I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday! I am still struggling with a nasty case of strep but the new meds are working at the moment so I wanted to check in since I had a a little while to myself.
Every year the week after Christmas is busy here on Everything Your Mama Made & More! with lots of new readers who got sewing machines, sergers & other sewing supplies for Christmas. Because of this I thought I would share a little bit about other items you might want to get to get started or to use some of those GC’s on! As silly as it may seem having the proper supplies can make sewing SO much easier & prevent beginners from easily getting discouraged. Many of the items below are affordable & what I consider staple supplies. You can find many of them at your local craft & hobby or fabric store but I actually prefer to purchase many of mine online at Amazon because most of them offer free prime shipping & they have a good selection of select brands & models… and as I have learned some are MUCH better then others.
EXTRA LONG STICK PINS WITH THE BALL ON THE END ~
Yes the extra long pins with the balls on the end ARE WORTH THE EXTRA BUCK OR TWO!!!! It makes using them SO much more enjoyable, they are easier to get in & out and much nicer on your hands.
CLOTH MEASURING TAPES ~
This is just one of those things that you can never seem to have enough of! They are inexpensive and seem to walk away a lot, so I always appreciate having a few extra’s on hand.
A REAL SEAM RIPPER ~
The ‘thing’ that comes with the sewing machine is not a real seam ripper. I HATED ripping seams until I got one of these clover ones. They are sharper and SO much easier to use… still not my favorite job but SO much easier!!! There is simply no comparison. My friend who has been sewing/quilting for years used mine once & about died, she couldn’t believe it! I actually have 2 of them. There are a bunch that range from $2-$8, this one is right in the middle & the best by far!!! Clover Seam Ripper 5″
. It’s also very comfy in the hand.
GOOD SCISSORS ~
Gingher makes very nice scissors & JoAnn’s carries them & you can often get a 40% off coupon for them. I have also been VERY happy with the Mundial set my DH got me off Amazon 3.5 years ago. All but one pair is still sharp as new & I have never had any of them sharpened. Mundial Scissors & Shears
You will want a few different sizes but at least one large & one tiny pair for most often use.
WASHABLE CRAYOLA MARKERS & OR DRITZ CHALK WHEEL ~
I actually suggest skipping the fabric pens/pencils, I don’t care for them, they are pricey don’t always do what they say & dry out easily. I LOVE Crayola Washable Markers
because I KNOW they will wash out with a little cold water. I also really like my Dritz chalk wheel. It isn’t tailors chalk, though similar. I have used a lot of chalk wheels & this one is super smooth & works VERY well. I just by bottles of sewing chalk to refill it instead of the special ones that go with it. I use this 90% of the time. My friend actually spent the last month looking for one in stores but all the other ones she tried had stiff wheels in them, so it’s worth the few extra dollars for this one… Dritz Chalk Wheel
ROTARY MAT, CUTTER & RULER~
I also cannot live with out my rotary mat & cutter. I prefer the Omnigrid Self Healing Mats and the Olfa’s are also very nice, but the Friskers kits are great for starters! JoAnn’s has one that goes on sale for $27-$35 all the time that has an 18″X24″ mat, a 45mm rotary cutter as well as a 6″X24″ quilting ruler… I highly recommend this for beginners. You can get all 3 pieces from walmart for around $50 I think? You can also get the Fiskars Rotary Cutting Set on Amazon for around $28 with free prime shipping!
And this Dritz hem gauge is also awesome & makes sewing hems SO much easier… Dritz Ezy-Hem Gauge
MAGNETIC PIN CUSHION~
Also a magnetic pin cushion is AWESOME!!! Not only is it easy to use (just lay the pin near the top & the magnet pulls it down) but it is GREAT for finding stray pins that have fallen on the floor! Magnetic Pin Cushion
PATTERN EASE, SWEDISH TRACING PAPER OR PARCHMENT PAPER~
I almost NEVER cut tissue paper patterns. Growing up it was simply to expensive to re buy them for each size! So if you use pattern ease, Swedish tracing paper or parchment paper you can see through it to trace out the size you need saving your other sizes and they are easier to work with then the tissue paper pattern pieces!
Birch Street Clothing Swedish TracingPaper 29″x30′
These making tracing and/or cutting out pattern pieces much easier! You can pin them but that leaves holes & they can rip loose. Honestly you can use just about any kind of small weighted items… which makes them easy to make or you can buy them as well. You can find tons of cute one on Etsy.
STEAM IRON & IRONING BOARD~
This is probably the priciest suggestion I have… but if you want to sew & have stuff turn out nice there really is no way around it, you need an ironing board & iron! Honestly a cheap $10-$15 board from walmart will do just fine! You can get more expensive ones that are larger & make ironing large pieces of fabric faster, but they aren’t needed. Now iron’s are another one of those tools, you get what you pay for! You want a good steam iron… I always had cheap ones (they most expensive was around $27 new?) and HATED ironing… they kinda did their job but not super well. Then one day I stumbled upon a Rowenta Professional that was only about 1 year old at the thrift store… I can say it changed my opinion on irons & ironing the very first time I used it! It got FAR hotter then my old irons, but not scorch the fabric hot, and the steam was amazing. Suddenly ironing took little effort & got done much faster!
Now they aren’t cheap… I think new the model retailed for around $120? If mine broke today I wouldn’t replace it with a full price model, but if I could get one 25%-30% off I would pay the price in a heart beat. I have used it a ton in the last 2 years with out issue. My friend has a similar model that is 9 or 10 years old & cracked from her dropping it right after she got it & it still works great. Models are changing constantly & I don’t have feedback on the newer ones but I suggest doing some research & buying a steam iron with good reviews in the $40-$70 range if possible. If you have the money to buy an even nicer one go for it!
Here are a few nice irons with good reviews on Amazon & free prime shipping as well.
Hamilton Beach 14875 1500-Watt Digital Iron with Backlit Display
Black & Decker D2030 Auto-Off Digital Advantage Iron
Rowenta DW5080 Focus 1700 Watt Steam Iron with 400-Hole Stainless Steel Soleplate
I hope this helps you get started & check back soon for a list with information on fabrics, patterns & notions!
And your thread of choice would be?? I find this very helpful – Thanks! susan
I will be posting more about that with the fabric & notions post in the next few days but my over all favorite is Gutterman.
Thanks!! I just ordered a set of scissors and a seam ripper!!
I have been sewing for a little over a year and have slowly been building up my collection of must-haves. Thanks for the list and all the inspiration!
This is so helpful!!! I’ve tried learning to sew a couple of times before and always gave up, frustrated. This time around I’ve been using a really good machine (borrowed) with some of the things on your list and it has made a big difference. Now I just need to find a good beginners machine of my own.