Sewing Basics | What You Need to Get Started

A friend of mine had asked to come over and get some information on sewing basics and what machines are the best starter machines so she could get something put together for her man for Christmas. Her asking inspired me to put together a very basic post on what you would need to get started and some of the best rated machines out there to purchase in a wide price range.

First things first… Sewing supplies

You can either purchase a great starter kit on Etsy, Amazon, or Ebay. These are great resources to be able to get everything you need and even some extra fun things. You could also purchase everything separately and put together your own kit.

-fabric cutting scissors

-mini thread scissors

-thread {cotton or polyester} in several colors

-pins {several}

-needles {several}

-buttons {a few for mending}

-measuring tape

-pin cushion

-thimble {one will do, but is also not necessary}

-threader {a couple}

-fabric marking pen or pencil

And if you want to get serious {and make your life so much easier when cutting fabric} you should get:

-rotary cutter

-cutting mat

-6″ clear cutting ruler

And of course, one cannot sew with out fabric!

Here are some great places to purchase fabric from:

Fabricworm

JoAnn Fabrics

Fabric.com

Etsy

There are lots of different types of fabrics out there {refer to the book linked below Fabrics from A – Z} to sew with, but for beginner projects you should get quilting weight cotton.

That is about it as far as basics go for supplies.

You’re going to need a machine to utilize all of these supplies and create some cute little projects. There are so many machines out there to choose from and depending on how serious you are about your sewing adventure, you really have to be careful on what your first purchase will be.

For me, I went to Walmart and purchased a Brother LX-3125. It wasn’t the least expensive, but it was a basic model for a great price. I believe I purchased it for around $70.

It has a lot of the basic features and has been a great machine. I bought this because I was sewing only a couple styles of bags and did some normal hemming. This machine has been great for me and still gets the job done! Walmart ratings are 4 3/4 stars. 119 5 star ratings out of 158 – I would say thats a great rating!

There are other good basic models to buy in other brands. Good housekeeping has a great article on the best beginner machines. For that article.. go here.

What you need to consider when purchasing a machine is what your budget is, if you want to purchase local or online, and what exactly it is you want out of your machine. Here are three basic models with good ratings to start you out with:

Brother CS5055PRW – Project Runway, Limited Edition

Currently $129.99 on Amazon {click picture to take you there}

This machine has:

-50 built-in utility, decorative and heirloom stitches, each with multiple stitch functions.

-Sew fleece, elastic and other stretchy fabrics with the built-in stretch stitches.

-One-step bobbin replacement with quick set drop-in bobbin.

-Embellish or join quilt blocks with the built-in quilting stitches.

Janome 2212

Currently $149.00 on Amazon {Click picture}

This machine has:

-Easy turn dial pattern selection

-12 built-in stitches including a four-step buttonhole

-Stitch width adjustment and length adjustment ensures ease of use

-Drop feed for free motion sewing and quilting

Singer 7258 Stylist

Currently $164.99 on Amazon {Click picture}

This machine has:

-SINGER Stylist 100-stitch pattern sewing machine

-Adjustable sewing speed

-Push button stitch selection

-Automatic needle threader

These are all great machines to have as first sewing machines. As long as you keep up with maintenance on them {your book that comes with your machine will tell you how to keep it cleaned out, etc.} your machine will last you a very long time. I would search around online for any local sewing machine places that sell and/or service machines. That way if anything breaks and it’s outside the manufacturer’s warranty, you can take your machine in to get fixed and serviced. I’m fortunate enough to have a place here in town that does that. In fact, I bought Bry a used, refurbished sewing machine for $60.. and it’s just about better than my own machine!

Now that you have the supplies, fabric, and machine you are just about set. Oh, but what to sew for your first project?

Mine was a box bag! My friend Breana and former co-blogger of Sew Basted I Wanna Purl showed me how to sew a box bag and that one night with that one bag took me to where I am today!

So I have compiled a list of projects that you could start out with that are very easy!

One Hour Skirt

Lavender Bag

Wash Bag

Pillow Cover

Zippered Pouch

Pleated Headband

Box Bag!!

Those projects should get you up and running and each teach you basic sewing structures that you can take in to creating projects of your own or incorporating what you have learned into more advanced projects.

Check out my post on sewing vocab and their meanings!

Books to invest in:

1 -2 – 3 Sew!

Fabrics from A – Z

Seams to Me 

24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby

Alright, now that you’ve got the basics, lets get some projects started {and maybe even finished?}

If you’re new to sewing and have completed your first project and would like to share, leave me a comment.

If you’re a seasoned sewer and would like for me to add anything to this post or change something, let me know!

Happy Sewing!


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