Top 10 sewing supplies for beginners

When you’re just starting out learning to sew it can be overwhelming to know what you need and don’t need. ┬áHere are the 10 most important sewing supplies to buy when you are learning to sew. These will make sewing more enjoyable. Except the seam ripper, but it is still necessary.

top 10 most important sewing supplies for beginners

  1. Fabric shears: These are scissors but they are made for fabric. A sharp pair of shears will help you avoid wanting to quit before you even turn on your machine. These come in all price ranges. The cheaper Fiskars sheers will work just fine. If you fall in love with sewing you can upgrade later to a more expensive pair.
  2. Acrylic fabric ruler: A see through ruler that is made for cutting fabric will help you cut straight lines. I recommend a 6″ or 6.5″ wide by about 24″ long ruler. This will suit all of your needs.
  3. Seam ripper: It happens to everyone. Eventually you will need to take your stitches out because you messed up. A seam ripper will help you do that without ruining your fabric.
  4. Rotary cutter: A rotary cutter will help you cut straight lines when paired with your ruler and cutting mat. Or you can even cut our curvy lines if you roll slowly.
  5. Safety pins: You’ll use safety pins to thread elastic through a casing for an elastic waistband or to keep a quilt sandwiched together while you quilt.
  6. Straight pins: Look for the kind of pins with a colorful head. These are more noticeable while you are sewing and will help prevent accidentally sewing over a needle (or stepping on a stray one too).
  7. Pin cushion: You’ll store your pins here so they stay off your floor. Any type will do. This tomato cushion is a classic. The little strawberry on the side is for sharpening needles.
  8. Sewing machine needles: Universal needles will suit most of your needs. Use the 90/14 for slightly heavier fabric or the 80/12 for a bit lighter fabric. Most likely you won’t notice a difference now.
  9. Water soluble fabric marker: Make marks on your fabric and then just spray with water later and it will disappear. This is great for transferring pattern markings, tracing patterns right onto fabric or marking buttonholes.
  10. Self healing cutting mat: Use this cutting mat to protect your table/floor while cutting and preserve your rotary cutter. These aren’t just for quilters.

Honorable mention: Hand sewing needles

pin cushion

What would you add or subtract from this list?

Andrea Pannell
Andrea is the owner and designer of Go To Patterns, Go To Sew, and The Train To Crazy. You can find her playing with her four kids, designing clothing and sewing in her spare time. Follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter.
Andrea Pannell
Andrea Pannell
Andrea Pannell

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  1. Cute blog design–I love this!

  2. I need to go shopping apparently. Thanks for the list!

  3. Gotta have an iron, ironing board, and starch!

  4. I think you also need one of those vinyl tape measures – especially if you’re sewing for your kids!!!! I use mine all the time! :)

  5. Oh, seam ripper. You are my best friend! :)
    Love your blog Andrea!!!

  6. A tape measure is pretty important.

  7. What a pretty blog design! I love it, great list too :-).

  8. Excellent list Andrea!

  9. Do you know of a good source of in expensive large cutting mats? I would use my rotary blade more if I didn’t have to keep shifting it!

  10. I totally agree with this list but I’ve never had an acrylic rectangular ruler before! I’m gonna keep an eye out for one now!

  11. Sandra Douma (Netherlands) says:

    Measuring tape!

    I also like to use transfering transfer paper (to use with patterns from magazines of patterns that comes in different sizes, that way I always can keep the original)

    I also always keep scissors for just papers and a small one to use by the sewing machine

    And a simple toothbrush to clean the bobbin case of loose treads

  12. I would add a package of extra blades for the rotary cutter. Nothing worse than dull blades that snag ur fabric!! Great list!!

  13. I actually keep a magnet next to my sewing machine to put the straight pins on as I pull them out as I sew. It’s also good to have to go over the floor every now and again to pick up stray pins that might fall.


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