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I want to learn to sew: suggestions?

Lord_Maul | Posted in The Archives on

I’m a 23 year old guy from Chicago, and I would
like to learn to sew to make my own costumes
from a live action roleplaying game that I
participate in.

Any suggestions as to where I can go to learn
would be highly appreciatedly. Also, please
note that my interest is in costume design.




  1. Susan_Whelan | | #1

    Brian - Congratulations on your decision to learn to sew. It's a rewarding and fun activity that will engage your creative spirit.

    Now, to start, decide whether you learn better by seeing (video)or by reading (books) or by doing (classes). Basic contruction classes are usually available through community colleges, high schools and fabric stores. If you are impatient, and want to get started right away, you have the choice of scoping out the libarary for videos or books on sewing. I would also suggest that you look into Nancy's Notions (www.nancysnotions.com) video club. They rent videos on all types of sewing for a reasonable fee. There are two main areas of sewing: fitting and construction. For fitting, I don't know of any books specifically aimed at fitting men, although I'm sure they exist. Sew Fit publishes the "Sew Fit Manual", on the pivot and slide method, which would be a starting point. For constructing pants, David Page Coffin of "Threads" magazine teaches a class on pants fitting and you could contact him here through Taunton Press. Simplicity and McCall's both carry patterns for costumes, so you might start your sewing experiments with one of their patterns. Read all the directions carefully, and if you have any questions, go to http://www.sewingworld.com and ASK! There are may folders there, just jump in. Simplicity also publishes a "how to sew" book that is excellent. Another good reference book is "Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing". Hamilton Books is usually the cheapest (www.hamiltonbooks.com). You need a basic sewing machine that does a good quality straight and zig-zag stitch. Read the manual. Take care of it and it should last a long time.

    For videos, any of Margaret Islander's are the best. Her construction techniques are industry related, fast and turn out a quality product. And you can always email me privately if you have a question. Good luck, Sue W.

    1. Joyce_ | | #2

      *Check the bulletin board (or call & ask) at fabric stores for anyone that teaches sewing. Also, a lot of people who sew will also teach one on one and charge by the hr. I learned by reading, watching videos and 'trial & error'. I would have loved to have someone to show me and let me ask questions.

      1. Jen_Donnelly | | #3

        *Lord Maul- I live in the Chicago area also. Many of our local fabric stores offer sewing classes. Specifically, you can try Vogue fabrics. (NAYY) They have locations in Evanston, Water Tower, just southwest of the Loop, and in Lansing, which is down near I-80 and 294 in the far south suburbs. I get a newsletter from them periodically, and they do offer classes at the Evanston and Lansing locations. You will also find them to be a fantastic source for all types of fabric at great prices. We're very lucky to have the resource!

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