Wednesday, June 17, 2015

10 Sewing Supplies You (actually I, really) Can't Do Without (and where to get them)

*This is a repost*

First of all, let me tell you that I know that this is a *trick*. Internet gurus tell me that people like lists.  Personally, I tend to ramble. 

 Why 10 things?  10 is as good a number as any... right?


10 Sewing Supplies You Can't Do Without

1. Household sewing needles, not just ORDINARY sewing needles.  These curve, stab, and manipulate strange terrain.  (Similar ones are linked here, available at Manhattan Wardrobe Supply) - The curved needles help repair a sofa, carpet, bind a book, seal a pillow, sew a slipcover, fix any awkward and unweilding shape or tough fabric!

2. Great scissors - I really love my own scissors, and can't be convinced otherwise, but the right scissors for a dedicated sewing enthusiast is like the right pencil for an artist, or instrument for a musician.  Frankly, though, I wouldn't say there are too many great choices.  There are only poor, mediocre, good enough, and PEERLESS!
Mine are about 30 years old, but they are still magical!

Where to get them: The advice on this is more than just a list of store names.  See this post for more information.

Also, know where to get them sharpened.

3. A ham

A necessity for sewing curved and hard-to-reach areas.  A good ham is a solid, heavy, densely packed tool that will last a lifetime.

Where to buy one: Steinlauf and Stoller

4. Silamide thread - for hand sewing and beading, especially.

Where to buy it: Manhattan Wardrobe Supply

5. A dress form (or, in my case two)

Where to buy one: Look at this post for suggestions.

6. A great (not good, but GREAT) mirror.  
You should be able to see your (or your intended wearer's) full body clearly in it.  Bonus points for portability and ability to tilt, like a cheval mirror. Added benefit; you can capture BOTH the front and back of a garment from the right angle in a well-positioned mirror.

This one is similar to mine, which is about 15 years old now.

Where to buy one:  This is an extreme solution, I know... but King David Gallery is the best place to get the best mirrors EVER.  Find your mirror, but it, the grab a taxi or have someone drive in to meet you to pick it up.  The prices are good, (so is the customer service) so you should even get a not-so-fancy mirror here, because it will be the BEST not-so-fancy mirror.

7. A good (but great is better) iron.  Depending on your space, you can get a fancy-schmancy gravity feed, or work with a lovely Rowenta or other quality brand.  It should steam well and with considerable "oomph", and it should have a pointy tip, perfect for getting into corners and difficult spots.

My own Rowenta - the third one I've owned in 25 years or so.

Where to buy one: Manhattan Sewing Supply (basic or fancy),  or City Sewing (fancier)

8. Quality muslin for test garments. What, you don't do this???  (LOL, I know we've all skipped this step when we can afford to)  But if you drape your own designs or test out your design before you sew with pricier fabric, your muslin needs to be on grain and mimic the weight and behavior of the fabric being sewn.  When working with woven fabric, and accuracy is important, quality muslin is a must.

Sturdy, medium weight muslin from S&S

Where to buy it: Steinlauf & Stoller or Guide Fabrics (larger quantities)

9. Quality interfacing.  Fusible, woven, black, white, heavy, light, tailoring canvas... you need the right interfacing to sculpt the shape you need, and stay strong throughout the life of the garment.

Where to buy it: Steinlauf & Stoller

10. Revolving leather hole punch.  This works for tough fabrics and leather!  I use mine "awl" the time!  And not just to sew - Sometimes a belt needs another hole, or I want to install grommets in something, or I have to attach leather tags to stuff to prevent it from being lost- I've used this contraption a million times for a million different reasons!

Where to buy one: M&J Trimming

So fine, yeah... in reality, there are more than ten supplies you'll need, but we've gotta start somewhere, right?


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