Author Topic: Sewing tools and resources...  (Read 1168 times)

ncornilsen

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Sewing tools and resources...
« on: April 18, 2017, 04:02:18 PM »
My wife has recently gotten back into sewing and making clothes. i'd like to get her a random gift related to that.

When I work on cars, there's been a handful of tools that make life 100X easier... for example, a sheetmetal hole punch. best $50 I've spent.

What kinds of sewing tools and accessories fit that description? I'm thinking in the neighborhood of $100, or two $50 items.

any input would be appreciated.

Thanks!
-Nick

iowajes

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Re: Sewing tools and resources...
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2017, 04:30:32 PM »
Does she have a walking foot?

ncornilsen

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Re: Sewing tools and resources...
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2017, 04:59:03 PM »
Does she have a walking foot?

she does not, but reading about it really quickly, I think that would solve a problem I heard her lamenting the other day...

RetiredAt63

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Re: Sewing tools and resources...
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2017, 06:07:58 PM »
Inexpensive, but an extendable wand with a magnet on the end is wonderful for finding dropped pins.  I've seen them in sewing supplies and also car supplies, mechanics use them for dropped bolts.
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CupcakeGuru

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Re: Sewing tools and resources...
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2017, 01:06:53 PM »
I recently just got back into sewing and on my wish list are walking foot, rotary cutter and a mat. Also i forgot how many pins are used so that is always helpful!

Slinky

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Re: Sewing tools and resources...
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2017, 01:55:49 PM »
Since she's getting back into it, I'd assume she already does, but if she doesn't have a good quality iron and fabric scissors already, I'd definitely start there. I spend more time with my iron than my sewing machine and there is nothing so frustrating as bad scissors.

In the making life 100x easier categories I would include a dress form, silicone fingertips for ironing, and a bias tape maker. I haven't actually used the last, but hot damn do I want one! Definitely suss out if she likes using bias tape or not though.

Other useful stuff: rotary cutter, mat, and clear ruler, Specialty scissors (pinking shears, applique, etc.), Sewing machine feet (walking, quarter inch, binding, ruffler, etc.), Rulers (variform, hip curve, etc) for making or adjusting patterns

hyla

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Re: Sewing tools and resources...
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2017, 04:02:44 PM »
Good scissors
good iron and ironing board
specialized sewing machine feet (zipper foot, blind zipper foot, walking foot)
sewing reference book (something like the Vogue Sewing, one with general reference material on how to sew certain seams, insert collars, make buttonholes etc. rather than one with specific projects)
serger (more than $100 new, but depending on what the craigslist and yardsale situation is in your town you might be able to find a decent condition used one for around $100)

Evgenia

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Re: Sewing tools and resources...
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2017, 04:18:41 PM »
Ooo, I sew a lot, too. The Seamwork online pattern magazine from Colette is pretty great, and an excellent value for $6/month. Patterns can be expensive when they're not on sale.
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ncornilsen

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Re: Sewing tools and resources...
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2017, 08:13:15 AM »
Thank you for the input! I'm deciding between buying a matt or a the Vogue book and a bunch of rulers. Thanks again!

Poundwise

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Re: Sewing tools and resources...
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2017, 10:12:12 AM »
+1 on the mat and rotary cutter. I would also add a transparent quilting ruler. 

BTW, I've saved heaps on sewing equipment by buying it by the lot on ebay. Sometimes a person decides to destash or sell their elderly relative's hobby equipment cheap.

Miss Tash

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Re: Sewing tools and resources...
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2017, 04:22:05 PM »
Mat and rotary cutter are good if you do a lot of straight line sewing like quilts, draperies and such.  When sewing clothes I don't usually use them.  However, a serge attachment or machine!  That would be so useful with all the awesome knits and fleeces available these days.  Just my two cents.

sparkytheop

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Re: Sewing tools and resources...
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2017, 10:54:02 PM »
If you have a JoAnn Fabrics nearby, check out their coupons online often, and don't buy anything at full price.  The coupons change often, sometimes daily.  You'll find 50-60% off items, "notions", 20% off total coupons, all kinds of things.  Hopefully they also have someone knowledgeable who could help you look for things as well.

I mostly do quilting, but when I made a shirt, a "stretch needle" proved invaluable (they'll cost a few dollars, and they are considered a "notion" if you see one of those coupons).

General advice: whatever you do, never use her fabric scissors for anything other than fabric!

shelivesthedream

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Re: Sewing tools and resources...
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2017, 11:26:39 AM »
A sleeve board and a tailor's ham. Honestly, if she's making anything other than flat rectangles they will make pressing seams SO much easier.

Slinky

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Re: Sewing tools and resources...
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2017, 03:23:29 PM »
A sleeve board and a tailor's ham. Honestly, if she's making anything other than flat rectangles they will make pressing seams SO much easier.

+1

gillamnstr

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Re: Sewing tools and resources...
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2017, 06:36:01 AM »
Another great place for patterns and instructions is burdastyle.com

You can download just about any pattern for $1-$5. It's a great site and worth a look!

BackNColo

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Re: Sewing tools and resources...
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2017, 10:55:36 AM »
Also, depending on her skill level, classes are always nice. Usually something specific to her desired project type is best.

HipGnosis

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Re: Sewing tools and resources...
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2017, 11:23:56 AM »
Another great place for patterns and instructions is burdastyle.com

You can download just about any pattern for $1-$5. It's a great site and worth a look!
Umm... what good is a downloaded pattern?  Don't you need it on full size, thin paper to pin to the fabric?

TrMama

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Re: Sewing tools and resources...
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2017, 12:14:29 PM »
+1 to getting her the biggest cutting mat you can find/afford. Plus a rotary cutter and pack of extra blades. Sleeve ham is also very handy.

She might also like a subscription to Ottobre magazine. It's a European pattern magazine and the patterns are basic, but stylish. The fit is also spot on, every time. If you get this, also pick up a pack of pattern tracing paper so she can actually use the patterns. If you get this, be sure to cancel it otherwise it auto-renews.

sparkytheop

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Re: Sewing tools and resources...
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2017, 02:12:45 PM »
Another great place for patterns and instructions is burdastyle.com

You can download just about any pattern for $1-$5. It's a great site and worth a look!
Umm... what good is a downloaded pattern?  Don't you need it on full size, thin paper to pin to the fabric?

You print them off on 8x11 paper and then tape the pages together.  I've made a shirt this way and it worked just fine.

HildaCorners

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Re: Sewing tools and resources...
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2017, 06:27:24 AM »
One thing that often gets overlooked is pressing (ironing) equipment. I have a few things that are invaluable.

The first is a Dritz EZY-Hem. This is a flat aluminum plate with lines marked at different distances from the edges. You use it to press up, say, a hem exactly 2" deep. I've had mine since I started to sew, many decades ago and use it on almost every project.

Going from old purchase to new ... I have a mat that's a rotary cutting surface on one side, and a large padded ironing surface on the other. (June Tailor brand) I can put it on top of a table/counter and have a nice work surface.

A tailor's ham and mini iron can be useful depending on the type of sewing she does.

Finally, a word about JoAnn Fabrics (I spent a year working there). Even most employees don't know, but they have very high non-sale prices so their coupons bring items down to a more typical "online store" price. Try to never buy anything without a coupon! Sometimes the coupons are crazy-specific: "50% off notions wall items" means only the notions sold in one aisle, not notions in the quilting department! Be warned, and compare prices online when you can. [And be nice to the clerks. They are limited to part time minimum wages, and a shocking number know nothing about sewing or other crafts. While I worked there, I quickly became the Answer Lady.]
Been there, done that