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Sewing Techniques

Tools to get you started. sewing tools hand sewing machine seam ripper

In order to use ready made patterns, or making patterns from the scratch you will require a few tools and equipments. I have listed below bare minimal tools for you to get started.

Sewing machine.

Any basic model will do. I use a very inexpensive machine, and it works just fine.

Tracing paper.

Large sheets if possible for tracing the patterns.

Tape.

Used to attach tracing paper together when drafting or altering patterns.

Serger.

This machine is helpful if you plan to sew with knits. There are a couple of dresses in the book sewn from ponte, a double-knit fabric that, unlike most knits, has enough body that it can be used for fitted dresses. If you don’t have a serger, you can substitute a woven fabric that has a bit of spandex in it and use your regular machine. Or use your regular machine to sew knits using a small zigzag stitch and a ballpoint needle. Sewing machine needles. You’ 11 need universal, or basic all-purpose needles, plus a ballpoint needle for sewing knits and a variety of machine needles for light/delicate, medium-, and heavy-weight fabrics.

Invisible-zipper presser foot.

Though you can actually sew an invisible zipper effectively using a

regular zipper foot (truth be told, I often do), an invisible-zipper foot is helpful for inserting invisible zippers as it allows you to get very close to the zipper teeth. Though most machines come with a regular zipper foot, they don’t usually come with an invisible-zipper foot. You can usually buy a plastic one that works with most machines wherever invisible zippers are sold, though plastic feet are . not nearly as sturdy as metal ones. You can find a metal foot that is compatible with your particular

sewing machine online or by contacting your machine’ s manufacturer.

Hand-sewing needles.

Various sizes will allow you to baste fabrics and hand-hem skirts.

Thread.

Choose thread that matches the dominant color in your fabric. All-purpose polyester thread is the best choice for sewing dresses as it’ s strong and has a bit of flexibility in other words, it won’t break when stretched a bit.

Pins and pincushion.

I find pearl-tipped pins easier to work with, but regular pins workjust fine. Silk ‘ ‘ pins are very thin and are used for silk and other delicate fabrics.

Safety pins.

For turning small pieces, such as straps, inside out.

Good fabric shears. It is really worth spending the money for a good pair of shears and having them professionally sharpened when needed. They make cutting so much easier and more accurate. Don’t use your good shears to cut anything else! Especially paper.

Regular scissors.

Use these for cutting paper patterns.

Seam ripper.

Remove temporary basting stitches or sewing mistakes with this tool.

Yardstick Keep one on hand for measuring fabric yardage and drafting patterns.

L square or T square. Any ruler that will allow you to check right angles will also work In a pinch, you can use a piece of paper instead.

Soft tape measure.

This tool is essential for taking accurate persona! or dress-form measurements.

Armhole curve ruler, or French curve ( optional). This measures and marks armholes in bodice patterns.

Hip curve ruler

Use this to measure and mark curves for skirts.

Clear ruler

If you are altering patterns or creating a variati on of a pattern, the instructions

may call for a ruler or straightedge.

Tailor’ s chalk or chalk pencils. Transfer nonpermanent markings from the patterns to the fabric with either tool.

Dressmaker’ s pencil.

You can get a sharper, more accurate line than with chalk using these pencils.

The markings can be brushed off or removed with a damp cloth.

Steam iron.

You will frequently need an iron to press open seams.

Tailor’ s ham ( optional). This is very handy for pressing curved areas of a garment such as darts, princess seams, and the shoulders of sleeves, but a roll ed hand towel can also be used in place of this professional tool. sewing tools sewing tools hand sewing machine

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