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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dh bought me a sewing machine a few weeks ago, and recently got a used desk and created a sewing corner for me in the office. Yay!<br><br>
Now I haven't sewn since I was about 9 and was making little pillows for my Barbies on my mother's ancient Singer, so it will take me a while to get used to all this again.<br><br>
What do I need to get started? (other than fabric, patterns and thread)<br>
What are the "must haves" for beginners?<br>
What are the things that I might be tempted to buy but probably don't need?<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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Get yourself some really good fabric cutting scissors; keep them sharpened, and don't cut anything but fabric with them--use the old Fiskars for paper, plasic and cardboard cutting.<br><br>
Oh yeah, and some patience. It takes awhile to get the hang of it. Good luck to you!
 

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A seam ripper- to nicely take out all the mistakes and a good marking pen. I also love clover pins they have big flower heads and you can find then easy on the floor.
 

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ITA with good scissors and a seam ripper.<br><br>
Get some sewing machine oil so that you can use a little on a Q-tip to clean out your machine in between projects. I just open up the bobbin case and go at it. Works really well as it attracts the fuzz.<br><br>
If you are sewing curtains or things with hems, get one of the little rulers with the sliding gauge from the notions aisle. It's cery nice not to have to keep checking the measurement every time.<br><br>
The rest kind of depends on what you want to sew. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Have fun!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>niki_73</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">and you can find then easy on the floor.</div>
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I bought metal pins and a magnetic flat pin holder so that when I drop pins I can just hold it down near the floor and all the pins come up off the ground, way better deal than trying to find a bunch of pins with a babe on the floor.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">:
 

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I love my rotary cutter & mat. The worst thing for me about sewing was always the pinning and cutting out of the pattern pieces. My sewing life has been so much better since I bought my rotary cutter and dh made my cutting mat. Also pick up some heavy washers at the hardware store to use as pattern weights. You'll be able to cut your pattern out in 1/4 the time and get to the fun part sooner. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Good luck! Sewing is a great hobby.
 

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Don't forget handsewing needles - everyone has to take a stitch now and again even if to just sew on buttons. Though most machines can sew on buttons too...<br><br>
I love my Gingher thread snips. I pretty much keep my thread snips, clover flower pins, sharp shears, 6 inch adjustable ruler, blue fabric marker and seam ripper right next to me as I sew.<br><br>
I would suggest buying shears instead of scissors, it is easier to cut fabric accurately with shears. The handle is offset from the blades with shears, so they look like this :_ rather than this :-. Scissors pick the fabric up off the table more.<br><br>
Everything mentioned in this thread is good, you can pick up other stuff as you need it for a particular project. Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>scrapadoozer</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My sewing life has been so much better since I bought my rotary cutter and dh made my cutting mat. Also pick up some heavy washers at the hardware store to use as pattern weights. You'll be able to cut your pattern out in 1/4 the time and get to the fun part sooner. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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My MIL knew that dh was planning to get me the sewing machine so she got me a rotary cutter and a mat. (I wasn't even sure what they were when I opened them!) I love the idea of using heavy washers!<br><br>
Thanks everyone for all the great ideas!
 

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Not sure if tape measure was mentioned (I use it all the time to check that the pattern pieces are lined up along the grain properly, and to find out what size the pattern actually is vs. what it says on the package).<br><br>
What I use all the time:<br><br>
Cutting out - pins and good shears (I don't have a rotary mat big enough), tape measure, iron, and the biggest table I have. (I've been known to use the floor, but that really uses leg muscles!)<br><br>
Sewing - machine needles (ball point for knits, sharps for wovens), thread (stay away from the "3 for $1" kind), extra light, chalk/marking pen, seam ripper, straight magnet (for seams greater than the 3/4" that is marked on the throat plate - don't do this if you have a computerized machine!!), small ruler/hem gauge/measuring tool, oil and cleaning tools (q-tips or toothbrush or nylon serger brush - canned air can be handy too).<br><br>
Fitting (if you want to get fancy) - full length mirrors, lots of chalk/marking pens, long straight ruler/yard stick, french curve, and "Fit for Real People", "Pants Fit for Real People".<br><br>
Luckily, most of this stuff is inexpensive. I would like to warn against aquiring lots of patterns and fabric (at least in the beginning) - it's easy to get carried away in the store, and can get overwhelming once you are staring at the machine <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> . Oh, did I mention the rubbermaid bins??
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kamilla626</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My MIL knew that dh was planning to get me the sewing machine so she got me a rotary cutter and a mat. (I wasn't even sure what they were when I opened them!) I love the idea of using heavy washers!<br><br>
Thanks everyone for all the great ideas!</div>
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If you do not have heavy washers, cans of tuna work great!
 

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My must haves:<br>
1. tracing paper, I trace my patterns then cut them out so I can keep all sizes or make my own adjustments.<br>
2. fabric marking pen - sometimes it helps to put markings right on fabric.<br>
3. seam ripper or two <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br>
4. rotary cutter, mat how could one live without <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> and a ruler that won't get cut by cutter.<br>
5. long pins, not the short kind I like mine 3 inches long with big heads and saftey pins<br>
6. sharp sissors.<br>
7. small mini ironing board.<br>
8. paper and pen handy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
9. iron hemm stuff, just to hold in place while i sew.<br>
10. larger envelopes for your patterns after you are done.<br><br>
oh and stuff not to buy:<br>
1. more fabric than you need for your current projects, sale doesn't matter if you won't use it! Ask for donations, use old clothing with holes to practice on. Most sewers have a tonne of left over stuff!
 

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Take a look at the sheet/bedding bin at the thrift store. A great source of inexpensive material to do "mock ups" before using expensive fabric!<br>
Also, I bought a scissor sharpening machine... love it!!
 

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A small pair of snips to be kept next to the machine for snipping threads,<br>
a wrist pin cushion (easy to make with some elastic, scrap of thread, and stuffing),<br>
thread holder for the many spools you'll have, plus bobbins.
 

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Great list. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">:
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Shiloh</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My must haves:<br>
1. tracing paper, I trace my patterns then cut them out so I can keep all sizes or make my own adjustments.</div>
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My friend showed me a handy trick that I had never thought of that will save on tracing. Cut the pattern to the largest size, if you need to use a smaller size fold the pattern to that line and pin, cut. No more tracing and you still have all the sizes available. It works great.
 

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beware of the purple "wash-out" pens. Didn't wash out for me, but spread and stained the fabric. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 
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