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Is learning to sew difficult? ... I'm a guy, but the reason I ask is...

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battleknight24 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-06-06 11:58 PM
Original message
Is learning to sew difficult? ... I'm a guy, but the reason I ask is...
... because I am going to start teaching this coming school year, and I am also going to be the co-director of the school's competitive One-Act Play club/team. The school where I am going to be teaching is small, rural, and definitely does NOT have a large budget for drama. I am somewhat interested in learning to sew so I can make my own costumes.

Be honest... is it really hard?


Peace,


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everythingsxen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. From all I have heard... no
that being said, I have never had much success or interest.
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u4ic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 12:04 AM
Response to Original message
2. Can't help you there
Sewing machines and I don't get along very well... :-(

I can sew on a button...but not without the prerequisite drawing of blood....forget thimbles, I need a friggin suit of armour! x(
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 12:15 AM
Response to Original message
3. If you have ANY sorts of "arts & crafts" skills, then NO.
With a decent machine and a storebought pattern,
all you need is a few hours of practice and some
VERY CAREFUL attention to the instructions.

And COSTUMES are alot more forgiving in the SKILL department:
Costumes have a much LOWER quality standard than real clothing,
as they only have to look OK from a distance.

Back when I was the manager at the Tuxedo warehouse,
the stuff that was too worn-out to RENT got sold
to musicians and other performers to wear on-stage.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 12:21 AM
Response to Original message
4. From my limited quilting experience
There is a steep learning curve but after you get the hang of it (after about 10 or so hours) it's pretty straightforward.

Look for a cheap used sewing machine, then go to Joann or a similar discount fabric store and get a simple pattern and a few yards of cheap fabric and try it out. :D
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reyd reid reed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 12:24 AM
Response to Original message
5. Nah...it's not difficult.
Just get a decent machine, you don't need all the bells and whistles, that would probably just be confusing. And start small. Make sure you take it slowly and read the patterns thoroughly before you start ANYTHING and make sure you understand what they're saying.

And, if you're not sure...ask. People are usually more than willing to help.

You can do it.

:hi:
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MissB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 12:25 AM
Response to Original message
6. I don't think it'd be too hard.
I've made costumes before for our school (I'm a parent volunteer). I do sew, so I have no problems with doing a wide variety of costumes.

My suggestion would be to not dive into complex patterns right away. For instance, don't try replicating the most complicated gown on earth. Focus on the accessories for the costumes. I've made a whole bunch of soldier costumes using just hats, cuffs and those pieces that cross the chest. With matching t-shirts, the effect is easily obtained without a lot of time-consuming effort.

If you aren't planning on reusing the costumes time and again, consider hunting your local Goodwill for fabric. It's far cheaper to reuse fabric than to buy it new. Felt works really well for one-time use costume pieces.

With any luck, you'll find some parents who know how to sew that will be willing to help you out. If not, grab a relatively easy pattern and follow the instructions. A sewing machine doesn't have to be expensive. I shy away from the computerized stuff.
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 07:47 AM
Response to Reply #6
20. great advice regarding Goodwill!
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Robeson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
7. I'll PM you with some info I think will help...
... :thumbsup:
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 12:34 AM
Response to Original message
8. It's really not hard.
You're definitely better off with a basic but quality used sewing machine than with a low end-new one. Don't get a Singer or other American brand that's less than 20 years old, the quality really went to shit. Also make sure to go to a real sewing machine store (not a chain) for your machine, as many offer classes for free with your purchase and they'll have much better advice on what you'll need.

Once you get good with a basic machine consider getting a serger, they're much faster and will take a lot of time off of your projects.
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Whoa_Nelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 12:39 AM
Response to Original message
9. Take the Home Ec. class
Or get the Home Ec. teacher, (and the class) to participate....and ask parents to contribute sewing time :D

(do schools still have Home Ec. classes???)
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 12:45 AM
Response to Original message
10. I know not seams
:patriot:
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alittlelark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 12:58 AM
Response to Original message
11. At a small rural school you are likely to have many parents
who can take on that task. The real cost is in the fabrics/notions.

It is not hard to learn to sew... however it is difficult to become good at it - lots of practice.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 01:06 AM
Response to Original message
12. you might find someone....
...with a lot of vintage clothes in a small town. Someone's great aunt, perhaps. And you probably could find some older women who would be thrilled to be useful in helping you with costumes. Some churches used to have sewing circles; perhaps they still do and you could find a volunteer there.
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Digit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 02:39 AM
Response to Original message
13. To make one costume may not be difficult
To make "many" costumes would be my concern.

Go to the library and get a beginners book on sewing or search the internet to get an idea of what is involved. I won't go into it here.

In the end, I feel that if you get the children and parents involved, it would make your life much easier. You may still need to make a few costumes, but maybe it will not be so overwhelming.

Best of luck!
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ashling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 03:09 AM
Response to Original message
14. EXCUSE ME ? ? ! "But the reason I ask"??
I'm sorry, but the way your post is worded seems a little, well, sexist. You imply that you have to have an excuse to learn to sew because you are "a guy". I'm "a guy," too, and frankly I am a little offended

Brings to mind a quote from Craig Ferguson:
"Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus . . . Self help books are from Uranus!"




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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 03:38 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. I caught that as well, but...
Since his reeking sexism seemed more INTERNALIZED than PROJECTED,
I thought it was better to encourage him to break the mental
bonds of Victorian gender-roles, for now.

Once he's enjoying his new hobby too much to ever turn back,
THEN we can safely rub his nose in how silly his fears and prejudices were.

He has to learn to WALK before there's any point to kicking him in the knee, y'know?


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lukasahero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #15
21. Kind of fun having
you two guys fight the "sexism" battle. Bet it works better that way, too. :)

Oh, and just to add some perspective, as a woman, I wouldn't have the foggiest idea how to answer this guy's post. Isn't it wonerful when we smash those "Victorian gender" stereotypes?

Seriously, love you both. :grouphug:
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Cobalt Violet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 06:39 AM
Response to Original message
16. If you read and follow instructions, no.
Edited on Fri Jul-07-06 06:39 AM by Cobalt Violet
But start with some easy things to get the hang of it. Most pattern companies have patterns marked as easy. There can be some tricky things but If you follow the instructions you'll get it.
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 07:38 AM
Response to Original message
17. sewing is not easy...it isn't something you will master in a weekend
I know that runs contrary to what other people are saying, however sewing is not something you can do well and succeed at if you have never done it before without having someone assist you or having some sort of instructions (good books).

Most patterns come with instructions, but if you unfamiliar with sewing terms it can be a nightmare.

I sewed a great deal when I was younger and recently got back into it. I made a medieval costume out of velvet for my daughter for halloween...it took me approximately 6-7 hours to complete that project with an additional 2 hours time spent coming up with a headdress and completing that and I have to say having not done it in a while ...it was very slow to start and it was frustrating...

I would recommend starting with small projects and working your way up. For example, start by sewing a set of easy curtains or some pillows to get the hang of it...I would not recommend starting off by trying to make a pair of pants...if you can find someone to help you out...that would be better. Somehow sewing, knitting..etc are the kind of tasks that I have found are easier to learn when you have someone to assist you.

I have been trying to learn more about knitting...I bought a book...but yet I found it was much easier to watch someone else than to replicate a stitch in a book.
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. I also want to add...you will need the following items
a good machine...doesn't have to be uber expensive but look around and ask the folk here on DU for advice in the craft/sewing group.

an iron ..ironing pleats and hems helps you sew stuff that looks a lot more professional.

tape measure

good scissors are essential...and you must make these your fabric scissors...


other folks can add more stuff...
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LaurenG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 07:42 AM
Response to Original message
18. It depends on what you're sewing
If it's a complicated costume it can be challenging at first. You know pleats and ruffles and zippers and armholes but once you do it it gets easier. Cool :bounce:
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