Hello beginning sewers! I am sure you are wondering exactly what you have gotten yourself into. Let me assure you that while sewing has many, many aspects and branches as to what you can make or do, today, we will be explaining the most basic things you will need to have on hand in your sewing kit.
Beginner Sewing Kit Essentials
A Great Pair of Fabric Scissors
The main thing that everyone needs in their sewing kit is a good pair of FABRIC scissors. Not paper scissors, fabric scissors. Now, there are several brands of scissors on the market – Fiskars, Ginger, and Singer being the main three – but out of all their available scissors, which is the best?
Personally, I like to recommend the Fiskars brand, specifically a pair called “Fiskars Easy Action”. They are super sharp, extremely long lasting, and they are spring loaded so you do not have to force them open as you would a normal pair of scissors. This pair is great for people who have arthritis or other hand problems because it is an easier pair for them to use.
Plus, another great aspect of the Fiskars brand is that they provide each pair of scissors with a lifetime warranty!
You Have Me Standing on Pins
A necessity in any sewing kit would be pins. Whether it be the normal kind (with the colored balls on to), dressmaker pins, t-pins, ball pins, practically any kind of pin you should have an abundance of within your basket. You never know how many pins you will need for a project or how many you will end up losing during said project. (Lord knows that has happened to me more times than I can count)
My favorite pins would have to be the Long Colored Ball Pins. Usually, a sewing kit comes with the shorter version but I highly suggest buying a package of the longer ones. They do not come undone from your fabric as often as the short and they tend to last longer as far as sharpness goes.
If you ever find your pins will not poke through your fabric then that means it is time for you to buy new. Your pins have gone dull and there is no way for them to be sharpened into working order again.
What About The Needles?
While you may not be into hand sewing (as of yet) you should still have a pack of hand needles in your sewing kit. Like the pins, there are several different kinds of needles – Quilters, Doll, Millenary, Chenille, Tapestry, and Repair. (To name a few) Each have their own specialties when it comes to what they do, along with the sharpness. For example, Repair Needles usually come with curved needles to repair car seats and couches, along with thicker needles for leather work.
From experience, I find that having a pack of Millenary Needles on hand is right for me. The brand I purchase (Dritz) comes in a variety package that fits my need for any project on hand.
Look What You Got On The Cushion
If you have got all of these pins and needles, what exactly is going to keep them from going anywhere? Anyone who had a sewer in the family growing up remembers those lovely little tomato shaped pin cushions. This is exactly what you need!
Pin Cushions are still a large part of the sewing basket world. While the traditional tomato cushion is still available today but there are also a variety of other cushion options – such as animals, trees, simple shapes, dress forms, and even a magnetic pin holder.
Out of all of them, the magnetic pin holder is the best choice because if you drop any of your pins or needles you can easily swipe the magnet across the ground and pick up all your pins. The last thing anyone needs is a pin stabbing through their foot!
Whether it be cloth, plastic, a yard stick, or a quilting ruler you definitely need one in your sewing basket. While I would normally say to just keep a cloth one on hand, I highly suggest also keeping a quilting ruler and yard stick on hand.
If you are just planning on working with clothing you should be okay with just a cloth ruler, but if you need to make any kind of straight line then you would need the yard stick.
And, if you are like me and making quilts, you would need to pick out several different sizes and shapes of quilt rulers. The most common rulers to have on hand are the 6 ½ x 6 ½ and 8 x 24. Keep in mind there are several different options available so I would definitely do some research before committing to buy any particular ones.
Every now and then you may have a pesky thread that just does not want to want to go into the eye of the needle. Hence the need for needle threaders. Depending on your preference, you can use the tried and true original needle threader or you could get the more “industrial” version with the fancy plastic handle.
Protect your fingers from unwanted stabs and scrapes with a thimble. Again, you have a choice between the original metal version or the newer rubber and leather versions. (Which have become more popular in recent years)
One of the most important things to any sewer is their thread stash. Every color, every make, every spool size – you will have it all.
There are several different brands of threads, the most common being Coat’s & Clark, Gutterman, and Sulky. (Listed here as Good, Better, Best) However be sure to test your sewing machine with a single spool from a thread brand before buying gobs of it. Some sewing machines have been known to dislike certain brands of thread and not want to work.
Also pay attention to what type of spool you are purchasing. There are regular spools along with cone thread. Be sure that your machine can use cone thread if you plan on purchasing some of it. Newer machines require a special add on that allows you to sew with the cone thread.
Did you sew in the wrong place? Or sew too far? Having a seam ripper on hand will allow you to quickly and conveniently cut and remove your stitches without the fear of snipping your fabric by using your scissors.
Marking Pens and Pencils
Finally, we have to make sure you include both a Marking Pen and a Marking Pencil in your sewing kit. You will use it on your patterns to mark where you will need to sew pleats and darts and to mark on clothing if you plan on making alterations to it.
The Pens come in two different inks: disappearing and water soluble. The Pencils come in erasable and water soluble. Both kinds work very well, it is just a personal preference as to which you would want to use.
There is also a Tailor’s Chalk that you could use, but it rubs off quicker than the Pens and Pencils do because it is chalk.