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As a beginner sewer the fabric store can offer an overwhelming number of choices of tools and resources to get you started. Here are my top 10 must-have items for your kit. With these you can start sewing. After you get started you will have a better idea of what specialized items you might like to add to expand your capacity for making stitched creations.
1. Dressmaking scissors. A good pair of scissors is a valuable investment. These should only be used for cutting fabric as other items like paper will dull the blades faster.
2. Smaller scissors. A small pair of embroidery scissors or similar are handy for snipping threads, cutting small details, or getting into tight corners.
3. Tape Measure. A must-have to hand for checking seam widths and other measurements as you go along. Attention to detail in measuring makes all the difference to your finished piece.
4. Iron and ironing board. Press, press, and press again. Press your fabric, press your seams as you go along. Another area where attention to detail makes a big difference.
5. Pins and pin cushion. A magnetic pin cushion is useful for picking up dropped pins as well as keeping them safely in one place. Different pins are designed for different uses but for now a box of straight dressmaker pins (with or without a ball head) is all you need.
6. Dressmaker's chalk/liner/pencil. Use blue or pink chalk on light coloured fabrics and white or yellow chalk on dark colours.
7. Clear Quilting or Grading Ruler. You might start with a 6"x24" especially if you want to try quilting.
8. Seam Ripper. For those times when you need to rip it out and try again. It happens.
9. Pinking Shears. To stop the cut fabric edges from fraying. This is a simple way to finish inside seams without a serger. Other methods include making a French Seam (but that is for another blog post).
10. Needles. You can now buy "easy-threading" needles which are a good all-round basic hand sewing needle. Otherwise embroidery needles are good for most uses. Most sewing stores will also sell variety packets so you will have a range of the most common needles. Choose your needle according to your project: embroidery, darning, etc.
There you have my top 10 must-have items for your sewing kit. There are many more bits and bobs you can collect to make your projects easier. Your local fabric store can give you advice on what is available. Or you can visit us at The Stitchery in Port Moody. We are happy to chat with you, even offer you a cup of tea, and help you with your creative projects. We also have a range of basic sewing tools for sale in our shop if you are putting together a kit.