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Beginners Sewing Kit List

If you are just beginning to follow your sewing passion but have realized that you don’t know where to start, don’t agonize. I know, I know, there’s so much to learn, not the least of which is what to put in your beginner’s sewing kit list. I had the same problem when I was starting out, so I asked for advice here and there.

So, for today’s sewing enthusiasts, I’ll lay out the basic components of a beginners’ sewing kit list. You can always start with a few tools that you find the most necessary, and get the rest when (if) the need arises over time.

Luckily, sewing equipment is typically affordable and of decent quality. There are some things (such as a sewing machine, a table, and a good iron) that might be more expensive, but for the rest of them – you can find them at your flea market on Sundays!

Let’s get started.

Sewing Table & Chair

While you can do a good enough job creating sewing on a standard desk, having a dedicated sewing table & chair really helps with ergonomics. Many sewing tables have special sections for the different equipment you’ll be using (e.g. an iron holder, measuring line inscription, chalk holder, etc.) which can contribute immensely towards your work.

Not to mention a concept psychologists call anchoring (though this can work with any desk). If you have a dedicated place where you pursue your sewing passion, your mind gets anchored to it, and puts you automatically in the mood when you go and sit at the same place again. This helps with motivation and inspiration.

A dedicated sewing chair will make work more comfortable. It will keep your back from aching, and will give you mobility in your work.

Bestseller No. 1
Best Choice Products Folding Sewing Table Multipurpose Craft Station & Side Desk with Compact Design, Wheels, Shelves, Bins, Pegs, Magnetic Doors, Metal Doorknobs - White
  • STORAGE SPACE: Create fashion pieces in a breeze with a designated spot for yarn, pins, scissors, and materials in 2 rows of pegs, 2 bins, 1 large interior shelf, and a large tabletop space
  • MULTIPURPOSE STATION: Use your station to tailor clothes, or use your space for other crafts, and even as a convenient work desk
Bestseller No. 2
Sew Ready Comet Sewing Table Multipurpose/Sewing Desk Craft Table Sturdy Computer Desk, 13332, 45.5" W, Black/White
  • Overall dimensions: 45.5W x 23.5D x 30H/top dimensions: 36W x 23.5D
  • Platform can adjust down to fit sewing machine or keyboard: 23W x 10.75D

Measuring Tools (Tape & Gauge)

The second thing you’ll need to obtain – and this one is really the most basic one you need – is a measuring tape. Look for a soft, durable, and flexible tape that’s long enough to measure parts of the human body. A 6.5’ (about 2 m.) long one should cover you. Having metal or plastic caps at the ends will also help in durability and usability.

Also called seam gauge, measuring gauge is an interesting tool that you’d think has no use when you already have tape, but you’d be wrong. A measuring gauge is a (typically plastic) ruler with a two-sided slider pointer that can be freezed in any position, to keep a particular measurement. It allows for consistent measurements that are needed for marking the material with chalk precisely, which is often quite useful.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Fiskars Crafts 952301010 Rotary Sewing Cutting Set (3 Piece), Grey
  • Classic Stick Rotary Cutter features a rolling 45 mm blade that cuts multiple layers and holds fabric flat for accurate, straight cuts without jagged edges
  • Extra-large 18 inch x 24 inch Cutting Mat features an easy-to-read measuring grid and a self-healing, double-sided surface for lasting value
Bestseller No. 2
2 Pieces Sliding Gauge Measuring Sewing Tool, 5-in-1 Sliding Gauge Measuring Sewing Ruler Tool Fabric Quilting Ruler for Knitting Crafting Sewing Beginner Supplies
  • T-shaped sliding gauge sewing gauge: the two-side measurement system can be applied to add the seam allowance to the pattern or marking line of the fabric easily and quickly; You can use it for button holes, seam allowance table, DIY process, patchwork, etc.; Easy to use and read the numbers and make sewing-life much easier
  • Measuring ruler: our sewing gauges are marked in inches and centimeters with sliding pointers to meet your different needs, and the surface and edges are smoothed so that you can get accurate measurements without replacement
Bestseller No. 3
DIY Sewing Ruler Tailor Set French Curve Ruler Accessories, 13 Style Plastic Dress Curve Rulers for Sewing Pattern Design
  • 🍁【Different Styles 13PCS】Package including Ten Rulers, Button Ruler, Curve Ruler, Scale Triangle, Grading Ruler, Cutting Ruler, Clothing Scale, Arm Sleeve Ruler, Snake Shape Ruler; Two Tracing Wheel; One Tape Ruler; which can meet your different sewing or measuring demands.The pattern ruler use metric measurements (1 inch = 2.54 cm, 1 cm = 0.39 inch).
  • 🍁【Widely Used】 These ruler can come to be of use when drafting and marking the hip side line , in seam in pants, arm curve – the open edge of the sleeves etc.Let the clothing ruler make you design unique and good clothing.

Marking Tools (Tailor’s Chalk & Fabric Marker)

No use of measuring if you don’t mark it, right? Well, there are specific tools for that also.

A tailor chalk is a special kind of chalk that lets you make markings without leaving blemishes. They are often made out of plain old chalk, wax, some crayon-type material, or a mixture. They are also very thin, so you can leave precise and straight markings that follow your ruler or tape.

A fabric marker works just like any regular marker. You draw, mark, and then work. The only exception is that it can be easily removed from the material, leaving no traces.

Bestseller No. 1
Tailors Chalk,Sewing Fabric Chalk and Fabric Markers for Quilting,10PCS Tailor’s Chalk,4PCS Heat Erasable Fabric Marking Pens with 4 Refills,3 PCS Sewing Fabric Pencils
  • Mark easily and line very clearly:Tailors Chalk neither too hard, nor too soft,gently press,mark easily and line very clearly, works good on garments, quilting pieces and other textile project fabrics.
  • Professional Tailor Chalk Triangle advantages:1.Makes lines,points and tiny makers 2.Marking precision,move smoothly, creates a smooth,clear, straight line. 3.Made of  kaolin  clay,not wax,It is easier wash off. doesn’t leave a lot of extra dust on the lines while marking,And won't get your hands dirty. 5.Almost compatible with all fabric:work great on cotton, leather,felt, suede and synthetic's best to stick to the classics
Bestseller No. 2
Swpeet 32Pcs Professional Sewing Tools Kit, Including 10Pcs Professional Tailor's Chalk and 12Pcs Sewing Mark Pencil with 10Pcs 5 Color Disappearing Erasable Ink Fabric Marker Pen for Sewing Marking
  • 【 What You Get】: In this Kit, You will get 32Pcs Professional Sewing Tools Kit, Including 10Pcs Professional Tailor's Chalk and 12Pcs Sewing Mark Pencil with 10Pcs 5 Color Disappearing Erasable Ink Fabric Marker Pen for Sewing Marking and Tracing.
  • 【 Professional Tailor's Chalk】: 10Pcs per box and 4 color. Easy grip due to triangle shape.You can use the three sharp angle to draw with nice precision. Ergonomic design makes them convenient and easy to apply on any fabric and they will not stain han.

Pinking Shears

Now this is a tool that you’ll be thankful you obtained, and I’m not kidding. Even though regular scissors are fine for some tasks, they tend to cause the material to fray.

This is where pinking shears come into play. By having an intermittent (zig-zag) pattern they prevent fraying or unraveling at the edges. This will save you a ton of time and frustration. Once you get used to them, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them.

Bestseller No. 1
JISTL Green Pinking Shears Comfort Grips Professional Dressmaking Pinking Shears Crafts Zig Zag Cut Scissors Sewing Scissors,Professional Handheld Dressmaking
  • Apply for Fabrics, Linings, Paper,silky,leather,PU and Craft Uses. Ideal Craft Shears for Professional and Domestic Use
  • Distance between the teeth for about 5mm,Suitable for Fabrics, Linings, Paper, and craft uses
Bestseller No. 2
Pinking Shears Serrated,Comfort Grips Handled, Professional Dressmaking Sewing Craft Zig Zag Cut Scissors, Suitable for Many Kinds of Fabrics and Paper, 9 Inch
  • Perfect cut, 9 inch pinking shears feature stainless steel, razor sharp blades for easy and perfect decorative cutting. The heavy duty blades ensure every cut is sharp and crisp, which makes these scissors great for any project or design
  • The inner ring of the handle is made of rubber material, which is soft and comfortable and takes care of your delicate hands.The ergonomic, comfortable grip handles make for easy controlled cuts, even during long cutting sessions

Fabric Scissors

These look like your standard paper scissors, but have a special edge that is great for cutting fabric in a straight line.

Just don’t think about cutting paper with them because you will dull them very quickly! It’s better, instead, to buy a separate pair of paper scissors for cutting the patterns and other papers.

Bestseller No. 1
LIVINGO Premium Tailor Scissors Heavy Duty Multi-Purpose Titanium Coating Forged Stainless Steel Sewing Fabric Leather Dressmaking Softgrip Shears Professional Crafting (9.5 INCH)
  • DURABLE Strong Stainless Steel Rust Resistant Blades: Forging press manufacturing process enables high-density steel that makes 3 times harder than normal stainless steel and are smoother cutting.
  • ULTRA SHARP and ALL-PURPOSE: Easy for cutting more than 16 layers of fabrics. Ideal for sewing, tailoring, quilting, dressmaking, cutting patterns, alterations, hand craft, home and office use etc.
Bestseller No. 2
Mr. Pen Fabric Scissors, Heavy Duty Sewing Scissors, Premium Tailor Scissors 9.5 Inches
  • Tailor Scissors made form high-density Stainless Steel Rust Resistant
  • Fabric Scissors great for cutting fabrics, sewing, tailoring, quilting, dressmaking, cutting patterns, alterations, hand craft, and everyday home and office use

Pins & Pincushion

There’s no seamstress or seamster without pins, because there’s no good piece of clothing that can be designed without them. You use pins to attach and hold the different pieces so that you can measure and fit them proportionally to each other and to the model’s body.

But of course, you don’t want your pins getting lost around the house and becoming dangerous, especially if you have kids or pets. This is the purpose of a pincushion. You’ll use one to hold your pins within reach and ready to spring into action between your fingers. Choose one that is made out of a quality material so you don’t have to replace it every two weeks.

Bestseller No. 1
Rolybag Pin Cushion, Wooden Base Needle Pincushions Japanese Style Round Pin Cushion for Sewing Needle Holders or DIY Crafts
  • High quality:Our cute pin cushions are made of wooden base and polyester foam padding, makes it more stable and easier to use.100% polyester padding, fully padded polyester, holding the needles or pins safely. it measures 2.76”x 1.57”
  • Fashion design:Lovely round shaped with japanese style flower, these pin cushions have an attractive eye-catching polka dot and cute pattern design,appeal to lots of women.they will be a special decoration to your can't wait to show them to your friends
Bestseller No. 2
Dritz Tomato Emery Pin Cushion, Lime, Pink, Purple
  • CONVENIENT - keeps pins and needles close at hand
  • PRACTICAL - use attached emery to sharpen and clean pins and hand needles


Needles are another key component for sewing. Those seams won’t attach themselves, now, will they?

You’ll use your needle & a thread put through its head to stitch along edges and connect pieces of the design you are making, as the most basic type of task. But attaching buttons, fasteners, flaps, velcros and the rest are all tasks done with a needle in your hand.

Needles come in many varieties (thin, thick, long, short, colored heads, etc.), and they typically have an opening (the ‘head’) through where you can put the thread. They are also very sharp and piercing, so make sure you keep them somewhere safe – or even pinned to your pincushion!

Many, Many Varieties of Thread

Imagine you need to stitch two pieces together in order to make a black skirt. You wouldn’t do that with a bright-yellow thread, would you? Or maybe you will, depending on the design. But in any case, you’ll need different  thread types to do great sewing.

Threads come in many varieties. Some are strong, some are soft. Some are flexible, some rigid. Some are thick, and some are thin. They also come in any color you can imagine. Stitching with the thread can be done by hand (by using a needle or other tools), or with a sewing machine.

Pressing Iron & Cloth

Some materials keep themselves wrinkle-free and don’t need ironing. We’re mostly talking about man-made materials here, like lycra, nylon, polyester, and the like. You can badger them with many washing cycles, and they still come off fine most of the time. A pass of the iron from time to time is all it takes. Be careful not to melt them, though!

However, most natural materials (cotton, wool, cashmere, etc.) do need ironing. This is where a pressing iron comes in hand (along with the pressing cloth & the ironing board; see below). In order for a piece to look like it’s just been out of a store, you’ll need to straighten those wrinkles.

And what better way to achieve a smooth and shiny ironed finish than using a pressing cloth. You put this cloth between your iron and the material, and it will make every single wrinkle a thing of the past in seconds.

Read our reviews of steam irons for sewing.

Ironing Board

You can iron on your sewing table, but it will probably be a real mess when you’re working, which is why it’s best to have a separate ironing board.

They are not too expensive, either. And even run-of-the-mill boards are covered in a special heat-resistant and heat-reflecting material that cannot be burned, which also helps iron both sides of your material in one pass.

Once you do iron those pants, you can just as easily put them back on the table – or on you!

Bestseller No. 1
Homz T-Leg Ironing Board, Charcoal Gray
  • T-LEG DESIGN: Provides a stable ironing foundation and the non-skid feet protect your tile or wood flooring
  • 53” x 13” PERFORATED STEEL TOP: Offers a solid ironing surface and evenly distributes heat and steam onto garments, eliminating wrinkles effortlessly
Bestseller No. 2
Household Essentials Black and Grey Deluxe Steel Top Board with Iron Rest and Clothes Rack
  • The high-quality mesh steel top allows heat and steam to easily pass through fabric for crisp, wrinkle-free results that other perforated steel tops can’t provide.
  • This deluxe matte black ironing board is a chic method of accomplishing excellent ironing results with its 4 durable legs and various height settings.

Seam Ripper

When I was growing up and secretly exploring my grandma’s sewing kit, I always wondered: just what the heck is this tool supposed to do, and why does it look so weird!? Soon, I found out that it was to fix mistakes in sewing and stitching.

Don’t believe me? Try to remove a seam you’ve just stitched by hand or with any other tool, and you’ll figure out pretty quickly just how useful a seam ripper is in such cases.

Seams rippers have a sharp tooth, a blunt tooth, and a cutting edge in between which you can use to cut thread. It’s best to keep at least three of these because they do have a tendency to get lots around the house. Also, keep their caps on!

SaleBestseller No. 1
SINGER Comfort Grip Seam Ripper, Blue/White 2 Piece
  • Set of 2 handheld seam rippers with comfort grips – 1 large, 1 small
  • Use for picking threads, opening stitched buttonholes and removing buttons and snaps
SaleBestseller No. 2
Clover White Ergonomic Seam Ripper
  • 051221503207
  • Brand New Item / Unopened Product

Buttons and Fasteners

You need  buttons and fasteners for shirts, pants, and the like.

Buttons and rivets, fasteners, stitched velcro – these all help attach pieces of the apparel to each other in order to better fit the body, and cover parts while revealing others.

Sewing Machine

The final – and incidentally, integral – piece of your beginners’ sewing kit list is your sewing machine. Depending on the quality, model, and manufacturer, this can potentially be a hefty purchase. But it is worth every penny.

Imagine having to stitch all those seams by hand! Besides wasting hours and getting nowhere, the stitching will be weak and might give in. But with a sewing machine, sewing is easy-peasy, it will take minutes, and the results will last you years, maybe even decades.

A good sewing machine is not hard to find, but you can also get one second-hand – after all, things were made with more metal and less plastic in the past, which makes them more durable..

Read our sewing machine reviews to find the best one for your needs.

Final Thoughts

Now you know that putting together a beginners’ sewing kit from scratch is no big deal! You just need to know what to look for. Starting out can be intimidating, but sewing is such a creative, inspiring, and relaxing activity that you’ll soon wonder why you didn’t get into it earlier. And in order to begin, you’ll need the equipment laid out right here.

Last update on 2021-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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