A lot of you seeing this, may have already met me and know a bit about my story. If you don't, I have the 10 cent rundown under the 'Why Stitch' tab on the website.
I recently had someone ask what items a new sewist should think about purchasing. I've been mulling over what items I had as a new sewist and the things, that once I received them, were total game changers. I'm going to tell you my 5 must-haves in the sewing room.
1. GOOD PAIR OF FABRIC SCISSORS
Initially, a fresh pair of Fiskars dressmakers shears were where it was at for me. They are affordable, but sadly, won't last you forever. Within the past year, I discovered Kai scissors. I like the 8" shears. The blade is stainless steel and the handles are a little "squooshy" but still firm. I can use them for a big project and they don't leave that sore red area on my hand. They have stayed razor sharp for over a year and just now need sharpened. And that's with daily use in a quilt shop! They also don't break the bank at $22.
2. ROTARY CUTTER*
Again, my starter rotary cutter was a 45mm Fiskars. I still have it and use it, but it certainly isn't my favorite anymore. I often accidentally click the button that retracts the blade into safety mode and it is oh-so-annoying when trying to cut. My go to these days is the Olfa 60mm Deluxe Ergonomic Rotary Cutter. It can be used either right or left handed. The blades are super easy to change. And the best feature is the blade is only out when you squeeze the handle. As soon as you let go, the blade retracts to the safety position. So if you knock it off of the table, you don't risk slicing your legs or feet. This is probably my priciest must-have at approximately $48.
*You gotta change the blade regularly. If it ain't cutting like a knife through hot butter, it's time!
3. ZIRKEL MAGNETIC PINCUSHION
Lemme just tell ya. These things are amazing! They weigh a ton (often double as a pattern weight for me) and could pull the keys out of your partner's pocket from across the room. If you drop a handful of pins with the points down, this little piece of magic beautifully fans your pins with the heads out in a circle. Should there be an accidental pin or needle loss, whip this puppy out and run it over the carpet and it's sure to find it much easier than a needle in a haystack. They also come in 6 different colors so you can spruce your space to your liking. Price tag of around $20, but worth every penny.
4. CLOVER WONDER CLIPS
I distinctly remember the first time I laid eyes on these. I was working on a little boxy bag with a zipper that someone had requested to hold their extra roller skate wheels. It was the first project like that I had attempted and, believe me, it wasn't perfect. My biggest struggle was getting all the layers of the bag to stay put. Then I noticed the clippy things in the pics included with the pattern. I knew I had to have them and they have since become a favorite notion. I prefer the regular size and use them in place of pins for many projects. My favorite use for them besides bag projects are to hold my quilt binding on to the back as I prefer to hand stitch it after attaching. I started out with the box of 50 and haven't regretted having that many.
5. CUTTING MAT & RULER
Ok, so this is technically 2 items, but they go together like peanut butter and jelly. You can use them independently, but they are oh so much better together! A good starter mat is any of the self-healing Olfa mats. I would suggest getting the largest you can afford and/or have room for. A nice size is 12"x18" inches. If you like to travel with your sewing, a smaller mat may better meet your needs.
My favorite brand of rulers has become Creative Grids. They are a little pricier than a Fiskars or an Omnigrid ruler, but the little anti-slip textured areas on the back make it so much easier to hold in place and not be slipping and sliding around as you accurately cut your fabric. I would recommend a 3.5"x18.5" Creative Grids ruler
I hope this post has helped someone just dipping their toe into the sewing and quilting sea. I'm excited to start posting about projects and creating a happy space!