Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sewing Kit: What You Need

It's that time of year again... when everyone is about to make their Christmas lists.  If you're thinking about taking up sewing, or dusting off the sewing machine and really using it, here's a list of gear and goodies:

1)  A basic sewing machine

2)  Good quality shears.  I have a pair of Ginghers and they're the bomb.  Can be purchased on sale, and these are like a good kitchen knife - indispensable.   If someone wants to get you a tiny pair of likewise good quality scissors, little scissors are good to have too.  (You get the good shears resharpened periodically - yes, just like good kitchen knives).

3)  Measuring tape.  Measuring metal thingie.  You have to have the first, the second is nice to have while you're learning to fold over 5/8" seams (you can press right on it, it's metal).  I went years without a clear, gridded ruler - but I don't know how I managed. I use the thing constantly.

4)  A good quality iron, and an ironing board.

5) Steel pins and a pincushion.  Okay, steel headed pins aren't required, but who wants to melt the plastic-headed kind?  I like to have a couple of pincushions.  They're cheap and having a pincushion where I pin and where I take the pins out is nice.

6) A tailor's ham.  Okay, if you're just starting - you don't need this yet.  But you *will* need it, so ... hey.  (If you're making anything fitted, you need one).

7)  Surgical tape and a bit of tissue paper.  Go ahead and just use tissue until you develop a need for the good stuff, then Swedish Tracing Paper is the bomb, for sure.   Regular tape melts under a hot iron, not optimal.  Speaking of, I need to get more surgical tape!

Here's my book list:

Vogue Sewing Book - Okay.  There are a lot of instructional books on the market, and they're probably all decent.  But this is the one that has ALL the basic instructions.  Like having that one classic cookbook in your kitchen.. you need this.

Sewing Machine Classroom -  Love this book.  Very clear instructions, it's on a ringbinder, it's just all with the happyjoy.

Threads Guide to Sewing - I know, you have the Vogue.  But this has some info the Vogue does not, particularly in regards to sewing things other than clothing.

If you can snag a Better Homes and Gardens sewing book from the '60s at an estate sale or something, do.

If you have a Joanne's within 45 minutes of your home, sign up for the mailer.  If it's within 20 minutes of your home, sign up for the text alerts (assuming you don't pay for texts).  They have *ridiculous* sales.  I think Hancocks does too... but they aren't in my zone.  Seriously.  You're never going to pay more than $5 for a "Big Four" pattern ever - and the 40% off coupon *on every mailer* can help with those scissor purchases!

Hope this helps someone........... :)

(PS did some solid work on the lining today and fidgeting with the shoulders, I ended up interfacing them with hair canvas, they lacked structure).

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