Sewing Tools

sewing tools

General Tools

  • sewing machine

  • sewing machine needles

  • thread

  • fabric shears

  • paper scissors

  • bobbins

  • glass head pins

  • magnetic pin holder

  • clips

  • point turner

  • seam ripper

Needle, thread, & scissors. That's all you really need to start sewing. Learn basic stitches like a straight stitch, back stitch, blanket stitch, and ladder stitch. These can be used for many projects. As you progress in your sewing journey, you can get additional tools along the way. Take a look at our blog post about sewing machines.

Thread is very important. Not all threads are created equal. An old or poor quality thread will cause your machine to have trouble. That frustration can be avoided. A good quality thread will hold up to the job and make sewing fun. I personally like Gutermann Mara 100 all purpose thread.

Needles come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. There are needles for general sewing, stretchy fabric, thin fabrics, and thick fabrics. The needle type and size corresponds to the fabric and thread. If you are mostly sewing cotton fabric, a great place to start is with universal 80/12 needles. I like Organ machine needles. They come in packs of 10 at a reasonable price and work great. That will cover most of your sewing projects. As you work with other types of fabrics, you can get the appropriate needle and thread for it.

In my home, I have designated fabric only shears. Hubby knows not to use those for anything else. My paper scissors are for cutting out patterns. Embroidery scissors for cutting threads. Pinking shears for cutting fabric that you don't want to unravel. It looks pretty. Rotary cutter for cutting layers of fabric (45mm for straight cuts and 28mm for curves).

I like to have as many bobbins as I do thread. That way when I need a certain color of thread, it has a bobbin of its own. No need to empty one of a different color. I wind them at the speed I like to sew, not faster nor slower. That way it has a good tension to work with and less likely to have issues when sewing.

Glass head pins are great because they can be ironed over without melting. They are also easy to find if you drop them. I've done that many times. You can use a magnetic pin holder to collect pins. Sometimes clips are easier and quicker to use. They are also great for fabrics that you don't want holes in.

A point turner is quite handy for pushing out corners. I use a metal chopstick for that purpose. Works great.

Mistakes will be made no matter how experienced you are. There are also times when you need to sew and then unpick. For example, when you sew on a zipper. There are many types of seam rippers. Pick the one that is most comfortable for you and the job you are doing. Remember they do not last forever and need to be replaced often. It's much easier to unpick when they are sharp.

Below are some other tools for cutting, patternmaking, and pressing. Future posts to come! What are your favorite sewing tools? What are some tools you use that are not listed here? I would love to hear your thoughts, comment below.

Cutting Tools

  • fabric shears

  • pinking shears

  • paper scissors

  • rotary cutter

  • cutting mat

  • thread snips

  • seam ripper

  • embroidery scissors

  • razor blade

  • buttonhole cutter

Patternmaking Tools

  • measuring tape

  • rulers

  • french curve

  • seam gauge

  • tracing wheel

  • tracing paper

  • Swedish tracing paper

Pressing Tools

  • iron

  • ironing mat

  • pressing ham

  • seam roll

  • spray bottle

  • clapper

  • point presser & clapper

  • pressing cloth

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