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Resurrected sewing machine!

I found my Bernette for Bernina 6800 which has been in storage of some kind since I last used it, over a decade ago. I would love to get it running again and get a lot of use out of it--what should be my next steps? [more inside]
posted by chaiminda on Jun 22, 2014 - 7 answers

Machine sewing with only bottom thread - is this possible?

What is this machine sewing technique called? I read a sewing encyclopedia a while ago that had a section on an unusual method of loading the machine that involved pulling the bobbin thread from the bottom part of the machine through the needle... [more inside]
posted by ostranenie on Jun 13, 2014 - 3 answers

What are these metal thingies?

My daughter bought a second-hand sewing machine, a Singer Tradition, which is apparently only a couple of years old. Included in the accessories was a small ziplock bag which held six metal thingies, three of one sort and three of the other. We are baffled as to what they are. [more inside]
posted by malibustacey9999 on Jun 7, 2014 - 6 answers

Please help my mother find this fabric

My mother is hoping to find this fabric (another view) for sale, but not having any luck. (Except all this scouring of fabric sites is turning up many other prints she absolutely has to have...)
posted by Soliloquy on May 13, 2014 - 5 answers

Swimsuit saga, part 1

Where can I find cute, affordable (~$11 a yard) swimsuit fabric online? Preferably from an inde/brick-and-mortar place with an online presence. [more inside]
posted by FirstMateKate on Apr 11, 2014 - 9 answers

Can I sew a dress by hand & sew it well? Will it take (me) forever?

I'm totally into the idea of slow fashion. I'd like to take up sewing again and sew some simple but stylish items using Very Easy Vogue patterns or similarly easy patterns. The difficulty is that I'd like to do it by hand and want to know if this is practical. If not I may buy a basic sewing machine, but I'd love to try sewing and finishing by hand. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy on Apr 3, 2014 - 19 answers

She's Sewwwww Cute!

My five-year-old has expressed interest in a kids' sewing machine to make doll clothes like her great-aunt does. She has a birthday in a few weeks. I prefer to buy something online, but the reviews of the "kids" sewing machines on Amazon are abysmal. Should I just get a small-sized "adult" machine? I don't have much sewing experience, so I need something that's super-easy to use and maintain. Experiences with little crafty kids using sewing machines, and specific product recommendations, would be very welcome.
posted by nkknkk on Mar 22, 2014 - 28 answers

Why is my sewing machine pulling loops underneath the fabric?

I've read up on how the top and bottom tensioning is supposed to work, but it hasn't helped. I've got the bobbin adjusted so it lets out about an inch when I bounce it by the thread. Adjusting the top tension from there doesn't seem to make much difference. I always get the loops. The weird thing is that the top thread seems really hard to pull out when I do it by hand. It's so hard that's it sometimes breaks. Why should tension that seems stiff to the hand pull through when the machine sews? [more inside]
posted by SirNovember on Mar 16, 2014 - 15 answers

The best sewing patterns.

I'm looking for simple clothing patterns that don't scream 'homemade,' and are easily alterable. [more inside]
posted by furnace.heart on Mar 12, 2014 - 11 answers

Scrap happy

What can I do with a ton of dressmaking scraps? [more inside]
posted by lollymccatburglar on Mar 3, 2014 - 10 answers

Big but simple beginner sewing machine projects?

I just got my sewing machine. Yay! Help me figure out what to make with her. [more inside]
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl on Feb 4, 2014 - 26 answers

Custom men's shirt/vest pattern?

I'd like someone to draft a custom men's shirt pattern for me, so that I can make dress shirts from it for Mr. Needlegrrl. I am quite proficient with sewing, but not with men's patterning, and collars? ugh. Would a tailor do this? other suggestions? [more inside]
posted by needlegrrl on Feb 4, 2014 - 11 answers

Can you help me track down this Italian cotton shirting fabric?

Bought a remnant of this fabric at Nancy's Sewing Basket in Seattle, and was told there was no chance of getting more or finding out any information about it (the bolt with the item and vendor numbers had been discarded.) I need more, and AskMefi has found stranger things. Pictures within. [more inside]
posted by doift on Jan 31, 2014 - 1 answer

Modifying a hoodie - help?

I own a Leipzig hoodie in navy from Modcloth (image here), and I'm interested in modifying it so it looks more like the navy-and-red version (image here), but with mustard accents instead of red. How do I do this? More details inside. [more inside]
posted by 35minutes on Jan 30, 2014 - 4 answers

Help me reupholster leather desk chair

I have a leather computer desk chair that I got 2 years ago that I really like and they don't sell it anymore, it is very ergonomic. I have tried out other chairs and not found one as good. The leather has torn in several places and I need to reupholster it. I don't want to take it somewhere to be reupholstered becasue a) I don't have the money and B) I would have nothing to sit on while it is in the shop. The thing is I don't know anything about reupholstering , let alone what looks somewhat complicated due to all the panels, in it. I have made a video showing in detail the chair, and the problems with it. I will be very grateful to anyone who can help with with this. This is the video.
posted by john123357 on Jan 27, 2014 - 9 answers

Extra buttonholes in each side of shirt

I recently bought a women's silk button-down blouse from Uniqlo. I was looking at it closely today, and noticed that this blouse has two extra buttonholes on each side, near the hem of the shirt. What are they for? [more inside]
posted by tinymegalo on Jan 19, 2014 - 3 answers

How do I learn to sew clothing without ready-made patterns?

I'm just beginning to learn to sew, but I'd like to start by drafting from basic instructions, understanding how a 2 dimensional piece of fabric becomes a garment to fit a three dimensional body, being a little bit creative from the very beginning. One reason I don't want to use patterns is because the cost of buying them is prohibitive. But I also just don't feel inspired to go that way. What do you think? Ideas, resources, books? Anything to lead me step by step into the process of drafting and sewing clothing? [more inside]
posted by miaow on Dec 7, 2013 - 18 answers

Where to donate / sell specific items in Atlanta?

I have inherited multiple generations of household items that I would like to donate to the best possible recipients in Atlanta or sell if there is a market for these items. [more inside]
posted by Frank Grimes on Nov 17, 2013 - 8 answers

How to support 90" countertop in sewing room?

How can/should I best support a 90" span of countertop, in a room where we want to do sewing, crafts, and schoolwork? [more inside]
posted by wenestvedt on Nov 10, 2013 - 12 answers

Lady sewers! Wife wants a desk sewing lamp. Recommendations please

My babe of a wife is hoping Santa brings her a desk sewing lamp with "natural light" or full spectrum lighting. Not a floor lamp and not something that clamps onto the table--but a lamp that sits on a table. Maybe something with a gooseneck or at least adjustable. She does a lot of machine sewing (especially on quilts). She has nothing in mind and asked me to do the research and find something. Santa is willing to spend maybe $50- $60 tops. Less expensive is good too. Any recommendations would be appreciated. (P.S. I bet you read the title as "Lady sewers" as in toilets. Sorry. English is a weird language)
posted by luvmywife on Nov 9, 2013 - 12 answers

Fashion Corset Sewing for the Novice

So, I was gifted some fabulous fabric, enough for a fabulous fashion corset. Never made one, thus I am looking for suggestions for good patterns, excellent kits, books and other resources. I am a reasonably skilled intermediate sewist, with a good machine, near some excellent local shops. I fully intend to practice on less-loved fabric first. I'm not looking for period accuracy or significant waist reduction, but I am looking to make something more corsetlike than a lightly-boned princess bodice. More steampunk outerwear than Victoria Secret underwear. Most likely I'll pick an underbust as it's intended as an over-my-clothes fashion thing. [more inside]
posted by crush-onastick on Nov 3, 2013 - 7 answers

Can these jeans be re-altered and still look normal?

A friend of mine gave me a couple of pairs of new "Gap 1969 Long & Lean" boot-cut jeans that she got altered before she decided they didn't really fit. She's an inch or two or more than two shorter than I am. I'm wondering if I could get them re-altered into a straight-leg (or maybe slightly tapered?) cut that I can roll up a little, but I don't know anything about sewing. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Oct 22, 2013 - 14 answers

How do I make my own cross-stitch pattern?

There is a quote I'd like to cross-stitch for my aunt for Christmas. I have lots of experience with doing cross-stitch from patterns, but zero artistic ability when it comes to creating something from scratch that looks the way I want it to. Is there an easy way for me to generate a pattern? Like, something where I can choose a font and maybe some little accent details and put it together and it gives me a pattern? Mine is a Linux/Android household, but I could probably borrow something from a friend if there's a great Windows/Mac/iOS application. [more inside]
posted by rhiannonstone on Oct 22, 2013 - 8 answers

sew lost

Best beginner-level small or handheld sewing machines under $75? [more inside]
posted by troika on Sep 25, 2013 - 16 answers

Help Make this Space happen: Suggest your favorite tools and resources

I am tasked with stocking up a Maker Space gallery that will be part of a museum. I'm very much a crafter and maker myself, but am looking for the Makers of MetaFilter to tell me your favorite tools, especially ones for small hands (we will be catering to kids and families, as young as 3 years old). We will be doing simple woodworking projects (already looking at Japanese Pull Saws), sewing, circuitry, paper art, lots of tinkering (including activities with recycled materials and new materials). We are focusing on "real" tools (no plastic Fisher Price kids stuff, please), and I expect to buy a couple different versions of some items (hammers for smaller people, hammers for bigger jobs). The tools will get lots of use, so I'm happy to spend a bit more if it means I don't have to constantly replace broken items. I am especially looking for specific recommendations for specific tools, reviews, or resources ("these sewing scissors are amazing for the price" or "don't buy this brand of clamp" or "this site sells very good quality paper punches"). Thanks in advance!
posted by leastlikelycowgirl on Sep 19, 2013 - 12 answers

[Book Recommendation Filter] A comprehensive history of Savile Row

I'm looking for book recommendations for thorough, engaging, and rigorous histories of Savile Row tailoring and/or books that talk about the history and philosophy of fine men's tailoring and dress. I'm not averse to books with technical information, as well as historical and cultural information. Thank you!
posted by moxie_milquetoast on Sep 15, 2013 - 4 answers

Advice for a homemade zombie animal Halloween costume?

My kid wants to be a zombie weasel for Halloween. Help me make it awesome! [more inside]
posted by kostia on Sep 13, 2013 - 6 answers

Sources for modern clothing patterns/fabrics?

For anyone with sewing experience, can you recommend sources for modern clothing patterns and fabrics? For style, think Anthropologie, but the less frippy pieces - simple, easy, drapey. For fabric, I'd like soft, high-quality cottons in a good range of colors. (I never see that kind of thing at fabric stores, so I'm guessing I'll have to order online.) [more inside]
posted by ella wren on Sep 6, 2013 - 12 answers

Suggestions for a mechanical sewing machine in UK/EU?

I'd like to buy a used (or possibly new) reliable, easy to use mechanical (versus computerized) sewing machine available in Britain or the EU for very basic uses, mostly hemming, repairs, and making simple things like pillow covers, curtains, table clothes, etc., and I'd love some recommendations. I'll probably be looking mostly on eBay UK and Amazon UK. [more inside]
posted by taz on Sep 5, 2013 - 5 answers

Pocket clip for DIY knife sheath

I am making a small felt sleeve for an antique pocket knife, to protect it from car-keys and loose change. Easy enough. I'd like to add a clip to it so it can discretely ride at the top of my front pants pocket or shirt pocket for quick access, like some eyeglasses cases have. Insanely difficult. Are such clips sold anywhere for crafters, or am I stuck cutting, bending and polishing my own from sheet metal? How do I even go about attaching such a thing to a felt sheath?
posted by Slap*Happy on Aug 17, 2013 - 8 answers

Sew in need of garment construction lessons

I'm new at sewing. As in, "I took classes and learned how to make a tote bag and a zipper box bag" new to sewing. I looked through the "learn to sew!" books at the bookstore, but the projects were all for things like coasters and baby clothes, which I'm not interested in. I want to make dresses, eventually. Can I make tiny clothing in order to practice making clothing in less time, and with less fabric? Is that a thing? [more inside]
posted by topoisomerase on Jul 24, 2013 - 18 answers

Durable fabric for crafting baby items

I'm a novice to sewing and I'm also a novice to being an aunt. Suggestions for online fabric stores with durable/washable/adorable fabric? [more inside]
posted by lydhre on Jul 24, 2013 - 8 answers

Sewing pattern?

Please recommend a pattern for a simple shift dress. [more inside]
posted by buzzieandzaza on Jul 22, 2013 - 7 answers

Can I get this caftan cheaper?

I Want It Now Filter - footstamp mix: I want to get this caftan and swan around in it all summer, I do not want to pay AUS 500 for it. Does anybody know where I can get a dupe for it, or some similar fabric?
posted by tel3path on Jun 29, 2013 - 5 answers

How to make my own clothes: Advanced Beginner Edition?

Spurred by the events in Bangladesh, a growing dissatisfaction with clothing quality, as well as an oddly shaped body that doesn't conform well to rack sizing, I've decided to commit to making more of my own clothing. I know how to operate my sewing machine. I know how to read a pattern. I frankenstein and repurpose clothes on the regular. I need some advanced basics to take it to the next level. [more inside]
posted by lilnublet on May 23, 2013 - 17 answers

Vintage wedding dress back alteration

Sewists/sewers/seamstresses of askme, I need your help. I bought a beautiful 1930s lace wedding dress yesterday, but need to have the back altered because though the dress fits at the waist, the zipper won't close in the bust. Other non-sewer advice welcome in the style department. [more inside]
posted by dysh on May 2, 2013 - 17 answers

How do I start searching for a sewing machine?

I am looking to upgrade from my very basic, ten-year-old Elna 2110 sewing machine to something that I'll still be enjoying twenty or more years from now. I know what basic features I want, but I don't know how to translate that into a sewing machine search. There are just SO MANY sewing machines available that I'm unsure how to narrow it down. How do I articulate what I'm looking for in sewing machine-buying terms? [more inside]
posted by linettasky on Apr 9, 2013 - 8 answers

I sew and I translate. What do I call my business(es)?

So I finally want to get a name / logo / site for my little side business(es). I do (German-English) translation, localisation and copywriting on the one hand, and I sew colourful accessories on the other. Unfortunately I can't even get past the "what do I call this thing?" hurdle. Can I even have just one name? [more inside]
posted by ClarissaWAM on Apr 2, 2013 - 13 answers

Adjusting for my elongated torso...

Tell me everything you know about sewing patterning software, especially the kind for dummies... [more inside]
posted by Melismata on Mar 27, 2013 - 14 answers

Sewists of MetaFilter: can I recreate this dress on my own?

I saw this dress on Pinterest and fell in love. I don't want to buy it--I'm trying to get away from buying new clothes entirely. I have extremely basic sewing skills (curtains, sunglasses cases, skirts) and I'm tempted to try to make this dress on my own. [more inside]
posted by chaiminda on Mar 14, 2013 - 7 answers

Ideas for a sewing party?

My friends were interested in my recently acquired sewing machine and brought up the idea of a craft/sewing party. I have no idea how that would work. Help? [more inside]
posted by Durin's Bane on Feb 12, 2013 - 13 answers

Best semi-pro sewing machine for heavy fabrics?

What pro or semi-pro sewing machine would be best for a home sewer opening an Etsy store that sells denim, canvas, and Cordura (1000 denier) luggage and other bags? Ability to sew lighter fabrics as well would be a plus, as would overlock capability (a separate overlock machine would also work). This is for a class project and hypothetical, so price is no object.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome on Feb 11, 2013 - 5 answers

Can I fix my Elna?

I have an Elna Supermatic (Beige, Type 722010) that worked great last time I used it (two years ago...) and now runs incredibly sluggishly. Or doesn't run. I tried oiling it with 3 in 1 and waiting, but that didn't help. I'm not entirely sure it is worth fixing, though this is an early, all steel-parts, Swiss-made machine so it is theoretically a keeper. [more inside]
posted by amandabee on Feb 2, 2013 - 5 answers

About to throw in the throw

During the Missoni for Target craze a few years ago, I managed to score the most coveted item--a quilted fleece throw. I only got one. There are three inhabitants of our house fighting over it, including the cat, who is usually the one who gets to use it. Help me find or make something similar. [more inside]
posted by payoto on Feb 2, 2013 - 7 answers

Sewing, fabrics and craft stores in Berlin?

I'm looking for fabrics and sewing notions in Berlin. Large selection of fabrics, especially home decor would be great. Google is not helping me.
posted by buck:fuller on Jan 26, 2013 - 5 answers

Seeking movies to help me think about clothes.

I want to learn about the cultural significance of clothing, as well as how clothes are made, but I want my process to be fun. What do you think are the best popular Hollywood-style movies, in which the characters discuss what clothes mean to them? What about movies in which the characters are involved with the sewing or designing of clothing? Do garments play a major part in the plot of any movies? Any suggestions for movies that have helped you to think about clothes would be most appreciated.
posted by mortaddams on Jan 12, 2013 - 42 answers

Help me get started with costuming!

I know nothing about costuming or sewing, and I don't have a lot of space to do it. Help me get set up and learning how to put together basic clothing/costumes in my apartment! [more inside]
posted by gchucky on Dec 28, 2012 - 17 answers

Can I change my Janome to sew super thick fabrics?

New Sewing Machine Question! I got a new sewing machine for Christmas, a Janome Magnolia 7318, and I love it. My only snag so far is how to sew thick fabrics. I want to sew thick fleeces for stuff for my dogs and the layers are too thick to fit under the stock foot. Is there a different shank I can buy (not sure if that is the right word) that is higher? I tried to google it but no luck.
posted by dottiechang on Dec 26, 2012 - 5 answers

What's a good second sewing project?

So I finished the apron! What should I sew next to really improve my fledgling skills? [more inside]
posted by mireille on Dec 7, 2012 - 21 answers

How do I go about finding a seamstress to re-cover cushions?

How can I find a seamstress to do some moderately difficult work, specifically re-covering foam cushions with provided fabric, and is this the best way to go about doing the job? [more inside]
posted by maxreax on Nov 30, 2012 - 9 answers

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