Updated: Sep 16
When I first started sewing (which is not so long ago) I was overwhelmed with all the tools and supplies that I came across. I wanted to have each and every one of them, while some sewing tools are essential, some are merely there to make life a bit easier but not absolutely necessary for your first sewing tool bag.
Also, keep in mind what type of projects are you interested in sewing? Craft projects? Home improvement projects? Garments? As the list of supplies and tools become a little different depending on what type of projects you wish to undertake. However the below list should cover you your sewing needs no matter what your preference will be later on.
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1. Sewing Machine:
I knew from the start that I didn't want to get an entry level Sewing Machine, I wanted a machine with all the bells and whistles, something that could serve me for a long time to come as I didn't want to make another investment down the line.
So this decision entirely depends on you, your budget and your preference. You can find affordable sewing machines that do a great job at the basics.
It took me a long time researching until I finally decided on buying the Juki HZL-F600 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine. This machine is a power horse! But I'll leave all that for a separate review on the machine.
There are multiple types of thread as well as brands, and as a beginner, you can start with an all-purpose sewing thread, grab a big spool of white and one of black, and slowly build up your collection of colors as your projects require them.
I bought one of those sets that have a few colors as I didn't want to continuously keep going to the store (I still ended up going to the store for more colors).
You will need 2 types of needles, your sewing machine needles, and hand sewing needles for finishing projects.
For your first sewing machine needles, you can start by buying universal needles (which come in packs and are several sizes to accommodate different weights of fabric). These can be used on different fabrics and fit almost every sewing machine. I use the brand Schmetz, however many times I buy whatever is available at my local store. For the hand sewing needles, I prefer Singer.
4. Straight Pins/Clips:
You will need these to keep fabrics together while sewing them. And if you are planning on pressing those fabrics with the pins in them, I'd opt for Glass Head Pins.
If you are sewing with faux leather or a type of fabric that you do not want to leave holes in, then get a pack of Sewing Clips. Again, these have several different sizes.
If you have pins, you will need a pincushion! This was my first project the moment I got my sewing machine I made my own pincushion, so that can be your starting project as well!
You will need a few types of scissors, one for your fabric, one for paper (patterns and all) and a small embroidery scissor for those pesky tiny loose thread ends.
7. Tape Measure:
For some reason, I am obsessed with buying tape measure and rulers, I feel like I always have the need to measure something, and as a result, I have a portable tape measure with me at all times, and several others at home in my sewing area.
8. Sewing Rulers:
Go for a clear ruler so it is easy for you to see the fabric through it (for markings). These come in handy when using a Rotary cutter as well. I prefer the size 6x24"
9. Marking Tools/ Tailor's Chalk:
These now come in many shapes and sizes and cute pen-like devices, but your most affordable and trusted is your old friend Tailor's Chalk. So get 2 colors one for light fabrics and one for dark (white and blue).
You can also invest in Water soluble or disappearing ink pens, but be careful about the disappearing ink pens, as you may leave your project to complete at a later time and then you find all your markings gone! (been there, done that).
10. Seam Ripper:
Most machines sold nowadays have a few accessories that come with them, and a seam ripper is one of them. But these are so cheap that I have a stack of them just in case.
This tool will come in handy when you make mistakes and need to rip off those stitches without having to go crazy plucking them off one by one.
11. Iron/Ironing Board
I'm assuming every household should be having an iron, and for sewing having a steam function is necessary. I use my iron mainly for folding seams and for fusing fabrics.
So these are (in my humble opinion) the tools you need to start a basic sewing kit. My advice to you is don't let all the fancy tools distract you at the start, and take your time building your kit and concentrate more in sewing.