When I first started this blog I made a best of list to include what I thought was the best sewing blogs. Well, some time has passed and now I think I need to revise that list or better yet create a best of list for beginners. When I started sewing again, I had no idea where to look for anything! I was so glad I had a friend that was willing to help me find my way around.
Singer it’s the brand of machine I purchased. I don’t know if the brand makes a difference or not but, the section for beginner sewing has projects. I didn’t have a single pattern when I started sewing. They have a very easy section. I used this quite a bit in the beginning.
Pink Chocolate Break she has a great beginner sewing tutorial section. Wonderful, especially if, like me, you haven’t bought any patterns yet.
Andrea’s Notebook I used this and made the most beautiful kimono. HINT*** I used stretch lace with a border. I didn’t need to hem it. That, for me, is always a huge plus!
What the Craft has an awesome tutorial for making a circle skirt. You know, so you have something to wear to work. Your friends will be so impressed!
Sewing Directory one of the best beginner sewing shopping trip guides. Actually, if I was an organized type beginner, this would be number one on my list.
Simplicity this company has a section of patterns called learn to sew. Yes! Of course I have used most of these. I love them! If you like using videos to sew there are several produced by Simplicity that have video tutorials online as well.
Mimi G. this is a designer that produces patterns for Simplicity along with tutorials. The link will take you to her tutorial page.
Pattern Review this is a good resource for pattern shopping. I find a pattern I think I may like and search for a review on here. This helps me decide if the pattern is worth the money or not. It’s saved me a few hours. The occasions I wasted time and money trying to make something and failed I did not refer to this resource. 🙁
Craftsy I love this place! So many free sewing lessons. I have all the free ones I could find. Free topics include everything from sewing machine feet, zippers, bag making, sewing with knits, and probably more I have not found yet.
So Sew Easy she shares tutorials as she masters the technique.
Possibly you haven’t really looked into sewing books much. I got back into sewing and immediately had to have a sewing book my grandmother gave me 30 years ago. It’s the Simplicity Sewing Basics book. Then, I ventured out on my own and found Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. This book is amazing! It’s staggering the amount of information I have learned from this book, not to mention the FREE patterns she includes.
Let me start over, Gertie has a blog and not only do you get to learn from her daily, but you get to see what she looks like. Very refreshing and on trend immediately you feel HIP just for having clicked on her blog. She’s a tattooed girl with great vintage taste and a vast amount of sewing information to share. But, for people like me. I really like to have the book in hand. I wasn’t to use my pretty highlighters, you know? Pages come alive for me when I get to add color and quickly find the information I need. Honestly, I am kicking myself for not purchasing this book sooner. The patterns she included with the book would’ve saved me a ton of money. Because, I’ve purchased as many of those patterns as I could find, and they are not even by Gertie! I wish they were though.
Her book is divided into two sections SKILLS and WARDROBE. The wardrobe section is essential to the seamstress hoping to banish RTW clothing from her life. She included 22 patterns! Okay, this book sells on Amazon for around $25. For the price of the patterns alone on sale for 1.99 each, you know, Hancock and Joann’s like to have the sales. Anyway, at that price you could only walk out the door with 12 patterns. Gertie, that sweet but sassy girl, is packaging the patterns and the book together for $25 what a sweetheart, right? Seriously, don’t take it from me. Look at the Gertie Sews Vintage Casual: A Modern Guide to Sportswear Styles of the 1940s and 1950s“>book, her website, and see what you think.
Most of all ENJOY!
***I was not paid in anyway for this blog. These opinions are solely the opinions of Lucy’s Sewing Lab.
Sew, I was thinking the other day about sewing in the 1980s. Before all the wonderful technology we have now. I remember when I got stuck on a pattern, I had to travel 30 miles to my grandma’s house for help. Imagine when the first Singer machine in 1895. Singer machines then were not only a crafty useful tool but also a way to get some exercise. I cannot imagine wanting to sew and having to work that hard. People were passionate about it evidently.
Actually, I’ve been told by family members sewing was mostly out of necessity. Especially during wartime when so many things required sewing. My great grandmother worked at Camp Swift sewing during the war. My grandmother sewed for both her children and grandchildren. I am very happy to have been taught this wonderful art. Not only did I have a very experienced one on one teacher but, I also gained knowledge of historical sewing.
As grateful as I am for the experience of sewing without technology. I’m doubly grateful for the technology we have now. It is great that if I want to learn something I can login to Pinterest, or search Google for anything I need. I love the groups on Facebook that are so helpful. I use Girl Charlee, Sew Trendy,Sew Divas, and one of my very favorites, Sewing for Dummies. Help is always just a click away. When garments are complete posting photos is a great self esteem boost for those who like input. Several members of the group are sure to comment and make you feel wonderful about your hard work.
Shopping for supplies is much easier as well. We don’t even have to leave our sewing room to find the supplies needed. Amazon, the retail giant is always my go to for supplies. I am sure there are others out there, and I have used them. But, Amazon is just an easy and timely fix for what I need. Yes, I may have to wait a few days for my items, but I never had to leave my home. I cannot imagine sewing without technology. It makes life so much more enjoyable.
I only have one friend who sews currently. If she was not home prior to technology my project would just have to wait until I could find her to help me. Our life is certainly easier now isn’t it?
Mad Men a show about midcentury life! I love how the life is so different today and hate it. Various reasons for the love hate relationship. I mostly hate that family dinners and women in aprons are no longer the norm. Life seemed simpler? I miss seeing women in aprons. No I am not anti feminism. Aprons are so fun! They conjure up days passed of grandmothers and fresh pies, of mothers making dinner out of love for their families. Mad Men, wildly popular because we love nostalgia. For some of us, it’s more history than nostalgia. I was very young during the period of the show, not even alive until mid 1960s.
I’ve began making aprons. I love how it makes me feel. With every seam I remember something else from my grandmother and her sisters. Wearing aprons was a daily occurrence for them. I love thinking about making beautiful aprons that mimic Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress, someone’s favorite pair of jeans, and the gingham curtains on the kitchen windows. One thing I’ve learned about nostalgic sewing is that there is more detail in the garment than today. When was the last time you saw ready to wear clothing with bias tape on it? Probably never!
So, I’ve learned to sew with bias tape. It makes things look so finished. I used lace trim when I was younger. But, sewing with bias tape is something to be mastered. First of all, I had no idea the tape wasn’t meant to be placed around the raw edge and sewed. Nope! It seems that the proper way to attach bias tape is to sew the tape with the raw edge of the tape and the raw edge of the fabric matching. WOW, that tidbit saved me tons of time and headache.
In case you haven’t shopped for bias tape lately, it’s kind of pricey. Since I am a tightwad, I made my own. It’s really easy. Much easier than expected. It involves cutting the fabric on the bias. Basically, create a piece of fabric into a square. This will be double thickness. Then, fold the fabric diagonally to create a triangle. Pretty easy so far huh? At this point, place the folded edge of the triangle on a straight line of your cutting board. Measure the width you would like, and cut. Continue cutting using the same width. Another method is completely different, although, mine worked fine. There are great detailed instructions of another method here.
In any case, I love making my Mad Men attire and aprons. I hope you will at least try to make one. They are really fun. Most of all ENJOY!
Jeans shopping is the worst experience. This pair fits perfect except for_____________. I love this pair but hate the ___________ on them. Did you know the key in getting a wonderfully fitting pair of jeans is the yoke? What’s a yoke? The part just below the waistband that usually looks like a “V” is the yoke.
The yoke’s size is different for everyone unless you and your best friend have exactly the same butt. When I made my first pair of jeans they hit me about three inches below where I wanted them to hit. A friend of mine told me that getting a pair of pants that fit perfectly is most of the battle. I tried to figure out how to make them fit better. I knew they needed more fabric. I guess I had increased that area of my body without knowing it. According to this site, a wide yoke isn’t really that helpful in making room for your bootie. It’s purpose is to make the jeans look low slung and still conceal yourself.
The key to a great fit for those of us who’ve become more endowed in that area is the deep “V” yoke.
If you would like more information on how to fit some other areas, this is the answer to all your problems. She has gone way beyond the call of duty and insisted her blog would be complete and all seamstresses everywhere would love her guides.
I’ve found the best way to find the best fitting pair of jeans is to make them yourself. Always remember to read the website discussed above for any problem areas you may have. The more you study the construction of pants the easier the daunting task becomes.
Seriously, once you find a great fitting pants pattern, jeans are really nothing more than great fitting pants with a bunch of top stitching. Go for it! You’ll be glad you did.