Friday, 6 March 2015

Sewing Machine Basics

Last November I wrote a post, Learning To Sew, where I told you it was my intention to teach myself to sew. I still haven't embarked on this new hobby, but I've been enjoying watching The Sewing Bee and it's made me think again about getting Eleanor's sewing machine out and having a go.

I've treated myself to another book on the subject, Sewing Machine Basics by Jane Bolsover, which I think will help greatly.


It's split in to two sections, Section 1 is all about Getting Started. It has information on sewing machine know-how, tools & equipment, understanding fabrics and get set for cutting. It takes the beginner right the way through everything they need to know from choosing a new sewing machine right the way through to starting their first sewing project.


Section 2 is split up in to 11 different workshops. Each workshop builds up to a complete course for the beginner and each one covers a new technique with a project at the end of the workshop to put the skills you've just learned in to practice. The workshops cover simple seams & easy hems, simple stitches, bias binding & patch pockets, fastenings, zippers & decorative touches, advanced seams & hems, measuring & calculating for windows, understanding dress patterns, inside pockets & casings, darts & underlying fabrics and gathers, pleats & tucks.

There's some lovely projects at the end of each workshop ranging from an envelope pillow, a lined tote bag, an unlined Roman blind right the way through to a soft long-length blouse at the end of Workshop 11.


The book also comes with pull out pattern sheets.


I really like how the book is a complete course, building up your knowledge as you work your way through it. It assumes you're a complete beginner, which is great because I am, and goes through the very basics at the beginning, but has more advanced projects to make as you work your way through it, so it would be a good book for someone who knows a bit about machine sewing too.

I wonder how many people The Sewing Bee has inspired to have a go themselves. It's the final next week, I'll be sorry to see another series finish but perhaps by the time the next series starts I'll have completed a project or two myself.

40 comments:

  1. My sewing machine died recently, I'm debating if I really need another or not as it wasn't much used recently. I shall be interested to see how you get on. I know the basics but that book sounds useful

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    1. It's a shame about your sewing machine, perhaps you could get it repaired rather than buying a new one. It looks a good book so I'm hoping it can teach me a thing or two.

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  2. The rewards of making your own garment is immense, and then the joy of wearing it. Give it a go, like all new hobbies it all looks so hard, but when explained you will find it much simpler.

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    1. I'm definitely going to try it. I'm lucky that Eleanor's got a machine so I can give it a go for nothing, I may find I take on a new hobby.

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  3. I too feel inspired by the Bee (I love it), I remember your learning to sew post, and I was full of good intentions... That book looks really good xx

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    1. I love The Sewing Bee, I'm sure it must have inspired lots of people to get out their machines or to have a go for the first time. I like that the book has workshops so that you learn a bit at a time and work your way through at your own pace, I'm sure it will help me.

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    1. Thank you. I'm sure it will be fun once I get the hang of it.

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  5. A smart way to learn, it looks like a good book.

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    1. It does look like a good book. I like that it starts right from the beginning as I don't know the first thing about sewing so I need all the help I can get.

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  6. I can't believe we are already at the final of sewing bee. I really enjoy watching it and it's been so nice that there have been a number of male participants this year. I can't decide who I want to win they are so close.

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    1. This series does seem to have gone by really quickly and as you say, it's good to see so many men behind a sewing machine. I've got a favourite and there's one I really don't want to win but we'll have to wait until next week to find out who takes the trophy.

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  7. Haven't caught the programme, but it's great that it has inspired you even more, the book sounds just right. One little tip I might say is to change your needles regularly, it's so easy to forget, but it does make a difference. Good luck xcx

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    1. Thanks for the tip, I'll remember that. Do watch out for the programme, I really enjoy it.

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  8. looks like a good book........the Sewing Bee is very inspiring..........I feel like having a go myself!

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    1. I'm sure many people are having a go themselves after watching The Sewing Bee, it's a great programme.

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  9. It's so useful to be able to sew. Good on you for giving it a try. What are you going to make first?
    I agree with Chrissie above about the needle, my mum and grandma would always say to change your needle regularly. xx

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    1. I think I'll try something very easy for my first project, maybe something from the children's book I wrote about in my other post. I shall definitely remember to change the needle regularly now that you've brought it to my attention.

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  10. Just go for it! Is it the time or the inclination to get started that holds you back?(I'm guessing it's mostly the time....)

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    1. I intend to. It's just been a case of getting round to it, not only do I have to find the time when there's so many other things to be getting on with, it's finding a time when Eleanor's free so that she can help me. I haven't got a clue where to start with a sewing machine. If only there were more hours in a day.

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  11. As you know, I'm always sewing something so I'm always happy to read of others getting the bug too. I'm sure you'll manage very well, Jo. :o)

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    1. I hope it's going to be something I enjoy, I've always fancied having a go but never got round to it.

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  12. This sounds really great, I can use my machine to do straight lines, but that is pretty much all, so this sounds like just the sort of book that I could do with to get me moving on to other things! I hope that you have lots of fun sewing and trying new things! xx

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    1. It looks like the book could teach most people something. It's always fun to try something new so I'm looking forward to getting started.

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  13. Looks like a good book. I like sewing on the machine, but just lack space so it all has to be put away finished or not. Just jump in and do it!

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    1. That's the problem here too, nowhere to leave anything out. It must be much easier to have a dedicated space for these things.

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  14. I've been glued to the 'Sewing Bee'. I love the range of tasks they have to complete round the theme each week. In this series my favourite programme has probably been the 1950s one. Jx

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    1. It's such a good programme and the tasks they're set are so different each week, it's good to see how each of the contestants approach them. I'm looking forward to the final, it could be very close this time.

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  15. I'm not into sewing because I just can't do it. :P But this looks like a helpful book. :)

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    1. I don't know if I can do it yet either, but I'll give it a good go. I'm sure this book will be very helpful.

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  16. I'm looking forward to seeing your first creation. Go on have a go.
    xx

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    1. I'm looking forward to getting started, though I'm not sure my first creation will be up to sharing, we'll see.

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  17. That looks like a very helpful book. I'm glad you've found one that speaks to you and inspires your learning, it isn't always easy to do.

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    1. I like the way that this book is set out. Learning one thing at a time is always easier than trying to learn everything at once so I'm sure it will be a good book to follow.

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  18. I haven't seen the sewing bee, I don't think we have that here in Australia. My hubby bought me a sewing machine for my birthday last year. So far I have only sewed a patch on my son's school trousers but I am keen to do something a bit more exciting! :)

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    1. I used a sewing machine briefly when I was at school many years ago, but apart from that, I've never done any machine sewing. I hope it's something that I'm going to enjoy.

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  19. Looks like you've found a good book there to help guide you along the way. I shall miss the Sewing Bee.
    Lisa x

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    1. It does look like a good book, I just need time now to sit down and digest the first chapters to give me some pointers before I get the machine out. I will miss The Sewing Bee too, it's such a good programme.

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  20. I'm just catching up and I'd love to be able to help with your sewing. We've just finished the second series of The Sewing Bee, but I was sad on the 2nd last episode to see Linda go, as she was so much fun. I do believe you're onto series No. 3. Take care.

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    1. I really liked Lynda in series two, I think she was many people's favourite. There's a lot more men in series three, some very good sewers. I'm looking forward to the final now.

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