You dream to become a successful fashion designer. Don’t worry, everyone starts from zero, so you need to first learn the basics of this career, prior to becoming a famous designer. Among all the things you need to learn on your path to success, is preparing your starter toolkit. There are tools that you’ll only need later, after you actually learn how to be great in your fashion designing career. However, here you’ll see what tools you should start with. So let’s get the list ready for your starter toolkit!
Some basic tools
Obviously, you can’t be a sewer without a sewing machine, so this is probably one of the first tools that you need to get when you first decide to become a fashion designer.
Another essential for everyone, but especially for sewers, is the iron. Try to choose one that is good, as you’ll need it to make sure that your garments look great when they’re finished.
For Hand Sewing
Although we know that as a professional designer or sewer, you’ll probably work more with your sewing machine, you still need some hand sewing tools, and the needles are on the top of this list. They are available in various sizes and they have different uses, which depend on the project and the weight of the fabric that you use.
Also designed for hand sewing, the needle threaders are available in different ways, from very simple, to very sophisticated. Usually, they can be used with hand needles, as well as with sewing machine needles. These needles help you to get the thread through the needle’s eye.
Don’t you just hate it when you stitch and your thread gets tangled? It is just so annoying when this happens! Well, this is why you need to use beeswax on your thread, and it will prevent the thread from getting tangled and knotted.
They protect your finger that pushes the needle during the sewing process. There are typically thimbles with a closed top, which dressmakers use, and thimbles with an opening at the end, which tailors use to manipulate the cloth more easily.
Needle pullers protect your fingers from cuts, and they help you avoid soreness caused by hand sewing. They allow you to pull the needles through fabrics, and they are ideal especially for certain types of fabric, such as denim or other heavyweight fabrics.
It is essential to mark your fabric, as this helps you in sewing the pieces together. So here are some important tools that you need for this step.
Usually, your fabric will be folded in half. So you’ll cut two layers of fabric for each piece. So after you cut the pieces, you need to mark the fabric piece on top and on the bottom. If you use tracing paper, you can mark both fabric pieces at the same time. All you need to do is slip the fabric under the bottom layer of the fabric and under the paper pattern, to sandwich the fabric. Tracing paper is available in multiple colors, and it has a chalky, wax-free finish. It is important to carefully choose your color, so that you can easily see. You are recommended not to use a color that will show on the right side, for light colored fabrics. Also, try to use the tracing paper for marking the wrong side of your fabric.
A tracing wheel is used with tracing paper to allow you to transfer pattern markings. Tracing wheels are available in various types, such as with a serrated edge, or with a smooth edge.
You can also use tailor’s chalk, pens and pencils to transfer your pattern markings to the fabric. You need to use them to mark your fabric layers individually. In comparison to tracing paper, these leave markings that can be easily be removed from the fabric. However, whilst the tracing paper is excellent to use when you have two layers of fabric, the chalk, pens and pencils are ideal to use when you only need to mark a single layer of fabric. These tools are also excellent to use for marking the right side of your fabric, for such things as pockets, or for stitching guide lines.
In sewing, it is important to make accurate measurements. So here you can see three tools that you need to use.
During the years, you’ll probably need to have a lot of tape measures. They are essential to take you or someone else’s measurements. However, you can also use them to measure a lot of other things. They are available in various lengths and types. Some of them come with centimeters on one side and inches on the other.
It is a helpful tool, and you need it for quick measuring. You can use the seam gauge to measure hems, or to quickly mark the amount you need to take in on a pattern piece.
This is a helpful tool to mark seam allowances on pattern pieces. It is especially wonderful for straight lines.
Pins play an essential role in your sewing, especially when you are still a beginner. They are great at holding things in place while you cut and sew. Straight pins are available in various sizes and colors, some of them have simple heads, and others have colored or nicely shaped heads.
You can choose a pin cushion, or a pin magnet, as they serve the same purpose. Either of them help you to keep your pins at your fingertips when you sew. Besides, they also prevent your pins from rolling onto the floor, or under your sewing machine.
Although pattern weights are not a must-have, they are good to have, as they help you to use fewer pins.
Pressing is important to the success of your project. Here are the tools that give you great pressing results for garment sewing.
The seam roll helps you to avoid the creases from appearing in your sleeves, to flatter the seams and to press tubular pieces. It has a different fabric on each side. The cotton side is used to press fabrics that require to use a high temperature iron. The wool side is used to press fabrics that require to use a low to medium temperature iron.
The tailor’s ham is essential when you press areas that fit curved areas of the body. The shape of this tool helps you mold the darts or princess seams, as well as any other type of curved seam, to make them fit better on your body’s curves.
Cutting is one of the most important parts in sewing, and it is essential to use the best cutting tools, to make sure you get amazing results for your projects.
The sewing scissors are only meant to be used to cut fabric. It is very important not to use them for any other purposes, such as cutting paper, cardboard, packaging or any other things. When you’re looking for the scissors to add to your toolkit, make sure you choose scissors that are comfortable, as you’ll definitely use them a lot. There are various models, types, styles, and you can find models that are only for left hand, for right hand, or ones that work for both hands. Try to choose the ones that you think that best fit your needs.
The seam ripper helps you to rip seams. You will find a variety of seam rippers, in different sizes. However, it is a good idea to get more seam rippers, as you’ll use them a lot.
Bottom lineAlthough you can find some starter sewing toolkits in various stores, you can always buy them individually. This way, you can choose exactly the tools that you need, prefer, or that you consider to be more suitable for your particular needs and your preferences. However, you can also compare the prices, to make sure that you can get everything you need for your starter’s kit, whilst you remain within your available budget.