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What is a sewing basket and why you should have one.
Assembling a sewing basket or box with the recommended sewing notions is highly recommend for any seamstress starting out. It allows you to keep your notions and small equipment in a handy, portable container to keep handy in your sewing space, along side you doing mending while watching T.V. or transport to a sewing class.
Measuring & Marking Tools
Tape Measure- Choose a fiberglass tape measures because it won’t stretch out. You’ll use the tape measure to take body measurements to select your pattern size; you’ll want this to be accurate so your project turns out that way you plan it to.
Clear flexible ruler- A 2” by 18” ruler with a little give will help you when it is time to measure around curves and the grid helps with keeping things straight.
Seam gauge- The seam gauge is that little ruler with a slidey bit. “It is used to do repeat measurements,” and comes in handy when you have a curved hem.
Tailor’s chalk- It is a soft chalk and you can use it in conjunction with your ruler to make nice straight lines on your fabric if you are making a hem.
8 “ Dressmakers Shears- These are pretty expensive, they are probably going to be the most expensive part of your sewing kit, but they are worth the money.
5” Sewing Scissors- they a handy size used for everything from cutting out notches to taking care of loose threads
Pinking Shears-are scissors, the blades of which are sawtoothed instead of straight. They leave a zigzag pattern instead of a straight edge that makes an excellent non-sewing seam finish. They are not something you will need right away, yet should be at the top of the list. (Especially if you are making garments.)
Scissors for paper- An inexpensive pair is all you need for cutting out patterns and the like
Thread Snippers are ideal for use with a variety of general home or office tasks. Quickly snip threads with just a gentle squeeze for super fast cutting.
Seam ripper/s- These come in a variety of sizes and styles. Not every stitch you make will last forever. From time to time you’ll have to undo some of the work you’ve done and for that, you’ll need a seam ripper with a really small and pointy head. Seam rippers can also be used to cut open a newly sewn buttonhole. (These be should replace every couple of years because they tend to get dull. When you get a new one you’ll be amazed by how easily it’ll cut through your stitches)
Pins & Needles
Glass head pins-These straight pins are the advanced alternative to the plastic-topped pins that come in generic kits. The reason is; “we use the pins to hold fabric in place and we press right over them with an iron (plastic-headed pins would get melted plastic all over everything). Glass head pins are made of a strong metal so they don’t bend too much and they are very fine so they won’t damage your fabric.
Pin cushions-. I prefer a magnetic pin cushion above the classic fabric cushion for a couple of reasons. Not only do they make it easy to pick up any pins you drop, the magnetic cushion help you work faster, “when you are sewing, you will have to pull your pins out and stop what you are doing to stick the pin in the tomato, that small action takes up enough time that I am willing to spend a little more money and get a magnetic pin cushion.Then I can just throw my pin at it and I don’t have to worry about it.
Hand sewing needles. Are used for sewing hems, putting on buttons, etc A variety pack is recommended for unique hand sewing needs and personal preference of size
Thimbles- these come in a variety of sizes and styles. They protect your finger when pushing a hand sewing needle through fabric.
Sewing machine needles. Sewing machine needles come in assorted sized to match fabric; i.e. wovens (universal), knits (ballpoint), twin, denim, upholstery, leather ( A tomato pin cushion is excellent for when you switch out machine needles in between projects that don’t yet need to be replace. Mark each segment with needle size with a fine tip Sharpie)
Point Turner-this tool tool gets nice sharp points on a pillow or a collar. Also, the style with a curved end for smoothing out round edges as well. (Don’t use the tips of your scissors because you will poke right through the end of your fabric.)
Bodkin- used for pulling elastic or drawstring through a casing.
Machine seam guide- a magnetic guide to ensure proper seam allowance during machine sewing.
Extra Bobbins & Bobbin box in which to keep them organized. Bobbins come in plastic or metal and in different sizes. You will need to know the type and size your machine takes as the wrong one can interfere with proper functioning of your machine making proper stitches.