Tomorrow I will do my first project out of my alteration/sewing basket pictured in my last entry. Like I said, I will try to show you how to do these alterations and mending tasks, as well. If you have any special requests, let me know...I have a garment needing fixing for just about any project you could think of!
But, before I embark on more sewing and clothing adventures, I wanted to chat briefly about SEWING MACHINES! How many of you have a sewing machine? Although I know this is particularly egregious...I do not plan on making all my how-to's adaptable for hand sewers. I know, this is awful of me. But, I haven't hand sewn anything since gradeschool, I'm not particularly adept at it, and I think it would be downright negligent to act like I know what I'm doing in that regard! Well, maybe negligent is a strong word...
HOWEVER! I will tell you where some good sewing machine deals are if you are so inclined. My pretty little guy, pictured in the last post, is a refurbished machine from Overstock.com. I purchased it when I was doing professional alterations at a dry cleaning place and was having to lug my machine back and forth from home. I had a Viking, which weighed about 1 million pounds (I'm not even exaggerating! 1 MILLION POUNDS!!!). I still have my lovely Viking, I just use this little guy more because the computerization makes it super easy. The Viking can handle more though, so it is good for sewing jeans and stuff. So here are some sewing machine shopping tips:
1) Overstock.com has great machines, and great prices. Stock moves quickly on their machines though, so if you see something that will be perfect, get it soon! Mostly newer and lower end machines, but good especially for the beginner. I just looked it up and you can get a refurbished Brother (the refurbished ones are fine!) for under $60. Pretty sweet!
2) For older, tank-like machines, check out www.eBay.com. I know, I know, you know eBay exists, and that they sell everything under the sun. But, it there are usually great deals on older machines. Shipping will be a TON, but the machines can be had for such a relatively low price that it makes shipping ok. I purchased my Viking off of eBay, and those old machines are really versatile and will last through anything. I just looked, and you can get an old Viking for $30-$50, plus $20-$30 in shipping. That's a good price for such a well-made machine! Bernina's are the gold standard, but they will run you more. I think Vikings are really good machines, and a little less money.
3) Good brands to look for (feel free to chime in with suggestions!)...:Higher end: Bernina, Viking, Elna. Lower End: Brother is the only one I like. I've never used a Singer machine that I liked, and the mini-sewing machines you can get are pretty worthless too. If you're gonna get one, get a real one!
4) If you have any sewing machine shopping questions, let me know! I'm happy to help out and answer any questions.
Aside from the sewing machine, the initial expense of sewing is not that much. You need scissors, thread, thread-scissors, a seam ripper, pins, and hopefully a fabric pen to do markings with. All of the supplies will pay for itself in money saved on clothes, alterations, and in how much better you'll be able to make your clothes work for you. Because after all, that is what your clothes should do!