Updated: Jun 10, 2019
So, you want to start sewing? You already picture yourself making your first dress or skirt or pants. Before you do that, there are a few starter tools you will need to create beautiful clothing.
First, determine your work area. A large, clean surface such as a desk or table will suffice. Not everyone is able to have a sewing room and that's ok! You can still make beautiful handmade things from your desk or dining room table.
Second, you will need a sewing machine. There are many to choose from, but we will link some of our recommendations. I currently have the Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, CS6000i. It’s great for beginners and if you become interested in quilting in the future you already have a machine that does both. Personally, I love this sewing machine.
Another beginner sew machine is Brother 1034D Serger. It gives you a beautiful professional edge finish on different types of fabrics. You may not need this immediately, but if you plan to work with knit fabrics, plan also to invest in a serger.
Another favorite is the Baby Lock Lyric Machine. Its has so many wonderful features such as quick-set bobbin winder, knee lift for more hands-free sewing and push button thread cutter.
If you’re more of a vintage lover, then I suggest the Kenmore 158, made in the 1960's and 70's. It offers stiches such as Straight Stitch, Zigzag, and Stretch Stitches. It’s a great one to start with and you can find one on eBay. The final recommended option is the Singer 15-91, from the early 1900's. There are many used ones on eBay, and are beautiful and heavy duty. Keep in mind that older machines may not be for everyone. We will include in a future post what to look for in a used sewing machine.
Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, CS600I
Brother 1034D ¾ Thread Serger
Baby Lock Lyric
So, now that you have the machine of your choice lets move on to the notions you will need. Notions is the word we use in sewing for pretty much everything besides machines and fabric.
1. Fabric Scissors - ONLY for use on fabric
2. Small Scissors - For trimming threads
3. General Scissors - For cutting patterns
4. Seam Ripper – When you make a mistake, a seam ripper is the tool used to take out the seam. You will normally get with the sewing machine, but still buy one to have extra. They can get dull or be misplaced.
5. Zipper foot - This also does come with your sewing machine, but there are different types, so find one that you are comfortable using.
6. Measuring Tape - To take your measurements, so you can see which pattern size fits you or draft a basic pattern to your measurements.
7. Sewing Machine Needles- My second time sewing I broke the needle! Chances are small of that happening, but its better to be prepared. Also, if your machine needle is dull, it can be catastrophic to nice fabric. So, start off with at least 1 pack of all purpose needles.
8. Hand sewing needles – Most sewing projects require a little hand finishing, like sewing a button.
9. Iron and Ironing Board: Ironing is crucial when sewing. Many beginners don't feel this is necessary, but it definitely is! It ensures that your garment will fit the way it should and everything will line up when sewing.
10. Pins and a pincushion – Glass head pins are what you should get. They are iron safe so they don't melt. And would a sewing space really be complete without a pin tomato?
11. Tailors Chalk/White Pencil – It helps you mark your fabric and easily rubs off when you wash it
12. Seam Gauge – Everything is much easier with a seam gauge. It doubles as a ruler when you need to measure out small amounts. This is also what you will use for hems.
Don’t stress about getting every single thing on this list. Many craft stores sell machines, notions, and fabric. These are often overpriced so do your research online first! Most of these you may not even have to buy. Just spread the word that you started sewing and its likely that tools, fabric, or even machines will be given to you from friends and family that sew.
I look forward to sewing with you on the next blog post!