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Your First Sewing Kit

By Monica Lam

1. Hand Sewing Needles

Have you ever walked into your local craft store and got lost in all the aisles? Were you mesmerized by all the cool trinkets and gadgets, but not sure what to buy? Today’s post is all about what you need in your basic sewing box!

For this post, I will focus mainly on the basic set a beginner will need--and I will refer back to the days I used to rummage in my mom’s sewing box as a kid. We all did, didn’t we?

An absolute must - even if you intend on doing most of your projects on a sewing machine. Nothing beats the versatility and fine precision afforded by hand sewing. There are somethings you can’t do on a sewing machine, and that’s when a handy dandy hand sewing needle will come in hand. From mending tears to hand basted tailored suits, this is the very basic item you will need to start your journey into sewing.

We can talk all about the various hand sewing techniques in another post. For now, grab yourself a sew of Assorted Craft needles. Notice there are different needle "eyes" sizes. The bigger the eye, the thicker the thread will easily glide through. Of course, if you’re sewing something extremely delicate, go with a finer needle with a smaller eye.

2. Thread

You’d be surprised the different weights, fibers, and colors you can get thread in. For now, let’s stick to the basics - you can buy Cotton or Polyester thread. Most craft stores carry the common thread spools that will fit in your home sewing machine. One typically just grabs a color and doesn’t even think twice. Upon closer inspection, you’ll see there is a thread “weight” as measured numerically as 50, 60, and etc. 50 and 60 weight are most commonly used for a wide range of crafts and work well for a large number of things including machine sewing. Heavier threads have a lower weight number, and the finer the thread, the weight will be a larger number.

3. Pins

This is extremely useful when you need to hold multiple layers of fabrics together or place-hold your fitting notes for clothing alterations. I personally prefer the no-nonsense bulk package of Precision Point Dressmaker Pins as I tend to go through them fairly quickly in fittings and while draping, but some prefer the more colorful pearl-end pins, which are easy to see and made for easy removal when sewing on the machine.

4. Seam Ripper

Opps! We’ve all done it. Sewn a seam allowance too deep, sewn a stitch too far, sewn a pant leg inside out! Introducing, my best friend, the Seam Ripper! It’s great to have a mini seam ripper for precision thread removal and a larger one for more intense seam ripping ordeals.

5. Scissors / Fabric Shears

There was a time these never left my bag. I carried it with me everywhere I went as a Fashion Student. That’s how important your scissors are! Most importantly, invest in a good pair of fabric sheers! They will last you a lifetime so treat them well and have them regularly sharpened by a trusted professional scissor / knife sharpener! Below are some examples of scissors - from fabric sheers to pattern paper cutters to paper scissors, and etc.

And there you go! Those are my top 5 picks for starting off your sewing tool kit. Until next time, Stay crafty!