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Basic Sewing Supplies

Basic Sewing Supplies

If you’re a beginning sewer there are a few basic sewing supplies you’ll need to invest in. You’ll add more later as you learn more advanced techniques – but these are all you need to get started.

All of these links go to online sources – but all of these should be easy to find at any fabric or craft store. I made this post light on the pictures so you can easily print this list out and bring it in to your local fabric store. Just hand it to one of the employees and they’ll set you up with everything you need.

Basic Sewing Supplies – Everything a Beginner Needs

  • seam ripper* – Oh yes, you will be ripping out stitches. I promise. I keep one at my machine, one on my work table, and one at my ironing board. That’s how often I end up using it. 🙂 There’s a video here showing how to use this scary-looking tool.
  • needles – Look for sharps, embroidery needles, or betweens – all will work for hand-sewing. There’s a post here all about the difference between those needle types. Start with a pack of assorted sizes so you can try out several and see what you’re most comfortable with. Many people start sewing with a larger needle and then progress to smaller needles as their skill improves.
  • sewing gauge* – Such a handy little tool – you’ll use it all the time.
  • marking pencils* – You’ll need at least two – a light color for dark fabrics and a darker color for light fabrics. I often use a regular pencil to mark on light fabrics, and I like this assortment for marking on darker fabrics.
  • bent shears* – The bent shape on these makes it easy to cut through layers of fabric without shifting it around too much. You can buy really expensive shears and have them sharpened regularly or you can buy inexpensive ones like these. If you use them ONLY FOR FABRIC and do a lot of sewing you’ll probably need to replace them after about a year. If you cut paper with them you’ll need to replace them a lot sooner. You can read about The Great Scissor Rotation here. 🙂
  • thread snipper* – You’ll need a pair of small scissors for cutting threads close to the fabric. I love my spring-loaded snips, but any small, sharp scissors will do.
  • pinking shears* – You won’t need these unless you start sewing garments, but they’re fun to have for other projects too.
  • pins* – You need long, sharp pins with large heads that will be easy to spot. I love these pretty pearly ones.
  • pin cushion* – Get something pretty or plan to make your own very soon. (Here’s a free pattern.) If you go with the classic tomato and strawberry combo – the tomato is for storing your pins. The strawberry is for sharpening them. Don’t store pins in the strawberry or they may rust.
  • clear straight-edge ruler*

If you want to buy some thread now, go ahead and get a couple of spools of all-purpose thread in black and white. You’ll buy other colors as you need them and you’ll want to match them exactly to your fabric.

Of course – you’ll need a sewing machine too. Here’s some info to help you choose a good one for beginners. You’ll also need an iron and an ironing board – but I’m guessing most people already have those. You don’t need anything fancy – just an iron that will make steam.

That’s it! Gather up your sewing supplies and come back here to learn how to sew!

That's me!

*All links marked with an asterisk are affiliate links to the exact products I use in my studio.


  1. Anonymous SAYS...

    I just got a sewing machine and, after years of hand sewing, I want to try my hand at patterns. Your website is so helpful and easy to use! Thanks, I am so excited to get started!

  2. Anonymous SAYS...

    Got a sewing machine for Christmas (brand new) after several failed attempts at sewing with hand me down machines. Glad to follow your school here…taking this slow and steady this time! Thanks for the lessons…headed off with the paper lines template!

  3. Thank You Dear SAYS...

    Thank you

  4. Anonymous SAYS...


  5. Pingback: How to Choose a Sewing Machine for a Beginning Sewer - video - Shiny Happy World

  6. Great first lesson! I am delighted to know that my junior high Homemaking class of 40+ years ago had me well-prepared, lol. Looking forward to #2. Thank you.

  7. It’s easy to start when you know where to get helpful info. And this is that place! Thanks. To my mind, the hardest thing is to choose a sewing machine. You should read a lot of reviews, know all the advantages and drawbacks of this or that sewing machine