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noob sewing question
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George Summers
(jorgoz) - F

Locale: in the flat country of Belgium
noob sewing question on 03/15/2010 03:51:15 MDT Print View


Absolute newbie at sewing here and would like some advice.

If there would only be one book you could buy, which one would it be ?

Jeremy Greene
(tippymcstagger) - F

Locale: North Texas
Re: noob sewing question on 03/15/2010 09:31:55 MDT Print View

If you are starting from zero, you might purchase a lesson on basic use of your machine rather than a book. Perhaps try a stuff sack kit or vest kit from and spend some time on his forum and here.

If you are set on a book purchase, Ray Jardine has written a couple that may be worthy of your shelf space.

Edited by tippymcstagger on 04/11/2012 06:35:34 MDT.

James DeMonaco
(jdemonaco) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco
google on 03/15/2010 13:03:55 MDT Print View

there are so many videos on sewing it's crazy! Just google your question or "intro to sewing" or something like that. I used to sew a lot but recently got back into it since visiting this forum and I had forgotten a lot, so I googled my questions as they came up and usually I could get a great video with a beautiful girl teaching me in a soft voice. It's way nicer than when I learned in school! haha

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
sew your own on 03/17/2010 20:00:31 MDT Print View

Most books on sewing your own have patterns and ideas, but not much instruction on sewing. For most sewing projects, you just need to learn some types of seams that are needed. is a good source for sewing techniques.

Google "sew your own outdoor gear" for other titles and book reviews.

Edited by rambler on 03/17/2010 20:03:09 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
sewing for a noob on 03/18/2010 01:10:38 MDT Print View

I didn't have any sewing instructor, so I purchased a new (cheap) sewing machine. I read the user manual on it from cover to cover. Then I purchased the book, Sewing For Dummies and read it cover to cover. Then I picked through the resources of and similar sites.

For the first project that you sew, assume that you will screw it up, so make something out of cheap fabric, and just attempt to learn from your mistakes. Then after a few stuff sacks and easy items, you might be able to do a simple project OK.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: noob sewing question on 03/18/2010 03:24:24 MDT Print View

The best book for sewing outdoor gear that I used when I started out was Sew & Repair Your Outdoor Gear by Louise Lindgren Summer. Not the greatest-looking or best-working stuff in the world, but functional in a basic way. A good place to start and learn the ropes.

George Summers
(jorgoz) - F

Locale: in the flat country of Belgium
Thanks for the suggestions on 03/18/2010 03:46:15 MDT Print View

Thx guys for the input.

I got myself a 1971 husqvarna zigzag 1030 yesterday. Very basic, but sturdy and in good nick.

Problem with the Louise Lindgren Summer book is that the cheapest i can get it over here in Europe is 65 dollars + shipping, so that's out of the question.

I really don't like that Jardine fella. I asked him a question a couple of years ago and he right out insulted me. He might have inspired the lightweight backpacking movement and invented a climbing aid, but that's no reason to act all arrogant.

I checked out some youtube vids and that's a good way to go, and as pointed out, you got some nice girl explaining to ya. And the thru-hiker forum is very good too. And of course this place...

Now for a first project, i'd like to make a beanie out of an old icebreaker top, which is a throwaway.