Earlier this year I made my first quilt, it was for a friend who was expecting a baby. Since precision is critical in sewing projects, there were a few new tools I needed to make the quilt. Before I actually bought the rotary cutter that was needed I was having this inner struggle. I’ve fallen down the crafty slippery slope more than once, and I did not want to buy something that would rarely be used.
I am happy to report that the rotary cutter, mat, and ruler I purchased for that particular project are used several times a week these days. At the time, I would have appreciated a list of the top items regularly used for sewing so I could figure out exactly what I would need without going overboard and buying every accessory and gadget in sight.
To help the newbie seamstress wondering what tools you will need to get by, I’ve compiled a list of my sewing essentials.
First, and most obviously. If you aren’t ready to make the investment in a new sewing machine try out a project or two using a friend’s to see if it’s something you’d like to continue with. I’ve even heard that people have snagged a good machine at thrift stores.
Get a small and large pair. Make sure you specifically get fabric scissors, and never use them on paper (it will dull the blade). The large scissors will cut fabric and the small ones are good for cutting those tiny threads. Cute scissor case made my your mother: optional.
You will be surprised how quickly these fill up with different colored thread once you have made a few projects, so go ahead and get a big set of empty ones. My tip: For a color you will use a lot, fill up 3-4 bobbins of that color at a time, this will make things go faster when you are at the machine.
Bonus Essential: Rotary cutter with mat and ruler
I’m listing this one as essential because I use the rotary cutter almost as often as the sewing machine itself. You can tell I’m in full working mode when the sewing machine, ironing board, and cutting mat are all sitting out.
The rotary cutter and mat are essential if you want to quilt, need perfectly measured pieces, or need a clean cut. BUT there are still plenty of projects like curtains, aprons, and some bags that will be fine with just cuts from scissors. Try a few simple projects before you buy the rotary cutter, but if it’s a hobby you would like to further pursue, these tools are definitely worth it.
Whether sewing, knitting, or anything else crafty, what is the one tool you can’t do without?