inDevelopment – How to Stock Your Sewing Room

Welcome to another installment of inDevelopment! This post by adorpheus will tell you how to best stock your sewing room to achieve your costuming dreams:

I’ve written on VentureCosplay.com about the things you need to consider when buying a sewing machine. Aside from the machine itself, there are a few supplies that pretty much everyone interested in sewing absolutely needs to have in their craft room if they want to make anything. So if you’re new to sewing, or, like my BFFs Ell and Vynni, you just moved into an awesome new place and want to set up your craft room, here are a few things you’ll want to make sure you have before you can start sewing:

Fabric Scissors

Fabric Scissors

You can’t just use any scissors when you’re sewing. You need fabric scissors, also known as dressmaking shears. Buy a good quality pair that you are ONLY going to use for fabric/thread/trim/etc, and whatever you do, NEVER use them on paper!! Speaking from experience here. I’ve ruined more than one pair of fabric scissors by using them on paper, wigs, and other stuff like that.

This is the exact pair that I use, but if you’re just starting out, feel free to go with a cheaper option like these. You can get either of them at any fabric store.

Seam ripper

Seam Ripper

Most sewing machines come with a little seam ripper. I recommend you buy at least one deluxe seam ripper in addition to that, because this is probably the tool you’ll use more than any other. Try to pick a robust looking one with a real handle like the one in the above picture. You will thank me for this later!

Iron and Ironing Board

Image courtesy of Amazon

This may seem like a no-brainer, but most people new to sewing don’t realize how much you’re going to use the iron when you sew. Regardless of what you’re making, you will ALWAYS need to iron it before, during, and after completion of your project. If you don’t have an iron and ironing board, get them! One of those little tabletop ironing boards is helpful to have too, though not required.

Measuring tape

Measuring Tape

A common saying in the sewing world is “measure twice, cut once”. Yeah, that’s not a joke. Especially if you plan to make clothes and costumes, a measuring tape to take your measurements (or your friends measurements) is necessary. A ruler and yardstick are pretty helpful to have around too.

Pin Cushion & Pins

Pin Cushion & Pins
Whether you’re using a pattern or winging it, you’re gonna need some pins and a pincushion. The pins with little plastic beads on the end (pictured above) are a lot better than the other kinds of pins out there, so go for those instead of the flat head or T-shaped ones.

Tailor’s Chalk

Tailor's Chalk

Transferring markings on to fabric is a lot easier when you have the right tools to do it I like chalk pencils like the ones pictured above, but those square chunks of tailor’s chalk will work ok. I personally am not a huge fan of the disappearing ink markers, but those work too.

Nice to have

The following items are nice to have, but not 100% required.

A table

A table dedicated to laying out fabric and pattern pieces is extremely helpful. Some people may say this required, but I never had a table when I lived in London because I couldn’t afford one, so I did things like cut out pieces on the floor or dining room table. Do yourself a favor and get a craft table if you can.

Extra Bobbins

Your sewing machine should come with a bunch of bobbins, but I find it helpful to have a few extra.

Sewing book to reference

I’ve been sewing for over ten years and I still sometimes need to look up a sewing term or technique that I forgot how to do. That’s where a sewing reference book comes in handy. I use Simplicity’s Simply the Best Sewing Book, personally, but find one that works for you.

A Simple Tailor

Hopefully this post has been helpful to those of you beginning your sewing journey, and thanks for reading!

1 Comments ON " inDevelopment – How to Stock Your Sewing Roo... "
  • alt_example

    seannewboy October 8, 2013 at 5:06 am - Reply

    A nice reference, thanks.


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