Top products from r/sewing

We found 224 product mentions on r/sewing. We ranked the 1,009 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top comments that mention products on r/sewing:

u/ded_reckoning · 2 pointsr/sewing

Hmm.. No replies? 8 days ago? Not sure how this snuck by me, I camp sewing/new like it's my job. Better late than never, and I'll be thorough to make up for it:

First, the bad news. There aren't any good men's wear patterns.
Just kidding. ;) I'm exaggerating, but unfortunately, not by much. Good men's patterns are few and far between, especially compared to the plethora of amazing women's patterns, and what's available is a bit limited. Judging from pattern company offerings, most men are either chefs or nurses, and they spend all their free time sleeping. There are a hundred patterns for scrubs, pajamas, and bathrobes. It's still a good idea to start off with commercial patterns though, if only to get a feel for how garments are made and how the pieces fit together. A lot of the basic shirts and pants are good starting points. Here's some of the better things available for men:

  • Burdastyle - Two shirts, one interesting-looking pattern for what looks like cargo pants of some sort.

  • Collette Patterns - One shirt pattern, "Negroni", in long and short sleeve variations.

  • Kwik Sew - There are a few patterns that could work - just try to ignore their fabric choices. If you squint at them just right, you can see the shape of the garment and picture the modifications you'll make, and they look okay. Just pretend you can't see the hunter orange fleece and RealTree camo, and it's all good.

  • Vogue - Vogue has a whopping 11 patterns for men. But they're all basics, and they look useful. Based on my experience making their advanced women's patterns, I'd guess that they have more details than other pattern companies. I would get some of these and then use David Page Coffin's Shirtmaking and Making Trousers books to upgrade them. (Both of his books have associated DVDs, and I'm a particular fan of Making Trousers. Easy to understand, lots of pictures, step-by-step hand-holding directions.)

  • Green Pepper Patterns - lots of outdoorsy and athletic patterns. The Barn Jacket and Silver Falls Raincoat have potential; I think the second could be a good base for a classic trench coat.

  • Butterick has the standard ugly bathrobe-and-scrubs men's offerings, with the notable exception of this interesting priest-looking robe pattern. I like it, especially with all the fitting options - look closely at the line drawing, and you can see it's got a multi-part sleeve to fit the arm really well and nicely fitted curved seams at the back/shoulders. Just not sure what to do with it, seeing as how I'm not a priest... I feel like it's got potential though.

  • McCall's - Once again, ugly sleepwear and scrubs, but there's also a shirt with a western-style yoke variation, various tux accessories, simple shirt without a yoke, and this shirt, vest, and tie pattern with both a back pleat and yoke on the shirt.

  • Simplicity has the same basic shirt and pants patterns, and is unique in having a pattern that includes suspenders. The Suede Says jacket looks like it has potential, if you look only at the line drawings and imagine it in other fabric, without the silly accent strips. I haven't added it to my library yet because I can't get past how much I hate his hair. ;)

  • There are some very cool, non-commercial patterns floating around on the internet. You just have to find them. The Lastwear Hakama pants on deviantart are on my wish list. There's a pattern for a RAF Greatcoat out there someplace too, in case you love Captain Jack Harkness as much as I do, but I've lost it.

  • I like the Victoria & Albert Museum for inspiration.

  • Peter Lappin's blog, MalePatternBoldness, has a few sew-alongs, including boxers, that shirt from Collette Patterns, and jeans based on Kwik Sew 3504. (Which isn't the only men's jeans pattern in print, despite his comment -- Vogue makes one too.)

    A lot of people recommend, but I think the site is so hideous and hard to navigate that it's not worth the time.

    Now the good news! Drafting your own patterns for yourself is actually pretty easy. Start with ready-to-wear patterns so you can learn the basics of how you get from a piece of fabric to a completed, wearable garment. Then move up to taking a purchased garment you like, copying it to paper, adding seam allowances, and making your own version. And then from there, you should be ready to just draft your own.

    A couple random bits of advice:
    You need an iron and ironing board/surface too. It's just as important as your sewing machine. Press all your seams; pressing is what keeps garments from looking home-made in the not-so-nice Little House on the Prairie kind of way. Coffin recommends a dry iron in Making Trousers; I've got a steam iron. Whatever floats your boat.

    Make sure your presser foot is down before you start to sew. The feed dogs will eat your thread and make a snarly mess on your fabric if you don't. I had an unhappy start to sewing because I used to forget this. :)

    Don't worry about notions yet. To get started, you need your sewing machine, a good iron, good sharp shears for cutting fabric, machine and hand needles, thread to match your fabric, and pins. A seam ripper, seam guide, silicone thimble, and point-turner round out my basic kit and are nice to have, but you don't actually need them. You can ignore the bewildering array of extras for now and save your money. (I mark fabrics with a number 2 pencil and weight down the pattern pieces with heavy beanbags I made with fabric scraps. Heresy, I know, but I'm not made of money.)

    Don't use your sewing scissors for cutting anything other than fabric. I like to use a fine-point sharpie to write dire warnings for those who would even think about cutting paper with them. Skulls and crossbones and everything.

    Needles and pins get dull over time and aren't meant to last forever. The strawberry attached to the tomato pincushion is an emery/sharpener thing that'll keep them going a little longer, but you'll eventually need to replace them.

    Be choosy about who you make things for. People will ask for things when they find out you know how to sew. Personally, I only sew for people on the Kidney List, which is to say, if I would give you one of my kidneys, I'll make something for you. People are so used to easily available cheap things that they don't understand how much time, effort, and money go into hand made items. If the person isn't on the kidney list, they should pay you for your efforts, or at least trade you something of equal value.
u/ItsTheManOnTheMoon · 3 pointsr/sewing

I can personally attest that it is certainly possible to go from zero sewing experience to making mens' garments in a few years, but there is a huge, yawning chasm between home sewing from patterns and becoming a good enough bespoke tailor to garner a brand/reputation. From a basic "where do I get started" standpoint, I recommend having a go at some vests; something super simple at first (Simplicity 2346 is a great starter pattern) and then you can move on to patterns that add details like facings, darts, lapels and/or actual pockets. You get the satisfaction of a functional garment without a lot of complex technique.

When I first started sewing and thinking about how cool it would be to eventually make old-fashioned mens' clothing, I did a lot of googling for books, web tutorials, etc. on the subject... and came away frustrated because the overwhelming message was (and still is) "Fine tailoring is a trade that is still handed down from master to apprentice, and there is really no other way to truly learn it."

Which sounds rather snobby on the one hand... but on the other I think the real issue is not that the knowledge can't be communicated by any other means than old-fashioned apprenticeship, but that it's just not really worth the time and effort it would take someone to write an extensive book/shoot a DVD containing it all; there's no way it would ever sell enough copies to be profitable, so nobody's ever bothered.^

I haven't gotten into production sewing garments yet, although I do make accessories; I don't think I'll ever make a living at it, but I've done OK on Etsy and at local shows. Over the last year or so I've been thought about targeting a niche market: vintage clothing enthusiasts, but come away discouraged. While I may know how to assemble a vintage style newsboy cap or flat cap, I really don't know anything about the historically accurate details (construction, materials, etc) that vintage people would be looking for; if I wanted to establish a strong vintage style brand I would need to invest a whole lot more energy in learning all about the market, which doesn't really interest me. Similarly, even if devoted the next 10 years teaching myself traditional tailoring (cutting, drafting, sewing, fitting) I would still be lacking so much general industry/marketplace knowledge that I'd be lost trying to compete at that level.

I don't actually mean to be discouraging - these are just my observations as someone who first touched a sewing machine five years ago with similar daydreams. You can certainly learn to sew and become very good at it, and even make some money if you can find that sweet spot where you can sell your products to enough people at enough of a profit to make it worth your time and materials. But establishing a fine fashion brand requires a whole other level of knowledge outside of the nuts and bolts of actual sewing, and without making the conscious effort to immerse myself in that world (and without having the background, connections, or money to afford my own products) it's not a realistic goal. So I spend a lot of time thinking about those niches where I
do have both the sewing ability and domain knowledge to tap into a market. And I try to keep making new/more complex garments; that's the other thing about apprenticeship, you spent a lot of time doing basic, repetitive tasks over and over again, far more than most people would when sewing as a hobby. Hard to become a pro at something when you can only spend the occasional evening/weekend working at it on top of a full-time dayjob.

That being said, there are some books out there on the subject of tailoring... but all of the ones I've looked at assume a fair amount of sewing knowledge up front; I've never seen a book that starts with "This is how you use a sewing machine" and concludes with "Here is your custom-drafted three-piece suit." I'm trying to work my way towards drafting by way of sewing from commercial patterns, so I can get an overall sense of how garments are constructed before attempting it myself; once you have a grasp of both technique and construction, you can start to mix and match them to get the results you want. You should definitely check out three books by David Page Coffin:

  • Shirtmaking - Developing fine skills for sewing
  • Making Trousers for Men and Women
  • The Shirtmaking Workbook: Pattern, Design, and Construction Resources - More than 100 Pattern Downloads for Collars, Cuffs & Plackets (I've only skimmed this one so far, but it looks just as good as the other two, and covers a wide range of shirt styles, crossing over into jacket territory as well. I have it on order and can't wait to get my copy.)

    David also learned to sew as an adult and in the introduction to Shirtmaking he explains that the book is an exploration of how to construct fine quality, bespoke shirts in a home-sewing context; that is, without a lot of the specialized equipment or assembly line techniques that a production shop would be likely to have. It's an astoundingly thorough book, but very accessible. Making Trousers for Men and Women takes a similar approach with pants, detailing the overall construction of trousers as well as the many variations and finishing touches that can be applied to them. And if nothing else it's encouraging to see how much a person can learn on a subject as an adult!
u/KimT2au · 1 pointr/sewing

Menswear is not an area that is specifically covered by itself very often. However, most of the techniques are the same as for womenswear; except for trouser construction I think.

My absolutely favourite book is this one. Yes, it is aimed at women but the techniques of putting together shirts and shorts will be the same. What I particularly like about the book is that has exceptionally clear explanations of how to do things and the colour photos (not drawings) are all clearly labelled so you know exactly what you are supposed to be looking at.

All the big pattern companies have menswear sections and they can be found here and here. When you reach the point where you feel comfortable drafting your own patterns, Winifred Aldrich has a reliable book. It is not imaginative, nor on the cutting edge of fashion but it will help you produce good fitting patterns that you can adjust and change as you see fit.

This site is set up for costumers but it contains a wealth of useful sewing information.

As for the best place to buy supplies, you are probably best to let us know what city you live in.

Good luck and don't forget to post photos.

u/Zardaxx · 1 pointr/sewing

I don't have a workspace, I just use the floor, but I can give you some book ideas. I've recently been really into learning about Haute Couture and Claire Shaeffer's books have been very helpful. I find her books super informative and easy to read, and I can easily see myself applying many of her techniques to every day sewing. The books I've enjoyed so far are Couture Sewing Techniques and Claire Shaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide. I really want a hard copy of the latter as it's a fantastic reference, I have the kindle edition right now. She also has another fabric guide book that is much less detailed that is handy too. Another good book is Vogue Sewing which was one of my first sewing books and is a very useful reference for anyone, especially if you're following a pattern with unfamiliar techniques.

Also, don't be intimidated by the word couture. I know people generally associate it with super fancy difficult sewing, but Claire Shaeffer breaks down the techniques really nicely and I feel like I have a better understanding of how sewing works on a general level now. It's not scary and I'll definitely be using many of the techniques on my next project!

u/orata · 1 pointr/sewing

This is a fun challenge! And I can't stay away from this thread, apparently. I went back and looked for some more matches. I hope you make some of these and post pics! :)

Simplicity (also McCall's and Butterick) have great sales but I love the aesthetic and design of Colette patterns--you should check out her book if you haven't already; includes a bunch of dress patterns along with sewing guidance. A great deal. Colette Macaron might be a good starting point for Fury and Coulson (maybe better not to do strapless dresses for a work wardrobe but the contrast/sheer top could be acceptable?) Hazel would be perfect for Captain America--the seaming may not be obvious from the main pic, but click on the one with stripes and you'll see what I mean.

I think for Loki you could probably make a dress with a green top (maybe start from Colette Pastille from the Sewing Handbook, which has the little cap sleeves) and then sort of a belt/corset overlay out of strips of black fabric--sew three strips with finished edges (fold in half, sew along long end, turn inside out, press) then fold them into a V-shape, overlap them, and topstitch everything with matching thread to hold them in place in the desired shape. Trim the edges straight and finish with bias tape. After fitting the regular bodice, attach the corset dealy to the regular dress top with hand stitching or stitching in the ditch of the existing overlay seams.

I'm working on a dress using McCall's 5800 that would be perfect for Hulk--just sew some decorative buttons up the front. You could start with the same basic pattern for Hawkeye and draw in a square neckline instead of a V-neck, and just sew ribbon or something over the seams to make the contrast stripes.

u/ToiletSpiders · 1 pointr/sewing

I'm still a beginner really, but last year I bought myself this machine and I love it!

Brother CS6000i Feature-Rich Sewing Machine With 60 Built-In Stitches, 7 styles of 1-Step Auto-Size Buttonholes, Quilting Table, and Hard Cover

It's well within your budget, so I would pair it with these must haves for sewing/quilting.

Fiskars Rotary Cutting Set

Dritz Deluxe Seam Ripper

Best Titanium Scissors - 3 Shears in One Pack - Precision Cutting Blades For Sewing - Office Scissors - Art and Craft Set - Sharp Scissors That Wont Break

She really will need those things! All total this should be about $200, but she will still need thread & fabrics. This is where I would suggest a gift card to your local craft store so she can pick out her own.

To me, that would be the perfect gift set for someone wanting to get into sewing and quilting.

The machine itself, I really like as a beginner. I have made 5 quilts this year, as well as Christmas stockings, quilted tote bags, a table runner, a few pillows, etc.
It was really easy to set up. Eventually if she gets really serious with the hobby she will want to upgrade. But personally I'm totally satisfied and don't foresee myself upgrading unless it breaks or something.

u/volcanomouse · 2 pointsr/sewing

Definitely sounds like you would benefit from creating your own patterns. Yay! I'm wading through a couple pattern drafting books myself right now, and while developing your own basic patterns can be slow, meticulous, and immensely frustrating, it's also hugely rewarding.

There are a ton of textbooks out there, largely written to accompany pattern making classes. This is a bit hard on the person who's trying to learn this in isolation, since so many of the books assume you'll have the extra resource of a teacher. (Might be worth seeing if there's a local sewing studio or community college that teaches patternmaking-- in-person instruction would be nice.) Don't be discouraged, though-- it IS possible to get there alone!

The standard text seems to be Helen Joseph-Armstrong's 'Patternmaking for Fashion Design.'. Connie Crawford, Donald McCunn, and Winifred Aldrich also come highly recommended.

Since all of these books are textbooks, they can be pretty expensive. To try a book before you buy it, see if your public library (or local university library, if you have access) can use Interlibrary Loan to get you a copy of any of the above. Depending on their rules about renewing, you might be able to get your basic pattern made before you have to give the text back. :)

You could also go the draping route. Since I'm completely ignorant on this subject, I'll only leave a link to Kathleen Fasanella's Saran Wrap Patternmaking Method, which produces a sloper without having to do any measuring. (Everything in Fashion-Incubator's 'tutorials' section is brilliant. If you enjoy painfully/beautifully methodical sewing and patterning instruction, you can lose yourself there for days. But I lose my train of thought. Ahem.)

No matter how you produce your sloper, you'll still want a real textbook to help you manipulate your first pattern into real shirts you would want to wear. The sloper is very basic-- it doesn't have buttons, fastenings, interesting seams, or even much extra room for moving. All that comes later.

It's also useful to have a helper on hand for the first projects in the book. Getting accurate measurements of your body is crucial, so you'll need to recruit someone who can be trusted with a tape measure. It's also useful to have a friend help pin and fit the bodice sloper. Ideally you would team up with a sewing buddy who also wanted her own patterns-- I just bully my husband into helping. ;)

Good luck! It sounds like a ton of work, and it is, but I'm a complete novice and I already have the freedom to look at commercial patterns, shrug, and say, "no, I would rather make my own-- I KNOW it will fit better."

u/Dietzgen17 · 2 pointsr/sewing

I'm not familiar with the Lo book, so I can't say. Read the reviews. You will find that every pattern making book has similarities and differences. I'm taking a pattern making class now taught by a professional pattern maker and while some aspects are quite familiar I can't use a book as a reference because her method differs in certain respects and if I followed a book it would throw me off. I hope that after the end of the class I'll be able to use any book. But it is important to understand one method first, and there are lots of subtleties that I would have missed but for having taken a class. I showed the teacher a sloper book I own but never used and she said it was good. It has a companion book for developing patterns, but she liked the sloper book better.

Getting the sloper right is essential. It's the foundation for the patterns you develop from it. In my once-a-week basic class, we spent about five weeks measuring the form, drafting the back and front bodice and skirt slopers and the sleeve sloper, fitting, correcting, re-fitting, etc. It's a big class and first the teacher does a demonstration but my point is you shouldn't think that you should be able to bang out a perfectly fitting sloper in two hours.

We next did dart manipulation exercises using the pivot and slash and spread methods, then princess style line conversions, then facings. Now we're doing collars.

Most methods use letters to refer to points. They are completely arbitrary: Point "J" in one system is not going to be the same point in another.

If you're interested in pattern making, I recommend Kathleen Fasanella's Fashion-Incubator blog. She's a pattern maker who advises small sewing businesses and bought a small factory. Here's a post in which she explains how she reviews pattern making books.

For a high-level introduction, you might want to read How Patterns Work. It's more the general theory of pattern making, not the nitty-gritty of how to true lines.

I bought this book a while ago and have never used it. I've read it's not that good because the author does not have formal pattern making training.

If it were I and taking a class was impossible, I would try the University of Fashion videos on pattern making. There's a free trial video on drafting a straight sleeve sloper. The tools are listed, every step is shown, and there's a transcript on the site. I think the method shown is very clear and it's similar to others I've seen but it wasn't the method my teacher used. For one thing, we didn't use a chart with standard measurements: we took the measurements from the armscye (armhole) of the drafted bodice. Our elbow line measurement was taken from the waist of our bodice because the elbow of a well-proportioned person falls at the waist. We drew a center line with an L square as a starting point, not a fold. Just these three little things can result in a different sleeve, which is why it's important to use a consistent method at least until you have a lot of experience and understand which parts are transferrable.

u/2017herewecome · 13 pointsr/sewing

Definitely. Pressing is part of the process and some of the problem may be that you haven't pressed so you can't see everything that's happening.

I know of many resources. Some of the books are expensive or hard to find. You may be able to borrow them from a library.


u/WLGT · 3 pointsr/sewing

Men's clothing is tough yet rewarding.

Machines are like trucks. Chevy, Ford, Dodge, Nissan, Toyota, etc all have their pros and cons and you're going to get different opinions from everybody you ask.

That being said I'd go with this Brother se400 and grab the used one for 245 because you can sew with it, has great stitches, you can slow it down as a beginner, embroidery for adding a little custom work, you can drop the feed dogs for darning or custom designs you do by hand. Plus my se400 I've beat the shit out of and it still sews like a champ!

Good luck and as you start a small gem of advice, don't give up, finish the project. Your end result might suck, might not fit, have a hundred different issues but just don't stop. Complete the project and move to the next one, because with each finished project you have done you get better and it helps build your confidence. Good luck!!

u/warlock1111 · 1 pointr/sewing

I started with a basic brother that I got on sale for about $100, it died, conveniently, about 2 months after the warranty ran out. I am currently using this brother, and it is way marked under in price (currently $150 US). Fabulous beginner machine, easy to use, and has many decorative stitches. You really only need the straight and zig-zag stitches, but it leaves lots of room for growth! It also has a decent warranty.

I will say this is not a powerhorse machine, but I can get through 3 layers of denim without a hitch on it. Also, I have used their chat to troubleshoot issues on at 3 occasions, and they have been quite good at addressing my issues.

To your requirement of stretchy fabric, use ballpoint needles, and this machine will work just great. I have a set of back supports that are really rough on my skin, so I made a few "sports bra" looking garments without even worrying about it, came out just fine. It also comes with 6 or 7 changeable feet, does button-holes automatically, and I do buttons with it too. I love my machine quite a bit!

u/alanae · 2 pointsr/sewing

This is the machine that I used to have, and it was great to learn on. It's very easy to use and has plenty of stitches.

1 - sews knits without a problem although I prefer to baste and then just use my Brother serger. 2 - haven't tried heavy wool or denims. The manual indicates that it can handle it but ymmv. 3 - LOVE the button hole function and wish that I'd bothered to learn it years ago. SO fast, easy, and even. 4 - comes with a twin needle but I've never tried it 5 - it does have plastic housing and is light-weight, but it's lasted years for me. Yes, it will walk a bit if I sew at the highest speed, but I just press on it as I'm feeding the fabric. Irritating but not a deal-breaker for me. 6 - plenty, especially on Amazon. 7 - Pretty cheap, and you can probably also get it at Wal-Mart if there is one nearby.

Also, it has an automatic threader although I just use the tweezers from my serger, and it has a drop-in bobbin. It's easy to thread, to change stitches, and to change feet.

u/Happy-Ivysaur · 2 pointsr/sewing

I always recommend the Singer Heavy Duty since it's so cheap, yet has everything a begginer could ask for and more. I have its little sister model, Singer Scholastic, and am very pleased with it. :)

I learned to sew with this machine first and just recently got a serger ; bought an used model from a friend and saved a few bucks for a perfectly fine model. A serger is fantastic when working with thin or stretch fabrics. You will still be able to work with those with the stretch points of your regular machine, though, so if you want to make sure you enjoy sewing that much before investing in a serger, it's fine not to get one right ahead.

u/TX4Ever · 2 pointsr/sewing

I like all of the answers so far- my only other recommendation would be a good fabric chalk set or marker. As far as thread, I've found for me that most of the thread I buy depends on the fabric I'm using, with the exception of white and black. I still have some pink and green thread I bought to start with but have never used since I haven't made anything with matching fabric.

If you're interested in any books, Sew Everything Workshop is super helpful.

Anyways, good luck and have fun!

(edited for grammar and formatting)

u/KealeysMama · 1 pointr/sewing

My mom gave me this Brother CS6001i for my birthday...

I was previously using an old Kenmore that was handed down by my MIL. That was okay, but my lord, I LOVE my Brother. It comes with SO MUCH. It's so easy to use too (I still consider myself a beginner). The book helps me with any issues, but there's also a TON of help online. I can't recommend this machine enough. The price you pay for what you get is just awesome. LOVE IT!

u/FRE802 · 2 pointsr/sewing

I would definitely recommend getting some beginner sewing books to start too. It will set you up so much better, so you're making beautiful things from the beginning, and will help you build skills. A lot of times I think beginners get over ambitious, try to make a fancy dress with a difficult (or inappropriate - quilting cottons are for quilting not dressmaking) fabric, get frustrated with fit issues and complicated techniques, and then give up. I think the Colette Sewing Handbook is great, although I think a lot of people on this sub don't like it for whatever reason. Tilly & the Button is more popular and is also fine. Both have blogs and sell patterns which you can use in addition to what's in the books. There are also tons of how-to's online, fitting books, other blogs, and more advanced books once you get into it.

Edit to add: I'm sure you can find these books or similar at the library too, and estate and garage sales are an excellent place to find cheap sewing machines, patterns, fabric, and things like thread and zippers.

u/MeWantJava · 4 pointsr/sewing

I love the energy! Very ambitious, and they actually came out nicely. If I may suggest, there are two sewing books that made all the difference for me:

Sew Everything Workshop by Diana Rupp. Enthusiastic, gorgeous pictures, clear instructions and lots of included patterns perfect for beginning sewers. Seriously can't say enough good things, and I still refer to it all the time.

Colette's Sewing Handbook by Sarai Mitnick. This one is all about the little things that make a big difference. Not as good a resource for getting started, but shows how to really plan your project well and make it a success. And I LOVE the patterns she includes.

u/kasittig · 2 pointsr/sewing

Yeah, it's pretty easy to alter. I have this book which is pretty good, but it's a little low on pictures. This is the Burda tutorial and it links to a bunch of ways to modify the block - this one on converting it to princess seams will probably be useful. I totally thought that they had a halter top tutorial but they apparently don't. I also have this Google book bookmarked because it's nicely laid out.

I'd also recommend making your base bodice block out of cardboard and then tracing it onto paper to alter your patterns - it'll save you time in the long run. Good luck! Sundresses were my first introduction to patternmaking too :)

u/exponentiate · 1 pointr/sewing

If you have a healthy tolerance for frustration, IMO you probably don't need very much at all. I recently bought a Singer 4423 (it was $118 at the time) and watched a bunch of Youtube tutorials. Like a ridiculous number of Youtube tutorials lol. Then I just kind of went for it. :) I definitely would echo the recommendations to get good scissors, pins, and a seam ripper, because mine have gotten a lot of use already.

RE relatively easy projects, I just followed a couple of tutorials that seemed fun. I made an elastic-waistband half-circle skirt using Halloween fabrics from JoAnn's - I had wanted to make it reversible, but couldn't quite make it work (I didn't cut the pieces out exactly the same, so they didn't line up, was a whole mess) so it wound up just being two separate layers. Still cute, still really fun for Halloween. :) I also just made a pair of pajama pants using some cute flannel from - they're also not well-made, but cozy. I will probably try to follow an actual pattern for whatever I make next, though.

u/catalot · 1 pointr/sewing

New Complete Guide to Sewing for general sewing techniques.

For tailoring men's clothes, Classic Tailoring Techniques (and women's.)

For pattern drafting, Winnifred Aldrich has a great line of books.
There's also Fundamentals of Men's Fashion Design, casual and tailored. As well as Patternmaking for Fashion Design.

For corsets, Waisted Efforts and The Basics of Corset Building are good.

For making shirts, Shirtmaking.

For learning to sew stretch/knit fabrics, Sew U: Home Stretch is pretty good.

And for just having a bunch of fun with patterns, the Pattern Magic series is plain awesome. I think there's three of them out now.

Edit: thought of more!

The Art of Manipulating Fabric is great. And as well as the corresponding print publication.

u/Ayendora · 2 pointsr/sewing

Brother are amazing machines, I honestly cannot recommend them enough and their entry level machines are pretty damn good as well.

These are a few a quick amazon search in your budget have shown, Brother typically have a machine to suit every budget and every level of skill so I am sure you will be able to find a decent machine, for you Wife's Birthday,

Brother CS6000i

Brother XR9500PRW

Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW

I would just say though, that a sewing machine is a piece of equipment that really does improve with the amount of money you are able to spend. All brother machines are good, But there will be a significant difference between their budget range at $100 - $300 or so,and their high range $300+.

Not only that Sewing machines can have huge lifespans for example.

My machine was £109 18 months ago and I wouldn't change it for the world. My Mums machine £200 10+ years ago. My Grans machine £75 in 1965 or something like that, all three machines are still going strong.

u/zefirose · 2 pointsr/sewing

These are very basic suggestions:

Colette's Beginner Book
Very nice, focuses on sewing clothing, comes with patterns.

[Fabric Reference] (
Tons of information on fabrics.

Reader's Digest Guide
Lots of sewing techniques and information. You can get the new edition but the old ones are cheap!

Gertie's suggestions
Most, if not all, of these books came from Gertie. Just Google "building a sewing library" or something along those lines and you will get great information. Don't neglect blogs! The internet is a vast sewing resource. Good luck. :)

u/ireallycantremember · 4 pointsr/sewing

I have a few suggestions that may put your mind at ease.

First, measure the actual pattern or look for the amount of ease built into the pattern, I find that using the envelope measurements are often misleading and I've sewn many too-big garments in the past.

second, the hip measurement is not something to really worry about since you should easily be able to grade the side seams 1" wider each to make up the difference.

Third, look up Full Bust Adjustment . That is where the sizing discrepancy comes in. You may even find that a much smaller size will fit her back and shoulders much better that going with the biggest envelope size. AND its much easier to fit a larger bust than it is to take in a floppy back. I'd recommend doing a tissue-fit using the Palmer / Pletch method (your library may even have the book.

Finally, You may find using a fabric with a slight stretch or heavy weight knit may be all you need to get a good fit.

Good luck!

u/heliotropedit · 1 pointr/sewing

I don't know of any paper that washes off.

As for how I transfer the pattern markings, it depends on the project. The texture of the fabric really makes a difference in whether something works. I sometimes like to thread trace or do tailor's tacks. But even with those I first have to chalk the pattern markings on the fabric and then sew over the lines. If it's a dart, I indicate the vanishing point by pricking it with a pin, crumbling a little bit of clay chalk over the hole. I remove the pattern, check that I can see a dot, then connect the point to the dart legs, which I may have chalked or clipped. I do the same thing to indicate the edges of a cutting line for a pocket and for button holes.

I usually don't use tissue paper patterns, which would tear. Generally, I've transferred the pattern after fitting onto pattern paper or even oaktag.

You usually only want to use CLAY tailor's chalk. The wax kind is for bulky fabrics like bouclé, and it may not come out. You try never to use anything but white because the colored clay chalks can't always be removed. Always do a test first.

Clover is a good brand of tailor's chalk, although there are many others.
I've used air-soluble markers, but they didn't always disappear in 48 hours, although they did wash out. I would do a test to see if they rinsed out of the fabric.
Other dress making and quilting markers I've used with success include:

Bohin White Chalk Mechanical Pencil (Very precise line; I would only use this on the wrong side of fabric or as a cutting line on the right side, say, for a welt pocket)

Chaco Liner (Nice flowing chalk marker, thicker line than the the Bohin, but it usually can be brushed off, making it safe to use on the right side of the fabric, can be a little messy)

[Clover Marking Pen] ( (A liquid pen whose line shows up only a few seconds after you've applied it. Wrong side only, or for cutting lines on the right side.)

I've never used the Chakoner Chalk Marker, but I've read many good things about it. It's kind of expensive,though.

DO NOT use this product on fabric. I had a rare case in which I had to mark the outside of a garment (decorative darts). I used the orange, and it didn't brush out.

For wax paper on muslin, the Clover Tracer Pen works well with a ruler for straight lines. It's basically a ball point pen without ink.

You can find some of these things in NYC at a price a little cheaper than on Amazon. Sil Thread, which you mentioned, is good, so is Panda International Trading, which is on the same street. Steinlauf and Stoller has many things if you can shop during the week. Fashion Design Books on 27th Street across from FIT is another source. The prices aren't as good. But the selection is well-edited and compact. Sometimes it's open on Sundays.

Sorry about the dress. Were it not intended for a baby, I'd have suggested taking it to the dry cleaners, but who know what chemicals they use.

u/fishtardo · 1 pointr/sewing

I just said this to someone else in another thread, but the beginner sewing books have exhaustive lists of all supplies needed complete with pictures. I mostly sew apparel, so I don't have a great recommendation for a beginner book that covers kids clothes and decor, but maybe something like this would work
You can literally buy everything listed in the beginning supplies section and I bet she will use everything.

If you want the best quality scissors, get Gingher. In my opinion a rotary cutter is a bit too advanced for a beginner but that's up to you. Also, a magnetic pincushion is a lifesaver. For marking a clover chaco pen liner is awesome. The biggest expense in sewing aside from a machine is probably fabric so you might give her a certificate for somewhere where she can choose some fabric once she's a little more familiar with sewing.

u/mrs_bunches · 2 pointsr/sewing

Thanks! Great job on your first project! I'm sure you'll be able to work up to clothes soon. My sister gave me this book the dress came out of and it's super helpful and confidence boosting!

u/fabricwench · 3 pointsr/sewing

The Brother CS6000i is pretty popular and reasonably well-reviewed at Amazon, it is also available at Walmart. The advantage to buying it at Walmart is that you can inspect the box before you buy it and return it if it has problems. I have not sewn on this machine myself but it is often mentioned in these kinds of threads and it does have a drop-in bobbin.

I think a used vintage machine is a great value but it helps if it has been recently serviced or you are willing to do some repair work yourself. You might ask the sewing repair place if they have any vintage machines for resale.

I am always a little suspicious of newer machines on the second hand market. It's hard to know if they are being sold because the previous owner lost interest or because the machine is a lemon. Also, sewing machines are happiest when they are used regularly, machines that have been sitting around for a couple of years can have mechanical problems from not being used.

u/Kristeninmyskin · 2 pointsr/sewing

I love my BrotherCS6000i. It’s about $130-$150 and very user friendly. It has a very helpful manual and lots of support tutorials on YouTube. It has a free arm for tight projects and comes with lots of accessories, including a quilting table and a walking foot. Can’t say enough great things about it!

u/mbcook · 2 pointsr/sewing

I recently bought a Brother SE425, which is basically the same as the SE400. From all my reading it's very popular and seems to be a nice general machine. As /u/foufymaus said quilting makes a difference, it's not designed for that (although I'm sure it'd work to some degree). It will be right at the top of your price range though.

But I wanted something would work well, from a good brand, and I liked the idea of playing with embroidery. In all my research I don't really remember reading much negative about it (assuming you're not trying to do something it's not designed for like large embroidery).

Edit: Mini review after two weeks:

It's easy to use and I don't have any problems with it. It's the first machine I've used since I was a kid so there are some things I find a bit odd but it works fine and has impressed me in a few ways. It's worked fine for the few projects I've made so far.

Things I find odd:

  • Ridiculous memory card system (optional, didn't buy)
  • Ridiculous state/cost of embroidery software (small market = expensive crap, didn't buy)
  • Needle always stops either up or down, your choice. Used to an 'analog' machine that just stops wherever it was. Not a problem, got used to it.
  • Has a minimum speed. Again, on an 'analog' sewing machine I could creep it really slow with the pedal, but it's not a problem. The minimum speed on the machine isn't very fast. Not an issue, just different.
  • Has all sorts of intelligence like knowing when the bobbin is almost empty (neat!) but can't stop winding a bobbin automatically when full?

    I'm quite happy with it, for what it's worth.
u/fropny · 2 pointsr/sewing

I have the brother CS6000i and I love it. My mom has it too and also loves it. No, it's not made entirely of metal like a vintage machine, but it is WONDERFUL. It sews like a dream and is just plain fabulous. I can't recommend it enough.

u/EarlyDecember · 3 pointsr/sewing

I love the books by Yoshiko Tsukiori, including:

Stylish Dress Book: Wear with Freedom

Sweet Dress Book: 23 Dresses of Pattern Arrangement

Amazon carries more by her and others.

Men's patterns are less common, but here are two:

You will find many Japanese pattern books and magazines on Etsy and eBay. Pomadour24 on Etsy carries a lot.

This blog reviews books and magazines.

On this French-language blog, people post the things they've made. A number refers to the book and the style.

Some of the books are only in Japanese, but many people are able to follow the drawings. Lots of sites provide guidance. Some are in French. Increasing numbers are being translated into English.

If you're interested in pattern magazines, I assume you know that you have to trace the pattern. I love the sturdy pattern paper that Japanese pattern book patterns are printed on and the way they can be easily folded back up when you're done traciing. If you find some books you like they can be really economical to use.

u/fawnmm · 2 pointsr/sewing

Thanks everyone for posting here! I'm starting to get the crafting/sewing bug as of late. It's been years since I've used a sewing machine. I used my mother's old singer that would CONSTANTLY break down. I'm currently looking at a $200 Babylock from a local retailer or this Brother machine.

I love the idea of buying sheets from thrift stores to use for fabric! I was in a thrift store the other day and had a thought of using towels they had to make half aprons out of. I have an itch to make some aprons as I just bought one online and was not terribly impressed with it.

I'm currently in research mode of looking for a sewing table as I have no where to put a sewing machine if I bought one right now. I'm looking for one that has some storage and can fold up and be disguised as just another piece of furniture since it will be going in our guest bedroom. I love the link to the table that anniebme. Does anyone have a nice sewing set up that they could post pictures of?

Any other hints or tricks anyone else can share? Websites they frequent other than the awesome links that kitanne shared?

u/valmariedoes · 7 pointsr/sewing

Actually I'm going to tell you NOT to start by altering your own clothes. It is actually easier to make something new than to alter clothing. I suggest you learn to sew from the following books: The Colette Sewing Handbook by Sarai Mitnik, the SEW Everything Workshop by Diana Rupp and Stitch by Stitch. All three of these books come with patterns for all sorts of projects. Once you graduate to some harder things, and especially if you are interested in sewing 1950s-inspired retro clothing, try Gerties New Book for Better Sewing By Gretchen Hirsch. This book has beautiful patterns and also helps with more couture techniques. Happy sewing!

u/metallequa · 2 pointsr/sewing

I've just started sewing- my machine comes in the mail on monday, whoop! Here it is!!! I am so excited. I was wondering if y'all had any great tutorials, free patterns, or tips for a new sewer. I am really interested in getting into slow fashion and a handmade home, if that helps. Thanks guys! Excited to be part of this community.

u/seriffim · 1 pointr/sewing

For books I highly suggest the following books:

The first one is great if you ever have an interest in doing high end stuff properly, and the second one is just super useful. Great guide to altering existing patterns and making your own!

u/Aari_G · 6 pointsr/sewing

I'm personally a fan of McCunn's How to Make Sewing Patterns and Aldrich's Metric Pattern Cutting series, but as /u/JBJeeves said, everyone has their own way of doing things. It's really a matter of experimenting to find out what you like best; personally I like having books in front of me to follow along, but some people thrive on the creativity that can be had in draping their own patterns from their imagination.

u/isabelladangelo · 1 pointr/sewing

The Singer 4423. Amazon recently had it as low as $99 on Black Friday but the $140 it's at right now is still great. The reasons I like it:

Easy to use.

All heavy metal construction except the plastic bobbin case which you can switch out later.

Has all your basic stitches.

Can easily find specialty feet for it.

Will actually sew pretty much anything you throw at it.

I had mine for five years and sewed everything from chiffon to actual tents for camping on it. The bobbin case finally gave up the ghost and, rather than replacing it, I just fixed my old machine (a Euro Pro) and have been using that. I sew a lot and this was a workhorse.

u/sewsewsewyourboat · 11 pointsr/sewing

this is something that I highly doubt is available in a pattern. I would highly recommend making this a drape project. Get a mannequin that is close to your size and line out the idea of the pattern you are interested in creating. I would agree, this is really not a first garment project, though. It's important to learn how fabrics lay on the body and just how patterns fit together.

This dress is has to have a lot of structure built in underneath, as well, to get those perfectly triangular cutouts, especially cut on the bias, which i also suspect it is, since there's some mild wrinkling that follows the triangles. I would highly doubt that interfacing is used unless it's very nice wool interfacing, the stuff that's in a good quality tie (also cut on the bias!). So, that would mean you'd need some knowledge in creating structure in the garments. I'd highly recommend checking out this book Patternmaking for Fashion Design before going into this project.

u/fivesecondrule · 1 pointr/sewing

I would think you don't need the buttons down the front, they will only make it more complicated/get lost in the gathers. I've never made a skirt like that but I would add enough fabric at the waist to be able to turn under the raw edge then fold it again to be able to encase an elastic. You may also want to research half circle and full circle skirts. Also, you can make a prototype out of cheap fabric or a light muslin to see what happens. I learn a lot through trial and error...Also you could add pockets if you're up for it...everybody loves pockets!
edit: half and full circle skirts won't have as much gathering at the waist so maybe your rectangle will work better
edit 2: sorry for getting long but it looks like the elastic might be stitched down a half inch from the top to give it that look:) I would really recommend this book for sewing: (I have the old version)

u/turkishjade · 1 pointr/sewing

Generally, most pattern drafting books tell you how to draft a sloper (or template of your body,) and then tells you how to manipulate the sloper to get finished designs. You can start with any sloper (from any book or website) that fits you well and jump right to the sloper manipulation part from any book you like.

For womenswear I recommend “Pattern Drafting and Dressmaking” by Dorothy Moore . It’s much, much cheaper than other books, and offers a really good, simplified set of slopers despite the book being so old. When I started drafting, four years ago, I used this book to create a dress shirt with princess seams, as well as trousers, for my wife and her co-workers assumed that they were from Banana Republic. Don’t worry though, the book also has sections on dresses, coats, jackets and even a bonus formula for a contemporary man’s dress shirt.

On a side note, you can draft anything you want, but you have to know how to put it together and most of these books do not give you construction advice. I like Kwik Sew’s instructions because they use simple construction techniques, ¼” seams and teach good habits. If you don’t know how to assemble something you’ve drafted, borrow the instruction booklet from a KwikSew pattern that is similar to what you are trying to make and write down the construction steps. In addition, you’ll see it mentioned here a lot, but "Shirtmaking" by David Coffin offered invaluable tips on how to get the collar, cuffs and yoke assembled in a non-conventional way.

Some of the other books I recommend:
“Patternmaking for Fashion Design” by Helen Armstrong, is an odd book. As a pattern drafting book, I feel that it fails, as it is too big and tries to cover too many bases. But as a reference book, those qualities make it exceptional. This is not something you’ll ever read straight through… you’ll start at the index and jump to the morsel of information that you need, e.g. dart manipulation, or collar variations. Really expensive though.

“The Practical Guide to Patternmaking” by Lori Knowles and “The Practical Guide to Patternmaking for Meanswear” by Lori Knowles are both great. Where Moore’s book looked a little dated, this one has contemporary designs.

u/VaurienVixen · 1 pointr/sewing

Hello! i'm looking to get into sewing and i was wondering what machine i should get. i have already done some research and know i don't want to get some cheap $20 walmart kiddie machine. I have narrowed my choice to two options i think look okay?

I'm am planning on making things like plushies out of fabrics like minky. And costume pieces out of denser fabrics like shag fur and vinyls. as well as stuff like fixing clothes and such. including jeans.

so basically, something that can take a little abuse(?) but i'm not going to be doing super heavy duty work i believe.

the singer machine is cheaper and looks nice, but, i don't know if i should go ahead and shell out the extra money for the brother machine. do some brands last longer than others? i know brother is a name i hear a lot.

u/KillerWhaleShark · 2 pointsr/sewing

I don’t know what the poster above was talking about. This is a great machine. Go to the vintage sewing machine sub reddit if you’d like to find others with the same machine. It’s nice if you have specific questions.

Next, take a class or get a really good book. This is a great one.

u/thepianoknows · 6 pointsr/sewing

Drafting patterns is definitely scary! This is the book we used: It's a bit pricey, but the earlier editions would probably be just as helpful! If you get into your project and you need help, just shoot me a PM! I learned a lot of things the hard way, so I'd like to help people learn from my mistakes, haha. I could also take pictures of my pattern pieces if it would help you visualize (the circle skirt especially was a bit weird).

This is the wool I used: When I first looked at it, $18/yd sounded like a lot, but it ended up being the least expensive in my class. As you can tell from my pictures, it's much greener than the picture on Mood!

u/kallisti_gold · 6 pointsr/sewing

Yes, straight pins for pinning fabric. Yes, universal needles should work with the vast majority of machines, yours included. Cotton or cotton/poly thread is good, Coats & Clark or Gütermann are good brands. Bobbins are specific to brand/machine -- and while I'm thinking about it, a bobbin box is really really good to have. Shears are scissors, generally referring to the 8" long bent shears. An iron's an iron, they don't make sewing specific irons, but it's important to have a good non-stick surface and steaming ability.

u/temper_tiger · 1 pointr/sewing

I learned by just messing about on my machine (and making plenty of mistakes on things that didn't really matter), and some pretty intensive Googling. Getting a pattern marked as 'easy' and trying to follow it slowly (with inexpensive fabric...) is quite a useful experience, even if you end up with something unwearable!

I've recently bought Love At First Stitch (it's been out in the UK for a while) and although I've not used the instructions as a beginner would, it seems to me that they're really clear and would be very helpful - the author specifically wrote it to help people ease in to sewing.

u/smallpoly · 1 pointr/sewing

I'm just starting out and haven't bought my first machine yet, but the Brother CS6000i has ~5 stars after 3600 reviews on amazon and goes for $144.

Their serger($204) and embroidery machine($300) are highly reviewed best sellers too.

The embroidery machine is apparently also adequate at sewing, so I'm considering that as a starter and possibly picking up the serger later.

If you're looking for something at a more prosumer level then someone that actually knows what they're doing should be able to help.

u/deelybopper · 2 pointsr/sewing

No problem, let me know if you have any other questions. Pyrogirl mentioned this book, which I bought for a class. It's quite excellent and has good descriptions of techniques if you're interesting in high-end sewing.

In addition, the same author has a book about working with various types of fabric. You can find the page on lace here.

You may have some difficulty marking the lace as normal home-sewing techniques (wax paper, pencil, chalk, etc) dont like to show up on sheers. If you're up to it, thread-trace everything. This will yield the best results but can be time consuming as hell, especially if you're not used to hand basting. Otherwise, mark with pins or safety pins.

If you're working off of a commercial pattern, you can simply aline edges instead of marking stitch lines, but make sure to take a good look at the seam allowance before hand. Most commercial patterns have 5/8" allowance, more than enough to finish with a 1/4" french seam, but it's always good to check.

u/wcatie · 1 pointr/sewing

I've been looking into getting my first machine for a while, and was originally looking for an antique Singer but there aren't many around my area in good condition, so I've started looking into other options and this was one of them!

Hope you don't mind me asking, but do you know if there are any big differences between the one you posted and the Brother CS6000i model?

I'm still really new to this and not sure what to look for when comparing machines. I would mostly be using it for making, tailoring, and repairing clothes. I am also interested in quilting, but I don't think I will be able to commit the time/money for that hobby for at least 2 years.

u/IslandVivi · 1 pointr/sewing
  1. Older machines have a good reputation, generally, because they tend to be more metal than plastic the older they are. Do you have the manual?

  2. If you don't want to take your machine to a professional, here's a helpful video:

  3. I always recommend in-person classes. I'm assuming you're in the US? In any case, look around you, fabric stores, community colleges, sewing lounges, all offer beginner sewing classes.

    If that is not possible, a good vlog is Colleen G. Lea of FBSTV channel. Unfortunately, her playlists are not the best so look around, she even teaches how to thread a needle!!!

    Also: US sleeve patterns go on sale regularly at chain stores like Joann's and Hobby Lobby. Since it's Thanksgiving, I susptect there is a $2 sale going on right now.

    As a rule, you need to a) know how to use your sewing machine b) know how to sew straight seams and c) know how to sew curved seams. The rest is variations on those skills.

    If you intend to sew clothing for yourself, see if you can borrow this book from the library, it's supposed to be based on the curriculum of a Fancy Design School: (sorry, couldn't get the shorter link to work).

    You will also need a good reference book like this one:
u/greeneyedbaby190 · 2 pointsr/sewing

I got this brother swing machine and have been quite pleased. I'm still brand new, but this one comes with all the key features you need at a price that is beginner friendly. After learning more I actual regret that I didn't get a serger make sure that isn't what you need for the projects you are interested in. Very pleased with my purchase for a sewing machine though!

u/sam_handwhich · 1 pointr/sewing

A great book you might be interested in is - Shirtmaking by David Coffin. Started to read it myself. It's really well written. He's great at explaining things.

u/DarkGreenSedai · 3 pointsr/sewing

What kind of sewing do you love? Are you sewing garments where you need a basic straight stitch 99% of the time? Do you like to quilt so you need more room? Are you doing embroidery where you want all the fancy functions?

Personally I sew clothes so I am ok without all the fancy bits. I had a walmart brother for a couple of years and upgraded to this singer about 4 years ago and I LOVE it. I paid 120$ though so it’s worth shopping around. This machine has some decorative and stretch stitches but I haven’t used many. I may just be boring though. Would you be able to use the gift card for anything? If I could get groceries with it then I would do that and buy a slightly nicer machine.

u/lupesaldana · 2 pointsr/sewing

yay! i get super excited when people want to learn pattern making. my ultimate career goal is to be a pattern maker. this pattern making book has helped me a lot. there are a lot of good tips in there and step by step directions on how to make slopers in your specific size (or sizes 2 4 6 8, etc.) ^_^

u/ri0tnrrd · 5 pointsr/sewing

From the wiki this article has a review of best machines for a beginner. That being said my machine just broke and so I just yesterday ordered this machine from Amazon because for the price it's pretty decent and it came with a free arm extension and a cover. The price range you have is more than decent for a good machine that should last you through the years.

u/-claudine- · 1 pointr/sewing

I love the Readers Digest Guide and Vogue Sewing. Both books are packed with very useful information, but maybe she would like a more stylish-looking book to start out with. The Burdastyle Sewing Handbook or The Colette Sewing Handbook might be more inspirational.

u/eaten_by_the_grue · 2 pointsr/sewing

Pinning is generally done by pinning the pattern pieces to either a dress form or to the client's clothing. You can alter the pattern pieces to fit them faster and easier that way. If you want to try pattern alteration again, I'd recommend either Fit for Real People by Pati Palmer and Marta Alto and/or How to Use, Adapt, and Design Sewing Patterns by Lee Hollahan.

That being said, I've taken apart clothes and made patterns from them before. It's more of a pain (for beginners to intermediate sewing) than altering existing patterns for a couple of reasons.
You have to add seam allowances-nitpicky reason, but when you're in a hurry it's easy to forget. Failing to do this means you have no seam allowances or a garment smaller than you intended.
Making sure you can find fabrics that are suitable for recreating the garment. i.e. You don't want to make a pattern off of a knit shirt and then use a woven fabric unless you're prepared for a several fittings and altering the heck out of a muslin mock-up. Failing to do this leads to the garment just not fitting.
Related to the above reason, different fabrics drape differently. That's why commercial patterns have fabric suggestions printed on them. You wouldn't want to use corduroy where a cotton broadcloth would work better.
Knowing how the grain of the fabric needs to relate to the pattern pieces. Will they need to be cut on the bias? Etc. Failing to do this correctly makes the garment not hang right on the body.

I will be happy to help you any way I can via Reddit, email, etc. Depending on where you live, I might be able to find you someone who could teach you (hands on, in person) how to alter patterns/create patterns. Please feel free to PM me. :-)

u/cursethedarkness · 1 pointr/sewing

Looks good! You mention that English is not your first language, but if you feel confident in tackling a book in English, this book on shirtmaking is a fantastic resource.

u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/sewing

I agree that with free patterns you get you what you pay for. If you like the styles, I recommend Japanese pattern books. You trace the patterns. Stylish Dress Book: Wear with Freedom is a popular one. This version has been translated into English.

u/IDontClare · 8 pointsr/sewing

If you had to pick one of these for a beginner machine which would you pick?

(SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine)

(Brother CS6000i)

Beginner Goals: Alter t-shirts for better fit, repair tears on thrift finds.
More future goals: Actually make clothes from fabrics. Likely not jeans since I imagine that would require a bit more powerful of a machine.

Zero experience in sewing atm. Both these machines look great. The singer looks a little more sturdy though. Any feedback or recommendations?

u/HDaveThoreauAway · 1 pointr/sewing

I have the brother se-400 on amazon here and really love it. While it does do embroidery, it's just an excellent workhorse of a sewing machine as well. Of course, I was using my mom's 20 year old sewing machine before it, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

u/kindacountry · 4 pointsr/sewing

I'm a beginner and recently got the Brother CS6000i. I'm pretty sure this machine can do anything I need it to do, and when I purchased the machine it came with all kinds of different feet to use. I really like it, and once I read the manual it was really easy to figure out.

u/foufymaus · 3 pointsr/sewing

If i'm googling the right pfaff 90 (blocky greyish blue/beige color) I would definitely look in to repairing it. Seeing how not a lot of them are on the resale market it definitely is a machine worth keeping. Pfaff's are frankly a better quality than most new plastic Singer machine currently on the market.

Now if you purchase a Singer Stylist from amazon new it would be $159.

While a Pfaff 90 at it's age and build is holding steady at $99-129 on ebay.

Considering the age of the Pfaff it may need some adjustments to have it properly working again. It's cheaper in the long run as in years long run to have the Pfaff worked on versus buying a what most would consider a disposable Singer Stylist.

Since the Pfaff is mostly all metal it probably has some lint build up or thread tucked in to one of the nooks and crannies of the machine. I have a bunch of vintage machines and that is pretty much what is the problems I've encountered.

That's just my two cents. wink

u/kingof_redlions · 3 pointsr/sewing

buy this book and spend a day or two reading through everything. it teaches you more about sewing than about how to thread the machine (although it does teach you that too!) there's beginner patterns in the back, a guide to reading real patterns, a checklist of supplies you need, a way to fix common hiccups that you will come across, all about different stitches, different needles for what fabric, all about fabric, etc etc it is a great resource and the projects in the back are a great way to get your feet wet and get sewing!!!

u/feralfred · 1 pointr/sewing

These are the books I was taught with at college.

They can seem quite over complicated at times, but stick with it, after a while you start to get a 'feel' for how the patterns work, and more importantly, why they work. I never refer to the books now - once you have your basic set of blocks adjusting them to what you need starts to become second nature.

Like anything it just takes repeated practice, but these books are an excellent place to start.

u/jereviendrai · 3 pointsr/sewing

If you are interested in more informal clothes, you may like Japanese pattern books. Japanese women tend to be smaller. The fit is also more forgiving.

Here's an example:

u/sotlite · 6 pointsr/sewing

Colette patterns has a neat entry-level book, which comes with 5 clothing patterns! Their patterns are sized a little differently than regular patterns, but they are known for their clear instructions (usually a big frustration for new seamstresses).

My favorite sewing book ever is a little older, from Reader's Digest, if you believe that. Not the sexiest present, maybe, but super-useful. It shows you how to do everything, and the illustrations are plentiful and very clear.

u/hebephreniac · 3 pointsr/sewing

I like this book quite a bit for helping me alter slopers. Has a lot of interesting ideas for designs and features too. Not a ton of info on how to construct, but if you have experience with commercial patterns and finishes, should be ok with some help from google/youtube.

u/wk11 · 3 pointsr/sewing

100% beginner, really only looking to alter clothes (including jeans). Not really in a place where I can get used easily, would you guys recommend something like or is that overkill?

Also more broadly are there kits you can buy meant to accompany a machine? I don't have anything at all so will need extra thread, needles, scissors etc. Would be nice if I could get them all in the same kit.

u/susandennis · 1 pointr/sewing

I recently bought a Brother cs6000i after a year of a Pfaff (that cost 4 times as much) and a Singer (about the same price). The Brother is BY FAR the best, most versatile of the three. I love sewing with it way more than the other two. I have no trouble with thick or elastic or delicates. I make knit tops, rag dolls out of a bunch of different stuff and swimsuits. And I mend, patch and tweak all kinds of other clothes. I also use it about 3 hours every single day.

u/bearLover23 · 2 pointsr/sewing

I am looking at potentially purchasing an embroidery machine but I am a VERY significant novice in this area.

What sort of machine would be able to do stuff like the embrodiery on this guy's shirt (from a TV show) ?

Here is another view if that helps :D

Right now looking at some of the brothers machines, but can they really both sew and do embroidery?

In particular eyeing this one:

Although I did read a review saying the software doesn't work in Canada? I am worried about that as I am Canadian D:

u/ginniesue · 3 pointsr/sewing

Pin the middle parts of the pattern (or use pattern weights). Basically, treat it more like you're putting the quilt backing onto your quilt instead of approaching like normal apparel.

Are you using standard tailors chalk or the wheel pen:

Because short movements with the wheel pen could solve your issue.

u/LyriumFlower · 1 pointr/sewing

I want to get my mother a nice intermediate machine and was looking at the Janome mechanical models. So far I like the J3-24 and the 2300XT. I can't really tell which of these would be better for some hobby sewing, repairing and household stuff.

There is also this Singer model which is a bit pricier:

Budget is around 200 GBP/300 USD or so.

u/Le_Squish · 3 pointsr/sewing

Like /u/jereviendrai said,
Helen Joseph Armstrong's Pattern Making for Fashion Design.
It is a textbook and it is wonderful and very thorough. Any publishing year will do. Libraries usually carry it. Also can be found in "easily liberated" formats.

u/must_be_the_mangoes · 2 pointsr/sewing

Howdy r/sewing. I'm a complete begginer looking for my first sewing machine with a $200 budget. Starting off, I intend to mostly stick to basic alterations on cotton, poly and denim shirts and pants. Based on my research, it seems like the general consensus is to get one of these three machines:

Brother XM2701

Brother CS6000i

Singer Heavy Duty 4432

Out of the three, which do you recommend the most for my uses? Is there anything in particular I should be looking for? Thanks!

u/prayforariot · 2 pointsr/sewing

I always recommend the Reader's Digest Guide and Vogue Sewing to anyone looking to start a sewing library. They cover very similar ground, so take a look inside each. I prefer Vogue most of the time, but it all depends on how she learns best.

u/Saskia_C · 2 pointsr/sewing

I usually don't recommend non-vintage Singer machines, but the Singer Stylist 7258 can do embroidery, is computerized, is easy to use, and has lots of good reviews. It's also only $166:

u/jinxyrocks · 1 pointr/sewing

In terms of ready-to-wear clothes that you buy in a store, if, for example, a size L is supposed to fit women sizes 10 to 14, that garment is actually cut to fit a size 14. The largest size in each size range is what the garment is actually cut for.

This is a pricy book, but it is an awesome textbook that covers all aspects of patternmaking: Patternmaking for Fashion Design

u/Teabrat · 2 pointsr/sewing

I used for 5+ years, a cheap Brother Machine (CE4000) and I was impressed with how well it worked for basic sewing. Its still going strong, I just passed it along to another family member after I upgraded to a more heavy duty machine.

The CE4000 is no longer available, but there are models that are comparable to it around $150, Like CS-6000i which has 4.5 out of 5 stars with 1248 reviews. It is also available on Cs-6000i on

u/clothesgirl · 3 pointsr/sewing

The reason I learned to sew was because by the time I was 13 years old, I was a size 16. Girl, I feel your pain! I wear a size 20 these days, and many patterns do go to a 22 or 24. With that being said, there is nothing better than drafting your own patterns, and it's way easier to do than you'd think, it just takes some time and patience. My favorite book to work off of is this one. Happy Drafting!

u/annaqua · 2 pointsr/sewing

I was recommended this book but have yet to order it. I've heard really good things about it and plan on ordering it soon!

u/Dukenukem117 · 1 pointr/sewing

What do you think about the Singer 4432?


If I just need to sew a straight line with a heavy gauge thread (I think they are called upholstery threads) and speed isn't really a concern, this seems like the most cost effective machine.

u/LeEspion · 1 pointr/sewing

>the crotch. If you turn a pair of pants inside out and look at the crotch, you'll notice it sort of curves. You'll have to follow that curve, whereas the outside seam would just be straight.

OP if you do attempt to alter in this fashion I highly suggest that you seek out a book or two on tailoring techniques.

Classic Tailoring Techniques: A Construction Guide for Men's Wear (F.I.T. Collection) By Roberto Cabrera Buyitonamazon

Classic Tailoring Techniques: A Construction Guide for Women's Wear (F.I.T. Collection) By Roberto Cabrera Buyitonamazon

Also the Cutter & Tailor forums is another excellent resource for menswear

u/optimizedMediocrity · 2 pointsr/sewing

I have been using How to Make Sewing Patterns by Don McCunn. I have successfully made skinny pants from the pant sloper. I do not think skinny pants were in style as they are now, so it took some additional internet research to achieve the exact fit I wanted.

While I have not used it to make skirts or bodices yet, the instructions are much more thorough in the bodice and skirt sections.

I found it at my local used book store for ~$10 usd. I think it is worth a try, if you are looking for a lower entry pattern book. It is targeting home sewers as opposed to fashion design textbooks on the subject.

u/captainpantalones · 5 pointsr/sewing

If you liked that article, you may want to pick up the book Shirtmaking. While it's not solely focused on men's shirts, it has a lot of interesting tips for upping the quality from your standard pattern instructions or RTW.

u/vanillablackrose · 1 pointr/sewing

I taught myself using this book:

It goes through the basics pretty well and I still use it as a reference.

u/ebengland · 3 pointsr/sewing

I learned from a book, Metric Pattern Cutting for Women. It was super helpful at understanding where to start with making a pattern and different pattern shapes. I will say that you should know how to sew clothes before jumping into this book because there is no provided glossary for the sewing terms. No need to be an expert sewer. Just know how basic garments fit together.

u/timonandpumba · 5 pointsr/sewing

So should we post recommendations for resources here and now? Because I personally loved The Colette Sewing Handbook and the tutorials at Colette Patterns.

u/LadyTigerSnake · 3 pointsr/sewing

I love my Brother. The foot pedal is optional and the speed is adjustable.

u/pyrogirl · 2 pointsr/sewing

Bridal Couture by Susan Khalje has a great section about working with lace, as does Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire Schaeffer.

u/FragrantTurnover · 1 pointr/sewing

I bought this machine and I call it my sewing machine for dummies. It works great and is simple to use. It also has a speed control bar so the machine can be slowed down for beginners or children learning to sew.

u/itsamutiny · 1 pointr/sewing

This is more about fitting and tailoring than pattern making, but it's been really helpful to me.

u/aphrael · 3 pointsr/sewing

Chaco Liner Pens. I have a white one and a blue one, and I love them so much. Nothing works better for transferring pattern markings onto my fabric, in my opinion.

As for tips - snipping the legs of darts (within the seam allowance) is really handy for lining them up when it comes time to sew. I learned that one recently.

I transfer all my patterns onto freezer paper, so I can a) reuse the same pattern over and over, in different sizes, and b) stop the fabric from slipping around while I cut it. However, I want to move onto Swedish tracing paper, because I've heard that's even better!

u/MangerDuAss · 1 pointr/sewing

What about this machine? It looks like a complicated machine, but I'm thinking that if OP gets bored of sewing, it would be easy to sell it and recoup her money. Reg $449, on sale for $114!

u/armoureddachshund · 1 pointr/sewing

This is book that starts with a very easy project and then gets gradually slightly more difficult:
Maybe working through it could be a good way to get started with sewing.

u/maybel8er · 2 pointsr/sewing

Also, I'm planning on getting this sewing machine.

Is this going to be good enough for what I want to do?

u/oblivionkiss · 2 pointsr/sewing

I have a Singer 7258. I'm still fairly new to machine sewing, and I don't have a serger, so I was wondering which stitch I should be using in place of one. (I'm not going to be serging anytime soon, I just want to know for future reference)


u/bacon_anytime · 9 pointsr/sewing

You need to learn how to do a full bust adjustment. You'll be able to make anything fit. There's a couple of different methods and lots of information online. Fit for Real People is the most popular book and worth having. Your library may have it or you can pick up an older copy for a few dollars. I don't use the tissue fitting advice, but those few pages on the fba have paid for themselves over and over.

u/newuser033 · 1 pointr/sewing

What about a singer?

I'm thinking of just leaving the denim work for a local tailor since I usually only have 1 pair of jeans that I wear. I'm hoping to hem and taper my own chinos and trousers though.

u/naiche_unit · 2 pointsr/sewing

I have this sewing machine, and I really like it. I had a couple of used sewing machines in the past that gave me some trouble, so I decided to buy a new machine.

It's great for beginners/intermediate sewers. It's relatively inexpensive, and a dream to thread (my old machine was a nightmare to thread/reload bobbins, so I really appreciate this feature).

Its not super heavy duty, but unless you want to sew denim, leather or other very heavy materials, it shouldn't be an issue. If you do, then you should think about another machine.

u/ieatyams · 1 pointr/sewing

I was looking to buy my first sewing machine and need help deciding which to buy. It's mainly going to be used for sewing jeans and shirts and so far I'm looking at this or this.

u/homesteadlaika · 2 pointsr/sewing

I googled "Fit For Real People," is that that this book?

u/gardenvarietybitch · 3 pointsr/sewing

Hey, check out the Colette Patterns book, and website, respectively here and [here] ( There are similar garments to the ones you posted in a sequential, made-for-learning book (so you make the first project, and then build on those skills for the second and then the same for the third, etc.) and it comes with the patterns.

u/vworp-vworp · 2 pointsr/sewing

My older brother ordered this for me last Christmas and I love it. It's so easy to set up and I find it to be well built. I've sewn through denim and two layers of suede with it and had no problems.

u/SweetAndVicious · 3 pointsr/sewing

I was self taught and couldn't have done it without a good reference book like this

New Complete Guide to Sewing: Step-by-Step Techniques for Making Clothes and Home Accessories
by Editors of Reader's Digest

u/S13pointFIVE · 6 pointsr/sewing

I bought these 8" Gingher and couldn't be happier. Was prepared to spend 3 times what I paid for them. For the price on Amazon, they can't be beat.

u/adelajoy · 2 pointsr/sewing

I've heard really good things about The Sewtionary. It's a dictionary-styled book, so it's just techniques and how to do them, all in alphabetical order.

If you want something that you can work through and learn a lot at the same time, there is the Colette Sewing Handbook and Tilly and the Buttons' Love at First Stitch. They both have a handful of patterns and the book walks you through them, getting slowly more difficult, and teaching techniques as you go.

Note: I don't own any of these books, but they're all highly-reviewed.

u/Faerin82 · 1 pointr/sewing

I really like my brother cs6000i. I don't know what you consider relatively inexpensive, but it's under $200.

u/casual_redditor_01 · 1 pointr/sewing

Place a dart in a paper pattern. Self-teaching patternmaking and this book (Helen Joseph Armstrong was so annoyingly complex and assumtious that I got this book (Dennic Chunman Lo) and it's easy to follow but hard to understand at certain points, as he just "throws" you the concept with no deep how-to of it or explanation/

u/Verhexxen · 2 pointsr/sewing

For $150, the machine mentioned above, Brother CS-6000i

For sub $200, Brother HC 1850

I may be semi partial to Brother at these price points, but these machines should last until your skills are to a point that you want to upgrade to a more professional machine. Another option in your price range is to find a vintage machine and have it serviced, but that's not something I've done so I don't have much experience with it.

u/flickster94087 · 1 pointr/sewing

i used this at a local CC here in SF and my classmates who went to FIDM already had it because their teachers had already used them for THEIR classes.

u/LBC_Arbac · 2 pointsr/sewing

I'm taking patternmaking right now at LA Trade Tech and Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Armstrong is still the standard textbook. It'll go over everything you need to know.