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New to sewing machines - what would I need?

WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
edited December 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
So my wife has expressed a interest in learning to sew. Not once... but multiple times over the 5 years weve been together.

I was thinking about this machine:

But what else would I need? Should I get a pack of thread? Are there specific spools (is this the right word) that fit on that machine? Does it come with the needles? Is there a sewing bible?

Wassermelone on


  • LewieP's MummyLewieP's Mummy Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I make bridal ware and prom dresses occasionally for friend's children, not for money, but for the enjoyment of it.
    I have a fairly simple machine (a Janome) - all you need is a machine that goes forwards and backwards in straight stitch and zig-zag really, with adjustable stitch length and speed. Most fancy stitches are a waste of time, unless you want to do machine embroidery.
    What you do need are bobbins/spools, a range of machine needles in different weights for different weight fabrics, and at least 2 presser feet - the machine normally comes with a straight foot and a zig-zag foot, but a zip foot is useful, too.
    You will also need some decent dressmaking shears, that you use for NOTHING ELSE but cutting fabric, some other large scissors for cutting out paper patterns, some pins (I prefer this type) and a pincushion, and threads. The threads you buy depend on what you're sewing. Pinking shears are useful for trimming seams - they stop the fabric from fraying, but they're not essential.
    if you want any more info, just ask!

    LewieP's Mummy on
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  • DietCokeTinDietCokeTin Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I'll piggy-back my question off of this thread (oo, a pun). I'm looking to have a lot of my dress shirts fitted, but it costs a bunch to have my current collection fitted professionally. I was looking to see if anyone had any experience doing such alterations themselves, how hard they would be for a novice like myself, and how basic a machine I would need to do a decent job.

    DietCokeTin on
  • Aurora BorealisAurora Borealis runs and runs and runs away BrooklynRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I myself hate drop-in bobbin machines because they break and cause tension woes more easily. They are however a wee bit simpler to learn, so if you have to teach yourself how to sew the drop-in may be what you want. It's a little like the difference between learning to drive a stick vs an automatic.

    Make sure you have the right kind of bobbins.
    The thread that comes in the big spools is cheaper by volume, but it is serger thread and will not work well on a domestic machine unless you get a special stand for it. In general, if the thread is wound on the spool in a zig-zag pattern, it is meant to be pulled off the spool from above. If it is wound straight on, you can pull it off from the side. I would invest in the stand, it is nice to be unlimited in what kind of thread spools you can buy.

    as to the person who wants to alter dress shirts, it depends on what kinds of alterations you need. If you are simply taking in a side seam, that's usually not too hard. But if you need to take anything away near the collar, or anywhere near where the sleeve is set in, that's when it starts to get complicated right quick.
    Any basic machine could probably do it fine, but it's not a job for unskilled hands.

    Aurora Borealis on
  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Thats odd. I could have sworn I posted again in here. I'll repeat what I tried to post earlier :P

    Thanks LewieP's Mum! That was exactly the sort of information I needed.

    Wassermelone on
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