If you’re just starting sewing or if you’ve been sewing for years, one thing you need to remember is that not all of your tools are created equal. To get the most out of your experience as a seamstress, there are some tools that you simply can’t do without. The following are six tools and materials every aspiring seamstress needs in their sewing kit.
1. Measuring Tape
A measuring tape is probably one of your most essential tools as a seamstress. Measuring tapes are easy-to-use and provide accurate measurements, which is essential when designing clothing. Buy a measuring tape that comes with both a metric and imperial ruler, so you can be sure you’re making patterns based on proper sizing. The length should be at least 80 inches (200 centimeters) long, so it’s big enough for most sewing jobs.
Be sure your measuring tape has clear markings and doesn’t stretch out over time. Metal is best for durability purposes but not recommended for those who work with a lot of fabric. Fabric will wrap around metal measuring tapes and get stuck or twisted, causing problems when measuring.
2. Straight Pins
For all-around sewing tasks, look for a mid-size or large pack of straight pins. These pins make it easy to pin down multiple layers at once without leaving big holes in your garment. If you want to get fancy with your pins, consider buying decorative ones that double as jewelry when you’re not using them around the fabric.
3. Different Threads
Before you buy your fabric, make sure you have a variety of threads in your sewing kit. While you may think that all threads are alike, they’re not. Coated threads stay put and are great for straight stitching while uncoated threads can be used for decorative stitches on lightweight fabrics. Some thread has more stretch than others, so find out which works best for your projects. Remember, the more elastic it is, the better it will hold a stitch when pulled taut.
4. Seam Ripper
A seam ripper (or re-threader) is small and inexpensive, and it can be a real lifesaver if you ever accidentally break a thread on your sewing project. It’s also perfect for when you decide you don’t like how something turned out. With a seam ripper, it’s super easy to rip out an area of stitching and redo it. To keep one on hand all of the time, just attach it to an empty safety pin or key ring.
Good scissors are an absolute must. There are a lot of options available, but choose ones that suit your comfort level and sewing style best. These are likely going to be something you’ll use every day, so get yourself some that feel natural in your hand and cut easily through the fabric. There are two types you’ll most commonly find: dressmaker’s shears for cutting out pattern pieces, and utility scissors (also called chop or cutting shears) for cutting fabric directly.
Though most of the time you will get fabric specific for a project, it’s ideal to have extra fabric on hand in case your project needs an extra bit. For example, decorative silk can be a great fabric to keep on hand if you want to add a fancy silk texture to your project. Additionally, having fabric such as decorative silk, on hand, can encourage you to be more creative and create a style that you can call your own when using it in many of your projects.
It can be hard to know exactly what you need to buy to get your seamstress career off the ground. This list of items will give you the basics that every aspiring seamstress needs in their sewing kit. You might not think these things are necessary right now, but you’ll be grateful that you have them when you need them.
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