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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Right Stuff…or What Works for Me!

This is part one of many blog entries containing valuable sewing tips! I will be teaching a couple of sewing classes this summer at the Quilter’s Market in Tucson, Arizona and thought I should share the basics with my wonderful customers as well! I know many of you are learning to sew and I’m hoping that this will all be helpful in some way, to someone. I also know that many of you are seasoned and I would sincerely appreciate any input, suggestions or advice! Simply leave a comment below. If anyone has a question they would like answered, let me know and I will do my best to provide a logical response!

I know the internet contains an enormous amount of information, but I get tired of paging through it all. So, I recommend the following book because it has all the basic information you’re likely to need when sewing clothing, it’s accurate and all in one place; The Dressmakers Technique Bible by Lorna Knight. I was lucky enough to receive it as a gift, thanks Mandy, lobes you!

Included in this post are some photos of the stuff I typically use. Most of it is very helpful to have from the beginning, but not always necessary. I am an advocate for saving money, too. So, plan ahead and save up those coupons! Make it your personal goal to never pay retail. I love Joann’s fabric, but I always use coupons. I also shop at all too regularly. Always do a quick Internet search for their coupons because they always have something going on. Of course there is always For your machine(s) I strongly suggest that you look at a sew and vac shop! They will answer all of your questions and let you try out the machines. They might have something in your budget, they typically offer trade in values and classes. All of this will help you avoid those lemons you’ll find in big box stores.

So here we go…

Cutting tools:
Sharp scissor, use them for nothing but fabric and thread, NOTHING BUT! Pinking shears, a seam ripper (unfortunately you’ll need this) and a rotary cutter which makes cutting go quickly. Be careful you don’t cut off any body parts with this!

Measuring tools:
A tape measure, you might want one with metric on one side and “standard” on the other. Be sure it is at least 60” long. If you use a rotary cutter you’ll need a self healing mat. My favorite is the 24”x36”. Also, a larger acrylic cutting square; I use Omnigrid. The size I use most is 14”x14”.

You’ll need regular machine sewing thread that coordinates with your fabric. Also, upholstery or clear thread for easier gathering. Maybe some elastic thread for shirring. Overlocking or serger thread spools if you have a serger.

Pins and Needles:
Machine needles, dress making pins (straight pins), hand sewing needles and safety pins. It's up-side-down but blogger is going to make me crazy if I reload it againa...

Odds and ends:
Fray check for ribbons and a fabric pencil for marking on your fabric.

A regular sewing machine, a serger and an iron and board.

Now, remember you may not need all of these things, these are just the tools I use often enough to mention. Feel free to comment if I left something out that you typically use or find helpful!

1 comment:

  1. Amanda! Your so Amazing!! ;) Im so greatful you can teach me how to sew from a different state! Your the best!