The art of sewing is taken up by enthusiasts around the world and nurtured by many as one of the most refined forms of artistic exposure. Some people even take up sewing as a regular household task for everyday fabric mending needs.
Over time, numerous sewing styles, techniques, and equipment have been developed.
Nonetheless, taking up sewing can be quite daunting as a beginner, especially since there are so many types of equipment and techniques. Well, worry not, for we have compiled this guide consisting of the sewing essentials for beginners.
We’ll walk you through the fundamentals of what sewing equipment to get for a beginner sewing kit, and what each tool does. Without further ado, let’s jump right in!
The Sewing Essentials List – Cheat Sheet
Before getting into the details of each of the delicate bits and blobs, we want to give you a list of the essential sewing tools that are must-haves for a beginner. You can refer to this “cheat sheet” any time during the course of this article and jump to each separate tool section as necessary.
However, note that this is not a definitive list. It’s only what we feel should be the ideal contents of a beginner sewing kit. Based on preference and availability, you are free to customize it any way you want.
- Sewing machine
- Thread & needles
- Seam ripper
- Tape measure
- Dressmaker pins
- Transfer pencil
After you’re done familiarizing yourself with the names of all the equipment, we’ll move on to a more detailed approach.
7 Must Have Sewing Essentials for Beginners
1. Sewing Machine
This is probably one of the most crucial choices and vitally important equipment on the list. The scary thing about choosing a perfect beginner sewing machine is that there are so many choices out there that it’s extremely difficult to make an ideal recommendation.
Based on our experience, any light-weight and affordable model should be suitable for a beginner. Just make sure it has all the necessary features, like multiple presser feet and a decent array of stitches along with a sturdy build.
2. Thread & Needle
Just like there is a unique cuisine for almost every festive occasion, there is a specific thread and needle for every particular fabric or stitch. The choice solely depends on what type of sewing you want to take up.
As a general rule of thumb, cotton threads are suitable for multipurpose use and everyday fabric repair jobs. However, you might want to spend a little more and get durable polyester threads if you’re going to take up designer sewing.
The choice of needles is quite similar. It depends on what fabric you’re sewing. Whether it is quilting, embroider, or cross-stitching, there is a specialized needle for any specific technique. So, it’s best to get a set of diverse needles from any local tailoring shop and keep them handy in your sewing kit.
Who knows what kind of sewing you might want to try out next?
3. Seam Ripper
As a beginner, it’s quite natural for you to make mistakes. A mistaken stitch can cost you dearly when it comes to sewing. Unpicking each and every one of those stitches by hand can be an utterly painful task.
That’s why a seam ripper can be your best friend! Use the nifty gadget to pull up entire stitches in one go. Just slip in the pointed end under the thread above the fabric and gently pull upwards. The loose seam should come off quite nicely.
There goes a saying that a seamstress is just as good as how sharp their scissors are. The more we look into it, the more we find it to be true. Although scissors might feel like a secondary addition to your sewing kit, it is, in fact, one of the most crucial ones.
You’ll need a pair of pointy-end scissors to snip through the fabric you’re sewing. Look for a curved handle and blades that are about 8-inches long. This will ensure less strain on your wrists.
Additionally, you can keep a pair of specialized embroidery scissors if you prefer to stitch on the more delicate side. It will help you unpick any unwanted stitches and tidy up your embroidery like nothing else.
5. Tape Measure
No matter how expert you get from being a beginner, you’ll always need to measure your fabric or thread before you start to sew. For that, you’ll need to get accustomed to using a tape measure.
Keep a 150-cm tape measure handy in your sewing kit. It’s even better if you get one that has markings in both metric and imperial units.
6. Dressmaker Pins and Pin Cushion
Much like the tape measure, you’ll never get above using pins for your sewing jobs, no matter how expert you get. So, it would help if you kept a stash of pins in your beginner sewing kit.
The tiny little pointy metal sticks are useful for holding the fabric in place while you sew on any specific portion of it. Ideally, look for 2-inch-long dressmaker pins that have little flower heads. That will help you handle the pins easily without much fiddling.
Also, don’t forget to get a cute little home for all of your pins! Otherwise, your trusty pins will wander away like there’s no tomorrow, and you’ll never find a trace of them ever again. It’s best to get a suitable pin cushion to store your pins in the sewing kit so that you can find them easily whenever you need them.
7. Transfer Pencil
This is yet another tool that you’ll never get tired of using after you take up sewing. As a beginner, you’ll need to make lots of guidelines and marks on the fabric to help you sew. So, it’s best to invest in a suitable transfer pencil for your sewing kit.
These pencils are available in a wide array of types and colors. Some are washable, while others are dust-offs or air-erasable. Choose one that fits your needs. As for color, choose one dark and one light shade, so that you can work with fabrics of all colors and contrasts.
Before You Pack Up
Here are some other secondary tools and equipment you might need or come across in your journey as a beginner seamstress. Although we won’t get into much detail about them, we hope you’ll gradually add them to your sewing kit as you gain more expertise along the way.
- Buttons – the most practical addition if you’re into household sewing
- Fastenings – to hold two pieces of fabric together
- Thimble – to protect your thumb from needle bruises
- Rotary cutter & cutting mat – for quick and snappy cutting
- Pinking shear – to prevent sown fabric from easily fraying
That’s about it when it comes to organizing your very own sewing kit as a beginner. We hope that this guide will come in handy to find basic sewing essentials for beginners.
We’ve tried to include a concise list of the must-have tools and equipment in any seamstress’s toolbox. However, there are still options for modifications. Sewing is more of an art than science, and the requirements vary depending on personal choice. You’re free to customize the list and make it fit your preferences.