Supplies & Suggestions

Bring to the first Class:

  • Commercial Pattern (such as New Look, Simplicity, Butterick, etc)
  • Thread
  • Fabric
  • Pins and pin cushion
  • Seam ripper
  • Cutting shears

Places to find sewing supplies in San Francisco and Beyond:

  • Fabric Outlet,  2109 Mission Street (at 17th) – they have garment and home decorator fabric, patterns, and notions.  This store will be a one-stop place for project supplies.  
  • Fabrix, 432 Clement Street – this place is a like a treasure hunt, you never know what you’ll find. Great prices, great fabric, great trims, and never the same place twice! (note: patterns are not sold here)
  • Discount Fabrics, 2170 Cesar Chavez Street  -  Nice variety of garment and home decorator fabrics, and some notions.  (note: patterns are not sold here)
  • Mendels Far-Out Fabrics,  1556 Haight Street - this is a fabric and art supply store.  Head to the back of the store for the sewing section. You will find all the basic sewing supplies, buttons, and thread.  A neat place to visit for faux fur, costume-type fabrics and nice cotton fabrics.
  • Stone Mountain and Daughter - 2518 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley - Fantastic fabric selections, patterns, & notions.  This is a one stop shop for your project.  Many specialty fabrics and indie patterns can be found here.


If you have your own machine, you may use it in class. Alicia has computerized Janome Sewing Machines at the Studio.  There is no charge for machine use at the Marina Studio.

Alicia's Project Recommendations for Beginners

In general, patterns labeled "easy", "quick", "2-hour", or something similar are best for beginners. Patterns with fewer pieces will go together easier.

New Look™ Patterns are very beginner friendly! Try to avoid Vogue™ or Burda™ patterns for your first project.

  • Skirt with darts and a zipper
  • Pajama pants and shirts
  • Simple dresses
  • Un-lined jacket
  • Home decorator pillows
  • Tote bag
  • Bath Robe  

Alicia's Favorites

  • Readers Digest Guide to Sewing - a great reference book for all levels of students
  • Fabric Savvy and More Fabric Savvy by Sandra Bezina- An encylopedia of fabrics and all you need to know about when sewing with them
  •  is my favorite online store for sewing parts, notions and they even carry sewing machines and accessories.  This site has a reliable tutorial section that you can learn from.
  • a great place to buy machines and other sewing things with competive prices and free shipping!  It is a mom and pop shop!
  • Dachshunds!

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