What is sewing?

Sewing is one of the oldest crafts in the world, with evidence of sewn clothes and sewing equipment dating back to the Paleolithic era – the stone age! Today, sewing can be done on the industrial scale to create garments that clothe entire countries, or on a small scale, simply for your own pleasure. Sewing can be purely decorative, producing small artworks for you to take pleasure in, or it can be the means for you to create more ambitious projects: clothing, accessories, toys and more!

If you’re going to start with sewing it’s important to look at what exactly sewing is, and what you’re going to need. MakeBox+Co is here to help – with this short guide and with our boxes. Our boxes contain everything you’ll need to create a sewing project, from tools and materials to clear, comprehensive instructions.

What is sewing?

At the most basic level, sewing is the craft of attaching objects using stitches made with a needle and thread. In the stone age, the needles were made with bone or antler, but today you can buy as many mass-produced metal sewing needles as you need!

You can make things easier by buying a sewing machine, but a better place to start might be a smaller project that you can hand sew, getting used to the stitches, knots and different tools that make up sewing as a craft and discipline.

What do you need to start sewing?

As a craft, sewing is one of the more complicated options, and there is a slightly longer list of equipment than there is for needlepoint.

  • Pins

Necessary for holding the fabric in place while you stitch, it’s a rare sewing project you can complete without pins. Also useful is a pincushion to keep them safe, organised and accessible while you work.

  • Sewing Needles

The type of needle you need is dictated by what you’re working on: the finer the fabric, the finer your needle needs to be, so silk demands the smallest possible needle to avoid making large holes. Different types of thread also have different needs: standard sewing thread is very thin, so requires only a small eye. If you’re finishing a project with embroidery floss, then you’ll need a needle with a larger eye, as that’s a heavier thread.

  • Scissors

A large part of the preparation work for a sewing project is measuring and cutting fabric. Depending on the project you’re working on, you might need a variety of different scissors. While to begin with, sharp kitchen scissors will meet your needs, eventually tailor’s scissors, bent scissors, thread-cutting scissors and more could all find a place in your collection.

  • Thimble

When you’re hand sewing, you’re at risk of hurting yourself – not just by jabbing yourself with a needle by mistake, but also with the constant pressure of pushing the needle through fabric. A thimble can help to negate this risk.

  • Seam Unpicker

No sewer is so good they don’t make mistakes. A seam unpicker is a specialised tool to help you cut through mistaken stitches without damaging the fabric so you can try again.

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