Recently a couple of friends that have wanted to take up sewing, have been looking for advice on what they need to start. From what machine they should get to what items they need to start. This then inspired this guide – Beginner’s Sewing Basket – a guide to get you started.
Here is a basic supplies guide to get you creating
Searching for a sewing machine can feel like a minefield, with so many models which vary in prices and options, then there is the option to go with new or secondhand, it’s hard to know where to start. A sewing machine that can do straight stitch, reverse and zigzag is really all you need to start with to create many general home projects.
There is some fantastic beginner models out there if you want to go for a new, that won’t break the bank. For instance a Brother LS14 for just £70 at Hobbycraft new with 3 year warranty, is one with – or by shopping around might be able to find it for less.
The other option is secondhand, if they have been well serviced, there is no reason why a secondhand machine wouldn’t be a great option. Now with the wealth of information online, even if the machine didn’t come with a manual , most can be found online and downloaded.
Things to get for your machine
- Spare Bobbins – it is always useful to have spare bobbins for different coloured thread.
- Spare Machine needles – You don’t want to be in a situation where your needle breaks half way through a project.
- Machine oil – For keeping those parts working well.
- Small brush – I use a makeup brush – to remove any build up on your machine.
These are not expensive and really worth having to hand.
Inside the Sewing Basket
I have put together a list of items, that should help you along your way to creating your first sewing masterpiece.
|Thread||I tend to have a base of Black, White, Beige and Navy. If the project requires getting thread that matches the fabric, get that. It will mean over the time you will build up your collection of threads. – One reason why having extra bobbins are essential, so you are able to switch between coloured thread.|
|Hand sewing Needles||Hand sewing needles is a key items to have, for from finishing off items, to adding details. Definitely worth brushing up on those hand sewing skills|
|Pins||Pins are so versatile in sewing, used for so many things. I would be lost without them – and maybe your first project could be a pin cushion.|
|Fabric Scissors||These should be nice and sharp and only used for fabric|
|Thread Snipes||Sharp small scissors for thread cutting|
|Ruler||Initially a nice metal ruler would be perfect, and later on could invest in a large plastic sewing ruler|
|Tape Measure||An essential part of any sewing basket.|
|Chalk/Pencil||You can either get chalk or chalk pencils, for pattern transferring , drawing on the material as it brushes off – One lady loves Frixtion pens for marking – which featured in my Rocketbook Review|
|Seam Ripper||An essential part to any sewing basket,if you have just started sewing or have been sewing for years, this is useful to have.|
You can find these items bundled together in kits, I found one in Ikea for £10 that I just had to try out and covers all but threads and ruler
There is a range of places to get these items, both in shops and online. It is also worth keeping an eye on Aldi special buys, as I have added to my collection when they have sewing events
There are also household items that can be used to create your projects. Baking paper for tracing patterns and unopened cans to hold down your material and pattern. ( It was suggested cats too for holding things down, however they are not compliant sitting where you want them too! )
Starting your first project.
Sitting down to your first project doesn’t need to be daunting, just start with a simple project and enjoy yourself. – Worth having some wine and chocolate to hand !
Before you start your project, do some test sewing on the same type of material to check tension and the way the fabric behaves. This enables you to make any adjustments on tension or stich before starting on your project.
Measure 3 times cut once. Checking measurements will reduce the chance of cutting and finding out later it’s not going to be the size you expected or it’s not going to join together. Taking this time initially is really worth while.
Some great first projects to try are , envelope opening cushion covers, pin cushions and tote bags
The final tip would be to join some sewing groups on facebook, they have many people with a wealth of knowledge. They have been my saviour many of times.
I would like to thank the members of Sewing in the UK for their input for this guide.