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Old 03-08-2006, 08:21 PM   #11
Jan in CA
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Originally Posted by Curlykat
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!!!
Have you actually looked at a real pattern? It would be pretty hard to make them free. The pieces are often quite large and there is no way you could print them.

I started sewing when I was 10 and I think the best way to find good patterns is to go to a fabric store and look at all the books. They also have them on racks and there are easy ones, too. Making something like a pillow with straight sewing is a good way to get the feel for the machine. Just being in a fabric store can be inspiring.
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:29 PM   #12
Curlykat
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Originally Posted by Jan in CA
Have you actually looked at a real pattern? It would be pretty hard to make them free. The pieces are often quite large and there is no way you could print them.
Good point...
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Old 03-09-2006, 12:34 AM   #13
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The free patterns I've found online have all been basic items that are sewn out of simple squares and rectangles, where the pattern "pieces" are all just measurements.
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Old 03-09-2006, 09:45 AM   #14
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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!
And places like Walmart don't even employ people who know how to use them. They just sell. You have to fiddle with the tension to get it right for the fabric. The upper and lower thread should be even. Yu have to test it. Once you get a feel for it, it will be easy to figure out. Have you checked any of the craft stores for sewing classes? Besides teaching you how to sew they'll probably be able to help with the questions you have on the machine. Or possibly check out the local school districts for Adult Ed/Enrichment classes. Or maybe could ask the sales people where you buy fabric. The women at my Joann's seem to know a little something about the process. If you catch then on a not-so-busy day, maybe you could pick their brains.
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Old 03-09-2006, 10:06 AM   #15
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Vic, you should take a look at a book called "Simplicity's Simply the Best Sewing Book" (I think that's the right title). I got mine at JoAnn's, but I think I've seen it at other booksellers. I've been sewing for twenty five years and I still find it useful for sewing tips. They discuss machine anatomy and give guidelines for gauge.

Different fabrics may require different tensions, plus you need to pay attention to stitches per inch and needle size in order to get a smooth seam.

I'm going to sew today! I was going to make knitting needles, but it's rainy. So I'm going to finish a couple projects. Good luck everybody!
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Old 03-09-2006, 10:46 AM   #16
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Sources in Canada for sewing are even more different from those in the US than with knitting/crocheting. Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's and the like are non-existant north of the border. You might find one or two {possibly} in the TO area, but that's over a 24 hour drive for me, and about 16-18 for Curlykat. Here in Winnipeg, I've seen sewing classes occasionally in our Leisure Guide, a quarterly publication of various classes and activities offered in the city. The best selection of classes I've seen are with the various sewing machine dealers. I've never taken a class because my schedule never seems to coincide with the classes they offer that I want! Most of the classes require you to bring your own machine, but as common courtesy, I would buy any supplies needed for the class from the shop offering it.

I agree that most WMs don't employ people in the crafts department that know a lot about the merchandise. The best person there is *usually* the department manager, but even their knowledge tends to be limited to the crafts that they personally do {if they do any at all}.
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Old 03-09-2006, 12:44 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the good advice! (btw, Nicole your blog is fantastic, how the heck did you learn to do all that fancy stuff.... !)

Yeah, we are spoiled with the free patterns we find online for knitting!
Remember the old trick of using newspaper to make a pattern based on a piece of clothing you already have? I don't think I ever did it but then again... my memory's getting sketchy? what's the word!

Sara, I will look at that book! Thanks for the tip. Strangely enough, I don't care much for the Walmart near us (upstate NY) but when we really need something and can't pay a lot (a lot of the time) we do go there and when I bought my sewing machine, both of the women working there were experts! I was surprised, one had grow up near or in the town where Singer sewing machines were made, she had relatives that worked there. She steered me towards the other brand, Brother and gave me reasons why they were better. Said she had been working at Walmart for many years and the machines that were returned for being defective were the Singers, not one Brother. Well, I'm getting off topic.
It was just a pleasant experience to find someone at Walmart who was so knowledgeable.

I've been staring at all these gorgeous little cotton dresses in the windows here in NYC, esp Barneys where they cost like $245 for a simple little cotton thing, and I'm making some sketches and going to try and reproduce a few. Hope I can do it!

all for now!
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Old 03-09-2006, 01:22 PM   #18
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I like Burda patterns and they are often on sale at Joanns. I am evening thinking of a beautiful flowy sundress pattern that I saw!

I bought a Husquvarna sewing machine (ok my dad bought it) and it came with a class on how to use it. It was a great class and made me love the machine even more than when I first got it.

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Old 03-09-2006, 01:27 PM   #19
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Ugh, funny you mention showing cause I sat at the machine near tears this morning. I am sewing my first garment, a simple dress for my oldest. I have gotten to the sleeves just fine, but I just cannot get it. I'm going to take it to my friends house on Saturday and have her finish it and show me. Ugh. Damn Project Runway for motivating me!!!

Anyhow, I was advised to start with the really easy Simplicity patterns. What happened with me is I went to JoAnn's with all the fabric on sale last weekend, and sat there looking through books and asked old ladies who looked like they knew what they were doing "Is this easy?".


Good luck on sewing!
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Old 03-09-2006, 01:30 PM   #20
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Yarnmommy, WHO is that guy in your avatar?????

Looks quite interesting!
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