When most people hear ‘sewing kit’ they think it’s the type that comes from the local supermarket that has the small plastic scissors and tiny reels of thread. Not this one, this kit is the essential kit to starting your new hobby. Whether you are wanting to hand sew or machine sew, whether you want to make patchwork quilts or clothes this kit is the essential starting point. It is where I believe you need to start to enable you to move forward and learn.
The Essential Sewing Kit:
This is the one thing that will come in handy no matter what project you want to do, from dressmaking to patchwork there is always a need for a tape measure. There is no particular brand or type that you will need, they are all pretty much the same and have the same style and use. A tape measure is just a length of durable fabric with inches on one side and centimetres on the other.
When it comes to pins, it can depend on the person who is using them. At high school, I was taught to use the smaller ones with just a metal flat head, whereas when it came to University I was encouraged to use the longer ones with a glass head. This can all depend on the person, I would go for the longer with the ball ends, they are much easier to use and are much easier to find among fabric.
Scissors- Large and Small
Within your sewing kit, you will have a use for large scissors and also small scissors, the larger scissors are great to use for cutting fabric, a top tip is to never use your large fabric scissors for cutting paper as this will dull the edges and will no longer be able to cut fabric. The smaller scissors are great for smaller projects that need more delicate touch but we will get into that later. You don’t want to just purchase any old scissors because standard scissors used for cutting paper or used in the kitchen aren’t sharp enough to cut through the fabric, as the fabric is thicker material and also woven to be durable and long lasting.
I have always used the triangles of tailor’s chalk, as that is what I have always had.Also with the triangles, you get more for your money in terms of chalk as they last longer and you can sharpen them over and over again with your scissors and not waste too much. The pencils are more prone to breaking due to them being more fragile and thinner but are just as good to use.
Pack of hand sewing needles
You may not plan to do any hand sewing but it is always handy to have to hand, especially when needed to neaten up and edge you can’t quite do on the machine or even when you are attaching buttons or a small motif. I usually get the variety packs where you get a number of different thicknesses, lengths and different size eye holes. This means if you have a variety pack you can do a varied number of tasks and you have the tools available to change from thin to thick and so on.
Thread- start off with basic white and black
The thread can vary for each project, you generally want to pick up cotton thread or polyester. I personally have never really noticed a difference. This is completely up to you, I have always used what I can find if I can find it cheap I will use that one. Most commonly I have used Moon thread. You can find thread pretty much in any haberdashery, fabric or knitting shop, it is also available in markets and online.
Unpicker/ Seam Ripper
An unpicker as I call or some people may know it as a seam ripper is a small tool with a needle size blade which curves round to catch the seam, it has a ball on the other end to protect the user. This is an essential handy tool especially when you get started because there will be plenty of times you will need to undo a seam and this is where you will need this. You may think that scissors can do the same thing and they can but because of the bulk they will tear your fabric and create more damage to your seams.
This is a simple tool in which you can put the thread through what is a larger eye of a needle, this then threads through your actual eye of the needle to pull through your thread, so then your needle is already threaded for you. This is handy if you struggle to thread a needle or you’re just not used to it.
A thimble is a small cup that fits over your finger, the traditional thimble is metal and has a closed end to protect the finger. There is a newer version made from leather that is more like a finger glove with a metal panel that is more comfortable to wear but can cost considerably more, they vary in size from small to large so make sure you check the size for your finger. The thimble is worn on a prominent finger that is pushing the needle through the fabric and stops the finger getting hurt or sore.
Grade and Rule Ruler
This is an addition is you are taking up dressmaking, costume making or clothes alterations. This is a great tool that will help you shape armholes, dart and curves of a body. This ruler has a slow curve going into a medium size circle end, almost like a cul-de-sac street, the other edge is straight. All around this ruler are measurements and useful marks to work with.
L shape Ruler
This ruler is useful to your sewing kit if you are going into dressmaking or quilting, it is great tool to use to make sure you are getting your fabric square and even. This tool can make sure your squares for your quilt are square and symmetrical. It is handy to use when making clothes to make sure your patterns match and lines are in sync.
The cutting mat is a great addition to the sewing kit if you are wanting to do quilting and patchwork, I use mine every time as it is a great tool to measure against while cutting. To use this mat you can also use a Rotary wheel. The mat is great to protect your home surfaces and takes all the damage. It has markings and measuring lines along both sides to help you gauge your measurements better.
The rotary wheel is a valuable addition to your sewing kit especially if you plan to do a lot of patchwork and quilting. When cutting out the shapes for your patchwork it can get hard to stick to the shape marked out, the mat allows you to lay the fabric on the flat and cut with the wheel. The rotary wheel allows you to cut like scissors but more precise and with ease.
These are just a few of the things I believe that you will need to get started, there will be other items I will add into blog posts if I believe these things are vital for that particular project. Each person will differ and remember not to get bogged down on finding the perfect box to hold it together, you can use anything from a tin, lunchbox to a sewing box. I have used a number of things to hold my sewing kit, the beauty of your sewing kit is that it is personal and unique to your needs and requirements.
Let me know what you keep in your sewing box and what materials you would recommend using.