Recommended Sewing Supplies

There are hundreds of sewing supplies you can use in addition to your machine.  A few of them are truly indispensable.  I have listed those below:

  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Really sharp fabric scissors (Fiskars are great)
  • Seam ripper*
  • Measuring tape*
  • Seam gauge*
  • Extra bobbins
  • Thin straight pins
  • Extra needles for your machine
  • Hand sewing needles
  • A variety of thread
  • Straight edge (clear is best)
  • Pin cushion*

*These  can often be purchased together in a handy kit

Additionally, you may want to invest in the following as you develop your sewing skills:

  • Fabric chalk
  • Rotary cutter
  • Self healing mat (a minimum of 18″ x 24″ is suggested)
  • Pinking shears
  • T square ruler
  • Snips (small, sharp scissors–nice to keep next to the machine while your regular scissors often remain near your cutting area)

If you have discovered other tools you find indispensable in your sewing adventures–please feel free to share them with us!

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Tips for Pinning and Cutting with a Pattern

Pinning the Pattern to Your Fabric

When pinning your pattern to the fabric, it is good to start by placing one pin on the arrow that denotes the grain line.  This will help ensure that your pattern is straight.

Next, place anchor pins in the corners and follow the line of the pattern.  Don’t “cross” the pattern, or your pins will get in the way when cutting.

Face pins in the same direction when pinning–this will help you avoid pricking yourself and make removal easier.

Avoid pinning over notch marks!

Place pins 1-2 inches apart.

Pin on a smooth surface (carpeting can catch the pins and you’ll pin yourself to the ground!).  Save your back, too; pin on a table rather than the floor.

Cutting Fabric from a Pattern

When cutting the pattern and fabric, try to make long cuts rather than short, choppy ones.

Cutting slowly and with long cuts, follow your pattern as closely as possible, but without cutting the tissue.  Don’t forget to cut out notches.

For a single notch, cut the triangle:

For multiple notches, feel free to cut as one large notch:

Once all pieces are cut, remove pins and fold cut pattern pieces and place them back in envelope so you don’t lose them!

Pinning Fabric to Sew

When pinning to sew, place the pins across the cut line of fabric.  This way the machine will sew over them rather than get the pins stuck in the teeth.

Pin in the same direction.  Start the pin in the fabric and end the point near the cut edge.  This will lesson the possibility of you getting stuck as you sew and prevent the pinhead from getting caught in the teeth.