January 7th 2013 archive

Q&A Monday: Getting Started!

Welcome to the FIRST EVAH ReFashionista Q&A Monday!!! *drum roll*

I’m going to kick this week’s Q&A off with the most frequent question I get:

Q:  I want to start refashioning, but how do I get started?

Trying something new is scary.  What if you aren’t any good at it?  What if you screw up?  As Einstein once said, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried something new.”

Listen to him.  He knows his stuff.

Listen to him. He knows his stuff.

Think on that.

When you were born, chances are you were pretty terrible at walking, speaking, eating, and not crapping all over yourself.  The more you tried these things, the better you got (hopefully).  Then you started learning new things, like math and reading– which you also probably sucked at when you were first figuring them out.  Now you’re probably a bit better at these things (once again, hopefully).

Fast forward to Grownup You.  Grownup You doesn’t want to screw up, and that fear of failure is going to hold you back from doing all sorts of awesome stuff if you let it.

So don’t let it.

You’re going to mess up a LOT of your refashions when you first get started.  It’s okay. Your innocent victims only cost you a dollar, and they were hopefully ugly and unwanted anyways.  You’ll learn from your mistakes, and you’ll get better.  :)

Okay…so now you’re all psyched up and ready to get started with some refashioning!  What now?  What supplies do you need?

You really don’t need very much to get started.  This is what my current sewing setup looks like:

This is where it all happens!

This is where it all happens!

I use cheapo over-the-door shoe bags for storage!

I use cheapo over-the-door shoe bags for storage!

My dress form & bins 'o future refashions!  :)

My cabinet of patterns, dress form,& bins ‘o future refashions! :)

You might think that’s an awful lot of stuff, and you’re right.  Luckily, you don’t need all of that to get started.  Your beginner setup will look more like this:

The box of Pinot Noir is optional, but highly recommended.

The box of Pinot Noir is optional, but highly recommended.

Here’s all you need to start your own refashioning adventure:

A sewing machine (which should come with bobbins and a needle)

black thread

white thread

pin cushion

stick pins

needles for hand sewing

safety pins

seam gauge

tailor’s tape measure

small scissors

larger scissors

seam ripper

You’ll also want to have these guys on hand, but you probably already own them.  :)

Remember us?  :)

Remember us? :)

I keep all of my supplies out in the open (which is why I can’t use my dining room for actual dining), but I didn’t always do this.  You can always tuck your machine and supplies in a closet or on top of your fridge (where I used to keep mine!) if space is scarce.  Just make sure you can get to it easily and get it set up quickly.  :)

So now you have your courage and supplies, but how do you actually get down to the business of learning how to sew?

I’m self-taught.  I studied my sewing machine manual and checked out books from the library and eventually figured the basics out.  I read lots of sewing blogs and googled lots of questions.  Youtube was a big help.  But, you could take a class (many craft and fabric stores offer them) or get a friend you know who sews to teach you in exchange for booze and food.

I hope this post gives some of you who are on the fence about getting started remaking your own custom wardrobes the push you need.  Viva la Refashion!  :)

Cheers!