Basic Sewing Supplies | What you need to get started

Visiting the sewing and craft store can become a bit overwhelming. Therefore, you  know you need basic sewing supplies to begin with or just need a refresher on the supplies you need.  Also, you may also have a few questions such as: What do I need as a beginner? What are the basic stuff I need to get started? Or, What if I just want to test my sewing skills out to see if I really like it?

Furthermore, if you have an interest in sewing and want to stock up on a few supplies. Here is a list of a few basic sewing tools just to get you started.

Basic Starter Kit Includes:

  • Dressmaker’s Scissors
  • Paper Scissors
  • Needlework Scissors
  • Seam Ripper
  • Hand Sewing Needles
  • Dressmaking Pins
  • Machine Needles (usually comes with the sewing machine)
  • A range of thread
  • Tape Measure
  • Marking Tools
  • Steam Iron


Measuring Tools

Tape Measure: Use a quality tape measure for making clothes and taking body measurements. Cloth measuring tapes works best.

Yard (Meter) Stick: yardsticks are perfect for measuring long lengths of fabric especially for cutting fabric for bedding, curtains or home decor items.

Seam Gauge: Small metal ruler with a sliding marker used for marking small measurements. It is used for folding up hems, marking buttonholes and top stitching.

Ruler: 12 inch in length to use for marking lines and for cutting.  It can also be used for measuring long and short hems.

Rotary Ruler: Used along with a rotary mat and cutter for precise even cutting and measuring of fabric. Recommended size to use us a 6” x 24” ruler.

Marking Tools

Chalk (dressmaker’s pencil): a traditional material for marking fabric. It will wash off of fabric when dabbed with a little water.

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Wash-Away Pens: You can remove the ink from these pens with a damp cloth or by washing the garment.

Cutting Tools:

Fabric Scissors: Dressmaker’s shears used for cutting fabric quickly. Purchase high quality cutting shears since this will be used often.

Pinking Shears: The blades on these scissors have notched teeth that leave a zigzag edge to the cut of the fabric. It is also used to neaten the raw edges of seams and make them less likely to ravel.

Serrated Shears: The edges of these blades are serrated to hold delicate, lightweight fabric in place. They are used for cutting fabrics such as silks and satins.

Paper Scissors: any cheap pair of scissors will be fine for cutting paper. Using fabric scissors on paper will cause them to become blunt and useless.

Needlework Scissors: Any scissors with short blades and sharp points. Use them for cutting thread from fabric. The small size offer control for intricate areas of the fabric and the sharp points can used for difficult to access corners.

Rotary Cutter: These are useful for cutting long lengths of fabric, bias strips or patchwork. They can also cut through several layers of fabrics at once. It must be used with a rotary mat to protect the work surface from the blades.

Seam Ripper: This is essential for removing stitching and remove your sewing errors. It can also be used to open up buttonholes. I is great to have at least two of these tools on hand.

Craft Knife: A small tool with a sharp blade used for cutting leather and fur. Please use with care.


Other Tools:

Rotary Mat: Is a plastic mat with grid lines uses along with a rotary cutter and ruler for measuring and cutting fabric.

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Hand Sewing Needles: Used for general hand sewing. Seek the variety packs since you will be using a variety of sizes.

Sewing Machine Needles: There are a variety of sizes and size of needles. The general size and size of needle used on most fabrics such as cotton or cotton blends are the Standard/ Universal size 70 or 80 needles.

Dressmaking Pins: Used and are suitable when working on paper fabrics or holding fabric in place before ironing or stitching.

Sewing Thread: General purpose cotton or polyester thread suitable for the sewing machine.

Fusible interfacing: A material with heat activated adhesive glue which are ironed on to fabric to give it extra sturdiness. Used on projects such a handbags and crafts.

Sewing Machine: If you plan on using a sewing machine often for craft projects and dressmaking it is best to invest into a machine with a good motor and offer at least 20 stitch pattern options. A quality sewing machine price can start at minimum of $300.

Steam Iron: Used for pressing fabric when sewing projects. It is essential when using interfacing or appliqué.

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