* Sewing has become a novelty skill in the past couple decades
* Sewing takes practice, but keeping these essential items in tow will help
* Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned tailor, keep these items in your kit
Gone are the days when high school Home-Ec classes taught us how to be domestic. Nowadays, we’re on our own when it comes to learning how to cook, maintain a household, and sew textiles.
If you’re looking to explore the world of sewing, don’t expect to master the skill immediately. As with most things, practice makes perfect. To get you started, here are the 9 essential items you’ll want to have on hand in your sewing kit. Regardless of whether your project will be made via hand sewing or using a machine, these essential tools will make the process much more seamless (no pun intended) and hassle-free.
1. Sewing/Hem Gauge
This 6-inch sewing gauge is a lifesaver when it comes to sewing and hemming heavyweight bottoms and jeans. The sliding device allows you to measure the garment’s hem depth as well as the space between button holes. The slider also stands in as a good visual reference when sewing, pressing or pinning.
2. Measuring Tools
Measuring tools are an essential item for all steps in the sewing process. While a standard ruler will also come in handy, in order to measure the body to ensure a precise fit, you will need a flexible tape measure too. We suggest opting for one that’s 60 inches long.
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3. Seam Rippers
Seam rippers are used to undo seams so that you can re-sew, re-hem or tighten fabric. It’s important to choose the correct type of seam ripper in order to protect the fabric and prevent permanent damage to the garment. Look for one with a sharp edge that’s protected by a ball tipped point to prevent scratches and protect the garment from unwanted tears.
4. Mercerized-Cotton Thread
Mercerized cotton thread is medium-sized and it can be used for general sewing needs. It works well with linen, rayon, and most cotton fabrics so it will be quickly become your thread “go-to” for most of your basic needs. Make sure to have several colors on hand.
5. Glass Head Pins
This may seem obvious, but you’ll need pins to sew–and you want to make sure that you get good quality ones. Glass-headed pins are a much better option compared to steel pins because they give you a better grip and more control over your hand motion. The glass ball is also more visible and resistant to heat, so it can be used with a heat iron.
6. Disappearing Ink Marking Pens
Great for marking your measurements during the process, these disappearing ink pens will come in handy more than you’d think. The color slowly degrades over time, guiding you through the process but without making permanent marking like a typical permanent marker or pen. They’re air and water-soluble so they will work well on even more delicate fabrics.
Perhaps an odd addition to the list, but beeswax is an insider’s secret weapon when it comes to sewing. Use it to stiffen your thread and push it through the needle’s eye. It will prevent tangles and give you more precision. This is an especially great “tool” for beginner sewers to practice with before becoming an expert.
8. ButtonTwist Thread
Button twist thread will come in handy for sewing up heavier items such as winter coats and heavier denim items.
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9. Fabric Scissors
A good pair of fabric or tailor’s scissors is an essential for your sewing kit. Regular scissors will be too dull for cutting through most fabrics, and they’ll leave you with jagged edges and uneven lines. A stainless steel pair is your best bet.