I'm also planning to go shopping this weekend, but for once it's not to buy clothes. Instead, I'll be shopping for fabric! My first experience with tailoring, although great, was very very expensive. I really didn't like the idea of the cost of tailoring being more than the cost of the item itself. Since I've always considered sewing to be such a valuable and useful skill, and have envied others who are able to make custom-fitted clothes, I've decided to really learn how to sew. I've tried my hand at it in the past but rather unsuccessfully, and I think it was because I was too impatient and cut corners to get it done faster... and promptly became discouraged and quit when things didn't turn out well. This time I want to really commit and do my research and hopefully be able to pick up this rewarding hobby!
I already have a sewing machine, which is more than adequate for my needs. I went and bought several books in an attempt to learn solid basics and build from there. I chose these specifically because they have sterling reviews on Amazon:
My goal is not to be just dependent on store-bought patterns, but to first learn to make some perfectly fitted basics and then play around with design elements as I figure them out. This was how I taught myself to knit (post), and it'd worked out well for me. I really enjoy the freedom of being able to create what I want to, to the specific measurements that I need, without having to follow patterns blindly and hope that it turns out right.
I'm also considering investing in a serger, which finishes raw edges and is a must for professional-looking clothes (or so I've been told). I've read nothing but good reviews for the Brother 1034D Serger which is relatively affordable as far as these machines go.
There's a big sale at Joann's this weekend and I have an extra 10% off entire purchase coupon, so I'm planning to pick up basic sewing tools/notions and some fabric to play with. And what do you know, I already have a petite dressform that's exactly my size!
All in all, I'm really excited to dive in and start learning! I know there's going to be lots of disappointments and failed projects ahead of me but I think it's so worth it if I actually do become proficient at this.
P.S. A special thanks to Kerry (aka "feldmanTcat" on AN Forum) who was gracious enough to offer me lots of great advice on how to get started!