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Everything you need to get started with sewing

If you're new to sewing it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. There are so many tools and supplies, different sewing machines, a myriad of fabrics and a range of necessary skills to learn depending on what you want to make. It's easy to get discouraged if you don't start on the right path, so compiled below is what you need to get started with sewing.

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Tools & Supplies

There are a few essential tools you'll need that make up a basic sewing kit, then you can acquire more as you learn about different projects.

Everyone who sews needs at least these tools that are used often when sewing and in classes.

Here are details about each tool and links to buy. As you learn more sewing techniques and take on more complex projects you'll need additional tools and supplies. You can find many of these in the Shop and I'll provide guidance in our sewing lessons.

Quilting Pins

Pins are used to hold fabrics and pattern pieces in place while cutting and sewing.

Buy

Sewing Clips

Great for holding fabric in place when you don't want to use pins.

Buy

Scissors Bundle

Invest in a good pair of scissors and snips for cutting fabrics and quickly trimming threads.

Buy

Flexible Ruler

Buy

Quilting Ruler

A clear ruler makes it easier to mark and cut fabrics.

Buy

45mm Rotary Cutter

A good size for most cutting needs, and can be used right or left handed. Use a small cutter for more intricate cuts, or a large cutter for thicker or multiple layers of fabric.

Buy

Fabric Marker

Water and air soluble to make marks on most fabrics. Be sure to test and read labels before marking final fabrics.

Buy

Cutting Mat

Avoid damaging tables and rotary cutting tools by using a self-healing cutting mat.

Buy

Tape Measure

Precise measuring is critical to ensure your project comes out as expected.

Buy

Seam Ripper

Everyone makes mistakes and changes are common so a seam ripper is a tool you'll likely use often.

Buy

Magnetic Pin Cushion

A quick way to store your pins for easy access.

Buy

Chalk Pens/Markers

A longer-lasting tool for making marks that comes in a variety of colors.

Buy

Erasable Pens

Buy

Magnetic Seam Guide

A handy tool that helps to sew straight and keep seam allowance consistent.

Buy

Pattern Weights

Buy

Ironing Station

With the first projects you learn to make ironing isn't usually necessary but it quickly becomes an essential step in the sewing process so I recommend an iron and a space where you can iron while working on your sewing projects.

Steam Iron

A steam iron is used to not only remove wrinkles but to also press open seams and ensure fabric lies flat for a better finish.

Buy

Mini Iron

A small iron is great for travelling or when you're working in a small space.

Buy

Ironing Board

Using an ironing board provides a flat, firm and versatile surface for handling a wide range of projects that require ironing.

Buy

Sleeveboard Mini Ironing Board

A small ironing board that has a raised area for pressing so you can slide a sleeve over the pressing surface to prevent creases.

Buy

Sewing Machines

What to look for in a sewing machine if you don't already have one, and a few suggestions of what makes a good machine for beginners.

Fortunately, the core functions of a sewing machine are the same regardless of how much it costs or if it's modern or vintage, so when you're getting started with sewing just about any sewing machine will do.

Many students want to learn how to sew when they're gifted a sewing machine or one is passed down to them. If you already have a sewing machine I can show you how to use it in our sewing lessons. If you're looking to buy a sewing machine for yourself or your child here are few things to look for and be aware of.


Speed Control

Many digital sewing machines come with a feature known as speed control that maintains the speed of the sewing machine regardless of how hard the foot pedal is pressed. This can be beneficial for beginners, especially kids, who aren't comfortable yet with controling the speed using the foot pedal. If your machine doesn't have speed control, that's ok, you can still learn how to use it since managing speed with the foot pedal is an essential part of sewing.

Number of Stitches

Most projects only need straight or zig-zag stitches. The number of stitches isn't a major factor in choosing a sewing machine unless your goal is to make projects that require a wide variety of decorative stitches.

Price

When buying a sewing machine choose one that's as much as your budget will allow. Below are links to sewing machines in a range of prices that are great for beginners and If you're not ready to invest in a sewing machine, try renting or borrowing a machine.

Janome 740DC
Bernette B37
Juki HZL-70HW
Brother CS6000i

Sewing Tutorials

A few tutorials for beginners to show how to properly setup your sewing machine.


Learn how to wind a bobbin.
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Learn about the value of speed control and how it can help first-time sewers have a more enjoyable learning experience.
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Learn how to thread your sewing machine properly to avoid problems.
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Learn how to load a bobbin in both top and front loading sewing machines.
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New to Sewing Classes

To acquire the skills to achieve your sewing goals I offer flexible sewing classes for kids and adults to begin their sewing journey.

For beginners who are completely new to sewing these classes are a great starting point and prepare you to take on more projects. Not sure where to start? See the comparison of classes to get you started with sewing.

A great introduction to basic sewing techniques and using a sewing machine.
Duration: 2 Hours
Class Details
Everything your child needs to feel confident on a sewing machine and ready to take on more projects.
Duration: 8 Hours
Course Details
A series of three classes for beginners to cover essential sewing techniques and using a sewing machine.
Duration: 9 Hours
Course Details
An in-depth series of classes that covers how to use your sewing machine, sewing tools and a wide variety of sewing techniques.
Duration: 18 Hours
Course Details
Get creative and choose from a variety of fun crafting projects, including many that are made with handsewing techniques.
Duration: 2 Hours
Class Details
Learn how to make common repairs and alterations to your clothes without using a sewing machine.
Duration: 2 Hours
Class Details
Not sure which class is right for you to get started with sewing?

Here is a comparison of the New to Sewing classes to help you find the class that's best for what you're looking for.

Beginner Basics Intro to Sewing Course Beginner Sewing Program Craft Projects Sewing Life Skills
Duration 2 Hours 8-9 Hours 18 Hours 2 Hours 2 Hours
Overview See what sewing is like, learn the basics of using your sewing machine and a few techniques, or if you want a quick refresher. Everything in the Beginner Basics class plus you'll learn sewing fundamentals in more detail and techniques that are applicable to clothing and decor projects. Everything in the Intro to Sewing Course plus you'll establish a much broader foundation of essential sewing skills and experience using your sewing machine. Choose from a variety of fun projects and learn handsewing techniques for toys, patches, embroidery and more. Take the class more than once to make the other projects. Learn useful handsewing skills to make common repairs and alterations to your clothes without a sewing machine.
Class Details Kids CourseAdults Course Class Details Class Details Class Details

See All Sewing Classes