If you want to start sewing, you’ll need a few basic supplies. Before your first lesson, we’ll be going on a guided shopping trip together to get you the basics (for the best prices!). Please, if you have a smart phone, download the following apps prior to your shopping trip–Hobby Lobby, Michaels’ and the Jo-Ann’s. Also, please go to Joanns.com and sign up for their email ads, which will give you more coupons. Other options will be discussed during your shopping trip.
**Please print the supply list. Mark off what items you may already have, and bring your printed list with you to your first shopping trip. ***Your only required pattern purchase will be a pattern for pj’s. We will talk about this more at the time of your initial shopping trip. Bring your sewing machine owners manual and one bobbin with you to your shopping trip.
Here is a list of recommended items, but keep in mind these are suggestions only, so don’t worry if you don’t have everything.
Suggested Sewing Supplies
- Sewing machine & Owner’s manual (always have available at class time). Sewing machines are heat sensitive and should not be left in a car. If you have an existing machine, it is NEVER to be stored in the garage as it can be ruined.
- Please secure sewing machine on your car seat with a seat belt for safety sake if you must transport it anywhere!! Your machine will have a softer ride on the seat with better shock absorption than when placed on the floor of the car. Remember, your machine is an investment and should be properly cared for. Appropriate storage of your machine after use will be reviewed.
- Rigid Carrying Case for Sewing Machine or Wheeled Tote (will be discussed during initial shopping trip). These are optional and are for your consideration should you consider purchasing one.
- Iron & Ironing Board
- Distilled Water (required to be purchased prior to your first in-home class. Available at any grocery store for approximately $1/gallon). Bottled water is NOT an acceptable substitute
- Pins (1 ¾ inch long silk or dressmaker pins preferred-50 minimum.)
- Schmetz Universal Needles size 11, and 14
- Schmetz Ball Point Needles size 14-one package
- One assorted package of needles (sharps preferred) for hand sewing-think inexpensive here
- Thimble to fit your middle finger, dominant hand (optional)
- Scissors (choose from the following brands for both pair–Gingher, Fiskars, Singer. Other scissors are not as sharp and may not handle fabric/thread well.). If you are left handed, left handed shears are available.
- Large pair (1 only)-8 inch bent handle to be used for fabric/patterns only
- Small pair (1 only)-for use at sewing machine
- Rotary Cutter – 45 mm size. If you are left handed, you might like to know that Fiskars and Olfa make a stick style cutter that can be used by either hand. Some Fiskar brand rotary cutters have blades that can be reversed for your needs. Gingher also makes dedicated right and left hand use rotary cutters and scissors.
- Cutting Mat & Acrylic Ruler – Talk with me about options for this first. In general, look for a mat that says it is self healing. Large white mats sold at Jo-Ann’s and Hancock Fabrics are good choices. Olfa and Fiskar brand mats are excellent choices as well. Olfa has a two and also a three piece mat set (with clips) available. Your first acrylic ruler should have an edge/lip on it-shown to you during your first shopping trip.
- Seam Ripper-1 Clover brand makes a very nice one, reasonably priced.
- Awl-strongly recommended. Straight or tapered, either one will do. Clover also makes a nice one. I may at times have an awl available for purchase during class time.
- 18 to 20 weights (large washers -glue two together with hot glue, other options will be discussed with you at the time you purchase a rotary cutter and mat). Used for holding patterns in place during rotary cutting.
- Pen, pencil (2-wood, one unsharpened, one sharpened-may also use a BBQ skewer), small notebook
- Tape measure-reinforced, non-retractable-60 inch length
- 6 inch metal ruler with slider (notions area)
- Yardstick (36 inches long) with 1/8, ¼, 3/8, ½, 5/8, 3/4, 7/8 markings on one side. Hint-know how many inches are in a yard for your first shopping trip!
- Marking Implements
- Marking chalk or non permanent fabric marker with pencil sharpener. Please do not choose one with disappearing ink!
- Black fine point or ultra fine marker-retractable is OK
- Choose one light color and one dark color of whichever you choose-for use on light and dark fabrics, so contrasting color can be visible when used.
- Transparent tape
- Tissue paper – one package is plenty (used for pattern alterations & drafting of patterns. Other alternate choices are available and will be discussed during your shopping trip.
- 12 Bobbins to fit your machine (info found in owner’s manual) No empty Dritz bobbins size 15. Singer brand bobbins in the correct size for your machine are a good choice. If machine came with metal bobbins-buy metal bobbins: same rule applies to plastic bobbins–do not mix. Choose the right size and style according to your owner’s manual.
- Bobbin Saver storage ring (at Husqvarna/Viking dealer inside Jo-Ann’s or available at www.Joann.com)
- Thread – Gutermann sew all type, one spool each of black, white. We will discuss invisible thread at your shopping trip. Serger cones not recommended for general purpose sewing. Mettler or Metrisine threads are also excellent alternates for general sewing. Coats & Clark thread not recommended.
- Storage for your supplies in your home: Perhaps you have a cupboard in which to stash your machine and supplies. If not, here are a couple possible options:
- The Sterilite Large Show-off (box with typically a green lid with a handle-will typically be referred to as a “project box”)
- The Stanley Project Box (pictured below) is a great project box on wheels for traveling back and forth to classes outside your home. You can search for this item at Lowe’s or Home Depot for this item if desired, but not expected to purchase this.
Also check out my various blog posts about where to find your supplies for good prices, maintaining your supplies, and more.
A Note Regarding Fabric Preparation
Please, if you are using a piece of fabric that was recently purchased, or you personally have not laundered it, please wash and iron your fabric. I suggest you do the following:
- Put your fabric in the washer, rinse cycle is sufficient.
- Dry in dryer.
- Iron if needed-DO NOT IRON CREASE back into material as it was when it came off the fabric bolt.
- If you aren’t certain about how to refold it, don’t worry about that, that’s one of the first things we will do.
Why do this? Primarily it is to remove the sizing in the material from the mill as well as pre-shrink it. Sizing is a light starch at the mill for all fabrics. Knits are most affected by this. As the sizing is washed out, it allows the fibers to relax, thus seeming to shrink.