~Let's go shopping!~
The most important of sewing tools, of course, is The Sewing Machine.
My humble Singer, "Pearl", is not too fancy, but she certainly does the job!
Whether you're working with an old hand-me-down, or a brand new machine, their basic features are usually about the same. If you're buying a new machine, do some research first, to figure out which functions you are most likely to use. That will keep you from being seduced by the one with a huge price tag, just because it's "better". Sometime's more is just more!
But the machine isn't all you need! There are few other tricks that the new sewer should be armed with.....
The cutting mat.
This is one of the more expensive sewing tools, usually about $15-$30 but it is totally worth it if you can afford to get one.
Which size you get is totally up to you, although I do recommend getting one of the larger sizes. The larger your mat, the more fabric you can cut at once!
As an added bonus, most stores carry mats in at least one cute color! Mine is a reversible green-yellow. Some places even have pink!
The Rotary Cutter.
To use with your cutting mat. I cannot tell you how much time this saves you when you're cutting your fabric, or even cutting out patterns!
It takes a tiny bit of practice to use before you feel comfortable with it, but not much. Just be sure to watch your fingers! :o)
These come in many different sizes, but again, make things so much easier when cutting your fabric.
Lay it over your fabric, to measure, and use the rotary blade right up against the edge of the ruler.
The Pin Cushion.
Because stepping on pins hurts. :o(
I actually have one of these in just about every corner of my craft room.
Some people opt for the "wrist cushion", which of course follows you wherever you are!
I also think they're just fun to collect. Anything to make my sewing experience cuter!
The Flexible Measuring Tape.
Incredibly handy when taking body measurements, sometimes when I'm sewing, I just wrap it around my neck like a scarf for easy access!
If you've ever tried to cut fabric with paper scissors, you know that these are absolutely necessary!
Another thing that I have infinity of. They get lost to easily!
Not really a necessity.
But they are great for clipping the curves when you're turning things inside-out. And they make edges so much cuter! I would say that if you have a daughter, they are definitely necessary :o)
The sewer's delete button!
I use mine more often than I'd like to admit, and not just because it's cute and pink.
Also great for removing seams in garments. To use it, carefully slice a stitch every few inches, and then simply pull them out!
Disappearing Ink Pen.
I use mine like quilter's chalk (which would also work just fine!)
Perfect for marking out pictures or patterns on fabric to sew. You can also use it with a ruler to mark strait lines before you sew them. Just be sure to test it on a corner of your fabric before using.
A Needle and Thread.
No Matter how fancy your sewing machine is, you will always need a good ol' needle and thread.
Some things (like rosettes, or buttons) are a little tricky to sew on to things with a machine when you first start out. At times, using a needle and thread can just be faster!
For thread; I would recommend starting out by buying a basic rainbow of colors and neutrals. There's nothing like going to change your thread to the right color, and realizing that you don't have it!
The more the merrier!
Bobbins can be slightly different shapes for different machines, so make sure to bring a sample bobbin and your machine model # with you when you buy them
And when you buy all of your thread colors, it's smart to thread at least one bobbin with each color right away. That way when you need it, it's all ready for you!
I make a lot of skirts, so I like to have a lot of elastic on hand, in different widths. It's especially handy if you have children in your life. The elastic waistband rocks!
Extra Needles For Your Machine.
It really is important to use the right needle for the right fabric, so it's a good idea to have the different needles for your machine on hand.
When I first started sewing, I broke tons of needles! So it's nice to have some extras in the drawer, in case the inevitable happens. :o)
God bless the inventor of the needle-threader!!
Simply stick the metal loop through the eye of the needle, slip your thread through the loop, and pull it back through the eye! I love it!
Of course, there are aisles, and aisles of sewing notions to buy! And one person will love a certain thing, while another person finds it comepletely worthless. So you may have to fiddle around a little bit to find what works best for you! But be careful! The sewing aisle is a dangerous place....
Just ask my husband ;o)