Sewing - Mesa,AZ

Updated on February 07, 2012
E.M. asks from Mesa, AZ
11 answers

Is sewing something you can teach yourself or do you need to take a class? Also can anyone suggest a good starter sewing machine? I was thinking of buying one off craigslist just because I am not even sure I will be able to or want to use it much once I have one. I am interested in sewing curtains and crafts, probably not clothes or anything too difficult.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I got Brother CE-4000 from Costco. I have no experience with sewing machines but always get inspired watching Project Runway lol I believe on the box it said this machine is used on their show.
Anyways, I mainly got it to hem pants and so small projects but I hope to one day made a uniquely designed beautiful dress and find that secret talent I know is in there somewhere :)

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answers from Rochester on

I've never taken a class, and I can sew from curtains to clothes. However, I started with the easy things to learn my machine, and read some books.

I would recommend buying new to get the manual, as someone else said. I truly believe that learning to thread your machine and wind bobbins in your sleep makes the sewing much quicker and more enjoyable. Have fun!!


answers from Albuquerque on

I taught myself years ago basically just making curtains, mending clothes, making bed spreads etc. You can teach yourself, just read up on it a little online or at the library. the best basic sewing machine on the market is the Sears Kenmore (according to consumer reports) and costs about $100. I got mine a little cheaper on sale, but it runs around $100 no matter what. It is a good solid do everything basic, easy to run machine. it doesn't embroider or surge or do anything fancy but for that price you can't go wrong.
best wishes!


answers from Kansas City on

I called it mechanics as I always had the thread in a mess but maybe they've improved the machines now or possible it was me. :-) You could do curtains and things like that fine without lessons. Hope you enjoy it.



answers from Phoenix on

My favorite machine brand are Berninas. More expensive then out of the box machines like Singer from retailers. Bernina Connection in Phoenix (Indian School and 44th street) is awesome. All women owned company and they offer free classes if you buy their machines. You can also "trade up" at some point if you want a nicer machine. Their classes are enough to help you use your machine and learn the basics. From there you can get books, and google videos on You Tube to learn more. If you are not doing garment sewing, online tutorials are probably good enough if that matches your learning style. I am a private sewing instructor in the valley and I do classes in my clients homes. I usually work with kids, but I also do blocks of 2 to 4 lessons for adults that want to learn how to use a machine, learn the basics, or refresh their skills. Shoot me a message if you want more info on that. Otherwise...Bernina all the way!!!



answers from Cincinnati on

I hope it's something I can teach myself, because I asked for a beginner's sewing machine for my birthday. I haven't sewn since 8th-grade home-ec classes, but it's a skill I'd love to have, so I'm hoping I can do it!



answers from Phoenix on

I would suggest maybe taking a starter class at Joann's. They are very helpful and I think that you can get a discount on things after you take the class.



answers from Amarillo on

You can teach yourself to sew by looking at You Tube and reading books. The down side is that you don't have anybody right there with you to ask an immediate question.

Check with the sewing stores in your area for help. They may know of someone who can show you how to do things that will help make your sewing experience worthwhile.

As others have said check out a sewing/quilt guild. They have meetings and are willing to help a new sewer.

I have been sewing since I was seven. Get a machine that has reverse, straight, zigzag, buttonhole stitches. It can have others as well. Learn this machine by practicing and making items. Once you get the hang of it you may want to "upgrage" and trade your machine in for one that does more.

Good luck and enjoy your new craft.

The other S.

PS Do a Google search for stores in your area. Try the university in Tempe for help.



answers from Oklahoma City on

My thought is that there are no warranties off Craigs list. With a new one, even an inexpensive one you can often take a few free classes.

If a home ec teacher can take a group of 6th-7th graders and teach then to sew then I think an adult could take an instruction book and make her way through the basics.

When you do get a machine practice sewing using my trick.

Take a regular piece of notebook paper and "sew" it, no thread, down the lines. This will get you used to the feel of the action of the machine, how it pulls the fabric to sew it, you do not need to pull it or push the fabric btw, it will help you get the feel of how much pressure to put on the foot, racing it or going to slow won't hurt anything, helps you get familiar and used to the machine without ruining anything.

I think there are some very easy basic patterns out there. Ask the ladies at Hobby Lobby in the fabrics department if they would help you with the pattern. Take out the instructions and read them while you are in the store, I often do this to see if there is anything else I need to buy.

If all else fails find a local quilters group and find out if you can come to a couple of their meetings, make a few friends, quilters sew well.



answers from San Antonio on

It is something that you can teach your self. I got a good mid range Singer as my first machine 2 or 3 years ago and hadn't sewn since I was in 4H (many many years ago). I did read the manual plus I believe Singer had a book with basic sewing info. I started by making a curtian and pillows for my kitchen window seat and am now making boutique baby items and I just completed the new nursery set for or second son due any day. I also recently upgraded to a Brother machine that is computerized and sews and quilts. I did take a class to learn how this more advanced machine worked. Do a search on line for your area, we have a quilt shop in my town that will teach sewing basics on occasion, it can be helpful of you are going to want to put in a zipper, button holes ect. Good luck and have fun. It's a great hobby and can become addictive. I can't go into a fabric store with out buying at least 5 yards of fabric.


answers from Houston on

I firmly believe in winging sewing since I don't make clothes. I bought myself a middle of the road Singer brand new so I could have the manual. I have sewn everything from curtains to quilts to needle/thread pouches to teddy bears. My enthusiasm outstrips my talents on some projects but I always have a darn fine time. Simplistically speaking curtains are easy anyway since you are sewing straight lines. I have picked up a few used sewing books which are an interesting read. Happy sewing.

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