A few things I think are sewing essentials for every sewing kit and some tips for saving money building your kit.
- Sewing machine
- There are many affordable sewing machine options. I recommend buying your first machine from a local dealer as they will be able to support your machine and offer you assistance if you have any issues. If you buy an inexpensive machine from a store like Wal-Mart or Costco you will not be able to take it in if you experience any problems. A typical machine tune up costs $90 so you can easily eat up your savings with a tension issue or two.
- Sewing scissors
- I recommend you get a
pair of scissors dedicated for use with sewing. You can buy a good
quality pair of scissors for under $15 (example). Most sewing enthusiasts buy a
high quality metal pair of scissors for about $25 (example) but that is not
- A small pair of scissors
or thread trimmers is nice to have, but also unnecessary.
- Pins with a ball-head are
my favorite. Glass-headed pins work great because they won’t melt if they
get close to the iron. A pin with a finer shaft will go through fabric
more easily, but finer pins also bend more easily. You can buy a small box of pins for less than $5.
- You will need a place to
keep your pins. The box the pins came it will work, but isn’t the most
convenient. A fabric or magnetic pincushion will work best. You can even
make your own pincushion with a scrap of fabric and some stuffing.
Magnetic pincushions are $10-15. This particular pin cushion travels well because it comes with a cover.
- Hand-sewing needle
- Many projects require a minimal amount of hand
sewing. Thinner needles are harder to thread, but usually slide through fabrics
- Tape measure
- A flexible tape measure is essential for taking body measurements and measuring your fabric. I prefer the non-retractable version.
- A seam ripper
Shopping for supplies
I do not recommend that you buy a prepackaged kit. All of the stuff in those kits is cheap and not worth the $14.99 you'll pay for the kit.
If you shop at a chain craft store like JoAnn, Hancock, Hobby Lobby, or Michaels my #1 recommendation is never pay sticker price for anything. These stores always have items on sale and coupons to cover your full price items. In general, I never pay full price for anything that costs more than $5.00 at a chain store.
The JoAnn's in my area has very generous coupon policies. I use the print coupons, iPhone coupons, and competitor coupons all in the same transaction. Sometimes I will have 4-6 40% off coupons and they don't even bat an eye. The Hancock in my area will only allow me to use one store coupon and one competitor coupon, so I just keep this in mind while I do my shopping.
Disclaimer: the links on this page are for illustrative purposes only. I have not personally used each item. This post is not an endorsement of any brand or store.
Labels: Sewing, Sewing School