Basic Sewing Supplies

In this blog, you will learn:

  • The right supplies make it easier to perform tasks to learn and master the art of sewing.
  • Review this guide to build an effective beginning sewist kit. 

Whether you're taking a sewing for beginners class, learning from a friend or family member, or going it alone, you'll need the right tools and materials to master this useful skill. This guide will help you gather the sewing supplies you need to effectively practice tips, tricks, and techniques as you learn to sew.

Dedicated Shears

Bent-handled fabric shears are one of the most important sewist tools. The angle of these sharp scissors helps them glide across your fabric of choice to make a clean, even cut. Choose a pair with a blade at least eight inches. Fabric shears come in both left-handed and right-handed versions for safe, comfortable use.

You should choose both straight and pinking shears, which allow you to make a zigzag cut that limits fraying at the edges of your fabric. Avoid using your shears for anything other than sewing since doing so will dull your blades, which in turn makes your cuts less precise. For that reason, consider placing a dedicated pair of paper scissors with your sewing kit in case you have to cut a pattern or anything besides cloth. 

Sewing Machine

A basic but good quality entry-level sewing machine is best for beginners. The three main options are a completely mechanical sewing machine, a computerized machine, or the hybrid electronic sewing machine that combines mechanical function with digital controls. 

When shopping for a sewing machine, consider its size and weight, the number of available stitches, and special features such as a needle threader and speed control. Some machines come with specialty attachments called feet, used to sew garments and make quilts. 

Rotary Cutter and Mat

These tools will help you create the straightest of straight lines. A rotary cutter uses a thin, round, ultra-sharp blade to glide along your fabric. For best results, pair a rotary cutter with a specialized cutting mat, which also has a numbered grid to help you measure. Look for a self-healing mat made from a firm but soft material that bounces back with each cut. If you plan to use these tools, you'll also need a transparent ruler to help you make long, straight cuts.

Miscellaneous Supplies

You'll reach for these tools again and again as you learn to sew:

  • Seam ripper, so you can easily remove stitches and start again when you make an error
  • Flexible tape measure to use for body measurements
  • Hand sewing needles for cross-stitching and embroidery
  • Replacement sewing machine needles
  • A selection of thread and thimbles
  • A supply of straight pins along with a pin cushion
  • A straight ruler
  • A fabric marker
  • Small (less than three-inch) scissors for snipping threads
  • Tracing wheel used to mark pattern lines on your fabric temporarily
  • Steam iron and ironing board to help with accuracy and professional appearance of your finished work
  • A sewing gauge, which is a special type of ruler to help you place buttonholes, make pleats, and work with fabrics on the bias

Contact Us

Residents of Eastern Iowa will find a wide selection of sewing materials, along with classes and community events at Inspired to Sew. We're the Cedar Rapids source for everything you need to start making your own clothes, curtains, home goods, and much more. Contact us online to sign up for our newsletter or give us a call at (319) 373-0334 to learn more about our products, supplies, and services

Featured Image: EKramar/Shutterstock