Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Basic Sewing Notions

For those of you who are new to sewing, welcome!! I know the sewing process can be overwhelming as you get started, so I just wanted to introduce you to some of the basic sewing tools, often called 'notions.' I put them in order - mostly - of how I rate their importance. Of course that depends based on your project. But I guess it's based on how often I use them! If you have any questions or need clarifications, leave me a comment!


So these first few are a little hard to put in order, cuz a few of these are necessary items! But I guess you really can't sew without thread. So that's #1. And you can see how well I take care of my thread stash. Most of it was given to me by an aunt, and it's about the same way she gave it to me. I just dig through to find the color I need. Someday it will be organized. I hope.

 Pins are a MUST! I personally like the quilter's pins since their large heads make them easy to grab, and their long length makes them easy to use. The short ones drive me crazy. And no, I don't use a pin cushion. I just keep that little box next to me, and I haven't lost one yet. I don't think!

You WILL need at least one seam ripper. No question. I have both a large and small one, but if you're just getting one, I'd say to get the larger one. It's just better.

A good tape measure. You'll need it.

And at least one small one. I have 3 cuz if I'm at the machine, it's at the iron, if I'm at the iron, it's on the table, if I'm at the table . . . you know how it goes. I like to keep them handy!

A good pair of sewing scissors (or two or three). Personally I keep a little pair by the sewing machine to snip threads, another pair just for fabric, and yet another for paper (patterns, ribbon wrappers, etc). Paper makes scissors dull in no time, so my fabric scissors never touch paper. I also have a pair of pinking shears. They're pretty helpful, but not necessary. And as you can tell, I'm a Fiskars girl.

Bobbins. If you're going to do any sewing on a machine, I'd highly recommend a pack of bobbins . . . so you can change the thread on your machine! That's a must. Be sure to check which kind your machine uses before you go buy some!

Spare sewing machine needles are handy, but not 100% necessary yet if you're just starting out.. Just for those occasions when they go dull . . . or worse yet, break.

Hand sewing needles. Again, these may rate higher on your list . . . especially if you don't already have a machine! But for me, I just use them occasionally to close small gaps or attach certain buttons. Either way, they're a good thing to have.

Invisible Ink, chalk or water soluble marker. I personally like the invisible ink the most (normally it's in a purple lid). The water soluble marker is only helpful if you're going to mark something and then let it sit for a couple days before you sew. But if you're like me, you get your project finished. So mark it, sew it, and it disappears. It's perfect. Also I have some of that tailor's chalk. Let's just say I think it used to be my grandma's. I don't really use it anymore.

Loop Turner (the long skinny one), and a Pointy thing. Yeah, I don't remember what it's called. I only use that for collars, and I don't make those much anymore. The loop turner I use ALL the time. Especially when making something long and skinny . . . like a purse handle . . . or a baby tie . . . or a million other things.

Fray Check. It isn't so much of a necessity to me as it once was (especially since I picked this bottle up only to realize it's dried out!), but another solution that works nearly as well on most items: clear nail polish.

I'm sure there's even more notions than I regularly use, those were just all I could think of right now! Oh, and these aren't really notions, but I'd highly recommend a sewing machine and an iron. You'll need 'em!

Feel free to comment if you think of something else I might have missed, or have any questions! :)

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