”A good use for me is to let me go away with my sewing machine and come back with some really new stuff.” - Betsey Johnson
To learn how to sew requires getting all the necessary sewing accessories which will require your money and time. Knowing what to buy as a beginner can be a bit tough since you might not know what will be needed during the learning process.
Sewing is broad and there is a lot of sewing material out there that you might feel you need as a beginner which you would probably not need till your advanced level. Whether you are learning as a hobby, profession or simply just want to be mending or making men or women clothing, there are some basic things you will need like:
- Your choice of sewing machine
- Whether you will draw or buy sewing patterns
- The fabric needed
- The types of threads
- The necessary sewing equipment for your sewing machine like sewing needles, bobbins, oil for servicing your machine and son on
- The right sewing supplies in your sewing box like the measuring tape, hip curve, french curve, scissors, seam ripper, cutting mat, rotary cutter, pins, buttons, tailors chalk and so on.
If you do not want to show individually for most of the listed items above, you can get a sewing kit that has most of the above-listed sewing materials. Sewing can be very interesting and easy to learn once you have the right sewing supplies/sewing equipment coupled with a good tutor.
Fabrics don’t make exquisite dresses, it is the stitches.” - Treasure Stitches
You can take a free first sewing lesson here.
Guidelines When Selecting The Right Sewing Machine
The sewing machine is to a seamstress as a stethoscope is to a medical doctor. The type of machine you will need is dependant on what you will be sewing and how you want to be sewing. You will need to answer some questions before knowing the right sewing machine to choose:
- What brand should I buy?
- What types of stitches does it have?
- Is it manual or electrical?
- Is it domestic or industrial?
- Does it have the features that will meet my needs for the type of sewing I want to do?
The main criteria for choosing the right sewing machine are:
- What you will be needing the sewing machine for
- The stitches needed
- The functions in the machine
- How often you will be using it.
There are different types of sewing machines out there which can be categorised into two: the mechanical and the computerised or electrical sewing machine.
The mechanical sewing machines are usually lesser in price, used without electricity and everything about it is adjusted manually.
The computerised sewing machine, on the other hand, is pricey and more expensive than the manual one but its very ideal for a beginner. The reason being that the computerised machine does most of the work thanks to its automatic adjustment.
As a starter, it is advisav=ble to get an inexpensive sewing machine to have fun and see if you want to continue sewing as a hobby or profession. You can take sewing lessons online, at home or go to a sewing school.
Places To Find And Buy Cheap Fabrics In Nigeria
Fabric is very important when it comes to sewing. You cannot learn how to sew or take lessons on sewing without using fabrics. You cannot learn how to sew without fabrics so getting good quality ones at an affordable price is very important. Fabric is a necessary sewing supply hence the reason for getting them at cheap prices during the learning process.
Note also that the sewing machine also is very important in the garment construction and learning process. Without it, nothing can be made.
Easy and Cheap ways of getting fabrics:
Buying thrift clothing and converting them to your desired style
You can buy thrift items online or by going to the market. Beautiful and vintage materials can be bought while thrifting for garments and you can then convert them to your desired style to suit your project.
Some fashion designers in Nigeria usually organise sewing workshops/seminars and during these workshops, some fabric vendors are invited to showcase their fabrics. The vendors are usually advised to subsidize their prices for the workshop. Also, contacts to source cheap fabrics are usually discussed during such workshop.
Fabric cuts are another way of getting cheap fabrics. You can go to some tailors to ask for the pieces they have left from sewing. Since they are pieces of fabrics from the project they have completed, you will most likely get them very cheap but ensure you know how much fabric you will be needing for your project. Good thing is that you can also be creative by joining fabrics together from the fabric cuts to bring out your creativity.
Using old fabrics and materials in the house
You can turn some of your old fabrics and materials lying around in the house into a new design by:
- turning e a scarf material you like into a nice blouse or crop top.
- Converting that beautiful pillowcase into a nice project
- Reusing that old silk or cotton sheet to sew a nice garment for your project
- Turning that Aso-Ebi wrapper into a beautiful garment.
- converting that tight or free outfit you like so much into a beautiful creation instead of throwing it away.
You can use some of your project scraps by sewing them into larger cloths, patchwork style or even small craft projects. These scarps can make unique and lovely designs and patterns on your project.
This is a friendly reminder to always keep those scraps from your completed projects instead of throwing them away. You can get cheap fabrics in Nigeria via:
- Searching vendors online through platforms like Jiji, Konga and Jumia
- Going to the nearest fabric Market and so on.
The Sewing Essentials Needed When Learning How To Sew
Having the right basic sewing supplies will help make your sewing experience easier and faster. You don't want to start the process of learning how to sew before you now realise some sewing essentials are missing.
Some of the basic sewing supplies you will need to learn how to sew are can be categorised into:
They are used to take some measurements and dimensions to know the size of the garment and the amount of fabric you will need to buy. Examples of these measuring tools are
- Measuring tapes
- Quilter's Ruler
Marking And Transfer Tools
They are used for making markings on your fabrics and transfer your patterns to your fabrics before you proceed to sew. They include:
- Tailor's chalk and pens
- Tracing wheel
- Carbon Paper and so on
As the name implies, they are used for cutting out fabrics and patterns you will be needing for your sewing projects. Tools under this category include:
- Seam Rippers
- Rotary cutter
- Cutting mat
Sewing Supplies For Pinning and joining
You will need quite a lot of sewing pins while learning how to sew depending on the number of your projects. Pins help keep fabrics together while you are cutting and also sewing on the machine. Under these supplies include
- Sewing pins
- safety pins
A sewing machine might be the first thing that comes to your mind when you want to learn how to sew but you can see it however goes beyond that.
So when starting, you need to know the exact sewing supplies that your project requires because technology has so much advanced that there are now thousands of sewing supplies and sewing equipment out there.
Understanding And Choosing The Right Sewing Kit
A Tailors treasure box is their sewing kit which usually contains items like a measuring tape, needles, sewing pins, threads, scissors, seam rippers, chalk for markings and a tracing wheel.
Starter Kits are ideal for learning how to sew easily because they contain the sewing supplies like buttonholes, zippers, measuring tape, threads, etc that will let you customise what you want. Sewing project kits for beginners makes sewing quick and easy, especially with the guidelines usually included in them.
Sewing kits are usually in small boxes with basic sewing supplies or in larger boxes with everything you need to get started with a sewing project.
A basic sewing kit will just have what you will need for your basic sewing projects. The kit usually contains:
- A pair of scissors
- Seam ripper
- safety pins
- Tailor's chalk and so on
- Measuring tape
Sewing Project Kit
These kits are usually put together by professional fashion designers and tailors because they know exactly what you will need to complete a project from experience. It usually contains items like:
- Measuring Tape
- Fabric (usually Calicos for practising)
- Sewing machine needles
- seam ripper
- tracing wheel
- Tailor's chalk or pen
- Needle threader
Don't be afraid to start learning how to sew. Sewing is easy and interesting with the right tutor, sewing equipment, sewing kit and of course a good sewing machine. You can contact our sewing teachers at Superporf if you are interested in learning how to sew. The sewing teachers offer the first lesson for free after contacting them.