The Sewing Place

What does a novice "need" to accompany first machine?

Ohsewsimple

Re: What does a novice "need" to accompany first machine?
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2022, 21:53:56 PM »
There are lots of gadgets and tools available.  But they aren’t necessary. It’s amazing how little you can actually get away with when starting out.  And of course it depends what sort of sewing she will be doing.  If you’re getting the brother machine it will come with 4 bobbins I think. 
It’s not worth buying a selection of threads.  Buy when needed so the thread can match the fabric.  That way you won’t be spending money on thread that may never get used.  Of course if she wants to practise then a couple of reels in a bright colour she likes. 

Pins,
Hand sewing needles (embroidery ones are sharp and have a long eye that’s easy to thread)
Tape measure,
Shears for fabric
Small scissors for snipping thread
Method of marking whether chalk or pen type. 
Seam ripper
Iron and ironing board

She’ll also need a pressing cloth but to start she can use a clean tea towel. 
I too would stay away from rotary cutters.  They aren’t necessary especially for dressmaking. 

Goth Gardiner

Re: What does a novice "need" to accompany first machine?
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2022, 22:00:40 PM »
Ironing protective sheet or a dedicated tea-towel is a must.


The six-inch sewing rulers with the moveable guide are really helpful.


And, very important, really good lighting!




There's no workman, whatsoever he be, That may both work well and hastily

Greybird

Re: What does a novice "need" to accompany first machine?
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2022, 23:17:47 PM »
One of these is useful.

I use a sliver of soap instead of chalk on dark coloured fabrics. Frixion pens are great but try them on an offcut first - sometimes they leave a "shadow" of themselves which doesn't come off. In 50+ years I have never used a rotary cutter.

toileandtrouble

Re: What does a novice "need" to accompany first machine?
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2022, 23:18:36 PM »
If the machine does not come with some, a pack of good quality mixed machine needles. Must change a broken or bent needle and use the right size and type for the fabric.
I have an empty tic-tac box to store broken or bent needles and pins. It comes free of you don't mind eating the tic-tacs!
Yarn down:  650g
Fabric down:  7. 25m

BrendaP

Re: What does a novice "need" to accompany first machine?
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2022, 23:37:21 PM »
Good sharp scissors are a must - they should cut fabric or thread cleanly without it being held taut.
A good tape measure, and even for the youngsters who maybe don't know what an inch looks like it should still be marked in inches and cm.
Steam iron, ironing board and press cloth (a large man's handkerchief will do)
Pins - sharp points, not too thick but length can vary.  Choice of tiny head or berry head is personal, the berry headed ones are easier to pick up.  Glass heads will survive contact with a hot iron, plastic heads won't.

All the rest is optional and will be acquired as and when needed.  Extra bobbins will likely come high on the list of optional extras.  Coloured thread should be bought with fabric but big reels of basic colours, black, white, cream and maybe navy, brown and grey, work out more ecconomical.

Rotary cutter and cutting mat, plus weights, is a moot point.  Some swear by that method others fear for fingers!  What has she been taught at school about cutting out fabrics?.  Personally I use a rotary cutter for cutting straight lines (for patchwork) but never for cutting dressmaking pattern pieces.  Shears are much more accurate.

Storage doesn't have to be anything fancy, just somewhere clean, dry and without any rough edges is all that's needed.  Any sturdy table or desk should suffice for a basic sewing machine.  If it vibrates or moves about place a piece of non-slip mat underneath it.
Brenda.  My machines are: Corona, a 1953 Singer 201K-3, Caroline, a 1940 Singer 201K-3, Thirza, 1949 Singer 221K, Azilia, 1957 Singer 201K-MK2 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.

BrendaP

Re: What does a novice "need" to accompany first machine?
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2022, 23:44:37 PM »
If the machine does not come with some, a pack of good quality mixed machine needles. Must change a broken or bent needle and use the right size and type for the fabric.


Schmetz is generally reckoned to be the best brand but Organ and Superior are good too.  Don't be tempted to buy cheapies, especially if they come from China.  Same with bobbins, buy the ones made by Brother for a Brother machine.
Brenda.  My machines are: Corona, a 1953 Singer 201K-3, Caroline, a 1940 Singer 201K-3, Thirza, 1949 Singer 221K, Azilia, 1957 Singer 201K-MK2 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.

Bumblebuncher

Re: What does a novice "need" to accompany first machine?
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2022, 00:42:14 AM »
So, i am going to throw a spanner in the works here.  To start with she has all she needs from what you have said.  She may well decide that after a while the scissors she has need upgrading.  Or anything she has needs upgrading! But she will know what she needs as she gets to it.  A machine, scissors, thread, fabric, pattern, tape measure and spare needles are all that are needed.  We are all different and all like different things to play with.  But we also spend money on things we don't need and end up with them gathering dust over the years.
As it neared the top of the grade, it went more slowly. However, it still kept saying, "I—think—I—can, I—think—I—can." It reached the top by drawing on bravery and then went on down the grade, congratulating itself by saying, "I thought I could,  I thought I could."

Bill

Re: What does a novice "need" to accompany first machine?
« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2022, 07:26:06 AM »
I'll echo what @Bumblebuncher above said.
I started sewing just over a year ago and have bought so much useless/unused stuff it's ridiculous.
Buy as its needed. That goes for thread too.
I will say do not buy cheap. Its a false economy. I've wasted loads of money on second rate stuff because I was a tight wad. Its not worth it so buy the best you/she can.
She'll need needles. They absolutely will break and wear out.
Sewing scissors. These make a difference in that they grip the fabric as they cut making life much easier. I do usually use a rotary cutter and mat though because to me at least, it's easier.
I've not gotten on too well with needles. They seem a faff when seamstress/tailors/fabric glue does a brill job and washes out easily.
As said, there will no doubt be a few spare bobbins included with the machine (3 or 4) and a seam ripper. They're usually quite good quality too. If a lot of unpicking is expected (likely) she might do well to get a big handle seam ripper as in my experience they reduce the likely hood of hand cramp.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2022, 07:42:46 AM by Bill »
Janome Atelier 7
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HappyCampers

Re: What does a novice "need" to accompany first machine?
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2022, 08:35:22 AM »
wow! So many replies, thank you so much

Because this was part of a birthday gift I think we were getting carried away with too many bits - also because there is nothing more annoying than sitting down to do something and not having the right tool I wanted to make sure "everything" was on hand.

What I think folks are saying is decide what you are making and then gather the stuff you need as you go - so it is books / projects / patterns that are the starting point

But, whatever we make we do need: spare machine needles, pins, decent scissors and something to measure / make marks. And we buy thread and fabric together for the projects / patterns

weary

Re: What does a novice "need" to accompany first machine?
« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2022, 09:06:33 AM »
I would definitely add a seam ripper to your list of basic essentials above.

It is used to remove stitches that are incorrectly placed/no longer required.

The machine will probably include one in the accompanying tools, but if-not then strongly recommend that you purchase one.

Regards & good luck,
Phil

Iminei

Re: What does a novice "need" to accompany first machine?
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2022, 09:13:01 AM »
This seam ripper is EXCELLENT !!!
The Imperfect Perfectionist sews again

StitchinTime

Re: What does a novice "need" to accompany first machine?
« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2022, 09:19:42 AM »
Don't forget some "scrap" fabric for when the machine first arrives so that she can try out all the stitches and the different feet.

Old pillow cases or something similar would be fine and can be picked up in charity shops if there are none at home. Similarly, black and white thread will always be useful so get these from the start so she has something to sew with. As you say, other colours can be bought for specific projects.

Ohsewsimple

Re: What does a novice "need" to accompany first machine?
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2022, 09:50:03 AM »
@HappyCampers thats it exactly.  No need to go overboard to start with.  As someone who taught adults dressmaking for a number of years, my students made do to start and produced some fabulous work.  Just make sure the tools bought are decent quality.  No cheapie stuff like scissors from IKEA etc.  it’s a false economy.  Hopefully she will enjoy sewing and carry on but if not then it’s not too big an outlay apart from the machine. 

BrendaP

Re: What does a novice "need" to accompany first machine?
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2022, 10:16:09 AM »
I would definitely add a seam ripper to your list of basic essentials above.


Seam rippers are very inexpensive but they do get blunt very quickly.  They are a nice extra but IMO not essential, a pair of small scissors with fine points work just as well.  I managed for years without using a seam ripper.

If you are wanting to add to the birthday present bundle money or a voucher towards fabric would be my suggestion.
Here are just a few of the online shops offering vouchers.

Minerva Crafts
Little Shop of Fabrics
Sew Essential
MyFabrics
Croft Mill  other amounts available.
Fabric Godmother
 
Brenda.  My machines are: Corona, a 1953 Singer 201K-3, Caroline, a 1940 Singer 201K-3, Thirza, 1949 Singer 221K, Azilia, 1957 Singer 201K-MK2 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.

Helen M

Re: What does a novice "need" to accompany first machine?
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2022, 10:22:02 AM »
Quite often you get a seam ripper with new machines. Both of the Janome's that I've had came with a small one.
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