I’ve started searching for a sewing machine and to be honest, I wouldn’t be sorry if I never clapped eyes on one again. The sewing machine market is a minefield and quite frankly, I need a break from the search. I have decided that I definitely want to take up sewing as a hobby and in order to do this, I will need to get a basic kit. Purchasing the sewing machine is on the to-do-list, but I need a bit more than just the machine. I had a meeting with the HR department at my work, so I decided to have a stroll into the small town near my work place beforehand. I went into the only sewing shop I could find and asked the lady at the counter for help…I literally looked like a lost child stood in this shop. I explained that I was completely new to sewing, having attended one class a few days earlier. I stated that I was extremely enthusiastic and wanted to buy the bare essentials that would enable me to start sewing (minus the sewing machine). The lady looked at me sympathetically and then proceeded to show me a few essential items that I would need.
Sewing chalk and all manner of equipment were mentioned, but it was agreed that I would not need to purchase such things until I became much more advanced and proficient in sewing (one can dream). I will need a few other items when I purchase a sewing machine (bobbins, sewing machine needles) but I personally don’t think any of those things are necessary until I have chosen a particular machine. I won’t need thread just yet because I’m not starting a project at home, so I do not even know the colours that I will need (the classes I attend provide the material and equipment needed). As you can see by the photo, I only got the bare essentials:
In the photograph you will find the following items that I believe will be sufficient for my particular sewing needs:
- Pin cushion – absolutely essential for making sure I don’t put my pins all over the place, only for one to end up lodged into a body part. I can do without a trip to A&E. Health and safety first!
- Pins – useful for keeping pieces of fabric together before sewing. I’m told that there is a technique called tacking (I believe this is when you sew a few temporary stitches to hold fabric in place before permanently stitching them together) which can also do the job, but it sounds like a lot of effort. I’m sure there is a place for tacking and that I’ll learn this at some point, however, pins it is for now. I chose glass headed pins, so that if I accidentally left one in and decided to iron over it, melting would not be an issue as with the plastic headed pins.
- Tape measure – to help me measure out fabric. I’m not so bold as to believe I’ll be making any items of clothing for quite a while. However, when I do, this will come in handy.
- Seam ripper – to unpick/undo any erroneous stitches, of which there may be many.
- Scissors – to cut fabric and thread.
The brand of my items does not particularly interest me at present, firstly because I wouldn’t know which brand was better than another. Also, because the most important thing is that I start sewing. By spending a small fortune and creating barriers for myself regarding brands and their affordability, I’ll never sew. My lack of ability is barrier enough and so far, it’s not posing a problem for me. Although, the lady at the sewing shop informed me that ‘Fiskars’ was a very good brand of scissor, even trying to flog their £35.99 pair to me. In my head I thought: ‘Those scissors need to be made with either gold or silver before I even consider spending so much on something I can buy significantly cheaper.’ In reality, I opted for a pair that was closer to the bottom of their range and more reasonably priced. I do understand that having a good pair of scissors will enable me to cut the fabric much better but as a newbie having to buy EVERYTHING, I want to keep my costs down as much as possible. I’m not saying this is all that I will need, but for now it will do and it’s exactly what I want – the bare essentials.