Sewing Kit--- Have to have-s!
The whole sewing kit and kaboodle!
To prepare a good sewing kit
we have to jump a bit ahead of the game. The procedure of sewing includes a multiple of tasks that all need their own equipment.
- For sizing we need measuring tools.
- For cutting we need cutting tools.
- For guides we need marking tools.
- For stitching we need hand sewing equipment and our sewing machine.
- Some special tasks need some specialized sewing tools. (such as a zipper foot or gathering foot etc. for the sewing machine, different sized sewing machine needles that are for a specific type material like leather, denim, silk, etc.)
- Last but definitely not the least we need pressing equipment.
Buy the kind of machine you can afford. In my honest opinion until you're ready for all the frillies find a simple solid machine something that offers a straight and a zigzag stitch. All the other things are things you can do without for the time being. There is a hub in the works for what to look for in a sewing machine also.
Please remember that although I will point you into the direction of certain tools it doesn’t mean you have to rush out and buy the same. However that being said every job, no matter if it's sewing or fixing cars, needs a proper tool or at least will make the jobs easier to get done.
For example you can use an ordinary wrench to remove a spark-plug out but (there is always that little three letter word 'but' ) chances of that spark-plug coming out without a problem, is much better with the appropriate ’spark-plug wrench’. It’s the same with sewing. Most tasks can be accomplished but are much easier with the right tool and equipment.
I’ve grouped the necessary tools into three different lists:
- Have to have!
- Sure would be nice to have… (could make life easier, we'll talk about these as we do the individual jobs, then eventually I'll collect them into a hub)
- Oh yeah baby…now we’re talking tools! (top of the line and new stuff, these will be on-going hubs as I find interesting gidgets and gadgets)
If you have individual tips or have different ways of accomplishing certain tasks please share them in the comment box.
List number 1 Have to Have-s:….
- Tape measure should be flexible and have both standard and metric measurements. The metric system can be more accurate (just my opinion) One of the most important lessons we’ll have, will be based on how to accurately measure. The perfect fit of such as clothing or drapes depends on sizing things just right. 2 or 3 bucks will buy a new 60″ tape. So don’t cheep out and try to make do with grandma’s old stretched out cloth tape or the husbands 20′ Lufkin.
- Yard or meter stick will come in handy when altering a pattern
- See through ruler lets you see what you’re measuring and marking
- Tailors chalk or marking pencil rem chalk rubs off really easy so only mark things if you’re sewing it right away. The wax based markers or cakes can be sharpened with a pocket knife or steak knife. The marks left behind can be ‘erased’ by pressing with warm iron.
- Seam guide also called pleater guide is a 6″ short little ‘ruler’ used for accurate measurements of buttonholes, drape pleats, hems etc.
sticky tape (scotch tape)comes in really handy when working with paper patterns
- Scissors/shears important enough to also have
it's own hub (check it out here) http://hubpages.com/hub/Sewing-Scissors-Scissors-Basics-for-Every-Sewing-Task
to be good and
sharp, bent handled, anywhere between 8-12″ long (utility kitchen
won’t do) If you make any kind of investment towards your new hobby
spend it on a good pair of tailor shears. Bigger is not necessarily
in this case. Feel how they fit into your hand. Do yourself a
though, hide them away from the kids. (Paper etc. will dull the
blades in no time, also try not to drop them as that could bend the
blades, even a tiny bit off and they’ll snag or just quit cutting).
- Small pair of thread cutting scissors or thread snips that you use beside the machine. Obviously to snip off thread etc. I use a 6″ pair of pointy sharp hair cutting scissors. The sharp point will come in handy but we’ll discuss that at a later date.
- Paper cutting scissors obviously for paper, patterns etc.
- Seam ripper this little tool is really handy and multi purposed. It was designed originally in the early 1960’s as a buttonhole cutter. It has been renamed as most use it to rip or un-pluck seams.
- Pins (I like the glass headed thin and long ones the best, at least 1 1/4″ long) there are special kinds for silk and quilting but the standard stainless steel, brass or nickel ones are fine for everyday uses.
- Hand sewing needles ‘sharps’ are the most common used for general type of hand sewing. Ball point needles are made for knit type fabrics. (I love using quilting needles for most of my hand-sewing, which are called ‘In-betweens’ but because they’re short they are not for everyone) With practice you will find your preference.
Tip: for both hand and machine sewing the thinner or finer the needle the less the chance of damaging the fabric. Obviously a thick darning needle will make enormous holes and shouldn’t be used on fine delicate material.
- Machine sewing needles we’ll be using standard types of needles for now, follow the guide-lines in your machines user manual. (I have a hub in the works where we'll find out all there is to know about all the specifics of sewing machine needles etc)
- Thread so many different style and types exist, all have their own application and that warrants it’s own hub (also in the works)
- Steam/spray Iron buy the best you can afford. It should have a good selection of temperature to accommodate all the different types of fabric. (shhh! Just you…I’ll let you in on a big secret right here and now…pressing as you go is the key to a tailors success) but more on that later.
- Ironing board set it up near your sewing machine for easy access
- Press cloth a piece of muslin is perfect but an old piece of sheeting or pillowcase will work just fine too. This will prevent fabric from getting an ‘iron shine’.
You will also need a basket or box or such, big enough to accommodate all your goodies. It doesn’t need to be anything too fancy for now. One of our first projects will be a multi pocketed ”Sewing Centre” that can either be made as a wall hanging or rolled up. More on that later.
This is the basic sewing kit list that you should have on hand. You can build onto your tools with some of ‘the nice to have list’ at a later date, as you add to your sewing skills.
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