Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things

Happy New Year!

What better way to ring in the new year, than to get started on a few new sewing projects?
New to sewing? Need help getting started? I often have people ask me what kinds of tools they need to start sewing.
Here are some of my favorite sewing necessities and accessories.  

For those who don't know, I only started sewing about 6 months ago. I'm still very much a beginner. But I have had a blast learning how to use my machine. 

I have a basic machine.
A Brother XL2600.

It's a fantastic beginner machine. It has 25 stitch options, more than I ever need, and it's user friendly. So learning the basics is a snap. It's also extremely affordable in the sewing world.

These next few items are invaluable to the average sewer, and can make your life so much easier when it comes to getting your projects started.

Fabric scissors, yard stick, rotary cutter, and a large self-healing cutting mat.

The scissors and yard stick are a definite necessity. You need good sharp scissors to cut fabric precisely, and a nice yard stick to help mark and measure your fabric.

The rotary cutter and cutting mat are extras, but VERY handy in the quilting world. I have yet to make a quilt, but anytime I have some straight cutting to do, I whip out my rotary cutter and cut my cutting time in half!

What next, you ask?

A thread and bobbin holder/organizer. 

This is SO handy. I eventually want to upgrade to a larger size, but this small one does the trick. It keeps all my threads and bobbins within reach. It definitely beats digging through a drawer and dealing with those loose threads getting all tangled.

The next item I highly recommend is a walking foot. 

I use this sucker every chance I get. The foot has dogs that feed the top of your fabric through at the same rate as your bottom fabric. This helps tremendously when dealing with slick, thick, or different textured materials. 

Trust me. It's a life saver.

Know what else is a life saver? This guy. 

He's called a seam ripper. I call him Rip. We have a very close relationship, Rip and I. He can always get me out of a bind.... 

Haha. Okay, sorry I couldn't resist. But really, you can't live without one. No matter how perfect you are, you WILL make mistakes. And Rip here can help tear those misguided threads apart without ruining your project or tearing your fabric.

Get one. You'll love it.

I also recommend getting something to organize your small sewing notions, or do-dads as I call them. 

This one is portable and has a removable tray to help store and organize anything from buttons, to clasps, to pins and beyond.

Don't mind the mess...there is a method to my madness.

PINS. You will need them. Lots of them. 

*I also suggest caution tape to warn those who dare to trespass into your crafting space. My husband's feet have had many an encounter with these pokey things. They tend to get dropped and lost. Don't worry though, you will learn to dance around them as if it were second nature.*  

And last, but most definitely not least, you will need an iron and ironing board.

It's important to be able to press seams and iron your fabric as you go. You will often run into things that need to be adhered with heat, such as fusible webbing, interfacing, and appliques.

Now, this is not a necessity. But I couldn't resist showing off my new toy.

A brand new serger!

A serger is a truly invaluable tool when it comes to sewing. It cannot take the place of a sewing machine, but it is a fantastic companion to it. A serger, also known as an overlock machine, cuts and hems your fabric at the same time, creating a very strong seam.

The inner workings may seem a bit complicated. Four threads are threaded, rather than one. 

I'm in the process of learning how to use mine, but I am so excited to see what I can make with it!

If you decide to take up sewing, be careful. You may become addicted. But it's a wonderful and productive addiction to have! 

May you have a blessed, prosperous, and productive 2011!

Now go make something and enjoy the day!

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