'Learn to Sew with Lauren' Book Sneak Peek and 5 Sewing Kit essentials!

Blog / 11 August 2014

When you first start sewing, it can seam like quite a big investment with all the tools and equipment that you need, not even to mention the actual sewing machine itself! (Read about my sewing machine in this blog post)

As long as you have the basic essentials it’s easy to get started.

Here is another sneak peak from my book Learn to Sew, out in just a few weeks time on 1st September (Pre-order here - full details of the launch party can be found in this blog post).

Over time I’ve built up quite a bit of kit and I know it looks like a lot on this page. It was really hard to narrow it down, but here are my top 5 sewing kit essentials!

A good pair of dressmaking scissors

Just keep them sharp! You need to be strict on this one and only let them be used for fabric. When I was a child my Mum used to tie a little bit of ribbon on the handle of her fabric scissors so it was an instant reminder that they should not be used on paper.

I use the Prym 25cm shears which means from the tip of the blade to the end of the handle is 25cm. I also use smaller scissors too for smaller snips and trimming threads – these cute gold stork ones are perfect.

A sturdy tape measure

I’d recommend one in inches and cm. You’ll regularly come across both units of measurement and its easier to be able to measure in both. I use one that is double sided, with both inches and cm on each side – like this one.

Needles and Pins

You’ll use (and loose!) pins a lot when sewing. There are loads of different types, which vary in terms of length, thickness and what type of head they have – glass, metal or plastic. Ones with little ball heads can be easier to hold but general dressmaking pins like these ones will suit for most projects and fabrics.
There are many different types of needles too but when your first starting out it’s best to get an all purpose pack like this one that has a few different sizes – that’ll cover most situations.

Dressmakers Chalk

Chalk comes in really useful when sewing as you’ll need to transfer pattern markings onto your fabric. It is also useful for marking out other landmarks on the fabric that can then act as a guide when you come to sew or iron the fabric.
I mostly use chalk that comes in a pencil but you can get the more traditional block or triangle of chalk too – it’s personal preference really.

A Stitch ripper or quick un-pick

I’m of the school of thought that you should embrace your mistakes, try not to get frustrated and see it as a great way to learn. Given that, your going to need one of these – a stitch ripper. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever made anything and not used it at all. This one I use has a nice comfy handle too – perfect for settling into some unpicking!

If you fancy getting your sewing kit off to a great start, I’ve put together the perfect starter pack of the best quality tools (I think) on the market. Prym, a family run German company who have literally been around for centuries, make really excellent quality tools and notions for sewing, knitting, crochet and quilting.

Included in the starter pack is

  • a pair of tailors shears (23cm) with an angled soft grip handle
  • a double sided measuring tape with inches and cm on both sides
  • a box of glass headed pins
  • a set of 4 chalk pencils
  • a soft grip stitch ripper

We are offering 25% off all of these items when bought together – just £28.95! (Normal retail price is £38.60) Click here to pick up one of the packs!

What's your top 5 essentials? Have I missed anything that you can't live without? 

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