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Essential supplies you need to start sewing now.
When you are ready to get started learning to sew it is important to have the basic tools you will need. Trying to start without the right tools can lead to frustration and, even worse, procrastination! I’ve been in this boat more than once. I decide on a project I would like to work on and then when I sit down to get started I realize I don’t have what I need to complete the project, either because I didn’t think through my plan or read up on how to make the thing I want to make, or I thought I could skimp and scrounge enough bits from what I already have to make it work. Trust me, nothing is more annoying than being exited to start a sewing project but then having to immediately postpone it because you don’t have the sewing supplies you need.
I don’t want to spend a fortune. Does it really matter what I buy?
Now, you need to go shopping. There are infinite options when it comes to sewing supplies, don’t be daunted. I’m going to show you what I use to give you a base to build on. The items I recommend might not the cheapest one you can find but it may save you from re-purchasing tools to replace low quality items that you find don’t work well. One common misconception for example is that scissors are scissors. Why should I buy new scissors just for my sewing projects when I already have a pair living in the junk drawer in the kitchen? Trust me when I tell you that all scissors are not the same, and getting fabric scissors can change your life. At the end of the day I recommend tools that were meant for sewing and that are of a decent quality to last you through many projects. It’s no fun to struggle through a sewing project because of the wrong tools. Set yourself up for success!
There are so many options how do I choose?
- Look for tools that are designed for sewing
- Read reviews. There are tons of people who have shopped for sewing supplies before you. Check out what other seamstresses are saying.
- Investigate what items you will need to do the first project you would like to embark on. You will not buy everything you will ever need right out of the gate, so start with what you now you will need now and build from there.
Essential tools and supplies to buy to get started sewing.
Scissors, shears and cutters
Fiskars are a really common brand you can find that make lots of types of scissors for sewing, and won’t break the bank either. I recommend getting a few sizes to give you flexibility to work on projects of different sizes. If you are feeling good about shopping for scissors, pick up a pair of pinking shears too. Now if you really want something fun to cut with I highly recommend a rotary cutter for getting those crisp perfectly straight cuts. Another cutting implement is the seam ripper. If you buy a new machine one will typically come with the accessories. Either way, a seam ripper is a must for opening seams to fix or change things.
You will obviously need a surface to work on, and if you are like me and may other hobby seamstresses that surface is the dining room table. To avoid ruining your table top invest in a self healing cutting mat. They come in a variety of sizes, I have a tiny one and a medium sized one. If I had to do it again, I’d have gotten a larger size to give myself a larger surface area.
Rulers and Measuring tapes
You will definitely need a measuring tape and a ruler or two. No you cannot use the tape measure from the tool box in the garage. You need a soft vinyl measuring tape to be able to measure around soft things like your body. You can even get a retractable one if you like. You will also need a straight edge for precision measurements. Pick up a clear plastic ruler, or if you are feeling adventurous you can pick up a set of straight and curved rulers, but that is not necessary just to start.
Pins and Needles
Hand sewing needles. You need some even if you plan on using a sewing machine. Not every single stitch you make will be a machine stitch so you will need a selection of hand sewing needles. Pins and a pin cushion or magnetic pin tray are also a must. Also you will need extra needles for your machine as well. Typically if you buy a new machine it will come with some extra but you may want to pick up some different sizes for work on different types of fabric. Find more sewing notions at at bluprint.com
Iron and Ironing board or mat
You may forget about this one. You will quickly find that most projects will call for you to press open a seam so you want to own an iron. Your regular iron will work just fine, but if you want something just for sewing they do make mini irons for sewing or travel to press delicate corners and opening seams on your projects. You might also be interested in a ironing mat so you don’t have to drag the ironing board to where your sewing space is or drag your project to where your ironing board lives.
Thread and Bobbins
Regular thread like Coats & Clark Dual Duty should work for most of your projects so pick up a variety of colors. Some extra bobbins are great to have for convenience too so you can have a variety of bobbin colors ready to go. The machine you buy will have one or two but it doesn’t hurt to have a few more. Check what type of bobbin your machine recommends before buying these though.
Chalk and Markers
Being able to make marks on your fabric without staining it is key. Get some tailors chalk or some washable pens to use on your projects.
Last but certainly not least, your sewing machine. There are lots of options out there so make sure you read up on features and price point and customer reviews. Some of the common brands out here are Singer, Brother, Janome, Bernina and others. My machine is a Singer Quantum Stylist 9960, I have also used the Brother XR1300 and White Deluxe #1505. To compare lots of machines side by side check out Sewing Machines Plus website. Check out my post giving a tour of my Singer machine if that one interests you here!
The Last Thing You Need to Know about buying sewing supplies.
Buy the tools and supplies you need today for the projects you are working on now. Don’t worry, you will have time to pick out more fun tools for future projects as they come up. Invest in quality products that will last you along time and help you produce quality projects. If you don’t know how to use something don’t forget to read the instructions or watch a tutorial on youtube. Lastly, don’t forget to have fun.
Do you have some great tips for aspiring hobby seamstresses? Comment below with your most essential sewing tool or sewing supply. Are you starting your sewing hobby? Subscribe and let me know what we should learn about together!