What you need to get started sewing - the Ultimate Supplies Guide

What you need to get started sewing - the Ultimate Supplies Guide

Entering the world of sewing and dressmaking is incredibly exciting, but somewhat daunting too. There is a whole new language to learn, and a fair amount of equipment that you need to get making. You can have a read of some ways to get into sewing on this blog and decide for yourself but one thing I have noticed, whether starting with a book or a course, is that there are always lists of what you need. Which is great, but... I never really knew if I was getting the right thing, and have spent money on equipment that isn't up to the job. So, here is my ultimate guide to what you need to start sewing. I am going to be really specific, based on what I have found works well. I am not being sponsored for anything here so if I mention a brand it's because it's all my own research and opinion.

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Learn to Sew Online with Tilly and The Buttons: Levels 1 & 2 Review

Learning how to sew; beginners guide. Tilly and the Buttons Online dressmaking course review

If you are considering learning to sew, and are looking into courses then you need to think about this. Tilly Walnes from Tilly and the Buttons has released two new online classes, specifically for people who want to learn to sew. The whole point of these classes is that you don't need to travel anywhere, and you will be guided through everything you need to know to get started as a dressmaker. Level 1 is titled 'Make Friends with a Sewing Machine' and costs £25. It covers the basics of setting up and operating a machine, as well as giving some troubleshooting tips and advice. Level 2 'Learn to Sew Skirts' costs £45 and includes a downloadable skirt pattern with step by step tutorials in constructing one of two possible garments. Both courses are based on those run in the London workshops, with the advantage of being able to be completed anywhere, at any time.

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Ultimate Beginners Day Sewing Package with The Thrifty Stitcher

Learning how to sew; beginners guide. dressmaking course review

Have you been inspired to start sewing but aren't sure where to start? I really wanted to take up dress making as a hobby for a long time but wasn't sure how to go about getting started. I didn't want to invest in a machine if I was awful at it... and wouldn't know want to do with it in any case. I wanted someone to show me how to use a machine and how to understand patterns so that I could make my own clothes. I did a lot of searching on the internet and finally found the classes that The Thrifty Stitcher runs in North London. I signed up for the Ultimate Beginners Day Sewing Package which combines two half day workshops into one day's learning (10.30am - 6pm) for £94.

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Bettine Dress from Tilly and the Buttons, with a boatneck alteration

The Bettine Dress is perfect for beginner sewists like me...it's easy enough to put together that you can produce a very wearable garment fairly quickly. The dress features a tulip skirt and options to add sleeve tabs or pockets. It doesn't have any fastenings like zips or darts to worry about either! I bought the pattern on sale ages ago (subscribing to the TATB newsletter) and have been waiting for some summer like weather to inspire me in what to make it with. I was actually set off by a sponsored ad on Facebook that popped up for an online store. I saw their dresses and realised that I could make something similar (or better even!) using the Bettine pattern...I did alter it a little to get there but it was worth it. This is definitely in the success story category!!
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The Seamstress Project Year 1

[taking a lead from Bridget Jones]
(classes attended 4,cushions made 8, projects started 20, projects completed 17, blog posts 13, patterns in stash 20, patterns used from stash 12, hours spent unpicking poor seams and mistakes 30 (feels like), metres of fabric purchased 1000 (looks like), hours looking at fabric online 100)

It is one year ago now that I began my adventures in sewing....and this is most of what I have made in that time! In my opinion not bad at all, and I have really enjoyed learning a new skill. I have attended four workshops over the year (one was online from the comfort of my home), bought three sewing books and acres of fabric. There have been times when I've been confused or frustrated but along with my unpicker I have found a brilliant community of crafty sewists who love to share advice and inspiration, helping to guide me along the way. Here's my year in review: what I've loved, loathed, learned, and would tell anyone starting out themselves...
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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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