Are you a prospective or beginner sewist who often wonder what are the best sewing kits for beginners that would help you overcome any sewing problem? Check out this list of essential sewing equipment and tools to make up your perfect sewing starter kit!
Sewing kits for beginners
Although I’ve been sewing for a little over 6 years (on and off to be honest), I don’t consider myself an advanced sewist. I am probably more intermediate and that’s most likely the main reason I basically rely on the same beginners sewing kits I put together when I first started sewing. My very first one was a basic sewing kit and pretty rudimentary but it still plays a huge part in my life and makes it so much easier and enjoyable to sew. Because it has everything I need, gathered in one handy dandy place!
As a side note, do you see the blue measuring tape in the photo? It’s actually 10 years old and although it’s been pretty used and abused, it looks in perfect shape!
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Starting to sew using the right tools can and often times will be overwhelming, especially if you’re learning sewing on your own as I did (and still do, I love being a self taught sewist!). And most times putting together a nice, useful list of basic sewing tools for beginners is often overlooked. And it shouldn’t! Because starting to learn how to sew using the right sewing starter kit will make the difference between absolutely adoring and deeply hating sewing!
While there are a few experienced sewists that visit my site, many of you are just flirting with learning sewing, are beginners, or looking to improve (as myself). So I thought I should put together a list of my favorite sewing kits for beginners that I think might be helpful to those starting out. You’ll definitely want to have a sewing machine kit on hand every time you start a sewing project so it might be useful to have these tools organized (like in some sort of a box or keep together in a drawer – check out how I organized my sewing room!).
Beginner sewing kit ideas
Tools for Measuring
- Tape measure – you’ll need a soft measuring tape, that is easy to read and long enough to accommodate measuring human body. Look for one made out of flexible plastic material, won’t stretch or deform. Your tape measure should ideally have metal ends, to butt-up against the item you’re measuring and to prevent fraying.
- Seam gauge – also called hem gauge or sewing gauge. The seam gauge is basically a ruler that has a special, double-pointed slider attached that can be set to a specific measurement. It also has a hollow area that helps guide your tailor’s chalk. You will use it for measuring hems or to quickly mark the amount you need to take in on a pattern piece. It’s great not only in sewing but quilting and crafting too.
- Clear ruler, preferably a quilting ruler which is larger, measures in two dimension and is great for checking if things are parallel or perpendicular.
Tools for Marking
- Tailor chalk. I’ve been using this for ages before upgrading to the next tool and I’m still using chalk in so many of my projects. I find it easier to use and clean than any other marking tool. I also love this chalk wheel, I use it often as it’s easy to handle and use on all types of fabric, even sheer and leaves clear traces which are then super easy to remove.
- Fabric pen/marker – This is a water soluble pen that allows you to draw on fabric, then wash out the ink or wipe it away with a damp cloth. Some markers are vanishing on their own after a certain amount of time so you won’t have to worry about cleaning the traces.
- Pattern weights – I never have enough of these on hand so I decided to make my own several times (see them here and here). I use pattern weights for patterns and to hold my fabric in place, especially for sheer, slippery fabric.
Tools for Cutting
- Regular, straight scissors – you’ll be using these for most cutting tasks but you will need two different straight scissors, for fabric and patterns, since these are paper, you don’t want to ruin your fabric scissors using them on cutting paper of any kind! Paper cutting will quickly dull good sewing scissors. You’ll want sharp, precise scissors!
- Bent shears – these are great in dress making!
- Embroidery scissors – these are tiny and super accurate and are ideal for precise cutting, for removing stitches and getting where larger scissors can’t reach.
- Pinking shears – I absolutely love this tool! These scissors have blades with notches cut into them. They cut a zigzag pattern into the fabric to prevent fraying. You can also use these to cut decorative seams in projects where you use fabric that doesn’t fray, like fleece or felt.
- Seam ripper – this is something you’ll never want to have in your sewing kit but you’ll end up using a lot more times than you’ve ever dreamed of! True fact! This is a little tool with a sharp point, a blunt point and a sharp blade in the middle. It’s used to unpick stitches and cut the stitches in a seam using the center blade. without cutting through the fabric, when you’ve gone wrong.
- Cutting mat – I don’t really consider this an essential tool unless you decide to start using a rotary cutter for your sewing projects in which case you must use a “self healing” mat. I do use this a lot in my crafting projects and for small sewing projects that require a rotary cutter so it’s worth having this in your sewing box too.
Tools for Sewing
- Sewing machine – This item is obvious in any sewing kits for beginners but I thought I’d add a few notes. When you start sewing I honestly don’t see the need for a fancy sewing machine. I started with this one and I still use it with great success even in hard projects or with heavy duty fabric. Since then I added a few other machines like this Brother Innov-is A150.
- Pins – these hold things in place as you cut and sew or when you make adjustment to make sure the garment will fit correctly.
- Pincushion – I have two: a small one that I attach to my hand to make pinning faster and easier, and a larger one to hold most of my pins.
- Sewing machine needles – make sure you purchase sewing needles that fit your sewing machine so before purchasing check the use manual of your sewing machine. You’ll need different types of needles for different types of fabric.
- Hand sewing needles – you’ll need to use these for those hard to reach areas where a sewing machine and needle won’t b able to do the job.
- Bobbins – purchase loads of those and have them ready for your projects it saves so much time! I keep them organized in a bobbin box for ease of access.
- Thread – make sure you have all kinds of types and colors of thread on hand, this is the most important tool to have for sewing, other than sewing machine and needles.
Tools for Pressing
- Pressing iron and board – you won’t need an expensive iron in your sewing kits for beginners. Just make sure the it has the steam feature, you’ll need to use this feature a lot. Also make sure the ironing board is pretty large as most sewing projects require some room.
- Seam roll – this is not really an essential tool but it makes life so much easier and a sewing project look much more professional as creases are easy to eliminate when you use a seam roll.
I hope you found these ideas for sewing kits for beginners as helpful as I did and still do. Happy sewing!