Sewing box basics?

My little sewing box has a few necessities like thread, needles, pins,
pin cushion, seam ripper, measuring tape, etc. I'm wondering what
everyone here considers essential to have on hand? Is it good for a
beginner like me to get one of those pre-fab kits with the basics, or
buying separately (probably wouldn't hurt to replace a lot of the items,
which I've had for a long time)? And do you like the old-fashioned
baskets, or something like a tackle-box style container?
Regarding thread, I've tended to stick with the Coats and Clark
poly.cotton blend, which people have usually suggested to me as a good,
quality thread for most general purpose sewing. Is that a good choice,
or is there something better to look for?
And one more question. Are there any special tricks to sewing with
t-shirt knits?
Thanks! :)
Reply to
Diva Magenta
My "sewing box" is a dedicated 10' X 12' X 8' room. :-) In addition, I have another equally large room dedicated to my embroidery machines. But I live alone now in the home we bought for our family of four, and I have spread out.... in more ways than one. ;-}
I use C&C DualDuty for almost everything. I use 100% poly (Gutterman's) occasionally, and I have 100% silk thread for basting kilts (no marks after pressing).
For knits, you need either a good zig-zag or (better) a serger. I sewed knits satisfactorily for years with my Singer 401A using a narrow zig-zag and short stitch length.
But,... once I got a serger, what an improvement! More stretch, nicely finished edges, just a world of difference. I would never go back.
Reply to
BEI Design
---------------------- I gave my 'real' sewing box to one of my GDDs, and she actually uses it , whereas I only looked at it from time to time. I don't like to travel with my sewing any more. Like Beverly, I have a nice sized room, and a giant-sized drapery-cutti ng table, which has spoiled me. I tend to leave everything lying around. No t having to put projects away is the biggest boost to being able to produce a lot. Every now and then I do try to corral things. Those cheap plastic totes with handles, for cleaning tools, are nice for scissors, rulers, screwdrive rs, pliars, a small hammer, (useful for flattening and/or softening jean fo lds before hemming.), and the like. Oh--a scrap of wood on which to beat th e jean hem. The tote is good for scooping all the tools into when I do need the whole length of my table. I have lots of tools in the sewing room, plus a T square, half-dozen yar dsticks, stapler, scotch tape,and a small clamp affixed to the end of the t able. A couple of cheap, small wooden dowels for turning tubes of fabric. A stock of tailor's chalk, interfacing in different weights, buttons, snaps, a stock of basic zips, stuff I might need at midnight, when the sewing sho p is closed. A small industrial vacuum. Thread racks. I propped a cheap cork bulletin in a corner, and stick magazine clippin gs and ideas on it. One of these days I'm going to find room for a flannel sheet to throw fabric squares onto, for quilt designing. Baby wipe tubs are great for holding elastic and notions. Dollar stores sell many different containers, but why pay when you can ask friends to sav e the tubs they throw away? A word about sergers: they can be found on the secondhand market, and s ometimes you can luck out and find one at a yard sale. (Score: a three-thre ad for $5.00. Got it home, and found a silver dollar stuck inside it.) Cea
Reply to
cea
Hi!
You have had some good advice on what to put in your sewing "box". As I am mainly a quilter I also have fade away and wash away markers and lots of stripey (variegated) thread. Always have spare needles for your sewing machine in different sizes and use the needle that suits your fabric and thread combination - it really does make a difference.
If you are sewing t-shirt knits on your ordinary sewing machine you will get better results with a jersey or ball point needle that is designed to sip between the threads of the fabric. A sharp needle can cut the threads and lead to little ladders. Universal needles are neither fish nor fowl and I never use them. Packs of sewing machine needles are not expensive in the scale of things and you can build up a range as you need them. As a brand I (and my machine) prefer Schmetz.
HTH
Lizzy
Reply to
Lizzy Taylor
I also use a room for my sewing box.A sewing stash of fabric and supplies grows of it's own volition. Sort of an insidious kind of thing.I have little boxes, big boxes, rolling cabinets , and a host of things looking for a place to be put in some kind of container. Here's a link to some basics in sewing fabrics. I find it helpful.
formatting link
Her fabrics are beautiful,but expensive. I hate knits from Joann's. There are a lot of good sources for knit fabrics on line. You just have to search a little. I like
formatting link
and this one
formatting link
but there are a lot of other good ones. I always look up the sites that are posted here and check out the ones others like. I also love my serger for sewing knits. Juno
Reply to
Juno
Thanks for the suggestions! We live in a 1-bedroom apartment, so no separate sewing room for me I will have to use my portable machine, and keep my notions in a sewing box or basket, that can both be stashed away.
When I go shopping for scissors, I will check out the notions to see what they have that I might want to pick up.
I'm thinking that before I tackle hemming my skirt, I might want to get comfortable with my machine first by doing a couple of small craft-type projects. Any suggestions, or maybe websites with some simple projects?
Reply to
Diva Magenta
Aprons!!! I love making custom aprons, and machine embroidering person-specific designs on them. But you probably don't want to invest in an embroidery machine just yet. ;->
I'm serious about making aprons, good practice sewing hems and seams, maybe gathering, turning straps, etc. And you can always give them away as gifts.
Reply to
BEI Design
If you have printer I am again suggesting Wild things by Wild Ginger. Lots of free patterns
formatting link
Reply to
Juno
:Thanks for the suggestions! We live in a 1-bedroom apartment, so no :separate sewing room for me I will have to use my portable machine, :and keep my notions in a sewing box or basket, that can both be stashed :away.
:When I go shopping for scissors, I will check out the notions to see :what they have that I might want to pick up.
:I'm thinking that before I tackle hemming my skirt, I might want to get :comfortable with my machine first by doing a couple of small craft-type :projects. Any suggestions, or maybe websites with some simple projects?
What do you need? Or want? Do that. Making a pillowcase because someone tells you it's a good first project[1] isn't a good way to keep doing something.
[1] It is, if you need some pillowcases. Long straight seams, a french seam (or felled, if you'd rather), room to make a mistake or three. Room to make it complicated, by fitting a pillow tightly, or adding a zipper, or ....
Reply to
David Scheidt
Put your bed on risers, and get some under-bed wheeled boxes to hide th e goodies. That's also a good place to put a padded cutting board. At the v ery least, get one of those folding cardboard cutting boards. Try to avoid cutting out on the floor. It's very hard on the knees and back. I've seen small closets turned into 'sewing rooms', with the addition o f a wood shelf as machine table, a light, and a chair to pull up to the mak eshift table. The question here would be, where do the clothes go? I think people do this sort of thing when they have a guest room, and want to hide the creative mess. Other things I've seen: a cutting table which is hinged and wall-mounted , so you can fold it up and latch it in place when not in use. (Art painted /mounted on the underside.) Check out allfreesewing.com for scads of projects. You don't need a serg er to sew with fleece, as it doesn't ravel. Fleece hats are fun to make, an d good gifts. Google other sewing projects. A few random thoughts: Now, if I could find that link to the fabric pla ce where I got so many good deals on beautiful fabrics--linens, cottons, so me lovely imported goods for nice inexpensive prices. fabricmartfabrics.com , maybe. Cotton has been absurdly high-priced lately. It's an easy fabric for beg inners to learn on, but try to avoid the cheap, flimsy goods from China. Be sure to get on the mailing lists for whatever shops are in your area. I usually wait until notions are 40 to 50% off before buying what I need.G o online to sign up for Cloth World or Joann's. Cea
Reply to
cea
On Mon, 10 Dec 2012 18:21:21 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Diva
I use my spouse's foot locker from college. (Probably army surplus from WWII; there was still a lot of it around at the time.)
I also have my grandmother's sewing basket, which I mostly use for tools too nice to use. The lid broke, and she made a replacement out of pine needles, incorporating a decorative string from the broken lid.
And Dave's grandmother's sewing stand, which I keep beside the living-room chair that has a good light. Uh, kept -- it's in the workshop being repaired, and the tray and the stuff that was in it are in a basket in the kitchen.
I also have needle, threads, and a single-edged razor blade in my business-card case.
Sometimes I'll assemble a sewing kit in a sandwich bag and put it into an overnight bag with a garment to be mended.
formatting link
formatting link
Reply to
Joy Beeson
On Tue, 11 Dec 2012 11:53:59 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Diva
I got a superb Proctor-Silex ironing board for a wedding gift -- it's the only board I've ever seen that's square on both ends, and it's made of sturdy steel -- still going strong half a century later.
When we lived in apartments, I put my sewing machine on the ironing board -- I could adjust it to the perfect height, and the ends were available for pressing seams.
Reply to
Joy Beeson
I think mine must be related, though not square on both ends. I got it as a wedding shower gift. I had my DSIL weld the cross brace on the front leg a couple of years ago. All my pounding when I'm pressing kilt pleats wiggled it loose. But it's still the best ironing board around. Compared to the cheapies made today, it's almost indestructible.
Beverly
Reply to
BEI Design
Good quality scissors. As a minimum, at least 2 pairs - a large pair for cutting out fabric and a small pair for snipping/embroidery.
Is it good for a
Buy separately would be my advice and always buy good quality.
(snip)
Lots of tricks but any good sewing book will tell you what you need to know. The first trick I learned was that the stretch always, but always, goes round the body.
Reply to
Farm1
A cheap plastic tablecloth with flannel on the reverse side works really well for that purpose. I just stapled mine to the wall, and then when I needed to do something else with that wall, pulled it down and folded it with the squares still in place. When the wall is free again, I'll staple it back up.
Reply to
Kathy Morgan
Look in thrift stores and second-hand bookstores for copies of Ann Person's Stretch 'n' Sew books. We used to sew knits on straight-stitch machines, and get good results with her methods.
Reply to
Pogonip
I still use her book when I'm not sure of something. I find her helpful for somethings when I using wovens as well. I just wish her knits were still available, the quality was excellent. When I was working in hospitals I used her patterns for all my uniforms. People always wanted to know where I bought them because they were not the run of the mill scrub look. Juno
Reply to
Juno
"Pogonip" wrote in message
We used to sew knits on straight-stitch
Now that is a blast from the past. Keep tension/stretch in the seam whilst sewing IIRC.
I have ancient books put out by the only stretch sewing specialist in Australia at the time (called Knitwit) and I still use them for a quick revise if I haven't sewn knits for a long time. amazing how one forgets even the basics.
Reply to
Farm1
I loved the patterns and books. Everything was straightforward as far a directions and the patterns were so basic and easy to make design changes in. When I took the course the only thing I never finished was the bathing suit.Just never could get a good fit. Juno
Reply to
Juno
On Fri, 14 Dec 2012 11:10:55 +1100, "Farm1" wrote:
Made a pair of underpants today and yesterday -- had to look them up on my own web site before I pinned them together. (Well, the note on the pattern says it was last used in 2009.)
Interesting. The pair I just made of cotton jersey are very snug. The hemp-jersey briefs made from the same pattern are loose.
The hemp briefs are worn out, and plant fibers tend to grow, but I suspect that it is because the hemp jersey is much coarser.
Reply to
Joy Beeson

Site Timeline Threads

InspirePoint website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.