I’ve been sewing on this blog for over three years now, while I still consider myself an amatuer when among the ranks of great sewists, I have definitely come to appreciate the materials it takes to create something beautiful. If your wife or daughter (or even your son) wants to get more into sewing, here are my personal must-haves, all available on Amazon and compiled into this seamstress gift guide.
1. Sewing Machine
I have used this machine, and only this machine, for all of the sewing projects on my blog. I bought it because it was fairly inexpensive. It kind of looks like it’s made for a 14 year old, but it’s great none the less. It’s wonderful to start out on since you are bound to make mistakes, and if you end up hurting this machine, it’s not a huge cost to you. It doesn’t have as many features, but it’s user friendly and has met all my needs thus far. I’ve even been able to use a double/twin needle with it. It also comes with a DVD that shows you everything you need to know to get started.
3. Pinking Shears
These are special scissors with zigzagged blades. They are using to limit fraying on unfinished seams of woven fabrics. Since most beginners aren’t using a serger that costs thousands of dollars, or are quite familiar with French seams yet, pinking shears are a great tool to have around.
4. A Variety Needles Heavy / Ballpoint
One of the most common ways beginners ruin their machines is by trying to stitch through thick/heavy fabrics using the wrong materials. Having some heavy duty needles on hand is great prevention of this. I also recommend ballpoint needles for anyone who wants to work with knits (my favorite kind of fabric to work with).
5. Measuring Tape
This is absolutely an essential for obvious reasons. I love that this one is pink instead of the traditional yellow.
6. Dress Form
Before I had a dress form, I had to constantly try things on and off over and over again while I was sewing. It was also incredibly hard to pin the alterations I needed to make on fabric I was wearing, and even hard to get the pieces off of me with the pins still in place. My dress form has literally saved me hours of my time. You can get fancier adjustable forms that you can customize, or if you are a pretty standard size, you can order one in that size. When I’m pregnant, I just stuff my form by tying fabric around her until we have the same measurements.
7. Sharp Scissors
You need need scissors when you constantly have to cut patterns and fabric. These scissors are a great price and excellent quality.
8. Self-Healing Cutting Mat
This is required to use a rotary cutter (see number 10 below). You must have a mat when you use your cutter. This one is excellent, again, I love that it’s pink instead of the traditional dark grayish-green color. These are also great because of their grid. I used it a ton when I made my tulle skirt.
9. Storage Boxes
There are hundreds of craft storage boxes out there. I love the kinds that have small compartments for things like buttons, extra needles, bobbins, thread, and so forth. You can usually find them for pretty cheap.
10. Rotary Cutter
This thing slices fabric like smooth creamy butter. It’s amazing. It’s also really, really, crazy sharp. So if your seamstress/tailor is younger than 12, I probably wouldn’t get this for them. But it is a huge time saver! I love mine! It was super handy during this circle skirt project because it made cutting a curved line very easy.
11. Seam Ripper
I am amazed I forgot to add this to the collage. It’s probably the number 1 thing you’ll use as a newbie. It helps you unpick all the stitches you did the wrong way. And there’s going to be a lot of that as you learn. And if you refashion like I do, there’s even more seam ripping. The one I linked to above will last you forever, and will stay sharp, however, cheaper options work well for a while too if you don’t want to spend more than $10.
*I didn’t mention pins, but that’s a given :)
–This is not a sponsored post. The items pictured are my personal items, most of which I bought from the links given. This post does contain affiliate links at no additional cost to you.–