…And all the rest.

Needles

Now that you have thread that perfectly matches your fabric, you need to acquire something to help you sew with it. To be completely honest, I haven’t found much difference in the different needles that I’ve used. For most fabrics, a good “universal” needle will accomplish what you need. There are various types of needles for embroidery work, or thicker fabrics, but unless you are planning to work with those, a standard needle should be sufficient. 

Scissors

Scissors are a very important tool to use when starting a project. You could get your pet rat to gnaw apart the fabric pieces that you need, but it probably won’t turn out very neat. Oddly enough, a poor pair of scissors can have almost the same effect. You know that pair of scissors that you keep in your room and use for pretty much everything under the sun? Turns out those aren’t so great for cutting fabric. If you have been using your scissors to cut paper, plastic, etc., your scissors have been significantly dulled since you bought them and will have a hard time sharply cutting through fabric. Do yourself a favor- buy a pair of scissors and save them just for sewing. They don’t have to be overly fancy, but the kind with a bent handle will make cutting straight lines much easier.

Another note- if you plan on cutting large amounts of fabric that frays (i.e.- all the linen and cotton that looks wonderfully period) you may want to invest in a pair of pinking sheers. This snazzy tool will cut the fabric in a sort of triangle pattern that will help to keep your fabric from falling apart at the seams.

Miscellaneous

There are a couple odds and ends that it is helpful to have on hand:

Pins– I have two types, standard pins with plastic balls on the top, and longer pins with flat, “melt-proof” tops. Lately, I’ve found myself using the flat headed pins more and more, simply because I don’t have to worry about them if I stop to iron a seam. They are a little more expensive, but I’ve found them to be very worth it. Pin cushions are nice, but not necessary. Just make sure you have a safe place to set your pins so you don’t step on them.

Iron– There are going to be certain hems and seams that you will want to press down before sewing, and it’s a good idea to have an iron on hand so your super-easy-to-wrinkle linen doesn’t look like you just slept in it, rolled around in the dirt, wrestled a bear, swam through a creek, and then wrung the shirt out and threw it back on. Unless, of course, that’s the look you are going for. But even then, it’s a good idea to keep an iron around during the sewing process. If you don’t have one, just steal one from a friend, parent, or random stranger.

Straight edge/measuring tools– The ability to draw straight lines could make or break your project. Medieval styles are made almost entirely with straight lines, and no matter how straight of a line you think you can draw, it will probably end up crooked. Do yourself a favor and stick at least a ruler in with your supplies. Of course, rulers are only so long. I recommend a yardstick to make sure you can measure most of your lines in their entirety. You will also want to keep a measuring tape on hand. While not so useful for measuring fabric, they do a wonderful job of measuring people.

Seam ripper– No matter how wonderful of a sewer you are, you are going to make mistakes. Probably often. Just embrace it now and get a seam ripper, no matter how invincible you feel. You’ll thank yourself later.

Marking pen/pencil– These can be incredibly useful for marking your lines and patterns. Regular pens can work, but aren’t guaranteed to wash out later if you mess up. I’ve got a nifty one that washes out if I just brush lightly at it with a wet washcloth. It’s saved me a good deal of frustration while marking out patterns.

Snacks– You are settling in for a project now. You are going to need nourishment. So find yourself some sugar and caffeine, and lets get to work!

Up next- a super spiffy tunic that even you can’t screw up!

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