Have you fallen in love with the art of sewing yet? There is so much joy you will derive from making handmade clothing, decor, and gifts for any occasion! So, don’t feel intimidated by the variety of sewing gadgets and gizmos out there.
As a beginner, there are only a few simple purchases you’ll want to make to get off to a strong start. At Kettle and Cloth, we’re all about making our projects go smoothly (and simply!) so we can enjoy the simple pleasures of sewing without the stress!
Aside from a reliable sewing machine, there are a handful of tools that will help immensely as you build your skills and tackle your first sewing projects and more. These items are inexpensive and will save you countless hours preparing patterns, cutting the pieces, and stitching your fabric together.
A Good Iron
They say the process of “sewing” mostly comprises ironing, more than the time you will spend at the machine. And this couldn’t be truer! Between washing and pressing fabrics so that they are wrinkle-free, especially at the beginning of your project and steaming that very last seam, there’s so much ironing involved in just about any sewing project you’ll undertake.
Be sure to purchase a good iron and keep it clean for streamlining every step in your creative endeavors. A powerful steam option is a must if you want to knock out stubborn wrinkles as well as create lasting creases.
Protect your delicate hands so you can keep on sewing! Even if you’re not planning to do the majority of your sewing by hand, there will be times when slip stitching or sewing on a button will be inevitable. Or, assuming you carry an emergency sewing kit on your person at all times (Guilty!) – a day when you have to make an emergency repair in the event of a fallen hem or a tear. Wear a thimble to prevent injury to your dominant sewing fingers, and you’ll thank yourself!
Designed to quickly cut through those loose threads, a quality pair of snips is a seamstress’ best friend. Keep the snips close at hand beside your machine to save time and effort, as well as a messy tail of loose threads at the end of your project.
They’re much easier to control than a pair of scissors, making them ideal for clipping thread tails without running the risk of accidentally cutting through your finished seam.
A sewing gauge is more than an ordinary ruler. It’s lightweight and made from metal, making it ideal for measuring those finicky seam allowances, buttonholes, and more. As a bonus, you can use it to create perfectly even hems because the iron won’t melt it!
As they say, measure twice, cut once, keeping a good measuring tool on hand for precise seam allowances and making exact cuts is the best way to save time fixing mistakes later on and ensure each garment fits perfectly.
There are many types of fabric marking tools out there, but I prefer this fine-tip, air and water-soluble marker for most of my projects. You will use it to transfer pattern markings such as notches, buttonholes, and other important symbols for sewing without the fear of ruining your prized handmade garments. Or, if you’re more of a traditionalist, tailor’s chalk might be more your speed for marking up your work-in-progress.
Whichever method you choose, always be sure to test it out on a scrap of the fabric with which you are working. It is because there are few feelings worse than creating a gorgeous handmade garment, only to realize your marks won’t come out of the finished product.
Rotary Cutter And Mat
With a wealth of ultra-sharp, ergonomically-designed rotary cutters on the market, the days of tedious snipping with dull scissors for hours are long gone.
Simply purchase a self-healing cutting mat along with a rotary cutter (They can often be bought bundled together!), and get ready to see your project from the cutting table to the sewing machine faster than ever before. And since we’re on the topic…
Pattern weights are used to hold the pattern steady over your fabric when cutting using a mat and rotary cutter. You can shop for any number of cute pattern weights at your favorite online sewing supply stores, or you can make your own to use again and again. In a pinch, you can use pretty much any small object with a little heft to it. Soup cans are a favorite of many sewists!
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