Want to Start Sewing? Here are 6 Must Have Items You Need
So you have decided that you were ready to learn how to sew? Great news my friend! Sewing is one of the best thing that I have decided to start in my life. I'm not even exaggerating. When I started, I was pregnant and bored at home. I didn't really know what to do with my life anymore. I was lost. But thank God, having a new hobby helped me regain confidence in myself. Enough said about my story, in this article I want to help you make a list of what you really need to get you going on the sewing machine. Let's build your love story with stitching.
1. A Simple and Affordable Sewing Machine
First thing first, you need a good sewing machine. But good doesn't necessarily mean expensive or professional. Especially if you haven't sewed before, don't invest a fortune in a machine to then discover you don't even like this hobby.
There's loads of affordable machines on the market that are perfect for beginners. Mine is from John Lewis. I got it for 25 pounds because I had a coupon and the machine was on sale as well. It's been 3 years since I bought it and I still love it like my own baby (you can ask my husband)!
I would recommend brands like Janome and Brother, they are easy to set and understand. Here are models that especially find great:
And if you're lucky to live around an Aldi or Lidl, they sometimes sell the Silver Crest machine which is amazing and not pricey (around 70 pounds if my memory is good).
2. A Great Pair of Fabric Scissors
I insist on this as cutting the fabric is one of the most important step in a sewing project. You need scissors that will last and that will take care of your fabric. Forget your kitchen scissors (I've been there too). Go to the craft store and get the best pair you can. And most importantly, NEVER use fabric scissors on anything else than fabric! That's a rule you will read again and again for a reason. Fabric scissors need to be preserved for fabric ONLY.
3. Quality Thread
You must be thinking thread is thread, why do I need quality thread? You're not completely wrong. You can start off with the cheapest thread you find. I did that too. I used to buy thread and bobbin boxes from Aldi and I thought it was fine. Until I realised that all the problems I had while sewing could be related to the quality and the type of thread I was using. One thing I hate is a bad looking seam and spending hours trying to understand what's wrong. If it's not the tension, it can definitely be the thread in itself. So my advice to you is go to a proper craft store and get some cotton thread, especially if you're sewing on cotton! Polyester is good but there's nothing like a natural fibre.
4. Pins, Tape Measure and Marking Tool
Pins are not optional for me, I use them all the time, I couldn't sew without them. If you want to keep yours on while sewing, buy the long thin ones. Avoid pins with plastic head as they will melt when you iron your fabric. And to avoid loosing your million pins, you need a pin cushion which is the perfect first sewing project you can find.
You can find tape measures pretty much everywhere. A ruler can also be useful to trace long straight lines. As for the marking tool, I've always used chalk. They do the job, are cheap and last forever so it's perfect for me. If you want to try something else, there's water washable pens, also used for embroidery.
The best fabric to start with is cotton. It's easy to sew on, it doesn't slip, there's usually no thread tension issues on it... So go for it! But don't do like I did when I first went fabric shopping: don't buy fabric unless you know EXACTLY what you will make with it and how much you need of it. My mistake was to go to an amazing fabric store in Birmingham with a vague idea of what I needed. As a result I spent 80 pounds in loads of 1 meter long pieces of fabric that I barely used. I learnt from my mistake and try to avoid shopping without a purpose now.
6. A Seam Ripper
I wish I could say you won't need it but unfortunately we all go through the nightmare of seamripping sometimes. It's part of the learning adventure! Your sewing machine will most likely come with a small bag including some bobbins, thread and the seam ripper.This is my list of must-haves to start your sewing journey. I hope you found it helpful! I will make a list of beginners friendly sewing projects in the coming weeks. All that should get you starting quickly and easily. Let me know if you think I forgot something in this list in the comments below. Enjoy your first steps!