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Old 07-29-2014, 05:16 AM
 
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Hi,

I really should have stuck with the habit of sewing I tried to develop in middle school, but I didn't. Lately, though, I want to pick it back up. I have trouble finding affordable clothes that fit me, and I think that knowing how to sew and alter clothing would help me with a lot of these problems. After going so long without sewing a lot, though, I don't even know where to start. What kind of sewing machine should I buy if I want to make quality clothes I can actually wear?
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:40 AM
 
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I have a Babylock. They have several different models and I don't remember the name of mine, but it's a very basic one that has served me well for almost 10 years. If memory doesn't fail, I paid around $300 for it. I'm actually looking to upgrade soon, but only because I want one with a few more bells and whistles.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Encino, CA
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IF you are a true beginner just pick up a basic machine from your local Sears. Would also be a good idea to take a class (or two) somewhere if you really do plan on making "quality clothes that you can actually wear".

I don't know anything about sewing but my wife is a costume designer who has a Singer machine, a Bernina machine and something called a Bernina Overlock Serger that does all kinds of fancy stuff.
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Old 07-29-2014, 04:22 PM
 
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Thank you all for the feedback. Is there anywhere that offers online sewing classes? My schedule is going to be pretty busy, and it would probably be best if I could learn on my own time, whenever that is. As for the sewing machine, okay, a basic machine makes sense. I probably don't want an overlock machine or a serger as a beginner, but maybe I could use those with success. I've heard they make more sturdy stitches but sew really fast. I want something that is easy to learn and that won't break on me mainly. I've heard that many of the new machines are made of plastic and won't last with frequent use.
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:05 PM
 
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Get a nice, reasonably priced machine from Brother. Since you're a beginner, you don't know how much sewing you'll do or even how well you'll take to sewing. You can always upgrade later or use the machine as a back up.
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:08 PM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
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If you have a Joann Fabric nearby, they have classes. I have a $199. Singer electronic machine, and truthfully, I'll never use half the fancy stitches. I like the machine though, so I think you'd be fine with a $100, one. All you really need is a straight stitch for just about anything.
Sure, its made of plastic, and it probably cost $2 to make in china, but it serves the purpose. I am in my 60s, and have had hand me down machines from relatives that were made of studier stuff, but really, the new technology is easy to use and if you want to trade up you aren't out much money.
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:27 PM
 
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Stores that sell sewing machines typically have classes as well. Just call and ask -- even if they don't have classes, they'll be able to tell you where to try. Also, they may have good, reconditioned used machines from customers who traded up, and you might find a good bargain there. I used to sew more than I do now, but years back I got a used Pfaff from a sewing machine shop, and that thing is a workhorse -- it can sew through 8 layers of denim (if the thread could take the strain)
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:57 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
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It generally costs more to make your own clothes than to buy them.

As far as sewing machines, I have a very basic Brother machine and a slightly fancier Brother. I like the fancier one because you can run it without the foot pedal, but the basic one was fine for many years, for altering our clothes and making Halloween costumes. I only got the fancier one because I found it on craigslist for $25.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
It generally costs more to make your own clothes than to buy them.
The key is to find inexpensive, yet quality fabrics. The biggest beginner mistake I've seen is buying expensive fabric. Find the closet fabric outlet, look for fabric on clearance, or buy online.

The best thing about making your own clothes is the custom fit and personally tailored style.

I lived in NYC for 10 years and took sewing classes with former Parson instructors. I used to laugh when totally new sewing students would buy $25 a yard fabric just to continually rip out funky seams. I would only work on fabric that was under $5 a yard in case I messed up.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
The key is to find inexpensive, yet quality fabrics. The biggest beginner mistake I've seen is buying expensive fabric. Find the closet fabric outlet, look for fabric on clearance, or buy online.

The best thing about making your own clothes is the custom fit and personally tailored style.

I lived in NYC for 10 years and took sewing classes with former Parson instructors. I used to laugh when totally new sewing students would buy $25 a yard fabric just to continually rip out funky seams. I would only work on fabric that was under $5 a yard in case I messed up.
I'm definitely still a beginner; the last sewing class I took was in middle school, but I liked it enough to get my own sewing machine. I just didn't stick with it; my mom knew how to sew but never took time to teach me. I have a renewed interest in it after going through so much headache trying to find clothes that actually fit my tiny-inverted-triangle-with-too-much-in-the-middle shape and seeing the cool clothes I could make for my body type with just intermediate sewing knowledge. I will admit, though, that I don't tend to read directions or follow patterns closely, so I would benefit a lot from hands-on training. It must have been wonderful to get sewing training by former Parson's instructors. I wish they had that quality of sewing instruction down here. My mother was a seamstress for a sewing factory, so she knew a lot about the subject. I wish she would have taught me more before she left the world.
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