My Favorites: Sewing Supplies

I’ve been sewing for quite a while and along the way there have been sewing supplies that I have loved, and sewing supplies that I have disliked. This is a list of my top 20 essential sewing supplies for a beginning seamstress.

1. A good pair of fabric scissors, I love the Fiskars brand. It is the only brand that I use in my studio.

2. Spools of cotton thread, you will not be able to get any sewing project started without this sewing essential.

3. Straight pins are a necessity. I use them in every project because they keep the fabric lined up. I prefer longer pins with a colorful plastic end.

4. A pin cushion, I really like a magnetic pin cushion but an old-fashioned one works out just fine, too.

5. A seam ripper is a needed tool when mistakes happen and an item or project needs to be re-sewn.

6. A sewing machine, you can look at my sewing machine favorites post.

7. A sewing machine caddy is a hard, plastic carrying case which is great if you don’t have a craft space or plan on traveling with your machine.

8. Bobbins! You can never have enough bobbins. I change thread colors often and the more bobbins that I have, the less I have to unwind them.

9. Measuring Tape, it helps with measurements for accurate sewing results.

10. Hand-Sewing  Needles, even if you plan on sewing only with your machine these will come in handy when you need to sew on a button.

11. Sewing Machine Needles, they break at the most inconvenient times, so it’s important to have extra needles on hand.

12. Safety pins, they are great for when you have a larger piece of fabric that you want to keep lined up.

13. Fabric Markers are useful because they have disappearing ink which allows you to mark your fabric without worry of ruining it.

14. Iron, it eliminates wrinkles so that you can achieve more precise cuts.

15. Starch, it helps the iron flatten the fabric and keeps it stiff for measuring.

16. Buttons, they are fun for a beginning seamstresses to learn hand stitching.

17. Sewing gauge, it helps you keep your ironing straight.

18. Sewing book, it is a helpful book for beginners to learn sewing terms.

19. A needle threader they help you thread your hand sewing needles.

20. A pair of pinking shears cut a zigzag pattern in the fabric to help prevent fraying.

*Disclaimer: I have linked products that I either use in my studio, or that have good reviews. I do not currently receive any compensation for you using the links provided.

 

 

My Favorites: Sewing Machines

Hey Everyone! Today I will share my recommended beginner/intermediate sewing machines since more than 30 students have enrolled in classes with me in recent months! A few things that you should know before you read any further: I’m partial to the Singer brand.  I love a machine that hums and purrs like a kitten. I’ve been sewing on a number of different machines for the past nine years, and I’m an avid seamstress (but you already knew that last one).

I made this list based on what I believe are the essential functions of a sewing machine: straight stitch, back stitch, zig-zag stitch, a zipper foot, buttonhole stitches, and a bobbin winder. Things that I love on machines but don’t consider essential are: a needle threader, slow-fast adjustment, and fancy stitches.

1. The first machine on my list is the Singer Simple Machine. It is a great machine for a beginner. It is a fairly inexpensive machine, but has all the basic functions you would need to continue learning the art of sewing.

Singer Simple

2. The next machine on the list is the Brother cs6000i. I personally don’t love the Brother brand, just personal preference. At this price point for a beginner though, I think the fast-slow adjustment is amazing. One of my personal favorite sewing bloggers uses this machine for all of her sewing projects.

Brother cs6000i

3. I really like the Singer Curvy. I bought one of these machines second-hand a few months ago and love it! It has the easiest threading of any machine I own and is great for parents who want to help their child but are somewhat clueless.

Singer Curvy.jpg

4. Another machine I recommend is the Singer Stylist. It has lots of stitches, plus it has 10 presser feet that come with it. I have not personally used this machine, but it has everything I would look for in an intermediate level machine.

singer-stylist.jpg

5. The last machine, and by far my favorite is the Singer Confidence Quilter. I received one as a 14th birthday present and have been obsessed with it ever since! It has lots of stitches and comes with lots of presser feet. It has an automatic needle down function that is great for sewing with multiple layers.

Singer Confidence Quilter.jpg

 

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have about the machines, I will do my best to respond promptly.

 

 

 

 

 

Old Skirt to Super Hero Cape

Hey Everyone! Today I am going to show y’all how I changed a woman’s large, polyester skirt into a super hero cape. My sister came to me the night before Super Hero Day at her school and told me she needed a cape. I decided that the easiest way to get the project completed quickly was to alter a thrifted skirt from my stash.

Super Before

The first step was to cut the skirt down one of the seams and measure the width of the cape, I decided to cut the skirt in half and use one side for the cape.

Super cutting.jpg

I pinned and hemmed both sides. The bottom was already hemmed, so I left it alone. I cut black ribbon into 12-inch pieces and burned the ends to prevent fraying.

Super pins

Then, I sewed the ribbon to the top of the cape.

Super ribbons.jpg

The cape was done and ready for Super Hero Day!

Superohero After

Floral Chevron Baby Quilt

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Recently, I decided to sew a baby quilt for a first-time mom at my church. I did this project using only fabric and supplies from my stash. I chose two shades of pink, one shade of teal, and one floral print for this project.

HST squares

I looked to Pinterest for design inspiration, and decided to go with a chevron layout. Each of my blocks are 7×7 inches, I decided to create a 6×8 block design.  I then used Google drawings to create my lay-out.

6x8 Chevron Quilt pattern.jpgI realized I needed to learn how to sew Half-Square Triangles (HST). I found an amazing tutorial on how to sew eight blocks at a time from Blossom Heart Quilts. After that, I ironed my pieces and flattened the seam allowance toward the floral print side of my square. Then I cut off the excess fabric hanging off my square. I placed all my squares on my floor in order of the pattern, and I began sewing the rows together one by one.

Chevron layout.jpg

After I had my quilt top sewed together, I layered the batting in between the top and backing, I  pinned this all together and sewed the binding on. For my binding, I cut my backing two inches wider than the quilt top on all sides. Then I folded it over twice and stitched it.

Zig-zag topstitch

I followed up with a straight stitch to quilt the layers together using a zig-zag method to follow the chevron print.

Chevron quilt back

I’m happy with the results. What do you think?

Chevron Rocking Chair

Ruffle Dress Tutorial

Hey everyone! Today I will share how to sew a dress using a self-made pattern and a thrifted bed sheet.

The first step was to cut out the pieces. I used a pattern that I had made a while ago, made a copy of it, and cut off the built-in shoulder straps. Then I took the waist measurement and multiplied it by 1.5 that became the width of my skirt. The length depends on the height of who will wear the dress.

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Next, I sewed the bodice pieces together at the sides.IMG_9093.jpg

After that, I gathered my ruffle together and sandwiched it in between the bodice and the lining and faced the right sides together. I also attached straps at this step, but they were too thin so I replaced them later. I would recommend attaching the straps at  this point for a nicer looking garment, but attaching the straps later does not change the outward look of the dress.

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I then turned the bodice inside out and sewed a line across the top to help the ruffle lay flatter. I gathered my skirt and attached it to the bodice. IMG_9105.jpg

Finally, I attached the zipper, hemmed the dress, and hand-stitched the lining.

Ta-Da! It’s a state fair red-ribbon winning dress!

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