10 Must Have Supplies For Learning To Sew On A Machine
For my first Christmas married (many, many years ago;)) my husband gave me a sewing machine. I thought he had lost his mind. I had never sewed other than the occasional button or since high school home economics class. I was terrified of that machine and didn’t want to get to know it because I was afraid of how bad I would do. Thanks to some help from my husband (thank goodness his Mom had shown him a little bit of sewing) and my mother in law, I love sewing now! I would definitely not call me an expert, but I can sew things for my home and have even done some clothing for my daughter. It has probably been one of the best gifts I have ever received.
My point is, if you are new to sewing, there is nothing to be afraid of! It is relatively easy. And, thanks to the internet, there are so many awesome tutorials and help available that there is no reason not to try!
These are the top 10 things that I use every time I sew, that are definitely something you want to have in your sewing box!
1. A good machine. Seriously. Don’t waste your time or money on a cheap beginner machine. My daughter was given one for her birthday one year and it didn’t work for more then a couple of stitches at a time. Get a basic, real machine. It will last for years and as long as you aren’t sewing quilts or denim, a basic yet good machine should be more then fine for learning. Too complicated or expensive comes with so many options that it makes it hard to choose and gives you more choices then you need as a beginner. *This one is similar to the one that I have. It has been going strong for 14 years now, and works great! This is quite inexpensive and has great reviews!
2. Good thread. I have a lot of thread, some of it is older than I am and was my grandmothers. I don’t use it a lot, but it is good quality thread, and much better than the cheap junk I have gotten at Walmart. I have found that some machines don’t like the super cheap thread either. Don’t spend a lot on it, but it is worth it to get a little better thread than have your stitches break off and have to sew it again anyway, right? I truly don’t know which kind of thread is the best, as I am thrifty and don’t like to spend a lot. That unfortunately, is how I learned that not all thread is created equal!
3. Seam ripper. Unfortunately, my seam ripper and I are close. I wish I could say I only used it on occasion, but I can’t. I have to pick stitches a lot. Pretty much every time I sew. It seems like I am great at messing up and not so great at sewing a straight line. Your seam ripper can save you a lot of time. Do yourself a favor and get one you can hold comfortably.
4. Extra bobbins. You should get a couple with your machine, but unless you want to have to remove thread off your bobbin to change it with another color, get extra so you can have one for any color you might need. While you are at it, get something to store the bobbins in to help keep them from tangling. They come in metal and plastic. I have both and find them equal.
5. Straight Pins are a must! They are something you absolutely should use, when you are beginning and even after if you have issues with keeping things straight like yours truly does. Pinning can be the difference in a project coming out great or having to be picked and done over.
6. Paper clip Holder. Yes, you read that right. This is such a great way to keep your pins by your side ready to be used! They are magnetic and keep the pins from going everywhere. With a little shake, the pins are right at the top ready to be grabbed without you having to stab yourself by reaching into the box to grab them. They are super inexpensive, and quite possibly the best sewing trick I have ever used!
7. Measuring Tape. You are going to want to measure twice cut once. Fabric can be expensive and it is an awful feeling when you cut and then realize that you weren’t right on measurements. Be sure to keep your measuring tape nearby to keep track of your seam allowances and hems too. This helps insure that your product comes out looking like it wasn’t sewn by a preschooler.
8. Scissors. Don’t use the same scissors that you use for cutting paper. It dulls them out and when you are cutting fabric you want those babies to be as sharp as possible to get the cleanest cut. I have my grandmother’s sewing scissors because I just happen to be the only left handed grandchild that was interested. They are old, but they work great and outdo my newer pair even! If you are serious about sewing, invest in a good pair. If this is just an occasional hobby, no need to shell out big bucks, basic sewing scissors will do. If you aren’t the only one that will be near the fabric scissors, consider marking them in some way so that no one mistakes them for paper scissors. I have a friend who has a tiny scrap of fabric that she ties around the handle of hers to let everyone know they are for fabric. Great idea!
9. Fabric scraps to practice on. Either get a cut of inexpensive material, or ask around, someone is bound to have small amounts they don’t mind parting with to help you get the experience you need. Sometimes, even now, if I am trying out a new stitch or am changing my dial to different settings I will try it out on scrap fabric first so that I don’t risk messing up and having to pick another thread.
And finally, 10. Iron and Ironing board. I hate ironing, like most of us do, but this is a must. When I started out I didn’t realize just how much I would be ironing and how important this step was. Not only does it help give you crisp, clean lines, it also helps you use less straight pins if your project has the seam allowance ironed down to help you follow it. You may think you can escape this step, but trust me, your final product will turn out so much better if you take the extra time to iron your work!
So what do you think? Are you an experienced seamstress? Are there any you agree/ disagree with? Anything you would add? Tell us in the comments!
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