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Topic: Essential tools and notions for sewing?  (Read 22952 times)
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PinkyK
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« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2006 01:07:21 PM »

A seam ripper! You will make mistakes and they are much easier to fix with a seam ripper! I upgraded from the $1 to the $2.99 version because it was a bit more sturdy and would be easier to hold in my hand.

Once you decide what you are going to sew then you can stock up on general supplies.  For example, I have been making things that require interfacing so I bought 5 yards of it using a 50% off Joann's coupon.  This way I won't run out in the middle of a project. Yes some thing say use different types than others but I just use the same stuff.  I haven't made anything yet in which it would make a huge difference what type of fuseable interfacing I'm using.
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kmsmaverick
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2006 01:07:40 PM »

to start you don't need to many truly exotic items, real basic items are just fabric and thread, but convenience and more advanced projects will call for other items. you need good scissors, (good sharp ones, and don't use them for anything but sewing!) pins and pin cushion, some fabric of course, and a bit of a pattern, or tutorial. get a few extra bobbins, (the underside mini spool) and a seam ripper. those are very useful too. then start it up!  yippee! start with a bag, you'll soon be like the rest of us posting tote bags all over the place!
 hee hee hee
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Mikaiyawa
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« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2006 01:16:37 PM »

get *good* thread, not the ten spools for $1 garbage.

I second a box of spare bobbins, extra needles (you need to replace your needle every project or two to keep it sharp, lots of thread nest problems go back to dull/slightly bent needles) a small set of sharp snips to clip threads (I have several pair that "live" in various places, including by my machine and in my sewing basket)

A cutting mat and rotary cutter are nice for some things but not "critical to have" a carboard mat (the big fold up kind) is nice though if you only have the floor or your bed to do layout and cutting work (keeps you from snipping bedding and carpet by accident)

A good task light (or a sunny window) is helpful if you have to rip stitches out (black thread on black cloth   Shocked  strong light is a must)

If you are doing elastic waistbands a safety pin (or an elastic threader) is a good thing.  a point turner (I like the bamboo type) is nice if you are doing collared shirts and a tube turner (fast-turn is nice) if you are doing anything with skinny tube straps.  These are nice to haves not Must haves.

Other than that the "critical to haves" have been covered.. there really aren't many after fabric, thread, shears, and pins.

Mieka
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QueenOfShinyThings
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« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2006 01:21:48 PM »

Congratulations on your new acquisition and welcome to the world of sewing things with a machine. (Much faster than by hand  Grin)

As for what you need - pretty much the same things you need for hand sewing plus a few extra. I'm going to assume that you are familiar with sewing some things by hand and have those basics (scissors, needles, thread, pins, etc.)

The plus extra is, as you noted, thread and sewing machine needles to fit your machine. Both these items should be moderate to good quality. Try for at least name brands. Coats is good thread to start with and Dritz machine needles should be a good starter too. These brands won't break the bank but are at least reliable.

Be sure to use a new needle for every project and change it if you have any "flubs". It really does make a difference. Try not to sew over pins.

Now, just a couple notes on the machine itself. Since it was your mothers, I'm guessing it works but probably at least needs the lint cleaned out. Some of that type of maintenance you can and should do yourself. Look in the manual for instructions. You can sew on it for a while, but at some point consider a good professional cleaning.

Since I'm kind of geeky about this sort of thing, I could go on and on, but won't because you want to get started.

I hope this helps -if I've left anyting critical out, I'm sure someone else will catch it. Any questions that pop up, just ask.

Looking forward to posts of your projects.


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« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2006 01:33:39 PM »

I sew a lot and I go crazy if I can't find my sewing gauge. 

A sewing gauge is basically a ruler with a little sliding piece that you move to whatever length you need to measure:

http://missourifamilies.org/learningopps/learnmaterial/tools/gauge.htm

You might not really need one if you're just sewing seams together without any hemming.  And I suppose you could use a ruler, but these are much easier for keeping track of lengths.
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JillianJ1016
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« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2006 12:08:52 AM »

You can buy beginners kits, although it may not be the highest quality it is cheap which is good when you are a beginner because you waste stuff easily! Also a note pad and pen are good to write down measurements and to do the math that you will have to most likely do!  Wink
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kmsmaverick
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2006 05:28:12 AM »


A sewing gauge is basically a ruler with a little sliding piece that you move to whatever length you need to measure:

You might not really need one if you're just sewing seams together without any hemming.  And I suppose you could use a ruler, but these are much easier for keeping track of lengths.

hey, i have tons of those, and i never really knew what they were for! we use them in printing too, y'know to measure margins and that, but it never occured to me they it has essentially the same use in sewing. how embarrassing!
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PinkyK
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« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2006 06:02:11 AM »

ooooo I thought of something! It is probably obvious but just in case I'm adding it to the list!

A tape measure! 

You can't take measurements without a tape measure.....well not very easily anyway!
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IamSusie
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2006 07:49:26 AM »

And set up your ironing board!  If you are a beginner, keep the sewing machine handbook closeby, I still have to refer to mine.

Have fun!
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scissorsister
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2006 02:28:32 PM »

i always use cuticle scissors instead of seam rippers.
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