Kick Start Your Sewing Habit with Needlecase
Taking on something new can be a daunting challenge, especially when it comes to buying the right equipment and getting started, so to make learning to sew that little be less daunting (or so we hope, please let us know in the comments below if you find this blog post useful), we’ve put together this quick little guide of top tips, top tutorials and top tools.
Stocking Up Your Sewing Kit
First things first, you need to treat yourself to a lovely sewing box so you have a handy place to keep all your tools and materials in, we recommend one with lots of different pockets and compartments to keep your tools and your trims separate. Then it’s time to start filling your sewing box with the basics. To get cracking on a small, hand sewing project you will need:
- a tape measure
- a set of sewing needles. As with knitting needles, sewing needles whether for hand sewing or machine sewing come in different sizes. Generally for hand sewing which size needle you use largely depends on what size you feel most comfortable handling, so we recommend buying a set of different sizes to get you started to you can try a few and see what you like. There are cases when one type of needle will be better than another, for example for tightly woven fabrics like cotton linings you will need a smaller, sharp needle whereas for thicker more loosely woven fabrics a larger, rounded needle or bodkin may be suitable.
- Tailors chalk. This is particularly useful for marking out patterns and measurements onto your fabric. The best option is to buy a set of chalks containing different colors (often orange, yellow and blue) so you have chalk that will show up against different coloured and patterned fabrics.
- Pinking Shears. Pinking shears are a must have in any sewing box as they allows you to cut your fabric pieces out and minimse fraying at the edges.
- Regular scissors. These are for trimming things like thread and be sure not to confuse them with paper scissors and ONLY use them for threads and fabrics as you don’t want the blades blunting!
- A Stitch Unpicker. This is a handy tool for quickly unpicking and misbehaving stitches.
Choosing Which Fabric to Work With
This really depends on the type of sewing project you are wanting to undertake, but for the most part fabrics such as silks, satins and some man made nylons are trickier to work with as they often tend to slip and equally some velvets and brocades can also be difficult to use due to their thickness. However with the right tools and advice these things can easily be tackled so you may want to try out a sewing classes or two to learn the tricks of the trade for handling these kinds of materials.
At Needlecase we recommend for your first sewing projects sticking to a basic cotton but the beauty of this is that basic doesn’t mean boring! Cotton is a hugely poplar and versatile type of fabric so you still have a wide range of patterns, colours and even textures to choose from so even as a beginner you’re definitely not restricted to the plain and boring stuff!
Picking a Pattern
This can be a little tricky, and in part your success in completing the project you choose relies as much on your own determination as the simplicity of the pattern. However given the cotton fabrics we recommended, you may want to try some like little drawstring bags for scented lavender or a simple pin cushion to keep your pins and needles safe and if you can’t decide where to start why not come along to one of our sewing classes in store in Tadcaster?!