Can someone PLEASE teach me to sew?!

Seriously. I know people do this activity, and I only trust hive community for lessons as my goals / ideas are somewhat subversive.


If you don’t already have one go find a rotary bobbin sewing machine. It should have knobs for stitch length, patterns and button holes.
Check out YouTube instructions on sewing.

I can fix garments and make a machine work. Anyone who can work a machine tool should be able to run a sewing machine. (True confession; I was offered and decided against going into garment production in 1975 just out of college. I had insight into a picture of sweatshops and outsourcing.) I’m a technician not an artist. Garments are art.

I deeply respect the two women I know who are (were, one deceased) true artisans. They can (could) make beautiful garments from scratch or dismantle and re-tailor a garment they found at a second hand shop. These women are 65+ in age and learned from making clothes for their families as they grew up. Either one of these women could and have made beautiful wedding dresses from scratch. They did it all out of love. True artisans. You are already too old to catch up with the pack.

So what do you want to accomplish? You will never be able to make a garment at a price to compete with the ‘Trade’ but you could learn to make something you could wear. (maybe if you aren’t proud.) Fess up. What’cha want to do?

The rag trade is as highly skilled and competitive a business as cell phone technology. I had two years as a VP managing a sporting goods/garment business sourced from Asia. It’s possible to be basically competent, seriously complex if you want to run with the pack.


I can operate a sewing machine… I’m not all hot on all the clothing construction stuff, though, I can follow basic patterns, but usually improvise…

talk to me about what you want to do. I can show you the basics.

I have a pretty decent multi-stitch Brother my wife abandoned. It needs a tuneup, and currently only goes in reverse (probably just a stuck switch or belt). I’d like to bring it in and get some pointers fixing it up, as well as a push in the right direction.

My expectations are realistic. Not interested in making my own clothes.

At this point, I would like to simply:

  1. Add piping, accents, and embellishments to boring old shirts. Fun.

  2. Drapes. Pillow cases. Dust covers for equipment. I need these.

  3. Be able to do basic mending as needed. Maybe hem pants.

I’m relatively able-bodied this week, and will try to make it in on Tuesday meeting. On Friday I have another surgery, this time on the nerve plexus to my dominant arm and hand, so no sewing or crafts for 6 weeks thereafter. I’m looking forward to getting back to it. I had lost so much sensation and coordination in my hands that I had to stop soldering and doing fine work like this. 1st surgery was a miracle for arm #1, so…


I can try looking at your machine, or maybe Matt can. Bring it when you are able, don’t hurt yourself though, if it’s too heavy.