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Old 03-08-2006, 10:33 AM   #1
Curlykat
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Any sewers??
I just got my very first sewing machine and want to try sewing some clothes for myself.

If you sew your own clothes, where is the best place to get nice, stylish patterns??? I've checked out the McCall's and Simplicity websites and nothing there is really jumping out at me. I'm specifically looking for a summery dress pattern.
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Old 03-08-2006, 10:49 AM   #2
brendajos
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well i don't know what kind of options you have in Canada for patterns but Vogue does put out a pattern book. The patterns are generally more expensive though and i don't recall ever seeing them on sale.

when i sewed (which was very rarely and very square projects) i would wait until Joanns or Hancock Fabrics had a sale and they would put either McCalls or Simplicity on sale for 99 cents. usually presidents day weekend and labor day and all that was when that happened. Hobby Lobby usually has good prices too. But again, i don't know if you have any of that where you are.
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Old 03-08-2006, 10:49 AM   #3
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I love the Vogue patterns, but they can be spendy. I've found some lovely patterns in Simplicity and McCall's and Butterick, but you have to really look through the books. I usually get my patterns at JoAnn's when they have a 99 sale or I use a 40% off coupon. I refuse to pay $13 for a pattern. What happened to the days when sewing for yourself was cheaper than retail? Oh, and the quality of the pictures is much better IRL and you also have the ability to look at the pattern. Don't be afraid to pull out the pattern from the sleeve and look at the directions before you buy it.
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:40 AM   #4
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I don't know if they have Fabricland as far east as TB, but their membership price for patterns is pretty decent. Several times a year they will have excellent deals on patterns too, especially in January right before inventory. I have paid as little as $1 each for McCalls and Butterick patterns. When I did a lot of sewing, I would more than justify the cost of my membership for Fabricland and Fanny's Fabrics with the members-only sales. The regular prices aren't all that bad either.

<looking for brendajos> Wal-Mart is the only department store that I know of that still has a fabric section. There's a line of patterns... New Look I think, that is about $2-3 a pattern. It's in a wire circular rack in the department. There's also McCalls and Simplicity patterns in the drawers. Unless you are lucky, I wouldn't expect to get a great deal of help or insight from the person working in the department. Personally I prefer Butterick patterns since I have found them to be well-written, and they fit me better {with a minimum of altering} than any other brand I have tried. Online, I would try craftster or some other crafting BBS {other than the one on the SFSE website } for answers to questions you may have. The Nancy's Notions website {used to at least} have a great section with various tips and tricks, and if I remember correctly, there was some simple no-pattern patterns to make. Those would help you get used to your new machine, and learn a few basics of pattern construction.

My number one recommendation to you before you buy ANY clothing pattern for yourself is to take an honest set of measurements. The best way is to have someone else take these for you. The sizes on the envelope do *not* correspond to ready-to-wear, and you will need those measurements to buy the best size for you.

If you have any other questions, just holler... sewing was my main hobby for years since it was the only thing my ex would let me do!
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Old 03-08-2006, 02:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
If you sew your own clothes, where is the best place to get nice, stylish patterns??? I've checked out the McCall's and Simplicity websites and nothing there is really jumping out at me. I'm specifically looking for a summery dress pattern.
I used to use Vogue patterns a lot when I sewed although they are pricy and if you're new to sewing stick to the easy to make patterns for a while. The designer pattern can be pretty daunting and difficult at times. Remember, the best part of sewing your own clothes is that you can adjust them to fit and use whatever material you want so what may look like nothing out of the ordinary can become pretty spectacular by adding details and trims. So Simplicity and McCall's can be great patterns. You really have to go to the store and wade through the pattern books. I'd spend hours looking at patterns. (My DH hated getting stuck with me in a store that had pattern books!)

Also, once you get into it and you want to continue you might consider buying a serger. It really saves on finishing time, especially for jackets that you don't want to line.

Good luck and have fun with your new venture!!

Gladys in dismal & dreary Michigan.
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Old 03-08-2006, 03:15 PM   #6
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Well, I think Simplicity, Burda and Vogue are the best, fashion-wise.

The best thing about Simplicity though, is that if you live in a city with Joann's or Hancock's, they go on sale a LOT. For like 1 or 2 bucks. vogue goes on sale for 75%, leaving most to be around 4 bucks.

And I just want to tell you now, that you will HAVE to make adjustments to any pattern you make (especially if the fabric is woven). I just found that out recently, and I wish I would've known it sooner.

Fast Fit by Sandra Betzina is a great place to start when it comes to that. I'm still a little chicken to do it, but I will soon.
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Old 03-08-2006, 05:40 PM   #7
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Hi all! Thanks for the tips!!

Just got back from Wal-Mart, with some cute pink flannelette material, with cats riding on spaceships....umm, it's cooler looking than it sounds...and a pattern for pyjama pants as my first attempt! I figure that's a pretty safe bet, even if I totally mess it up, I'll just be wearing them around the house!

Nicole - I PM'd you for some help!! :D
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Old 03-08-2006, 06:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Curlykat
some cute pink flannelette material, with cats riding on spaceships
It does sound cool to me! I'll have to look at work for it.

Originally Posted by Curlykat
and a pattern for pyjama pants as my first attempt! I figure that's a pretty safe bet, even if I totally mess it up, I'll just be wearing them around the house!
Sounds pretty safe to me too... just remember that flannel shrinks! If you haven't cut it out already, I'd throw it in the washer first to preshrink!

Originally Posted by Curlykat
Nicole - I PM'd you for some help!!
checked and replied! {btw: thanks for letting me know here! I totally miss seeing it on the top of the page! }
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Old 03-08-2006, 06:13 PM   #9
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I'm so wanting to learn to sew well! I got a new machine after using my old one (or not using it to be more exact) for 20 years or so. Got a beautiful new one at Walmart and have been making easy things like curtains.

I want to sew a lot for this summer.... I wish I could take a class mainly because I don't understand everything about the machine, namely tension. Do you have that figured out? The brochure just doesn't explain it that well. Like should the tension be higher for thin silky fabric and lower for corduroy etc? Anyone know where you can take a class on using the sewing machine?

I once saw if you buy your machine at Sears they have classes but I didn't buy it there! Aren't there some good online places to buy patterns also?
Should be if there aren't.
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:10 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Victoise
Aren't there some good online places to buy patterns also?
Should be if there aren't.

Buy??? I want FREE!!! Like KnittingPatternCentral.com!!!
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