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Another newbie says “Hello”

jane4878 | Posted in Gather For A Chat on

Hello everyone!  I just registered for this discussion board and find it a bit overwhelming at first.  I’m a mom with 3 kids.  I learned to sew in school when I was about 12 or 13 and my mom only had an old 1930’s wasp-waisted Singer that had one stitch, so my sewing expertise is pretty well non-existant :^)  My middle child needed an Annie Oakley costume for a musical routine and I had to grovel to get someone to sew it for me.  That was the final straw–I went and bought a Pfaff Hobby sewing machine last spring.  I’m struggling away to learn, mostly through books.  There are no formal lessons to be had in my area (southwestern Alberta, Canada).  I managed to sign up for 3 heirloom sewing classes and survived the first one.  I work fulltime including rotating weekends and on-call, so I have a hard time finding time to sew.


  1. Ralphetta | | #1

    If you search, you will find several discussions about videos on this site..  Videos illustrate some procedures much more clearly than a book.  It's something you can watch at your convenience.  I'm sure that I've read  some recommendations for beginning sewers.  Hope this helps.

  2. User avater
    blondie2sew | | #2

    Hi welcome Jane4878

    I can agree this is a bit overwhelming. However there are some great ideas, help, and suggestions here!! Everyone is wonderful and willing to help out.

    Two different discussions that are going on right now if you haven't fell upon then that might be helpful is one about

    "Making time for sewing" great ideas on how they all get the time. with our crazy busy lives

    ok the other slips my mind for now. Sorry. But this one will get you started!

    May I suggest this though. Don't use this forum as an excuse not to sew because you are on it all the time reading. Use it as a tool and a great break when you get frustrated at your machine!!

    You will have great inspiration here from many many different wonderful people. From all over the globe!!

    I by the way am from WA state here in the USA!! Welcome! We love our neighbors!!


    Edited 11/8/2006 7:35 pm ET by blondie2sew

    Edited 11/8/2006 7:36 pm ET by blondie2sew

  3. woodywoodpecker598 | | #3

    Hi Jane4878, I'm from southeastern Alberta. I learned alot from watching quilting shows(don't quilt) and sewing shows. Also read quilting magazines and see how things go together. Threads ,SewNews and  Stitches all are great magazines to learn from. If you can pick up some books of Shirley Adams is also another good source.

    Linda MacPhee(from Edmonton) has a show called Sew Much Fun that you should check out as well.

    Good luck with your endeavor and Happy Sewing.

  4. thehat | | #4

    hi glad you could come and talk just remember at one time we were in the same spot in learning  I have been sewing for a little time but every one in the sewing room is so willing to helpso my advice to you on how to find time is to bring out your fabric and get your daughters involved in picking the pattern and you know the best teaching method is to use children nice you cold find time to chat

    1. jane4878 | | #5

      Thank you for your advice.  I have checked out the other discussion about finding time to sew.  Some of it I do already.  I don't find the sewing itself bad, I get hung up on the fitting, cutting etc. stage.  A lot of it is nervousness and unfamiliarity with doing those things.  I really enjoyed the first heirloom sewing class I had.  It was mentally intense, but I was with a great group of women who gave me lots of advice.  My 12 year old daughter is taking sewing in home ec. and really enjoys it as well.  This board is great--I can get tons of advice I wouldn't easily be able to access in person.  I can check out this at work when it's slow.

      1. thehat | | #6

        I find it realy helps to use a lot of pins and colored pins I mean for different peices and inside a or out side another color and line up all the real long seams and sew a continues seam with a few stitches between--- -- another  and attach the other seam and time it depends on where you have your machine set up I have mine in my dinning room and the use the table in the kitchen to eat on and if you have things laid out in rows start with all things with green pins and sew and and different pin colors for different days  when I know that the day is going to be  really bad for time I have all short seams and and after awaile you can gauge what the sanity part  is needed  I hope this helps  just a little sew & sew 

        1. jane4878 | | #7

          Thanks...I like to use the kitchen table (I have an island to eat on), but my husband keeps piling my fabric, half cut out pieces and patterns and taking it downstairs and dumping it beside my sewing machine.  I have to gather everything up, repress my pattern pieces and start all over again. We have had "words" about it, but next time it will be "WORDS!!!" I'm so stressed and busy and lose any desire to sew when that happens.  I usually make a copy of my pattern and use that to cut out the fabric.  The pin colours is a good idea.

          1. Ralphetta | | #8

            I've got gobs of space and usually cut things out on the dining room table.  Those big cardboard cutting boards that fold up had never had any appeal to me.  Somehow I got one, maybe it wqs a gift.  I discovered something that might be helpful to you.  I use it on my table and if I need to get it out of the way fast, etc.  I just pile everything on it and partially fold it up.  It's terrific.  I can lift the whole mess up and carry it anywhere, (or stuff it under something!)  If you are more careful than me, your stuff wouldn't get very wrinkled.  The fabric stores have them on sale often and they are pretty cheap.  When my first one fell apart I kept one of the grided sections and put it on my ironing board for times when I'm working with small things that I want to measure, line up, etc.

            I always thought of them just as cutting boards, but they are great if you need to stop and start.


          2. thehat | | #9

            that is great some times I to take my cutting board and stick the pins right into it till I get back too it that way I do'nt loose the peices  do you still have kids in your house?

          3. Ralphetta | | #10

            No, I don't have to worry about that.  I've just been surprised that all the "stuff" could fold down so small.  I only have to lift it up and take it to another room to get it out of sight.  I just mentioned it in case you weren't using one.

          4. MaryinColorado | | #11

            I bought plastic bins for my UFO's.  Some are a bit larger than shoe boxes, some are larger.  Also I put cut out clothing fabric with the patterns on a hanger, put all the rest of the pieces in a zip lock bag, and hang them up when I am super organized.

          5. jane4878 | | #12

            Thanks for the advice--I'll keep my eyes open for a cutting board.  My kids are at home, but they leave my stuff alone.  I'm off work for a bit now, so I'll be able to get something done hopefully.



          6. fabricholic | | #13

            O.k. Your kids respect your space. You just need to get your husband to do the same. You know you have a bunch of straight pins that might just get him in line. LOLMarcy

          7. jane4878 | | #14


            Good one!!!  Eventually I'll have it out with him.  He sulks and I don't have the energy right now to have a spat.  Anyway, he IS a really good husband.  He's a carpenter and has built us a 1400 square foot house with solid birch raised panel doors and solid cherry cabinets, so I can't complain!  I will threaten to re-arrange his shop one of these days though if he touches my sewing again....




          8. fabricholic | | #15

            Hi Jane,

            Solid cherry cabinets.  I love cherry wood.  Well, I guess they all gripe at times.  He does sound like a good husband.  My husband made me a curio cabinet, a bookcase with glass doors, and a magazine case for my Threads magazines.  He does very well with what little he has to work with.  We have to have our sewing space, also.


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