Shauna asked me to provide a list of items a beginning sewer might need, so here goes (any additional input would be appreciated!)
- sewing machine – if you’re just starting out, you really only need something that has straight stitch and zig-zag, and can handle the fabric that you’ll be working with
- needles for the sewing machine – to match the type of fabric you’re sewing. change them often!
- scissors – with sharp blades, preferably a set of two: small snippers for clipping threads and a bigger pair for fabric (that will ONLY ever be used on fabric!). optional: pinking shears for quick-and-dirty seam finishing
- hand-sewing needles – get the variety pack
- thread – i’d say “DUH”, but there are a lot of thread choices, which can make it confusing. i’d pick the “all-purpose” type (cotton-wrapped polyester) to start, a spool of black and a spool of white.
- bobbins – make sure you have enough extra bobbins filled with thread so you don’t have to interrupt your sewing flow when the bobbin thread runs out.
- seam ripper – because you are going to make mistakes, no matter what your sewing skill level might be
- pins (and a pin cushion or a magnetic pin holder) – the basic ball-head type, plus a range of safety pins
- marking implements – fade-away or wash-out marker are my top choices, then chalk
- measuring tape and a small ruler – measure twice, cut once!
- steam iron – because you really do need to press those seams and hems
there are a million other optional items (snap-setting tool, point turner, stiletto, elastic guides – you get the idea), but nothing i can think of that’s absolutely necessary for a beginner. did i leave out anything?