Essential Sewing Tools – Guide for Beginners

Different essential sewing tools around vintage machine
Image credit: @freepick

Essential Sewing Tools – Guide for Beginners

Essential Sewing Tools – Guide for Beginners

When it comes to sewing for beginners, where to start with your sewing kit can often get overlooked. Needles? Check. Threads? Check. Ready to go? Not just yet!

There’s a whole array of other useful things you should have in the beginner’s kit from day one. Making a garment from scratch includes so many activities than just simply sewing on the machine. Of course, the sewing machine will be your biggest alley, but some things you will also have to finish by hand.

Also, it won’t be of use for so many little tasks involved in sewing like measuring, pinning, and cutting. That’s where the sewing tools are a necessity, and here’s what they are.

Fabric Scissors

Goof and quality fabric scissors are essential. This is the crucial tool from which it all begins, and you have to take good care of it. Never, never, never use them for anything other than cutting fabric, interfacing, etc. Let’s throw in another never to emphasize how much this is important.

Tell your family members that they are completely out of the table for anything than sewing. Invest in high-quality fabric scissors like the ones from Proshear and they will serve you for a long time. Sharp fabric scissors can cut through several layers of fabric at once and still leave a nice smooth cut.

Woman cutting fabric with professional scissors

Image credit: @freepick

Seam Ripper

While the ominous name sounds like a tool a murder will use, it is a lifesaver for sewers. It has a sharp point, a blunt point, and a sharp blade in the middle and it’s used for unpicking or cutting stitches in a seam with the center blade.

It’s not there just to correct the sewing mistakes. This versatile tool can help you to remove basting stitches, as well to hold the fabric in place as it goes under the presser foot so your fingers will be far from the needle. On the contrary to fabric scissors, this tool can be used for a lot of things unrelated to sewing.

It’s also very easy to use, as seen in the following video:

Tape Measure Is One Of The Essential Sewing Tools

You can’t start a sewing project if you don’t have its measurements. As fabric scissors, a tape measure is one of the essential sewing tools. With it, you can take your own body measurements, measure fabric, measure pattern pieces at bust, waist etc.

If you have pets, get two of them. Cats and pups are particularly interested to play with it, so the chances are it will be missing most of the time.

Young seamstress measures shirt on mannequin

Image credit: @freepick/fabrikasimf

Large Clear Ruler

Although this tool is usually essential for quilters, it posses lots of regular sewing applications too. Use it to mark out for cutting the fabric or keep it in front of the sewing machine for quick measurements as you sew. It is also quite useful for extending grain lines on patterns and any time you need to measure and still see what’s underneath your ruler.

Sewing Machine

Well, nothing stops you from sewing everything by hand, but who has the time for that? Besides, stitches done by hand can never be stronger than the ones made by the sewing machine. It simply gets better and quicker results.

The key is to find a good-quality machine that will last for a while. Of course, the most quality machine from famous brands can cost a small fortune, but there are also many great, yet affordable options out there, like this portable sewing machine.

Things to consider when buying your sewing machine:

  • Its features
  • Mechanical or computerized
  • Sewing options
  • How demanding is maintenance
  • Durability

Smiled woman setting in front of sewing machine

Image credit: @freepick/prostooleh

Proper Sewing Machine Needles

Many beginner sewers are shocked when realizing how many different types of machine needles exist. They come in all sizes, points, sized eyes, and shapes. Of course, a supply of the multi-purpose needles is a must, but also consider adding some other types, like a twin needle or some ball point needles for sewing with knits.

Not using a correct needle can damage the fabric, brake the needle and delay your project.

Overcasting foot

If you don’t have a serger, overcasting foot can come in handy. With it, you can make a nice neat finish on seams, while its also helpful for sewing and finishing knit projects with a neat narrow and stretchy hem.

Clover Wonder Clips

Regular pins have their place, but clover wonder clips are like magic pins. Work well when you have lots of layers to secure together, without leaving any holes or marks in the fabric. Also, there’s no chance to accidentally sew over one of these clips and break machine needle. Compared to regular pins, clover wonder clips are more expensive, but they worth every penny.

Disappearing marking pen

Again, one of the sewing tools you have to have in your kit. Nice and so easy to use, this pen leaves a pale mark that fades over time or when the fabric is washed. That way, you can mark out darts for precision sewing, mark sewing lines, notches, and more.

Keep in mind that all fabrics react differently to the fading powers of the disappearing marking pen. Sometimes the mark can start to fade within 30 minutes, sometimes it can take it much longer depending on the sewing material.


All these tools will come handy in one or another point of your sewing project. While most of them are small and quite affordable, they have the power to salvage your garments. Without them, it might be set to dome from the very start.

Remember that no master of its trade can’t do anything without its tool. The same goes for sewing. All beginners should first collect all the essential sewing materials, and make their kit. With it, they will be ready to perfect their sewing skills and create something truly beautiful.


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