If you want to get started sewing for Sugar Gliders(or other pets), you might not know exactly where to start. I didn't either at first honestly; all I had was a basic sewing machine I didn't really know how to use, some thread, and some cheap fleece throws from Wal-Mart. I'm here to give you some tips and advice on what to buy to get started!
This blog post contains amazon affiliate links.
Part One: Sewing Machine, Needles, & Thread
You want to have a good sewing machine that can handle sewing through 4-6 layers of good quality fleece. You don't have to have a super expensive, high end machine, but the cheap beginner machines won't cut it.
I use a Brother LX3817, and it works well for me. I got mine at Wal-Mart, but you can find them on Amazon as well. I like it because I don't have to oil it, and it has simple settings.
For thread and needles, you want to use good quality brands that'll last and not break. Gutermann is a really good thread brand, but I usually use this Brother thread. The needles that come with your machine should be good, but if you have any issues or need more, I'd highly recommend Organ needles.
Pro Tip: Make sure to always clean your machine regularly! I clean mine every time I reload my 6 bobbins. If your machine starts acting up, try cleaning and rethreading it first, then change the needle and see if that helps. Always be sure to oil(if needed, check your machines manual) after cleaning as well.
Part Two: Rotary Cutters, Blades, & Cutting Mats
If you're going to be cutting fabric by hand, a rotary cutter is a MUST. It's a whole lot easier than cutting pieces out with scissors. You'll also need a cutting mat to use with the rotary cutters, and replacement blades.
For rotary cutters, I recommend using these 45mm Olfa brand ones. Fiskars is a common brand as well, but I've found they're much less comfortable, and harder to switch blades out.
You'll need replacement blades for them quite often, depending on how much you cut out, and for those I recommend grabbing a pack of 10 on Amazon like these. You can get them in single packs and packs of 5 at Wal-Mart also, but generally it's a lot more expensive that way.
I use a 24" x 36" cutting mat like this one currently. I'd recommend trying to find the biggest one you can that'll fit on your chosen cutting table. You can start with a small one too, but you'll need to move it around a lot to cut out larger pieces or sets.
Pro Tip: Don't forget to get a good quality pair of scissors as well, especially if you plan to make fleece Pom-Poms.
Part Three: Fleece & C-Links
Good quality fleece is an important part of sewing. While the cheap throws at Wal-Mart are tempting, they're best used for practicing. They're very thin, tend to catch nails more, and will wear out quicker. Not all fleece is made the same, and not all types are safe either.
JoAnn carries Blizzard and Anti-Pill Plush fleece, and both of these are safe. Normal Anti-Pill fleece is safe as well, but most Joann stores only carry the plush version now. The Anti-Pill plush is thicker and a bit harder to sew with, so I prefer to buy Blizzard. Minky and Microfleece are generally considered not safe and not recommended.
C-Links are another thing you'll need to have. You can find them in some stores, but mostly online. I buy 1000 at a time here on Amazon, as it seems to be the best price I can find on them. They also sell smaller quantities at decent prices, but make sure not to get the smaller mini-links or different shaped links, as they won't be able to handle the weight.
Pro Tip: Cardboard cut-outs work great as makeshift templates for cutting out your pieces.
Part Four: Miscellaneous
Here are some extra things you may or may not need, but might be helpful for you:
Pom-Pom Makers - Great if you want to make your own fleece pom-poms.
Fabric Chalk Pen - You can use this to mark your fleece before you cut it. It brushes out easily.
Fabric Pen - Alternative to the chalk version. The blue side wipes away with a damp cloth, or in the washer. The purple side gradually disappears without washing.
Shelving Grids - I use these to display sets, but you can also use them to store fabric and such.
Thanks for reading, and let me know if there's anything I missed! I hope this helps those of you just getting started with sewing.
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