Needed Sewing Supplies : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

If you think that you will be sewing after new years evil, here are some common sewing supplies that I think you should invest in.

Pins - for holding the pattern to the fabric and the fabric together while sewing.

Seam Ripper - if you are new to sewing, you will find out how useful this tool is to take out mistakes... or fashion enhancements that were unintended.

Buttons, Snaps, and Zippers - You can buy new ones (they sell bags of buttons for pretty cheap) or you can rip them off old clothing that you are going to toss or make into rags.

Needles - for your machine or for hand use.

Thread - buy a good quality, not the 8 spools for a buck as it is not really good thread and will break faster. Basic colors that will sew most items include Black, Blue, White, Beige, Brown, and possibly Red.

If you are serious about it, invest in a rotary cutter and a good large mat, as you will not need to pin down your patterns but can put tuna cans or whatever down to hold the patterns in place.

Hem Marker - This little item has a slide that will allow you to mark and pin your hem up to 6 inches. This will help to make sure that you have an even hem all the way around the garmet.

Chalk - For marking the fabric for darts and such. You don't need the expensive sewing chalk, as I use my son's sidewalk chalk just fine. No need to buy the marking pens that work sometime and sometime not.

If any of you can think of others, please add, as I am having a brain fart at the moment. Hard day at the office.

For newbies at sewing, you may want to practice some to get the hang of it before you need to do it.

-- (cannot-say@this.time), July 08, 1999


Sharpener for your rotary cutter, sewing machine oil (you can always turn the wheel by hand on your electric machine).

Very definitely buy several seam rippers. They do break and they're indispensable. Thimbles for fumblers! Magnetized tray for pins--also very useful for picking them up when you drop them.

The only other thing I can think of is a pair of those lovely Fiskars shears--you know, the grey ones with orange trim. They're so easy on the hand for cutting.

Oh--get your scissors sharpened. Fabric stores often provide this service. If you forget, try cutting repeatedly on sandpaper--it's supposed to sharpen scissors.

-- Old Git (, July 08, 1999.

STREAM OF CONCIOUSNESS LIST...Thimbles are a must. Needles of different sorts & sizes, for mending, craft, upholstery,...large eyes for tired old eyes. Most if not all our needles now come from China, these should be way up on the barter goods lists! The pincushion that looks like a tomato with a little dangling strawberry. The strawberry is filled with emory--it is a needle sharpener! Fabric stores have nice packages with differing zipper heads & parts for repair, as well as sleeping bag zippers. Safety pins are an ingenious & often over-looked item, blanket pins would be a lovely extravagance. Dental floss for heavy duty mending. Maybe some darning yarn for tired socks, a friend's Oma in Germany took the covering carefully apart from her sofa to have the material to knit socks for her children. Crochet hooks, great for pulling in errant sweater loops, etc. We go through alot of iron on denim patches in the best of times, they can be picked up at the market or drugstore. An awl for punching through leather & tough fabrics. 3-in-1 oil for your tired sewing machine, spare lightbulb, & belt. Grommet kits for tarps are inexpensive. The Vogue Sewing Book from years ago is indispensable, it has solid basic instruction. Had enough?

-- flora (***@__._), July 08, 1999.

Treadle singer sewing machines can often be had for $50-$75.

>If you think that you will be sewing after new years evil Freudian slip? LOL!

-- Mommacares (, July 08, 1999.

If the guys can go on about generators, gold ,& guns, I figure I can go on about shears, snaps & seam rippers.

How about elastic, cheesecloth, muslin, denim, pinking shears, embroidery hoop, quilter's leather thimble, quilter's curved needles {& the hope that they're not needed to stitch up somebody}, quilter's beeswax - helps thread slip through tough spots, quilter's thin 2" diameter rubber disk-- grips needle & makes it easy to pull through thick stuff.

Don't cut paper with your fabric scissors, it dulls the edges.

-- flora (***@__._), July 09, 1999.

Lets not forget the fabric!!! walmart has bargin bins with fabric for $1 & $2 per yard. Buy pieces large enough for what you sew the most and store in plastic bags or boxes with a bar of soap included to keep it smelling fresh!

-- kitten (, July 09, 1999.

For a great place to get thread,needles for hand or machine sewing,elastic,etc....all also available in bulk quantities call 1- 800-344-4739 or go to I have bought from Home-Sew for years and their prices and services are excellent.Also have quilt supplies for those of us planning on limited heat.

-- MUTTI (windance, July 09, 1999.

Old Git,

Yes... having the scissors sharp is the most important thing. NEVER allow anything but the fabric to be cut with them.

I purchased a sharpener for my Fiskars at Walmart for around 5.00. It does a good job so far.

I don't have to worry about buying fabric anytime soon, as I have approx 250 yards stashed away. What can I say.... it's my passion. I cannot pass up a good sale of it either. My car turns in the parking lot all by itself, even when I don't want to go.

-- (cannot-say@this.time), July 09, 1999.


You can imagine what happened when someone I knew took a job as manager of a fabric store! The fabric fills up a double-dresser and then overflows onto some shelving (that portion is still in the store's plastic bags with patterns and notions!) I have lots of Polar Fleece. The cats love my polar fleece scraps to nap on--what does this tell you? PF scraps are also good for children's toys (kitty toys too). BTW PLEASE buy the polar fleece made by that factory in New England if you can. (Mfr info is on end of cardboard thingie fabric is wrapped on.) That guy was SO good to his employees when the factory burned down--remember? Paid them and kept their health insurance current until factory was rebuilt. Must try to keep the guy and his workers in business!

As a friend in England remarked not long ago, "She who dies with the most fabric wins." I think I'm in the running. . .

-- Old Git (, July 09, 1999.

Old Git,

I know what you mean about being in the running. Whenever I want to go purchase more, my hubby just rolls his eyes. He has suggested that I start to purchase from my own personal fabric store. I just laugh, and say that then I would have to CUT into it.

-- (cannot-say@this.time), July 09, 1999.

I will emphasize Kittens response on cloth. If things go bad next year, that is one thing we are NOT going to see much of and you can only cut up your clothes so many times. So GET CLOTH!!!! For both hot weather, chilly weather, and freezing weather. And get those cloth scissors that are good on your hands. If you're going to get the scissors, don't forget the scissor sharpeners. Some patterns for some simple clothing wouldn't be a bad idea either.

-- Chrissy W (, July 09, 1999.

I have a sewing business that I do in my home. I have many gadgets and whistles that most sewers don't use or need,, but the one item that I never will be without is Quilter's Basting spray. It will hold fabric together but will not set, and you can sew through it without gumming up the needle. you can actually spray the seams of the garment together and try on the garment and see instantly the adjustments needed before sewing. Hancocks carries it my area. Send for a free cataloge from Nancy's Notions web site. She has all kinds of helpful brochures and books for beginners and advanced sewers plus high quality (not expensive) sewing supplies. Also for anyone interested in sewing check out the PBS station in your area for her show called Sewing with Nancy. There are usually many sewing how to programs on the PBS stations.

-- Carol (, July 09, 1999.

Sewing has always intimidated me. For one thing I just can't make sense of the back of the patterns. Can anyone tell me where one could find patterns or which company to look for men's sizes 1X and 2X. I got a shirt pattern long ago in 1X, but when made it was smaller than the 1X size.

However, I do enjoy hand quilting and garage sales are good finds for old dresses and such which can have alot of material in the skirt, and very cheap when considering the amount of material you get. This might be a good source of inexpensive material for folks sewing for small children.

-- Lilly (, July 09, 1999.


I think you should look for New Look patterns if you can find them. I find that the sizing runs more true to form than most patterns. Make sure that you check the measurements on the back of the pattern for the chest and all. Pick the size closest to the measurements or the one larger.

If you find that something that you are sewing is too small, try not using the 5/8" seams. I usually make my seams about 1/8 inch. Then again, I do french seams, so it takes up actually a little more than 1/4 inch.

-- (cannot-say@this.time), July 09, 1999.

Don't forget to buy plenty of the iron-on denim patch. I iron it on and then zig-zag the edges - makes the patch last longer and stabilizes the material underneath. Which if you are going to iron without electricity you had better get some flat irons - they can be heated on a propane stove as well as wood.

-- Beckie (, July 09, 1999.


I have a plus size friend who i have been sewing for since we were teens. Back then they did not have large size patterns for what the kids were wearing so i would enlarge my own to fit her measurements. If you are using a basic pattern this can be done simply by slicing both the main front and back pieces vertically and adding 1/4 of the total increase you need between the 2 slices.(i usually tape the 2 pieces to newspaper to keep the size correct and can then fold the extra paper under if i desire to use the original size later) The 1/4 addition will be doubled as you cut out right and left sides, giving you the full width you desire. NOTE* you may have to play around with the shoulders or neckline a little but it really is quite simple after you try it! best of luck!

-- kitten (, July 10, 1999.

Here's what I'm stocking in the way of sewing supplies. Thanks for the info on the emory pin cushion. ::: Dancr morphs into Johny Carson for a sec ::: I ... did ... not ... know ... that.

Probably my biggest mistake so far this year was buying a treadle sewing machine. I was thinking my hands cannot handle spinning the wheel by hand. Come to find out, you can buy a treadle attachment for most modern machines. Oh, well... it was only $80 and makes a nice looking antique (if only I had some spare room!). If I get a treadle attachment for my regular machine, maybe I can sell one of them at a huge profit.

What's a blanket pin?

-- Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr near Monterey, California (, July 11, 1999.

I had no idea you could get a treadle attachment for modern machines. How? Where? For which ones? Any help appreciated.

-- BigDog (, July 11, 1999.


A blanket pin is an overgrown safety pin. It looks kind of like those old fashioned diaper pins, or the one I used to wear on a kilt. They a great when you're making a bedroll for someone, and I think they would come in handy for many things.

-- flora (***@__._), July 12, 1999.

I'm working on acquiring a good used sewing machine for Herself. The ca. 1960-issue Sears machine which she inherited and has been using for the past 20 years finally gave up the ghost. Any recommendations on a good basic machine?

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), July 12, 1999.

Mac, I would suggest that you look at the (gulp) Sears brand. My Riccar that I had for many years finally went to the sewing resting place that some machines finally pass on to. Anyway, the new Sears machines are made by New Home/Jannome (sp?). They just have the Sears name stamped on them. The machine that I got last fall was the one around the $700 range. Not sure if you can afford it or not. I am not sure that I would buy one of their "cheap" machines. Look around at sewing shops and in the newspapers, and sometimes you can find a top-of-the-line machine for a fraction of the origional costs. Seems some like a new TOL machine ever year or so.

Just my thoughts, after all the research that I did. I almost got a Pfaff, but bought the Sears.

-- (cannot-say@this.time), July 12, 1999.


Check out your local small apliance repair shop. They often have reconditioned old workhorses sitting around, available for a song!

-- flora (***@__._), July 12, 1999.

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