I recently received my SAGA News with the announcement of the upcoming fall convention, which got me
thinking dreaming about upcoming classes and what I could attend. (If you’re not a current member of SAGA, you are missing out – SAGA has a lot to offer members, both in local guilds as well as with retreats and conventions.) I’ve been both a student as well as a teacher, so have a pretty good idea about preparing to take a class and thought I’d share what I’ve learned over the years. I hope to be a student at some of the sewing events this year.
SAGA includes a list of “basic sewing supplies” for students to take to classes, as does Sewing At The Beach and as did the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion when they had their schools in Huntsville. I combined the lists, since the things on the list would be
helpful necessary to have at any/all sewing schools. Of course, understand that these things are for schools that cater to heirloom sewing, which is what I love to do. A quilting school would have a different set of required supplies. 🙂
Basic Sewing Supplies to Take to Classes:
Scissors (fabric, paper and embroidery), glass head or fine silk pins, fine line and ultra-fine line water soluble-blue marking pens, #2 pencil and sharpener, tape measure, rulers, white sewing thread, assorted hand sewing needles, seam ripper, pen/paper for taking notes, task lighting and magnification with extension cord and power strip. If a machine is required, bring machine, power cord, foot petal, manual, extra bobbins and assorted pressure feet as well as a variety of machine needles/sizes.
Heirloom class supplies should also include a lace shaping board and corresponding scissors. For air travel, I prefer this smaller board, but if I’m driving to a class, I definitely would include the larger lace shaping board.
Hand sewing/embroidery class supplies should include 4″, 6″ & 8″ embroidery hoops. I have a handy carrying case with zip pockets that hold just about anything I’d need for a hand sewing class. It keeps everything in one place and has been a great organizer for these things.
Suggested machine needles should include #60, 65, 70, 75 & 80, twin needles 1.6/70, 2.0/80, #100 Jeans needle and wing needle.
Suggested threads are white in 60 wt. Mettler, 50 wt. Coats and Clark, 50 wt. DMC, 80 wt. Madeira Tanne cotona, 70 or 100 wt. YLI Heirloom thread.
Suggested pressure feet are 5 groove pintuck foot, open toed foot, edge stitching foot, lace joining foot, piping foot & 1/4″ foot.
Refer to specific classes for additional supplies needed.
This list is the combined list from all these schools. I realize that it is a long list, but if for the student that is a smocker and does heirloom sewing many of these supplies will already be in the “stash”. If the student is new to heirloom sewing and hopes to advance their skills, these will be things that will be needed for future projects, so definitely things that should be in the “stash”.
As a student, I always have all of these things (in multiples) with my traveling supplies to the school as well as everything that the teacher has on the list for the specific classes being taken. I want to get the most out of class and so I prepare well ahead of time in order to acquire all the needed supplies. With no heirloom shops in the area, most things have to be ordered online. Like most students, I want my project to look as much like the teacher’s sample as possible, so using the same supplies that she used makes sense to me.
As a teacher, it is my hope that all the students will have the required supplies for the classes. Students that come unprepared bring unnecessary challenges to the classroom/teacher. When compiling the list of supplies required for a class, every supply listed IS required and used. Sometimes there are supplies that are listed as “optional”. I can assure that I would ALWAYS opt to have these supplies, however, there are “work arounds” if you opt not to bring that supply.
Once you’ve secured all the necessary supplies, it’s nice to have a plan for organizing these supplies so that they are readily visible and on hand when you need them. I have a great little holder for my supplies. What I particularly love about this organizer is that it swivels around for easy access to the tools.
There’s still a few more things on my “wish” list for class supplies. One of those things is a rolling tote for my sewing machine. It sure would make toting a machine to class easier!
I hope that this post is helpful to anyone that plans to take classes at upcoming sewing venues, local SAGA guilds or shops where heirloom classes are being taught. I also hope that many of the blog readers will have the opportunity to take classes this year. While it is possible to learn many things online or from books, nothing is quite the same as being able to take a class in person. In person, you will get little tips/technique demonstrations that aren’t necessarily in the books as well as have the opportunity to have the teacher make suggestions to fine tune your skills/techniques. Consider one of the many sewing venues available for heirloom sewists this year – you’ll be glad that you did!
Have I missed a necessary supply??? I do bring other supplies that aren’t listed here, but I thought that might be a bit overwhelming to add more things to the list! LOL!
Edited to add – Don’t forget the bandaides!!! Am I the only one that needs those? LOL!