We all go through stages in our sewing life. Stages of spending too much, stages of trying to be thrifty and ‘using what you have’, stages of upcycling, and stages of buying fabric that you never end up using. After sewing for quite a while, I have learned a few things along the way. Like what is WORTH spending your hard earned money on. As we come upon Black Friday this weekend, I thought I would share my thoughts on this. Because who knows, you might have been on the fence about that big purchase, and what better time to get a great deal on the right sewing product for you.
Things that are WORTH IT.
In my humble opinion.
1. Fabric when Sewing Apparel for Yourself.
I have tried my way around this time and time again, trying to use what I have and save money. But here is what I have found…if I don’t LOVE the fabric, I ain’t wearing it. It may be expensive to get the stuff that you like, but consider this. How much would you have spent on that dress in the store? (You know the answer is more.)
Kids can get away with quilting cottons and the like, and will probably adore the novelty designs way more than you do. But when sewing for yourself, get what you LOVE. That way you know you will wear it time and time again.
2. A Nice Sewing Machine.
I would never, ever, ever recommend this to someone who is just starting out. For them, get the machine off the floor at your local chain store. Make sure sewing is a lifetime passion / hobby / or job for you. But for the person who has been sewing for years, and knows that it is a love to last a lifetime. It is time to make the investment in a sewing machine that will go the distance with them. Ever since I moved to my Bernina, the quality of my sewing has improved drastically. You will not regret it.
And once you have the machine of your dreams, spend a little extra on the thread you purchase. Less lint build up is always a good thing.
3. Quality Fabric Scissors.
Spend a little extra money on the ghingers, just try them. You will swoon with me. And then immediately do this…
It will save your marriage.
4. Fabric Storage Unit.
This might be just for me, but sewing is my happy place. I want to feel creative, and inspired in my sewing area. Not surrounded my piles of fabric falling over. Invest in something that will help you store your fabric in a proper way – so that when you do look at it – it looks pretty. Not like piles of laundry. You will find you are more productive because of it.
5. A Good Dress Form.
Tired of pricking yourself with needles as you try on your latest creation to get the proper fit? Or how about this, scared that the postman will ring just as you find yourself sewing in your skivvies? Been there.
A good dress form with the proper measurements can help you save time and sanity in the long run. Sure, you will still need / want to try your products on while you are sewing…but it will happen way less frequently. It will become your sewing BFF, and might acquire her own name.
6. Quality Sewing Patterns.
There is a time and place for every sewing pattern. I like the cheaper ones, I like the free patterns offered in blogland, I like the top 5 pattern companies, and I like the indie designers. Know which pattern you need for the project. And when sewing something you want tailored to perfection, spend the money on a quality pattern with a good reputation. There are lots of indie designers that charge up to $20 – $24 for a single pattern, and sometimes it is worth it.
— and for those of you who sell your work —
7. A Nice Camera & Photo Editing Software.
Your point and shoot camera or smart phone can only take you so far. Invest in the quality of your photos, and your sales will triple. Have Photoshop but still struggle with the editing process? Try photoshop action sets. They have saved my photo-editing sanity on more than one occasion.
And there you have it, my top 7 ‘Worth It’ Sewing items.
Looking for some other ideas as gifts for the sewing lover in your life? These are things that I love, but don’t necessarily think you ‘need’ in your life.
- A Serger. I love mine and couldn’t imagine living without it now that it is in my life.
- A monthly sewing magazine subscription. Obviously not a need. but I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to get that mail once a month. Like, seriously makes my day. As much as I love blog reading, they can never replace paper magazines.
- Thread Spool Holder. I love looking at all of my thread displayed so prettily on the wall. And it is so much nicer not having to sort through a basket and untangle the thread I want.
- An Inspiration Cork Board. For the professional seamstress, this is so nice to have. I used to keep all of my ‘ideas’ in a stack of papers on my desk. Ever since I placed the cork board on my wall, I can now look and be inspired whenever I want. And I love it.
- Pretty Pins. A total novelty. But I can imagine it would make someone SO HAPPY when they are pinning pattern pieces together to look at gorgeous pins next to gorgeous fabric. I mean, that just sounds heavenly.
- Baskets. I use baskets and bins for EVERYTHING. I can never have too many. Its kind of like saying I don’t need another scarf. (what?!!!). I always can use another basket / bin / scarf. So long as it is pretty to look at and functional.
- A Hand Vac. You think I am kidding. I am not. I cannot tell you how many times I have the vacuum out with me while I am sewing, because some of the textiles we use are so linty / messy / hairy / or whatever. There have been projects in which I have used my vacuum up to 7 times throughout the sewing process, maybe more. A good hand vac would be priceless on this occasions.
- A Ham. No, not the food. A pressing ham cushion will help you get nicer, clean pressed finished on all of those funky curved seams.
And that is just off the top of my head. This smaller list could probably never end.
What are your ‘Worth It’ Items?
Tell me what I’ve missed. Or what you plan on spending money on this Black Friday – with what will hopefully be the best deal of the year.
Until next time…