In my previous post (10 essential sewing tools for beginners - part I), I shared with you which sewing machine I would choose to be my first one, if I was starting to sew now.
Besides of the needles, threads and pins, I want to add now the other 5 tools that are, in my opinion, essential for every beginners's sewing kit, that are: scissors, seam ripper, measuring tape, rotary cutter + cutting mat and a steam iron + ironing board.
- Seam ripper(NL Tornmesje): I’ll start with the tool that you’ll keep always by your side while sewing. The seam ripper is there for you every time your stitches go wrong. You will find them in several sizes. I find the bigger ones easier to use, but the small ones are better to storage and to carry wherever you go, and if you want them to be longer, you only have to place the top at the end, like the purple one, on the picture. That red small ball you insert between the layers of fabric you want to separate, it prevents you to make a hole in your fabric.
A seam ripper is also useful to open buttonholes.
- Scissors (NL Scharen): First of all, there are special scissors to cut fabric. They have a special shape that will help you not to move the fabric from the table so much. That way, your cut will be more precise and you can cut bigger pieces easily, like a long skirt. The size of those big scissors can be between 20 and 30 cm, but if you have any difficulties by cutting (for example, if you suffer from rheumatism) there are also special scissors to make everything easier.
Besides of these big scissors, you will probably also need a smaller one: that will help you cutting small or curved pieces (like collars) and also thread. The size from the smaller one, can be between 10 and 19 cm.
It’s slso important to know that your fabric scissors are exclusive for cutting fabric, if you also cut paper or other things, it will get blunt easily.
- Measuring tape (NL Meetlint): If you picture a seamstress, you will probably think of someone with a measuring tape around her neck, right? Yes, that’s an indispensable tool for measuring seam allowances, for taking your own measurements, etc. The lenght from a measuring tape is normally 150 cm. They can be retractable or not.
- Rotary cutter + cutting mat(NL rolmes + snijmat): They will help you cut difficult fabric either because they are thin (like rayon/viscose), slippery (lycra, for example) ou very curved (like sleeve-caps). They are also essential if you want to make patchwork. In that case, you should also add an acrylic ruler.
There are different sizes of rotary cutter blades and cutting mats. The bigger the mat, the bigger is the area you can cut at once. With the small blades you will have more control of your movements which can be useful at the beggining.
It is important to use the cutting mat every time you’re using you rotary cutter, that will keep your cutter sharp and your table will be protected against scratches!
- Steam iron + ironing board (NL stoomstrijkijzer + strijkplank): A good iron is like a second sewing machine. To get a better result, right after sewing, you should iron those seams.
Start with the normal size iron (that you probably has already at home) and if you feel like you need a small one that takes less space in your sewing space, you can also find small steam irons and small ironing boards.
Just don’t skip that step of ironing. You will notice the difference in the end.
Have a nice sewing day and I hope to see you soon!