7 Simple Tools Every Beginning Seamstress Must Have
Learning to sew or beginning to sew as a hobby can be a fun little project to keep your hands busy and to make useful things that you can wear or have around your home. But just starting out can also be a little overwhelming. I’ve been sewing for a long time and I still get overwhelmed whenever I set foot inside of a fabric or craft store! Today I want to take a little bit of your stress away if you are just getting into sewing, by sharing a few of my favorite things.
Taking one look down an aisle of sewing tools and products is enough to make anyone a little itchy. Maybe a little excited to dig into your next project, but also a little crazy because why does there need to be so many of the same thing! Here are the top 7 things that I think you really need when you get started sewing.
1. A Good, Basic Sewing Machine
Did you see that word I added in there? Basic. If you are just learning to sew, you do not need a sewing machine with all of the bells and whistles that it can possibly come with. Find a good deal on one? I would still pass it up in favor of a nice basic machine because there are many more things that can go wrong with a complicated model, not to mention they are more difficult to learn how to use!
If you are just starting out, I would recommend a Brother or Singer Machine right around the $100-$150 range. Something that isn’t so cheap that it will break, but not so expensive because it doesn’t include a pony and a swimming pool with it. I have this Brother Computerized Sewing Machine with a Wide Table and it’s perfect for what I need. It’s easy to use and not really all that “computerized”. It has plenty of stitches to keep me busy for a long time and it’s from a reputable company.
2. Fabric Scissors
After a sewing machine, scissors is the other tool that you will be using the most of so it’s worth it to invest in a good pair of fabric scissors that is only for sewing. Do not use the scissors to cut paper or other items as it can dull them. After you have one good basic pair of scissors, you may also want to invest in a pair of Embroidery Scissors (good for snipping thread as you are sewing) and a Pinking Shears (keeps fabric edges from fraying).
3. Rotary Cutting Set
I know it seems a little crazy to get this many items that just cut things but trust me, a Rotary Cutter will be your new best friend, especially if you struggle to cut in a straight line like I do! The Rotary Cutter and mat set are the perfect tools for cutting out sewing projects that use patterns. Also, if you plan on trying any quilting you will definitely want a Rotary Cutter.
4. Pins and Pincushion
Since you will use pins in almost everything you sew, having a set of pins and a decent pincushion is a must. There are several different styles of pins depending on what you like (there are pins with larger heads which are perfect for larger fingers or for those that may have trouble grabbing the little heads). And there are many styles of pincushions. I have and love the little Tomato Cushion because it’s the same one my mom and grandma had when I was growing up.
5. Seam Ripper
Yes, you will need one of these! No matter how many years of experience you have with sewing, you will always need a good seam ripper. Like the pins, there are several different styles available including some really nice ergonomically shaped ones. Personally, I just stock up on the cheap ones because I have a really good habit of losing them…and my children tossing them down the furnace vents.
6. Tape Measure
No, your husband’s tape measure from the garage isn’t going to work for your sewing projects. You need a nice flexible one Fabric Tape Measure that can bend with your fabric! Be sure and get a cloth or vinyl covered one, no paper tape measures as they will tear and not last very long. One or two tape measures is all you need. Two can be handy when you need to measure two sides at one time.
7. Fabric Pencil
Again, this is another item that you will be using all of the time! If you can only get one, get a white Fabric Pencil. If you can get more than one, be sure to get a light and a dark pencil to use on all colors of fabrics.
With just these 7 things you will be able to easily do most simple sewing projects, and if you never decide to do any kind of complicated sewing, these items may be all you need! (Besides the fabric and thread of course!)
Beginning sewers…do you have any of these items yet? Seasoned sewers…what would you add to this list?