Sewing

Need help with sewing techniques, or making a 10 ft sword? Seek help from other cosplayers here!
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A-20
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Sewing

Post by A-20 » Sat Oct 15, 2005 2:53 pm

Ok, I think it's about time I attempt to start working on my sewing skills, since they are basically non-existant. The last time I did any sewing was in 8th grade (two years ago) and I made a very crappy pillow. I only remember how to use the sewing machine and sew buttons (not well, might I add).

Does anyone know a good way I could begin working on my sewing skills? Besides practicing stitching? I think I can get my mom to help me learn to sew more, but I really doubt she's going to teach me, so I'll basically have to teach myself, along with any tips of wisedom from those who know how to sew that give tips.
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mindtailor
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Post by mindtailor » Sun Oct 16, 2005 1:42 pm

I remember making a pillow(case) in 8th grade... in Home Ec. It was a great class... not. I pretty much taught myself to sew.

Are you talking about hand-sewing or machine-sewing skills? Either way, the best way to get better is to practice. Looking at others' examples can only get you so far...
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Post by ChibiNeko » Sun Oct 16, 2005 11:28 pm

I learned everything I know by pretty much diving headfirst into things and going "Oh, look what I just did", and pestering other people for tips on what they did with their costumes, and working things around in my head (I hate patterns).
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A-20
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Post by A-20 » Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:28 am

Preferably both hand sewing and machine. I really suck at both, so it'd probably be best if I tried to improve both.

The only thing I've made is a pillow and I don't even remember where that is...I think I hid it because it turned out so horrible. ^^;;;
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Post by mrs.tomoe » Mon Oct 17, 2005 6:34 am

Sewing books are helpful. I'm guessing that there's probably a "Sewing for Dummies" type of book in circulation among other good basic sewing books. Also read the instruction manual for your sewing machine if you have it.

Practice with some easy patterns that have only 3 or 4 pieces for a simple shirt or shorts, and use el cheapo fabric, old sheets, or thrift store finds so you won't be nervous about making mistakes. Just keep practicing and work up from there with different patterns that involve new skills like collars, button holes, zippers, pockets, etc. Sometimes, patterns for children's costume accessories are nice and simple: felt capes or other items that are easy sewing and no hemming.

Just keep at it, and soon, you'll be quite a tailor. ^_^

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A-20
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Post by A-20 » Mon Oct 17, 2005 4:09 pm

So basically try making shirts and shorts first and simple stuff like that? Sewing book, hm? Guess I'll check out Wal-Mart next time I go there see if they have any sewing books and what-not. ^_^

Thanks everyone.
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Post by Fialchar » Mon Oct 17, 2005 4:29 pm

Wal-Mart would work, but Books-A-Million/Waldenbooks would have a higher chance of having the Sewing For Dummies book ^_^
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Post by mindtailor » Mon Oct 17, 2005 4:42 pm

If you have a sewing machine, reading the book that came with it (instructions and whatnot) would be helpful. Singer machines, I know (because I have one), usually also have accompanying books. There is a Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, which I've found helpful in the past (ours is really old, but there are newer editions out there, even though the older ones are cheaper).

Don't just look to books to help you, though: looking at actual garments for references is a good way to figure out how something goes together. Asking people whom you know can sew, like your mom, dad (mine can sew, at least), or art/theatre teacher at school, is also a good way to get tips.
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Post by Hemuloki-sama » Tue Oct 18, 2005 12:11 am

I would do what Mindtailor did and actually try sewing a pillowcase. Shirts and shorts are terribly frustrating for the newbie (I had problems with them) and learning how to sew on something so simple is a very nice way to get into it and learn how to do things properly like holding while sewing and different stitching lines.
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Post by A-20 » Tue Oct 18, 2005 2:38 am

So make a pillow case instead? All right.
I'll check Walden Books the next time I go there (which is who knows when). I'll probably forget though. ^^;; I only look at manga books when I go there.
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Post by mrs.tomoe » Tue Oct 18, 2005 5:25 am

That's right, start with simple stuff to practice guiding the fabric through the machine. That's one of the main skills of machine sewing. The needle itself just goes up and down, but it's the way you guide the fabric that determines how your final product will look. Oh yeah, don't watch the needle while sewing except when you slow down to get around corners or something. Watching the needle go up & down will "hypnotize" you, and you'll quickly veer off path. ^^ (*has fallen victim to hypnotic needle numerous times*)

Sewing books are also available at the fabric store and possibly in the fabric/crafts section of Walmart. Check with your friends and relatives too. They may have some books, and even if they're old, basics stay the same so you can still get started even if the book was printed before you were born. ^^;

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A-20
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Post by A-20 » Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:01 am

mrs.tomoe wrote:don't watch the needle while sewing except when you slow down to get around corners or something. Watching the needle go up & down will "hypnotize" you, and you'll quickly veer off path. ^^ (*has fallen victim to hypnotic needle numerous times*)
Wow. Wish I knew that when making my pillow ^^;;;; I watched the needle....maybe that's why it came out so bad. ^^;;;
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Post by Fialchar » Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:05 am

Yes, it's good to blame the needle :]

And remember, if it comes out bad next time, it's just some residual hypnotization leftover from the first time ~_^
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A-20
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Post by A-20 » Tue Oct 18, 2005 5:51 pm

*nods* Yes yes. Blame the needle.

I think maybe this weekend I'll see if I can go to Wal-Mart or the bookstore and see if I can find any good books on sewing and such.
Already asked my friend if I could borrow her sewing book, but she never answered if it was a "yes" or a "no". ~.~
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Post by mangastolemysoul » Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:36 am

Some fabric stores offer classes, otherwise buy some simple patterns to practice on.

**Ripping up old clothing is a good way to learn too, helps ya learn how different parts fit together....sort of like dissecting a frog (except waaay less gross!!!)

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Post by Andichan » Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:48 pm

first project = pajama pants. they are like the easiest thing to make, and teach you quite a few things. Any old pattern for them will do, they're all easy. Aprons are another good beginner's project.

Book that I would suggest: Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing. That book has saved my life more than once. don't bother with the new edition because it's the same thing just made prettier and more colour pics. It will tell you how to do just about everything, with very clear instructions.

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Post by Tasogare-Taichou » Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:26 pm

Everyone's given such good advice there isn't much for me to add other than to keep one thing in mind and that is to remember that there IS a learning curve to sewing, like all skills. So that means you ARE going to make mistakes, and you ARE going to have to re-do some things from time to time, especially when you are just starting out. The important thing is not to let that get to you, and to try and learn something with every mistake you make. Nothing has to be perfect the first time around, and that's ok because each time you look at something and go "eww, I don't like the way that looks", it's also a chance for you to see WHAT you did that you don't like, so you can then change it the next time. Here's a couple of good starting patterns.

PJ Pants
Boxer Shorts
A simple sundress
Yukata (you'd be surprised how ridiculously simple they actually are, I can send you a pattern if you want one.)
Pillowcase or purse

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Post by Aigis » Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:59 pm

My thoughts exactly. I still suck at sewing. I am way better at constructing things. I really need to brush up on my sewing. There is no better way to learn things then trial and error.

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Katasha
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Post by Katasha » Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:39 am

I learned by drawing out lines on paper and then sewing on it, without thread in the machine. Just trying to keep on the line even when the line is curling and such. Really thick parts would mean I need to backstitch and big dots meant I need to pivot.

Alot of schools that have a Sewing class, even if you arnt in the class will let you use the machines before and after class, and at my school I got extra credit for the costumes I made, and if you need it theres a teacher there to help you.

But yet I failed sewing in school when I was in the class, it was years later when I figured it all out on my own.

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Katasha
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Post by Katasha » Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:39 am

I learned by drawing out lines on paper and then sewing on it, without thread in the machine. Just trying to keep on the line even when the line is curling and such. Really thick parts would mean I need to backstitch and big dots meant I need to pivot.

Alot of schools that have a Sewing class, even if you arnt in the class will let you use the machines before and after class, and at my school I got extra credit for the costumes I made, and if you need it theres a teacher there to help you.

But yet I failed sewing in school when I was in the class, it was years later when I figured it all out on my own.

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