So you want to get into sewing, but where to start? Or maybe you’re just looking to upgrade some supplies?
Here are my suggestions for starting off your sewing room, from scissors to pins, and so much more. This is intended as an essentials guide, with info on each item I hope will help you get started.**
- Scissors and cutting tools
- Rulers and measurement tools
- Needles and thread
- Cleaning kit
- Seam rippers
- Gifts for sewists
Cut to the chase
You’re gonna need a variety of cutting implements for sewing.
Fabric scissors are not what you’re going to use for paper or other arts and crafts. Fabric scissors should be kept labeled because once you start using them on non-fabrics, they will dull and be harder to cut with. I highly suggest getting a set of fabric scissors, a large tilted pair for cutting fabric, and smaller ones to help with threads as you’re going. I love little scissors for sewing kits and baskets.
Great to have a basic pair in case you need to cut non-fabric items. Once you start getting into leather or metal, you’ll need to research specific scissors you need.
I put some rotary cutters in here because I love using them, but they may not be your cup of tea. Also some extra AF scissors if you are in need or want to gift someone something different. (Yes, you will want a cutting board with your rotary cutter!!!)
Extra AF embroidery scissors: Because sometimes you just need it.
Rule them all
Measuring tape: A necessity for any sewing room. Helps measure those curvy, 3D spaces.
Quilting ruler: I love this clear ruler! It’s so great, especially paired with my rotary cutting mat.
Also a Dritz ruler if you prefer.
Ahead of the curve: This set of French curves and other rulers is divine and affordable for what you’re getting.
Needles and thread
These are gonna be your bread and butter. So stock up and find your favs. For machine needles: Use what works for your machine!!!!
Handy: A set of handsewing needles. Always good to have in case you need to do minor repairs or fiddly closure work.
My personal fav: A set of specialty needles. I love the curved one.
All set: I haven’t used this myself, but if you find something like this that’s works for your machine, it looks like a one-stop-shop.
Bobbins: You will need more than the two that come with your machine. Trust me. Find the bobbin case that’s compatible with your machine and keep some extra black and white ones ready to go as needed.
Another bobbin organizer, if you prefer stability.
Thread! I like to have all-purpose black and white on hand at all times. Obviously, you should be picking ones for each project depending on the fabric and color, but these are the ones I get constant use out of.
Box of threads! I really like having a box of basic colors so I don’t have to run to the store constantly.
Cleaning it up!
I am so bad about this, but yes, you should clean up your sewing machine after each use to keep it running well. Before you clean your machine, make sure you watch videos or take a class to be prepared.
Put a pin in it!
A classic tomato: You’ll probably want a pincushion for use around the sewing room.
Clippy! Some prefer these clips, especially for thicker materials.
Tear it out
Sometimes you make a mistake. It happens. We deal with it, scream, and move on.
Seam rippers: Have them handy, accept that you will need them.
Make your mark
People have opinions on these. I use a combo of tailor’s chalk and heat-erase pens. Test whatever you use on a scrap to make sure it comes off the fabric.
Tailor’s chalk: Super useful for marking fabric as you need.
Heat-erase pens: These are my go-to. I adore them and have used most of the refills already.
Plastic caboodle situation: I keep my sewing stuff in similar plastic containers (fishing boxes are good too).
This sewing kit also looked decent if you’re looking for lots of compartments.
I found another one that’s probably too good to be true, but honestly, if you’re starting out on a budget…. it’s not the worst.
Classic sewing kit: It’s not snazzy, but it’s classic.
Ironing it out
A basic iron is a sewing room must. Does that mean I iron EVERYTHING? Nope, but trust me, you’ll want one for getting crisp seams and other finicky sewing things. I have some gorgeous fabrics that wrinkle if you even look at it sideways.
A basic ironing board is also good, and it took me way too long in my sewing journey to figure that out.
If you don’t have space for a full board, there’s also these great little ones.
Gifts for your favorite sewist!
So maybe you’re here because you wanna give your crafty friend something useful. That rocks! Here are a couple of great upgrades that your starter sewist friend may appreciate.
Lights! Yes, a light strip for your sewing machine can make a world of difference. It does more than that single bulb and you can adjust to your needs and lighting.
A sewing machine pad and organizer is fantastic for folks who may not have tons of tabletop space, but need to stash thread, needles and more.
Pretties. Extra scissors are always nice, and getting something shiny and cute is a great upgrade.
Embroidery scissors are always great, and this set is sleek and cute.
For fiddly bits and people who are tired of using a safety pin to get ribbon through channels, this tool is your new best friend.
A whole bunch of muslin goes a long way.
**I’m a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you purchase items through the links listed above, I may earn a small commission, which will go directly to supporting this channel and my work. Thank you!
I hope this was a useful guide! I get questions about this stuff all the time and I thought I’d do a very basic guide. I know many folks so not support Amazon, but I used Amazon links because, realistically, that’s a very accessible place for many starting sewists. Yes, people can and should get materials locally if they can, but it’s flat-out snobbery to demand every new sewer not use Amazon or other resources they can afford. Is that choice also filled with ethical choices around labor? Yes, but so it most things humans do. Please, if you can support new sewists and pitch in for supplies, do that. Mentorship is a massively useful skill that the community is in need of.