Monday, February 4, 2013

Top 10 Sewing Necessities

Sugarplum Cuties: Sewing necessities

1. Cutting Mat - I use an Olfa brand cutting mat and mine is 24 x 36.  It's been the perfect size for me.  A cutting mat is for sure an essential tool when sewing as much as I do, and if you use a coupon at JoAnn then you can find a good deal.

2. Rotary Cutter - Goes hand in hand with a cutting mat.  There's no sense in trying to trace and cut straight lines with a pair of scissors when you can just line up your straight edge and run your blade across the fabric.  Done.  I use a Fiskars one with 45mm blades.

3. Measuring Tape - Sometimes I leave my house and the only accessory I'm wearing is my measuring tape.  No joke.  I wear it around my neck so I can constantly check and recheck my measurements when I'm sewing to make sure I haven't made an error, and sometimes we head out the door and I forget to leave my work behind.  Whatevs.  It's also a fun toy for kids.  Mine use it all the time to "measure" each other.  As in, "Dieter, you are 40 hundred."

4. Scissors - A no brainer.  I use a pair of Fiskers scissors called "razor sharp."  They're not kidding.  Make sure you're always keeping your fabric scissors and your paper scissors separate.  One trick I use is that I always buy blue paper scissors so my kids and husband know that the only scissors they can use are the blue ones.  Paper dulls scissors really fast and will ruin your nice fabric scissors in a jiff.

5. Pins - I pin my stuff on a daily basis.  It keeps my seams nice and even and straight and keeps my measurements accurate.

6. Serger - Ahh, my 3rd baby (for now).  I just love my serger.  You can read more about it in my FAQ post here.

7. Fabric - Hoards of fabric.  Stacks of fabric.  Fat stacks.  I kid, but really what are you doing sewing if you don't have any fabric.  Watch out though, it's about as addicting as buying upcycles.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

8. Poster Board - You might think this is a weird one, but I use poster board for all my pattern work.  Whether I'm drafting my own patterns or printing PDF ones (I avoid store bought patterns like the plague), I'm always tracing the final version on a piece of poster board.  I write right on it in a sharpie what size it is and what the final product is and then I punch a hole in it and hang it on a binder ring with the rest of its counterparts.  I'm a stickler for posterboard patterns.

9. Ruler/Yardstick - Used with #1 and #2, obviously you need a good, strong ruler with a straight edge to cut using your rotary cutter.  I use an acrylic one with quarter inch measurements, and I also use a metal yard stick.  My kids use them as swords when I'm not looking.

10. Dove Dark Chocolate - This one can be substituted for Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper, Coffee, those little pink candies that taste like pepto bismol, Reese Cups, Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds or Sour Patch Kids.  Take your pick, but I like to have junk food on hand at all times.  It helps me think...or something.

What essential tools do you keep in your sewing room?

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