I ❤ Sewing!!!!
That being said, I have a confession to make. This evening I decided to take a look at the amount of sewing equipment I have, and realized I have been failing, miserably. I own a very decent amount of sewing materials, and they are sitting in my closet, waiting to be used. Some of them I purchased quite a while back. Others are newer, starting to collect dust. However, there is one item I have in surplus that surpasses all the others.
Everything from ballgowns to aprons; you name it, chances are I’ve got it. I decided to count the number of patterns I actually own, and realized I have 53. Yes, 50 plus 3. But before I am judged, let me say that I am definitely a fan of Joann’s 10 patterns at $1 each sales!
Nevertheless, since it is a new year I am going to challenge myself and have fun in the process. Starting in the month of February I am challenging myself to making at least one item every week, time-permitting. In addition, I will be including tid-bits of sewing know-how and FYI. I am not an expert, but I know how to use a pattern!! If you are an avid sewer, or a beginner just starting out, let me know!! Comment, subscribe, and/or email me with any questions or suggestions you might have. Also, if you’d like to follow along with this challenge, tell me about it. I am going to do a give-away at the end for individuals with the most comments, subscribes, and/or likes! To start you off on the right foot, I am going to include a list with brief descriptions below of some of the basic tools I will be using throughout the challenge. Stay tuned and tell your friends!
“SEW, SEW, DEF!!” Challenge (Basic Materials)
In order to sew most easily and efficiently, it is important to have a good sewing machine. The one I will be using is a Brother Project Runway Limited Edition sewing machine (Walmart) with 100 stitches. This is not required to sew, just the one I will be using. If you’d like to take it back to the pioneer days and sew by hand, that is fine as well. Your garments may take just a few days longer to finish. 😉
Just in case something goes wrong with your sewing machine, it’s always good to have a set of hand needles (Walmart) nearby. They are also used for sewing on buttons, adding finishing touches, and special stitches.
A companion to the sewing machine, bobbins (Joann’s Fabrics) for your thread are essential. The size you use will vary, depending on the sewing machine you have.
Thread is what you will be using to sew your fabric together. It comes in various colors, sizes, and thickness, depending on the sewing project. I’ve collected mine from a number of fabric stores.
Pins are to sewing what matches are to fire. In order to get things off to a good start, you’ll need them. Even the pros use them. It’s important to keep a good pincushion as well. It will help you avoid dropping or scattering them on the floor. TIP: Stepping on them is NOT fun. Don’t try it at home.
There are few things more important in sewing than a pair of good sewing scissors. My scissors are Fiskar, and are from Joann’s. Mind you, Joann’s can be quite expensive in this department, so if you can find them at Walmart or another fabric store, by all means do. Just make sure they cut well!
A sewing tape measure (Walmart) will help you make adjustments and fit your patterns a little better. It will also help you to measure yourself and let you know which pattern size is best for you. Get one! 😀
Seemingly insignificant, it’s good to have at least one. A rather large (but not TOO large) safety pin (Depots, Walmart) will help you pull through some tight spaces. You’ll see what I mean later.
Sharpies (Home Depot) are what I use to make very small markings on my fabric, and what I often use if I’m tracing my own pattern. You can use fabric pencils as well, but I often use a sharpie.
Zippers. Many garments include them and they make getting into/out of outfits easier. They can be hard to sew, but once you’ve mastered them you’re well on your way. I purchase mine from a number of places. Sizes may vary based on the garment you’re making.
A cutting mat is not absolutely necessary, but like a good pair of scissors it will make your life easier. It is often equipped with measurements that will help you draw straighter lines, etc. My mat is a Fiskar and purchased from Joann’s (with a coupon of course!!) Why spend more money on a product that can be found cheaper elsewhere if you don’t have to? 🙂
Buttons!! If chosen well they can add quite a personal touch to a garment. Making buttonholes also comes with practice but is worth it in the end. Buttons can be found in a number of places. If you thrift an old jacket, skirt, or clothing piece, look for unique buttons. They can be a focal piece for your next project.
Fabric. Couldn’t make an outfit without it. Your personal style dictates where you’ll find it. If you are a bartering master and love walking in the open air for exercise then the Fashion District in LA might be a great place to find some unique options. Fabric choice opportunities are literally endless. Different types of fabric fit different styles, but that is a topic for another day!
Last but not least, PATTERNS!!! They can be found in any fabric store, and Walmart carries some good beginner patterns as well. I would highly suggest looking for patterns with “EASY” on the front if you are a beginner. Starting with a challenging pattern as a first project can be quite discouraging without some expert help.
And that completes my list!! This assembly is in no way a comprehensive list, but just a few things that you may want to invest in to start. If you are working with a small budget, start small. Buy some regular scissors instead of really expensive ones, or get your fabrics at a discount fabric store. These products are what I have in my collection but make sure to do what is best for you. Thanks for reading and I can’t wait to sew with you all! Don’t forget to comment, like, and subscribe!!!
Into the August Red is a lifestyle and fashion blog by A. Brown. Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved.
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