A good sewing kit will provide you with all of the essentials you need to get started with this fun hobby. Sure, you can buy a cheap sewing kit from just about any big-box store, but there’s something special about making your own. Plus, you can include high-quality items that will help you get started on the right foot.
Everyone has their own opinion about what should be included in a sewing kit. Here’s what we think every kit should have:
Scissors are an integral part of any sewing kit, and there are three types that you should have:
- Dressmaker shears. Expect to pay more for a higher quality pair of dressmaker shears. High-quality shears will cut through fabric with ease.
- Utility scissors. Plain scissors are great for cutting everything but fabric, including sewing patterns.
- Small scissors with a sharp point. A small pair of sharp scissors works well for snipping threads and clipping curves and seam lines.
It’s worth the extra cost to get high-quality scissors. Be on the lookout for coupons in the mail from local crafting stores to get a great pair of scissors at a discounted rate.
Pins and Pin Cushion
Like scissors, sharp needles will make your life easier. Glass head pins will glide through most fabrics with ease and they tend to be more durable. If you need to press fabric with pins in it, you don’t have to worry about the pin melting, like what happens with plastic head pins.
Along with pins, you’ll also want to invest in a good pin cushion. These come in a wide range of fun designs, or you can sew your own if you want to get creative.
If you just purchased your first sewing machine, the accessories kit probably included a seam ripper. This one is fine to get started, but you’ll want to upgrade it in the future.
Ideally, you want a seam ripper that’s super sharp so it can rip through stitches quickly and easily.
When working with patterns, you’ll need a variety of marking tools to help bring your project together. The tool you use will depend on the fabric.
For cotton and other hard surface, stable fabrics, tracing paper and a tracing wheel will suffice. Make sure that you’re using carbon paper for fabric. Marks from regular carbon paper will not come out of the fabric.
For fabrics that are less stable, chalk and marking pens are ideal. Again, make sure that you use markers and pens designed for fabric, as the ink will dissolve and disappear.
There are two types of fabric marking pens:
- Purple: These pens use disappearing ink. The color evaporates and disappears over time.
- Blue: These pens use water-soluble ink. The ink washes away in water.
Chalk is great for soft surfaces, like wool and fleece.
Every good sewing kit should have a collection of measuring tools.
If you plan to sew clothing, you will need a soft measuring tape. These flexible tools allow you to take body measurements. Get one that’s 60″ long.
Along with measuring tape, you’ll also want a few transparent rulers and a 6″ sewing gauge. A sewing gauge is great for turning up hems and a slew of other measuring tasks.
You can never have too many transparent rulers, so start collecting them. Pick them up when they’re on sale.
Craftsy recommends including colored tape, or blue painter’s tape, in your sewing kit. This isn’t a conventional tool, but I can see how it can be useful. The tape can be used by beginners to learn how to sew a straight line.
The great thing about painter’s tape is that it will come off of the fabric easily when you’re done and without damaging the fabric.
A press cloth can come in handy when pressing fabric for projects, and it can cost next to nothing to include it in your kit. All you need is an old piece of fabric.
Press cloths are placed between your project and the iron to create a protective barrier while pressing. You’ll find yourself using this cloth a lot when working with delicate fabrics.
Buttons and Fasteners
Zippers, buttons, hooks, eyes – and everything in between. While not essential, you’ll find yourself needing them soon enough. Start your collection now, so you have them when you need them.
Just a fair warning: button collecting can be addicting. There are so many fun colors and designs to choose from.
What sewing kit would be complete without needles? You don’t need to spend a fortune on them, but you should have a variety of needles on hand. Remember that you’ll need to adjust your needle size according to your fabric.
It’s always a good idea to have spare needles if you’re using a sewing machine – they can break. Ball points are ideal for working with knit fabric, while sharp-pointed needles work well for most other sewing projects.
Needles are sharp. A thimble will help protect your fingers from needle points. If you’re using a sewing machine, you may not use a thimble too often, but it’s still a good tool to have on hand.
You can’t sew without thread. To cover your bases, include three types of thread in your sewing kit: heavy-duty, size 50 cotton and button twist.
Cotton thread works well for most projects. The heavy-duty thread will be needed for heavy-duty projects, like reattaching coat bottoms. The button twist thread works well for repairs on heavier clothing.
Iron and Ironing Board
Most sewing projects will require you to press the fabric, especially when sewing clothing. Pressed fabric ensures that your measurements are precise. You don’t need a fancy iron or a special ironing board. Find ones that fit your budget. You can find a list of irons we highly recommend here.
Table-top ironing mats are not ideal for sewing, as most projects have to be spread out. If you don’t have the space for an ironing board, get one that hangs over the door.