When I started sewing, I really knew nothing. I knew I needed needles and thread, pins, scissors, a sewing machine and fabric, of course. But I didn’t really know what kind of scissors or pins to buy. I made a few buying errors along the way that served as teaching tools.
I hope with the following list that I can help you avoid making some of the same mistakes.
Scissors: There are many different kind of scissors that each are best for different tasks. Over time you will probably want to invest in several pairs. But for starting out, just make sure you have a sharp general purpose pair of scissors that you use only for fabric. And you probably already have some scissors for paper laying around the house, but if not, then you’ll want to get a pair (that look diffenent) for paper.
Needles: you’ll need a pack of assorted hand needles. Eventually you’ll use most, if not all sizes so make sure and get an assortment. For your sewing machine you’ll want to get a pack of univeral needles. These will be good for most projects. If you are working with sheer fabric, denim or quilting you can get special needles for those projects.
Thread: There are a slew of threads on the market and you can do some really fun stuff with some of them. But for beginning it is best to use all purpose polyester or mercerized cotton thread. You’ll want to get colors that will match your projects. White and black will be suitable for most projects.
Embroidery floss: Embroidery floss is a great, inexpensive addition to your sewing kit. These cannot be used in a machine but are great for hand sewing for embellishing.
Measuring tape and ruler: You’ll want a sewing measuring tape that is at least 60″ long. And standard 12″ ruler.
Pins: Pins are a necessary part of sewing and you want to make sure that you get good pins, you will be using them alot. Beware of cheap pins that are dull, they will be frustrating to use.
Seam Ripper: We all want to believe that we will never have to rip out stitching, but reality is that you we will have to. If you want your projects o look really good, you need to become friends with your seam ripper. I always ask myself, “Will I regret not ripping out this seam?” if the answer is “yes”, then I rip it out and if the answer is “no” then I don’t. And honestly, sometimes the answer is “no”
Sewing machine: Buy the best machine that you can afford but remember that the most expensive is not necessarily the best. Take your time and go to a sewing machine store where they will let you try out different machines with no pressure to buy. Explore the machine throughly before you buy it. Also, some stores will give you free help if you buy your machine there. Although they might be a bit more expensive, their knowledge is priceless. If you are buying a machine for a young child I highly recommend the Janome Sew Mini . It sews well and only goes one speed…slow.
Fabric: This is the fun part of sewing. There are so many wonderful fabrics on the market it can be hard to choose. Whatever project you are going to do make sure you use the kind of fabric that is recommended. As you gain experience with sewing you can do your own thing – sometimes this works out great and sometimes not. There is a reason that certain fabric is recommended for certain projects.
Feel free to leave any questions or other tips in the comments.