aunt who was an amazing seamstress and I fell in love. I started teaching myself to cut, sew and copy items I had in my closet and I haven’t looked back. In my 20’s I decided to go to “Fashion Design” school and after the first year I hadn’t learned anything I hadn’t already taught myself so I decided that for me the tuition was not worth it and went back to self teaching.

3.Do you think anyone can sew?
Yes. I am a true believer in that you can do whatever you want to do as long as you apply yourself. It takes, time and PATIENCE because sewing can be quite frustrating sometimes, lol.

4. How long did it take you to get to the level of sewer you are today?
I have been sewing since I was 12 years old but it was only within the last 9 years that it really became my “all I can think about” hobby and TRUST ME when I say that I had moments when I cried, yelled, and wanted to chuck my damn machine out the window from frustration and bad fitting garments but with time you start to learn your body and what works. You learn to measure yourself properly and how to pick patterns that are at your level. I have thrown out so many #fail projects it’s not even funny but I also had moments of sheer happiness when I was done with a dress and it looked great and I knew that I had made it MYSELF, there is something really special about that.

It took me a long time before I could make things that I knew NO ONE could tell I had made it on my bedroom floor, lol and so can you! Now I hear things like “I don’t think you made that, it doesn’t look homemade” LOL that is the point right?


What do I need to get started?



1. Imagination and Creativity
2. Patience and more patience
3. A Sewing Machine
4. Fabric
5. Seam Ripper, Tape Measure, Marking Pen
6. Pattern or Idea of Project

Now that I have given  you a list of the bare basics, here are are a few details:

Sewing Machines:

I have heard some people say that they want to learn to sew but can’t afford to buy a sewing machine. This may have been the case back in the day *side eye* but now you can get a great starter machine for less then $200. One of the first machines I purchased for myself was a brother, it cost me $299 and it lasted me for YEARS! I have listed a few machines that I know first hand are solid machines for a newbie.

a. Brother CS6000i Sew Advance Sew Affordable Computerized Sewing Machine $159.00
b. Janome Sewing machine. 18 Stitch Magnolia Sewing Machine 7318 $198.00
c. Janome 8077 30-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine $299.99

Patterns, Projects and More:

There are so many online tutorials (mine included) for simple and easy projects that you can use to get started without a huge investment. Sign up for pinterest and have a good time looking up DIY’s that peek your interest. 

There are also patterns made by the Big 4 geared toward newbies. Simplicity has a “sew simple” pattern collection, Butterick has the “See & Sew” collection, McCalls has the “Stitch & Save” collection and Vogue has “Very Easy Vogue” If I were a complete newbie I would stay away from Vogue until you have  become comfortable with your sewing abilities. Vogue is fantastic but even their “easy” patterns are not so easy if you are not at least an intermediate seamstress.

Education


This is the most important part of learning to sew because the more you know the better you will get.
We have the luxury of learning ANYTHING online so why not take advantage of that. Here is a list of books to read and websites to visit.

Books:


Websites:

Threads Magazine is a great online and print recourse, the have great articles, tips, tricks and videos.
Pattern Review Top 10 Patterns for Beginners
Sewing Tips and Info

Fabric: 
Don’t start with stretchy knits, it will frustrate you at the very beginning. Don’t start with Silks, it will slip and slide and you don’t want to ruin perfectly good silk. Start with cotton fabric and non stretchy knits like matte jersey, these fabrics are more stable and easier to work with. I purchase fabric from many different sources but a good place to start would be www.fabric.com

google and youtube will become your very best friends and I am always here to help. I hope this helps you get motivated!

xoxo
mimi g.

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39 thoughts on “So You Wanna Sew…

  1. Mimi! I am always amazed at your dedication! The coupons, the tips, the encouragement. Are you for real? I've made two of your tutorials and am always inspired by you. Thank you for all you do for us and for keeping us motivated! XoXo Lucia

  2. Why don't you put in a section above called FAQ's and ask people to kindly refer to that first and if not on then ask away lol. You could always update it with new Q's. Just an idea lol. Anyway thanks for posting it great for beginners like me.

  3. Thanks for the coupon and the tips! I love your tips, though I am tempted to try and sew a knit this weekend. Even though I have only completed a skirt and a pair of shorts in my entire sewing career. Maybe I need to rethink this! Have a great weekend 🙂

  4. U are sweet as pie. Your posts are always so honest, sincere and in your own voice. I am a newbie sewer and I know everything you said in this post to be 100 % true. Sewing can be a pain and also gratifying. Thanks for the inspiration, I love visiting.

  5. Nice post! I too have been sewing since I was a kid. I learned form my mother. I have her old Viking. I was with her when she bought it and went with her to the classes. She bought it 1982 when I was just 12. I also have two vintage Kenmores that I love and a serger. I would recommend a vintage machine to anyone but with help in choosing one. I love mine because they can sew through nearly anything. Keep up the good work. I really enjoy reading your blog.

  6. Nice post! I too have been sewing since I was a kid. I learned form my mother. I have her old Viking. I was with her when she bought it and went with her to the classes. She bought it 1982 when I was just 12. I also have two vintage Kenmores that I love and a serger. I would recommend a vintage machine to anyone but with help in choosing one. I love mine because they can sew through nearly anything. Keep up the good work. I really enjoy reading your blog.

  7. Nice post! I too have been sewing since I was a kid. I learned form my mother. I have her old Viking. I was with her when she bought it and went with her to the classes. She bought it 1982 when I was just 12. I also have two vintage Kenmores that I love and a serger. I would recommend a vintage machine to anyone but with help in choosing one. I love mine because they can sew through nearly anything. Keep up the good work. I really enjoy reading your blog.

  8. Hi Mimi,I wish I would have seen this post sooner. I just wanted to add that if folks don't have a Joann fabrics near them they can get 60% off an item by entering code FAB243.I think what you are doing is absolutely wonderful! Thank you for your enthusiasm and willingness to share with everyone. You are a blessing.Shirley (aka Jaishi)

  9. Great post. I call sewing one of the most "hateful" hobbies you can have because you have to keep doing it to get better, even if you are frustrated. But the better you get, the more exciting and fun it is. It's akin to learning how to play an instrument. You have to work through some of the tedium and frustration to get to the point where you can really flow with the music. Then you find so much joy in it, you can't imagine doing anything else and you are so very glad you didn't give up. I wish I had a great source like this blog when I started!

  10. Thanks for your post, I've been sewing on and off. I learned at this fabric store not too far from my house and had frustration back and forth, your post has got me back to liking sewing again. I'm going to make myself some separates skirts, tops and maybe even a dress. I've made a few things my help me with the hand sewn hems. Thank for the bringing me back to sewing.

  11. Hey Mimi, I'd like a little help. Since we have a toddler, going to the pool means playing and my husband doesn't like using a speedo. One time he found a Navy swimming trunk he liked but it was a little small. I really want to make him a swim trunk for next summer (want to try to replicate the one he liked). I'm kind of good with the sewing but not so good at fabrics. I know my fabrics in Brazil but I havent really taken the time to learn about american fabrics. Could you please, give me some idea of what fabric I could use? He wants something snug but not to tight. Also, I'm looking for something with some stretch but thinker than swimming wear fabrics. Thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge with us. You are an AMAZING woman.

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