Skip to main content

How I Started Sewing


I started sewing in May 2011. As a software engineer, I spend the whole day at the computer (writing code) and I usually did the same at home too (but playing games)!

Google Reader got me into sewing
One of my favourite things to do is read news feeds - and the interesting thing about Google Reader is the "Explore" button: it shows you posts many people thought were interesting. The important thing here is that these posts are tailored to you specifically (according to what I saw on tech crunch anyway). At some point in January, I started getting posts about sewing. A few at first, but as I got more and more intrigued, more and more would appear.

As I went back to Romania over Easter and spent some time with my grandmother, a thought appeared in my head: could I get a sewing machine? I could do this stuff! She would be very happy if I would do this (she was amazed when I started cooking!). Think of all the pretty things I could make! Think of how I wouldn't spend my weekends playing computer games*!

The thought grew and by the time I got back in London I had decided: I would be getting a sewing machine. Now, you need to understand that I had never (ever!) used one before. We had programming classes instead of home ec in school. My grandmother tried to teach me on her furniture-style machine when I was around 15 but it didn't really work out too well. So I wasn't even sure I would like to sew.

The tiny machine I wanted to buy
In any case, I looked at sewing machine prices. Over 100 pounds is expensive if you don't even know if you'll even like it. I looked at sewing classes, but those tend to be even more expensive than sewing machines! In the end, I looked on Amazon and decided one of the "kid" sewing machines would prove a reasonable alternative at around 40 quid.

Then, though, Mr T pointed out that I would be unlikely to be happy with a tiny machine and I really should look around if I was serious. The cheapest "real" machine is the Singer 1507, which retails at 99 pounds on Amazon. I did, however, think of checking Sainsbury's before ordering. They were selling the same thing at 89.99, and a couple of days later I got a 10 pound discount from them as well, so I ended up paying 80 pounds for my very trustworthy (although not very advanced) Singer 1507:



Not many functions, but I manage. 

That's me inserting the piping for the skirt






So there you have it. I got my machine in May and I've been learning ever since!


___
* ahem, err, World of Warcraft

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Birds dress

Just another sheath dress from me today, from my TNT pattern. This one is all about the fabric:

I got this bird fabric from Plush Addict, and it seems to have been the last fabric purchase pre-baby (Cosmo - Nihonkai - Budgies On Oxford Cloth if you are interested), so didn't cut into it for a long time. In May, after finishing my coat, I finally took the plunge.


The pattern, as I said, was my TNT sheath pattern, pretty simple. The biggest challenge with this dress was fabric placement, I didn't want any weird bird cuts at seams, nor did I want any other sort of weird placement. 
As i had 2 meters of this fabric, I thought I should be able to get all that, so I spent a lot of time moving fabric pieces around, until I got it. I'm pretty happy with myself, the seams meld as much as possible, I'm particularly proud of the center back:


Construction wise, this dress has 6 darts and 5 seams, so it is all relatively straightforward. I stabilized the neckline and armholes with…

How to make silk bias binding

I promised this tutorial a while ago, but was too busy with work to get to it. This tutorial will focus on how to iron and fold the binding, rather than how to cut it. I have three links to good tutorials about how to do the correct cutting.


Here goes: a tutorial for properly making bias binding. Apologies for picture quality, I was using my phone.

Tools needed:
* silk square for the bias, sewing machine and scissors to make the continuous bias strip that will be ironed into place
* a 2-inch (5cm) wide piece of cardboard
* some sort of vaporiser, filled with water
* bias tape maker - for these pictures, I used a Clover which makes 1/2" binding (starts with 1" strips), but if I were to do this again, I'd use the one which makes a 1" binding (out of 2" strips)

Naming:
* left-side: bias strip not yet passed through the bias maker
* right-side: bias strip which has been folded by the bias maker



Steps:

1. Cut bias strips out of your silk square. I like this tutorial…

Burda Spring Coat - Construction

Here I am back with the promised post on construction of my Burdasyle Spring Coat



For me, this coat was all about the embellishments: I had had my eye on the pattern for a while, I like that it's very simple so it was perfect for embellishing. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll note that I haven't yet gone back to making a notched collar after messing this one up (that's less fear than not having enough time). I also liked the opportunity to forego closures, which meant more time to play with all the pretty things I used :)

So, construction. The fabric is wool gabardine, and the lininig is silk satin. I interfaced this using the lightweight fusible weft interfacing from FashionSewingSupply - I wasn't really sure what to use, but upon testing multiple interfacings, this was was the best on this fairly light-weight fabric. I mostly used my Singer Tailoring book, and followed the "fusible" method: this means interfacing the whole front, t…