Sewing Skills for Beginners

FANGS

Commanding Officer
Community Staff
Division Staff
We have people showing an interest in learning how to sew and there are a few of us that could certainly help out with that. To make it worthwhile for you all though, I'd like to know what exactly you'd like to know. Right from the very beginning? Only certain aspects? A little of everything?

I know we're going to have people at all different skill levels and levels of need so I can think of a few things that might interest people in obviously no particular order:

Pattern reading and drafting/re-drafting - altering
Preping your fabric
Cutting fabric
Basic machine information
Fabric choices
Fit
Altering Ready Made Stuff (like adding zippers or layers for definition)
Sewing with stretch fabrics
Basic sewing information (basic stitches, finishing seams, stitch lengths etc.)
Hand sewing
Helpful notions (measuring tapes, rulers, marking chalks, needles, thread types, pins, etc.)
Interfacing types and when to use it
Different waistband options.
Options for closures (zippers, snaps (set in and sew on), magnets, hook and eye, Velcro, buttons)
Difference between lining and underlining/flat lining
Hemming
Things to consider when buying a machine

Anything else that you'd like us to talk about? Of course, we'll start off with the most basic and work our way up and try to have enough structure that we sort of stick to a game plan for a discussion so that if you miss it because it doesn't interest you, you don't miss something that would have interested you but wasn't planned to be discussed. There will obviously be overlap and there will also be some stuff that will trip people up and we'll need to spend more time on.

It would be also most helpful for us if you could include a bio of sorts so that we know what equipment you have access to, what skills and experience you already have and what your ultimate goal is for learning this.

I'll start out to give you guys an idea.

I've been sewing since I was about 7 years old. Other than three years in Jr. High and taking home ec, everything has been self taught either by learning from what friends are doing or a lot of trial and error. I have a ton of books on a lot of different types of sewing techniques and I watch a lot of You Tube. I have several sewing machines, 8 to be exact. Some for the bulk of the sewing and some for very specialized tasks like embroidery or finishing hems on stretch fabrics. The two most commonly used ones though are both Juki's - a sewing machine and a serger. I've learned new techniques based on what costume I've wanted to make. I have a workroom that is predominately for sewing, including a proper height cutting table. And over the years I have amassed a lot of helpful notions that I can talk about to help you choose what you might need. I am by no means at expert at any of it but I hopefully can help all of you interested in getting a solid start. During this process I'm hoping to teach myself some more advanced tailoring techniques to really make the FUD uniforms look proper.
 

Sean Anwalt

RCO
405th Regiment Officer
I have been sewing... not a lot. I did a skyrim cosplay that required sewing, and a few other projects, but not a lot.
I'd be interested in learning about all of those things, most particularly fit and seams. I don't want the seams in my undersuit to pop, you know?
 

SI3RRA 117

Well-Known Member
Yes! I think this is a great idea. I think this is something the 405th is lacking. I haven’t sewed since jr high, and would love to learn. I have a sewing machine still in a box buried in the junk room. One of these days I want to dig it out. Ultimately I would love to sew a proper h3 style MC undersuit for a new build. I would like to learn how to sew different materials together for proper cooling and sewing foam into fabrics kind of along these lines.
15956278-96D8-4AE7-935A-DD07D07D8252.png
I know this seems pretty advanced, but this is what I would ultimately love to be able to pull off.

Anyway that’s my rant, look forward to seeing more from this thread.
 

electricknite

Member
So for my bio i guess, I started embroidering at about age 6 but learned to use a sewing machine when I was 11 from my moms tailor friend. She taught me to read a pattern and set up the sewing machine and serger, after that I took a fashion class in high school which was more of the same stuff but I was sewing more complicated patterns. other than basic sewing techniques I learned myself though trial and error or youtube although I am still not amazing by any means. I have a Husqvarna viking Emerald 116 sewing machine and a Pfaff hobbylock 788 serger. The sewing machine is a solid machine but has pretty basic stitches. My gaming room is also my sewing room. I'd say the best skill I've taught myself is how to make a pattern from scratch and how to plan closures and where i need pockets or other strange things. A lot of my costumes end up having quite a bit of hand sewing. I pride myself on my ability to make things as accurate as possible with as few tools as possible.
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
I could see this being a sticky index of sorts. We can start chipping away at different items on the list made by FANGS and as we think of other helpful topics we can add them on.

I'll follow suit of electricknite and toss in my credentials. I'm not traditionally trained in the slightest but I make the best of what I've got when it comes to sewing knowledge gathered from other cosplayers and YouTube. I make patterns for pretty much everything foam/wood/plastics I do which definitely helped teach me how to make ones for sewing. Between the three people living in my house, we have four sewing machines that run almost as frequently as the 3D printers.
 

FANGS

Commanding Officer
Community Staff
Division Staff
I love the excitement about learning new skills! I've added the lovely electricknite on FB and I already had chatty TurboCharizard. As soon as my FB stops being flakey and lets me in to see my messages this morning, I'll be sending them a message so we can start planning!

It would be helpful as well for people to tell us WHAT you want to sew so we can make sure to address those items.
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
I love the excitement about learning new skills! I've added the lovely electricknite on FB and I already had chatty TurboCharizard. As soon as my FB stops being flakey and lets me in to see my messages this morning, I'll be sending them a message so we can start planning!

It would be helpful as well for people to tell us WHAT you want to sew so we can make sure to address those items.
CHATTY? ME? CHATTY? :rolleyes:

I was thinking of doing a super basics of machine sewing tutorial with either a plushie or a dice bag. I'm definitely open to suggestions though.
 

Sean Anwalt

RCO
405th Regiment Officer
Not to punch a two-month old topic up, but I would like too see a super easy to follow and clear tutorial on sewing different fabrics to each other, reinforcing seams, and the possibilities of sewing foam to fabric. Not just EVA foam, but any foam for padding and etc...

Also, Happy New Year! :)
 
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