Monday, January 21, 2013

5 things A New Sewing Student Should Have

Happy Monday! It's quite cold here in New York City and this past weekend at work (Purl Soho) we were very busy! I usually work in fabric land and during the winter yarn is usually busy but this past weekend we were non stop cutting fabric and advising people on all of their sewing projects.  It was exciting to see that in this chilly weather people are sewing up quilts and dresses for themselves or kids.  This past weekend I also had a second sewing class with a new student named Lily, she is 10 years old and amazing!  Lily received a sewing machine for Christmas and she is picking up the skill very quickly.  Speaking with so many newbie sewers this weekend I realized how many people who don't take a class are unaware of all the useful sewing utensils.  So to start the week here are five pretty awesome sewing supplies to make your life easier!

1. Measuring tape -  a good one. What's a good one? Buy one that won't stretch over time. Tapes come in paper and woven fabric.  Also sometimes there will be a brass tab on the end, this I find annoying because it covers up the measurement. But that's just me.  I do find useful to have inches on one side and centimeters on the other.

2. Sewing gauge - Recently I started using these and love them! They are the best way to make sure your seam allowance is perfect all the way across.  I also find my students like them as much as I do.  There is a slider on this little ruler so can you butt it up right next to your seam. 

3. Tailors chalk - I've tried all sorts of pencils for sewing but I always go back to tailor's chalk or my new fave toy, the Chaco. Tailor's chalk is used for tracing your patterns and penciling in where you need to sew. I find many pencils don't transfer to fabric, don't come off when you steam them and the lead breaks easily.  The Chaco by Clover, has this cool little wheel on it.  The chalk comes out as you wheel your lines along. 

4. Pin Cushion - an easy way to keep your pins tidy.  You can buy a magnetic one or a cute stuffed one from etsy.
Magnetic Pin Caddy from Purl Soho
Needle Felted pin cushion on etsy

5. Good scissors - I always tell my students, invest in a decent pair when you first start sewing and don't cut paper with them, ever.  It dulls the edge.  Once you become a sewing fanatic I recommend buying a rotary cutter or a lovely pair of ginghers.
Tailor's shears are good for cutting our fabric on flat surfaces.  A favorite store in the garment district is Steinlauf and Stoller. Check out their awesome collection of shears. 

What are your favorite sewing supplies?
Do you have a fave pair of scissors?

Have a great week!

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