Picking up sewing as a hobby opens up the door to a new world of creativity and hours of enjoyment. Armed with just a few inexpensive basic supplies, you can be working on completing a pattern in no time!
Sewing newbies can become overwhelmed when walking down the aisle of the fabric or craft shop and buy items that are nice to have, but not really necessary. Purchase only essential and high-quality sewing supplies to launch your new hobby, and you will have all the materials you need to take you from the beginning to advanced level.
Sometimes the simplest supplies are the most important and often forgotten when browsing aisle upon aisle of fabric, sewing notions, and spools of thread in vibrant colors and styles. You cannot overestimate the value of a good sewing box. Getting organized will prevent unnecessary frustration when you are sewing away on a fun project and can’t find your pins, marking tool, or measuring tape.
You should have three different types of scissors stored in your sewing box specifically for cutting fabric. Dressmaker shears cut through even thick and difficult to cut textured fabric with ease. A smaller pair of scissors with razor-sharp points will help to make precision cuts, especially when completing small patterns, like baby outfits and doll clothes. A standard pair of utility scissors is also handy to have to make simple cuts when dealing with ribbon and other embellishments that will be added to the finished project.
There are many options when it comes to fabric marking tools. I prefer to keep it simple and cheap and simply use chalk – colored chalk for white fabric and white chalk for colored fabric. Tailor’s chalk is a little bit less messy to use than standard chalk you can pick up at the local dollar store, but will usually cost several dollars per pen. Sewing pens that come with disappearing ink in either blue or purple shades are also useful and inexpensive marking tools. Whichever type of marking tools you choose to keep, make sure to have supplies that can create both broad and narrow strokes.
Everyone makes mistakes, even a seasoned seamstress. Invest in a sturdy seam ripper so you can remove your sewing errors without damaging the fabric so much that it cannot be reused.
Painter’s tape is an inexpensive alternative to buying sewing tape and works just as well on the vast majority of fabrics. A typical seam allowance on most patterns is ¾ of an inch. Placing a strip of the tape in the same width on the edge of the fabric will from sewing too close to the edge and sizing a garment incorrectly.
A fabric measuring tape will be your best friend when you are sewing. The flexible measuring instrument can be draped right next to your machine to double and even triple, check your measurements both before you cut the fabric and when working on a seam, bodice, adding lace embellishments, or completing a sleeve. When pulled tight or pinned to the fabric, the measuring tape can also serve as a straight edge for to help keep pattern tracing or pattern making, far more accurate.
Pinning the front and back of your fabric together when beginning to sew them together will help keep both sides lined up properly. The pins are removed one by one as they near the machine needle. Straight pins are inexpensive, but not all are created equal. Pins with glass heads instead of plastic tend to crack and break less after being pushed into fabric time and again. Pushing your finger straight into the back of the pin because the plastic head cracked, will be an experience you will likely not forget or want to repeat. Not everyone uses pins. Some folks prefer to simply pull the material tightly together at the ends and eyeball the sewing line instead of messing with putting in and pulling out pins. Sewing in this manner takes practice, a keen eye, and steady hands.