12 Sewing Essentials For Beginners

12 Sewing Essentials For Beginners
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12 Sewing Essentials For Beginners

Do you want to start sewing at home but have no idea what you might need? Don’t worry we’ve all been there at some point. Today I’m going to share with you, my favourite sewing essentials for beginners.

Starting a sewing hobby may seem a little daunting at first, There are so many products out there and its easy to feel overwhelmed by the choice available. The truth is there are only a few essentials that you actually need to get started, anything else may be nice to have further down the line. So let’s have a look at my Sewing Essentials for Beginners.

1. Sewing Machine

Choosing a sewing machine is a pretty personal purchase. Buying the cheapest or most expensive may not always be the best machine for you. If you have a dealer near you please go chat with them about your needs, they will be able to recommend something which is personal to you. I sew with a very old Toyota machine which I inherited from my mother, she has since upgrading and I will too when this one gives up the ghost. If you don’t have a dealer local I have heard great things about this Brother machine. A good all rounder and perfect for beginners.

Brother LS14S Metal Chassis Sewing Machine

2. Needles

Having the correct size and type of needle for your project is essential. Sewing with the wrong needle for your fabric choice can cause all sorts of problems so it is important to do a little research before you start your project. These universal needles are suitable for most woven light to medium weight fabrics and fit most machines. It is also good practice to change your needle regularly to avoid the frustration of a blunt needle, no one has time for that.

SCHMETZ Sewing Machine Needles Universal (Regular/Standard), Assorted Sizes 70/10, 80/12 & 90/14 (Pack of 10)

3. Bobbins

Bobbins are super useful. Your machine probably already comes with one or two to get you started. I tend to swap and change colours frequently so I like to have a few extra spares in my kit. I tend to fill a bobbin for each colour of thread, that way when I want to change colours there is already a bobbin prepped and ready to go.

JZK 25 Metal Bobbin Spool with case for Standard Household Sewing Machine Brother Singer Bernina Pfaff Elna Babylock Kenmore Juki

4. Thread

Threads come in a huge range of colours to match your fabric choice so having a selection of colours can save you time when starting your projects. While I am quite a frugal person, I tend to steer clear of cheap threads and they can be prone to snapping amongst other issues. Guttermann is a highly recommended brand and this variety pack is a fantastic way to start your collection.

Gutermann Thread Basic Colours all purpose sewing thread

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5. Tape Measure

Every sewist needs a tape measure. It is key to sewing well fitting garments and this handy little tape measure is retractable so you won’t get tangled up in it.

1pc Accurate Tape Measure Tapeline Body Fitness Measuring Body Measurement Tailor Sewing Craft Cloth Dieting Measuring Tape(Rural Rose)

6. Fabrics

When it comes to fabric it is always best to check your pattern for recommendations of which fabric types would suit your project. Once you know what you are looking for the world is your oyster. There is a crazy amount of choice out there from quilting to jersey and satin to leather and just as many places to buy it from. I prefer to buy my material in person from either specialist fabric shops, craft shops or even charity shops. Anything can be fabric if you have the imagination and I talk more about this in my post Top Tips for Frugal Sewing.

7. Fabric Scissors

Having a dedicated, sharp pair of scissors is essential for cutting out your fabric with ease. When cutting out clothing its best to have a large, heavy pair that glide through the fabric easily. I recommend hiding them from your family as cutting paper or cardboard can blunt the blades quickly. Trying to cut fabric with blunt scissors is highly frustrating, it can be difficult to cut through the fabric or leave jagged edges.

10.5” Gold Stainless Steel sharp Tailor Scissors clothing scissors barbecue cut adjustable kitchen scissors fabric Shears heavy duty for tailoring Sewing, craft, household kitchen Office

8. Thread Snips

Thread snips are a super helpful and probably one of my most used tools. The small blades are great for snipping thread ends close to your fabric. In my opinion standard scissors just don’t get close enough for a neat finish.

AKORD Thread Cutting Scissors Cotton Wool Clippers Snips Snip Cutters, White, 2-piece

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9. Seam Ripper

The seam ripper is my second most used tool. I don’t know what that says about my sewing ability but most sewist would agree they use theirs more often than they would care to admit. There will come a point in most projects where we need to take out a seam and start it again. These handy little rippers make an awful job a little easier. There are also helpful for making button holes. It is always wise to have a couple in your kit, I find because they are small they tend to wander off on their own.

Seam Ripper/Stitch Unpicker 2 Sizes. Tool for Hemlines, Seams, Pockets, Sewing

10. Pins and Clips

Pins and clips are great for holding pieces of fabric together whilst sewing or cutting out patterns. These days, I find myself a little more clumsy so using clips has been far less painful. I still use my pins with paper patterns or on a particularly fiddly projects but the rest of the time I use clips whenever I can. Their bright colours also make them super easy to spot when they are dropped on the floor.

Anpro Pack of 60 Clips for Sewing Quilting Crafting Wonder Clips, Craft Clips, Sewing / Quilting accessories

11. Iron

Pressing is one of those jobs that crop up on most projects. For me it is really not my favorite part of sewing. You may need to iron your fabric after washing and your everyday household iron is great for that or any other pressing you need to do. However if you are like me, your sewing machine and iron live in very different parts of the house. This is very annoying if all you need to press is the odd seam so having a smaller more compact iron in your sewing room makes a lot of sense. I have seen this Ansio one in particular recommended several times and has made it on to my wish list.

ANSIO Travel Iron Quilting Mini Steam Craft Iron with Ceramic Soleplate | Small Compact Travel Steamer – Perfect for Travel, Quilting & Sewing – 2 Years Guarantee – Purple/White

12. Tailors Chalk

I find tailors chalk to be a really useful tool while sewing. Sometimes I sew items that require precision so like to mark my seam allowance or notches for matching pattern pieces together. These little chalk triangles feel nice and are easy to use.

TUPARKA 4PCS Tailor’s Chalk Triangle Fabric Marking Chalk for Sewing Marking (Color Random)

Nice to have

There are also a whole host of other products that are nice to have but not essential. Here is a quick list of products that I believe would be nice to have in your sewing room:

Dressmakers Dummy


Rotary Cutter

Cutting Mat

I hope you found this helpful. If you have found anything else that you couldn’t sew without I would love to hear from you in the comments.

If you are looking for sewing projects to start check out 10 Free Sewing Patterns for Kids and 10 Free Zero Waste Sewing Projects for Beginners.

Don’t forget to sign up to the news letter for more tips and tricks to frugal sewing.

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