Getting started with sewing.
The first sewing project I’ve posted is a simple, easy to make bag for carrying small items such as an eReader like a Kindle or Nook. This is an easy first project for beginners, but what if you are even newer to sewing and have never made anything more than clothes for your dolls. There are many classes and videos available to that I will gladly recommend to help get you started. For a person-to-person beginner class I highly recommend signing up at a Joann’s Fabric and Craft Store for one of their classes. In addition to these classes, there are many very good beginner sewing videos on You-Tube which will definitely get you on your way. Craftsy.com is a great place to begin.
Topic 1: Getting started, tools and equipment.
There a few basic tools you should have in your tool kit, aside from those that came with your sewing machine.
SCISSORS. So many to choose from, but which do we really need? Get what feels good in your hand. It needn’t be costly and heavy. Fiskars makes very good scissors, at very affordable prices, in different shapes and sizes. For large cutting projects I find it more comfortable to use a scissor with a longer blade and a slightly bent grip. For snipping bits of thread, a small scissor, about 4″ is sufficient. I recommend having one more of intermediate size simply because it comes in handy for cutting patterns, trimming seams, and most other uses not mentioned.
Notions. All those little things that come in handy:
1. NEEDLES: For both hand and machine sewing. Have an assortment of sizes.
2. SEAM RIPPER: a must for the sewing kit.
3. SLIDE MEASURER. This is a small metal ruler with a slit down the middle, and a slider which moves along the slit. It measures about 6″.
4. BOBBIN BOX. A little box in which to hold/store your bobbins. These accumulate quickly when you sew with lots of colored threads. And if you do most of your sewing in one color, it is useful to have several “filled” bobbins ready to use. Although any type of container will do, the small plastic boxes with dividers which are made to hold bobbins are very handy.
5. THREAD BOX. A box to hold/store spools of thread. Any box will do.
6. PINS. There are never too many pins. Different sizes for different weight fabrics, just keep them separate one size from another.
7. MAGNET. It makes finding, and retrieving dropped pins much easier.
8. FABRIC MARKER. A chalk pencil is handy for marking your fabric, and it brushes off. The washable or disappearing markers work great too.
9. MEASURING TAPE. This speaks for itself.
SEWING MACHINE FEET. Your machine came with a few different presser feet, which are generally used for different types of sewing. I have found that I tend to use the same two presser feet for just about all my sewing: the foot that came already attached, for general sewing; and the zipper foot, for attaching zippers and also for sewing in “tight or awkward spots”.
Keep all these tools in a central area so you won’t need to try and find them later when you need them. A plastic “tote” storage box, a hat-box, an unused tool box or even an old silverware box work fine. Find what works for you and don’t be afraid to be creative at the same time.