Help needed?

I’ve already exchanged emails with a couple of girlfriends about this, but want other input wherever I can get it.

I’m buying a sewing machine, a 2d-hand Janome that I’m picking up from a dealer in Cary this coming week, when I drive up for Chorale rehearsal. I’d never heard of this brand until it came recommended to me this past week – well-made, sturdy, long-lasting.

I have tried sewing before, and hated it for being fidgety nerve-wracking work. But in the past year and a half I’ve discovered pleasure in a number of activities that annoyed me, before, so I think it’s time to pick this up and try it again.  I’m going to start out by stitching up the fabric I have for my kitchen curtains, then I’m going to make a couple of half-slips and nightgowns for myself.

Do any of you have recommendations for sewing instruction books you’ve found useful and UNDERSTANDABLE over the years? Ideas for storing and organizing supplies? My sewing stuff will have to share space in a general-purpose workroom which is also my library, study, and craft-and-mend room.

I’m actually looking forward to this…

7 thoughts on “Help needed?

  1. Ha, and you thought you could get away with this, didn’t you? LOL

    To save money on expanding your library, check out or . Powell’s usually has free shipping if you spend over $50.00.

    Here are my recommendations:

    One or two of the following:

    *Vogue Sewing OR The Vogue Sewing Book (old title) – older ones

    *(Reader’s Digest) Complete Guide to Sewing

    *Coats & Clark’s Sewing Book – this is out of print, but maybe you can find a used one some place

    *Simplicity Sewing Book – older one (I don’t like the new one at all. Just my opinion.)

    Both of these:

    *Sewing for Plus Sizes by Barbara Deckert

    *Fitting Finesse (old title) OR Pattern Fitting with Confidence by Nance Zieman – this one shows an alternative way of alternating patterns. Ms. Zieman explains the method I learned in my college sewing class.

    Steer clear of the Ultimate Sewing Bible. It is too complicated (at least to me!) and is written for the European (specifically English) sewers.

    There may be others that are really good. I just happen to have these in my library and are the ones I use most.

  2. Personally, I think you should pour a glass of wine, put your feet up, and place a cool cloth on your forehead until this urge passes. But that’s just me…..

  3. Check out a quilting/sewing/craft supply store for a few basic classes. Even the techniques of making a pillowcase will help you learn to sew other things.

  4. I’m converting an old ‘tv armoire” into a sewing cabinet. It has storage for the sewing kit and a decent ‘stash’ of fabric. (Not too big, because fabric has a way of building up.)

    The reason I’m going thru the trouble of this is because right now I’ve stored all my sewing stuff in the storage area under our stairs. It’s a pain to retrieve so I’ve put off sewing anything for pleasure.

    Also, if you don’t have a ‘spare’ tv armoire, you might be able to pick one up cheap at the Salvation Army. Thems that have money are trashing those old tvs for hang on the wall types and I’m finding lots of Armoires at the Thrift stores lately.

    I’ve never sewed anything fabulous, just a couple of t-shirt dresses for my darlings. And placemats. And lots of mending…

    I hope you enjoy that sewing machine!

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