I'm currently teaching a friend how to sew via e-mail. She lives out on the west coast, so e-mail is the only way to do it. I'm really enjoying sharing this with her; I think if she knew exactly how thrilled I am do be doing this with her...she would probably be worried about me! The very loose gameplan is to teach her how to sew project by project. Her first project will be a pair of PJ bottoms for her daughter. Anyway, I figured that there's someone else in the internet world that might get some use out of our "correspondent course", so here is Lesson 1. Caveat: I have absolutely no training as a teacher. Of course I try to make things as clear as possible, but they may not always come out that way!
Lesson 1: My suggested list of sewing tools. Just the basics, for now.
1) Fabric shears. I use Fiskars brand. Target and Walmart also sells a great pair of fabric shears for about $3 (I think it's a "duro" brand).
2) Quilter's pins. I prefer these pins over regular sewing pins because the longer length is easier to work with.
3) Quilting ruler: I use a a clear 2"x18" ruler; a must-have, for me.
4) Pin cushion. I like to have two, one for the sewing machine and one to carry around in case I'm doing some sewing in front of the TV.
5) Marking pen. I only use the kind with ink that washes away but there are pens that have "disappearing ink" as well. I find that the disappearing ink fades before I get a chance to sew the garment!
6) Safety pin(s). For threading elastic or a drawstring through a casing.
7) A place to lay out, cut, and mark the fabric. Probably your dining room table :)
8) Measuring tape
9) Seam ripper