Although I’m new to machine sewing and dressmaking, I have been sewing by hand on and off since I was about 10 years old. Throughout that time I have developed some sewing ‘essentials’ which I value. Besides the obvious ones like a needle and thread, scissors and fabric, etc. mine include:
Whatever would one do without the humble pin? I use tons of them when I’m sewing and, as a result, frequently stand on them or stab myself somewhere. Now I have a sewing room in my house, I’m able to lose them to my heart’s content whereas when I’m in the living room I chart them closely as I have little rabbits running around and a somewhat clumsy partner.
My bugbear is blunt ended pins. Seriously?! What’s the point? (Or maybe that should be where’s the point?…) They snag the fabric and cause a multitude of problems. There’s at least one in each batch so you’ve been warned…
Decent light is essential and I think it’s fairly obvious why. Daylight is also pretty important as it’s amazing how what you thought was grey fabric in the shop turned out to be brown. :s
Usually tea. Or hot squash. My advice? Get a boyfriend on side to provide them regularly so you don’t even have to stop what you’re doing. Failing that, consider a kettle in the sewing room… 😉
This is a useful little tool and pretty essential for us beginners who make plenty of mistakes!
I don’t like silence when crafting (nor when I’m studying) so I usually have the laptop nearby or I’ll have the TV on. Classic FM is perfect for evening sewing but I also love Elvis, Katherine Jenkins, musicals, some Motown, choral pieces… Basically, an eclectic mix.
Although I have a good attention span and become absorbed in my work, I don’t like feeling rushed by only sewing for short periods of time. Things like crocheting work better for that but because sewing usually involves a lot of forward-planning and prep it’s not something I can achieve much in when I only have half an hour. I like to immerse myself completely in what I’m doing.
Having said that, I still take regular breaks. These are usually only a couple of minutes to get another cup of tea or stretch out my back after being hunched over the pattern for so long. I also love to snack but I don’t eat when I’m sewing because it’s too hazardous; especially when working with white fabric. So little breaks for a biscuit or a sandwich are good.
Although I create a mess when I’m sewing, I still like to have everything organised so I know where to find it. I have separate containers for fastenings, threads, ribbons, etc. and all the machine feet are alphabetised so I don’t have to look when I need the ‘B’ foot – I can just grab and go.
This is essential. It can come from others or from within myself, depending on my mood. It’s one of the reason I love to blog; knowing I’ve said I’ve started something means I’m more likely to finish it than if I just work on it alone and become bored before it’s completed.
This comes from all sorts of places: magazines, family, friends, books, blogs, outdoors, work… Having a pleasant place to sew is also pretty inspiring so I have decked out my sewing room with pretty bunting, purple soft furnishings, candles, flowers and pictures.
Okay, so have I missed anything out? Let me know I’m the comments box. 😉