Well, I thought, if we are going to be making some beautiful things together this year, these are the items that I think that every one of you need to have in order to keep up. You know, besides a sewing machine.
If you don't have a sewing machine, I highly recommend hitting up garage sales this spring. The older machines were made out of metal and therefore are about 1000 times more bad ass than the newer, plastic versions.
Think of it as your great uncle's Buick vs. that hipster's Smart Car. Yeah, the Smart Car might have some cool features, and it's lightweight and compact, but can it take the abuse that the Buick can, or is it going to die after you
In terms of sewing machines, you always always want the Buick. I can't say that I've worked on a lot of newer sewing machines (but if some magical Sewing Machine fairy is out there and would like to show me otherwise, I'm more than willing to take your sewing machine for a spin) but the few that I have had not had the endurance for layers, materials or say...if you abuse it or something. Yeah. (Although my mom's machine did meet a sad demise after the family dog got tangled in the cord and freaked out and ripped it to the ground) Example, I love making denim patchwork quilts, and my mom's fancier, newer machine (the Smart Car) couldn't handle going through four layers of denim. My old metal machine (the Buick) kicked it's ass and asked for more.
So instead of going out and buying a brand new machine, try to find an older Kenmore or something and pay to have it refurbed instead.
Then, you need to have a little bundle of go to goodies. You'd think that after sewing for over 10 years, my collection would be far more extensive, but these are the items I can't live without and still to this day have to go out immediately and buy another one if I find my old one is missing. These do not include the basics like thread, fabric, machine, iron, ...you know...that stuff. These items all end up Joann Fabric's 50% sale at least once a month, and you can usually add a coupon for your total purchase on top of that.
1.) Magnetic Pin Cushion & Variety of Pins
2.) Dedicated Sewing Scissors
3.) Invisible Zipper Foot
We've already discussed my love for invisible zippers, and as you know by now, if you want to follow my tutorials, you're going to need to know how to put an invisible zipper in. View that tutorial here.
4.) Fiskars Rotary Cutting Set
5.) Hand & Machine Needles
6.) Extra Bobbins
I always prefer to have an extra stash of bobbins so when I'm switching thread I don't have to unwind a whole bobbin's worth of thread. Waste not, want not. They aren't expensive, just make sure you have the right size for your machine. I usually have between 5-10 on hand, and 2 are always full of white, 1 is full of black, 1 is cream thread, and the others are blank so I can fill them with colors I may need.
7.) Seam Ripper
Because let's admit it. We all mess up. My mistakes usually involve copious amounts of profanity. Because I'm a classy bitch like that.
8.) Tape Measure
You know, to measure shit. Girl can't DIY without a measuring tape, and she can't sew either. The difference is that a sewing tape is flimsy so you can wrap it around things instead of your house one that is too stiff. No. You can not use your house tape for your sewing tape. Plus, you can buy the breast cancer one, and then it's pink.
9.) Safety Pins
You'll be amazed at how much you'll actually use these things. You'll use them for mapping pieces out, pulling elastic, and it's just good to have them in the house because you'll steal them for everything else too.
10.) Hem Ruler (AKA Seam Gauge)
I am really lazy and almost never use mine anymore. I have learned on my machine where I need to fold things to achieve the hem that I want. If you've never really sewn before, you are going to need one of these BAD. It will guarantee that your hem is level with itself (but your garment will only be level if it was level in the first place) and when I was learning, I used mine for everything. We will do a tutorial on how to use one of these if need be.
Okay, so maybe it was more like 13 or so things, but 10 had a better ring to it, don't you think? And some of them are optional if you're feeling especially bad ass.
So what do you think? Are we ready to bust out some adorable home decor this spring? And yes, it's January and I'm saying spring, because I don't want to deal with winter any more. Deal with it.
What are some things you'd like to learn to sew?