From a Professional Seamstress: Must Haves for Your Sewing Arsenal

Getting into the sewing game can be overwhelming. Sure, you can try to get along with that complementary sewing kit you took from a hotel, but that thread will eventually break and those scissors cut nothing.

 

Let me serve as your sherpa and guide you through the sewing supply wilderness. I’m going to help you wade through the sewing notions aisle to know which items you absolutely must have. Plus, a few items that make life 100 times easier if you want to step up your sewing game.

 

You can find all of these items at sewing or craft stores, and they almost always offer coupons to soften the shopping blow. So stock up and start sewing!

 

Must Haves

These are the bare bones necessities for any sewing kit.

 

 

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Pins/Safety Pins

Keep your fabric pieces from slippy sliding while you’re sewing or plotting your pattern.

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Scissors

Sewing scissors. Not office supply scissors you’ve been using to cut through God knows what. Get some decent fabric cutting scissors. They don’t have to be expensive, but they do have to be designated for fabric cutting ONLY. That means don’t use them to cut anything but fabric- resist temptation!

It’s also helpful to label them as such, and tell other family members not to use them on anything but fabric. Or just hide them altogether.

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Tape Measure

Have you ever tried to measure around your body using a ruler? Or a metal tape measure? These flexible tape measures are like $1, and they make life so much easier.

 

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Sewing Needles

You might want to get a multi pack. If you have trouble threading, you can also pick up one of these handy threaders.

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Thread

Ideally, you’ll get a spool to match whatever project you’re working on, but if you don’t want to end up with a bunch of specific colors you only used once, you can start with a multipack. At minimum, you should have spools of black, white and grey which blends with most colors if it’s not going to show.

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Seam Ripper

You’re going to make sewing mistakes. Use this tool to remove individual stitches instead of hacking at your project with scissors.

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Nail File/Emery Board

A nail snag can ruin delicate fabrics in a second. Keep one of these in your sewing kit to smooth out rough nail edges.

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Iron-On Bonding Tape

If you don’t have a sewing machine, this stuff is a lifesaver for creating projects. It may not hold up as well as thread over numerous washes, but it certainly works for turning up a quick hem or short term pieces.

 

Items to Make Sewing Easier

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Pin Magnet

Alternatively, you can keep your pins in a pin cushion. I find the magnet makes pins more accessible. Plus, you can use it to pick up dropped pins by waving it like a wand over the floor or table like a pin wizard.

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Rolling Cutter, Mat, Clear Ruler

If you’re cutting a lot of straight lines in your fabric, these items are the trinity of perfection. The rolling cutter is super sharp, so practice safety while using it unless you want to bid farewell to the edges of your fingers (or you can get one of these). It also gives you a perfect clean edge on your fabric.

The mat is such a handy cutting surface to protect your table or floor, and it functions as a measuring grid to get super accurate and straight cuts. Just make sure you use it on a hard surface to avoid cutting through it.

The clear ruler, ah the clear ruler. How I love thee! I use this ruler for EVERYTHING. It makes measuring so much easier, especially when you’re working in fractions of an inch. Get you one.

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Metal Sewing Gauge

This little guy is super handy to use while you’re working on small projects. It’s a lot easier to measure a hem or seam with one of these than jamming a full sized ruler or yardstick into a garment.

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Fabric Weights

These keep your fabric and patterns from moving around. You can use small objects you have around the house or make some of these and keep them with your sewing kit.

 

If You Have Sewing Machine

 

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Sewing Machine Kit

These are great for small repairs. Plus, you need to maintain your machine to keep it working properly.

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Extra Bobbins

You can never have enough bobbins. Avoid the frustration of removing a bunch of precious thread to clear a bobbin or imprisoning a color by winding on top of it.

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Extra Needles

I always have at least three extra sewing machine needles on hand. Nothing is more frustrating than being in the middle of a project and breaking your last needle.

These are my top faves for sewing tool essentials. Do you have some I didn’t mention? Share them in the comments section below!

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