17 December 2012

11 Basic Sewing Essentials

Here is a list of some basic and essential sewing equipment that I think is quite useful to have and some can make your tasks easier and more interesting, as well as professional looking. Take a look at the list and see what they are used for. As your skills improve and your projects become more difficult, your need for sewing materials increase accordingly.
  • Straight Pins: For all of my sewing,  I use quite fine silk pins as they don't leave big prick marks in the fabric.
  • Pin Cushion or Magnetic Holder: I have both of these. A Pin Cushion is a great way to keep pins close to you at all times as you just pop mine onto my wrist. I made my one by using some old fabric and some wadding- this is also a very cheap way too, so can save you quite a bit of money. If you want to know how to make one, you can click here
          A Magnetic Holder is also great as it's quick for picking up all those loose pins,   
          especially on the floor! There are many sites you can get one of these from such as  

  • Fabric Scissors: Bent-handle dressmaker's shears are best for cutting out fabric. The angle of the lower blade lets the fabric lie flat.
          Pinking Shears cut a zigzag, fray-resistant edge. They're brilliant for finishing seams 
          and raw edges on many types of fabrics and for decorative uses.

          Embroidery Scissors are useful for general needlework, unpicking, clipping and 
          making buttonholes.

          Thread Clippers/Trimmers are ideal for repairs, trimming seams, alterations and  
          small cutting jobs. 

  • Safety Pin: You can use this to thread elastic or piping through a casing. It can also be used to turn bias tubing right side out.
  • Awl: This handy little tool can be used to make the round holes needed for eyelets or keyhole buttonholes. Check out Morplan.
  • Blunted Tracing Wheel, which is used with carbon paper to transfer pattern shapes to muslin. Although, when i teach children, I do tend to use the blunted tracing wheel for general pattern cutting as it is safer for that age range.

    • Seam Ripper/Unpicker: This has a sharp, curved edge for cutting seams open and a point for picking out threads. It can also be used for slashing buttonholes but must be used carefully to avoid accidentally ripping the fabric.
    • Tailor's Chalk or Fabric Marker Water Erasable Pens: Ideal for transferring pattern markings to fabric and for fitting alterations. They're available in several colours. You can also get the chalk in pencil form, which makes thin accurate lines and is excellent for marking pleats, pocket positions, buttonholes and similar stuff. My favourite are the water erasable pens.
    • Measuring Tape: These are essential! I have linen measuring tapes as this type is the most flexible and doesn't tear or stretch. They are 150cm (60") long, which is the most common and have non-fraying, metal tipped ends. It can have metric (cm) and imperial (inches) on the same side or one of each on each side.
    • Metal Weights: These can be very useful as they are used to hold the patterns in place for tracing and marking. Click here to have a look.
    • Storage: There are many different ways you can store your equipment such as Toolboxes, which you can pick up at any crafts store. Toolboxes are useful as they swing open and have trays for you to organise your things. Biscuit Tins are also a great way to store all your equipment, try labelling them so that you know what is in them at a glance without having to open tin after tin. Glass or Plastic Jars are an inexpensive way for storing things like buttons, ribbons and threads and they're useful as you can see at a glance what's inside.


    1. You mighty as well be speaking Greek..I need a serious beginners class...
      I love the post..please also do a basic sewing for beginners.

    2. loool, no! you can learn it, it's not too complicated. Yes I plan on doing more pattern cutting and sewing posts, it's just finding the time! I will keep you posted hun. xx

    3. Good list of basics. I sew too and have almost everything (or some sort of alternative) to the things on this list and they are all used.