There are a few essential items when it comes to sewing kits for beginners. I recommend making up your own kit rather than buying one of those ready made kits, as you can customise it to suit the type of sewing that you will be doing and you won’t be left with tools and gadgets that you just don’t use. I’ve made a video showing you my recommendation for what I would include in a sewing kit for beginners and also a couple more tools to include if you will be doing more quilting type sewing projects. I have also included links to buy these items online if you wish or just check out the price of them.
Watch the Video
Watch the video on YouTube
This is What I would include in a Sewing Kit for Beginners
Ok. Let me go into a bit more detail for each item in my sewing kit for a beginner.
When you’re first starting out with sewing it’s hard to know which kind of thread to buy. A polyester thread should be fine when you’re first starting out, but it can be prone to breaking if you are sewing more intricate or thicker types of projects. If you intend on doing more quilting type projects, it may be a good idea to buy cotton thread. I personally use a polyester thread that is covered in cotton. So this thread is stronger than plain polyester and you can use it for most of your sewing projects, crafty, quilting or dressmaking. I use Rasant 120 thread. I buy it from my local sewing store, but I have found some on eBay. There are many other brands of cotton wrapped polyester thread. You might need to ask at your local sewing store to see it for yourself.
I would recommend starting out with a few shades of grey thread and possibly a cream and black. I tend to sew mostly with the coloured thread that you see in the picture above. If you’re doing a special project you might want to match your thread with your fabric, but I manage to be able to cover most projects with the colours in the video.
Hand needles are essential. You can get a pack of assorted hand needles that have different lengths and varying eye sizes on the needles. It’s hard to get away with doing a sewing project using only your sewing machine. You can find them at your local sewing store or you can buy these needle packs on eBay.
Plastic Headed Pins
It’s amazing how many different kids of pins you can find out there. I find the coloured plastic headed pins work for me in most situations. You can buy the pins in little boxes or on plastic wheels. I bought pins on a plastic wheel first and ended up buying one of the little plastic boxes, as some sewing projects took a lot of pins. You can find and buy these at you local sewing store. I found some of the packs of pins and pin wheels on eBay.
Mechanical Chalk Pencil
I would highly recommend in investing in a Sewline Mechanical Chalk Pencil. You could just buy tailor’s chalk or chalk pencils, but these mechanical chalk pencils are a lot more versatile and just make things so easy. I use these for tracing patterns onto fabric. I also use it to mark where I want to embroider or sew something onto my sewing project. I recommend the mechanical chalk pencil with the green chalk as it will show up on light fabrics as well as dark fabrics. You can buy the chalk leads in different colours if you want to as well. They cost a bit more than your standard chalk pencils, but they are worth the investment in my opinion. You can see and buy these Sewline mechanical chalk pencils from eBay or Amazon.
This is a great tool that I use for a few things. I use it to mark distances from one spot on my fabric to another, especially if I am doing appliqué. I also use it to measure up for hems and for as a small general ruler.
Seam Ripper or Quick Unpick
We don’t like to do it, but sometimes we just have to. A seam ripper is essential for your sewing kit. This will help you unpick a seam quickly and without doing damage to the fabric.
Smips are a great little tool for snipping those loose bits of thread. They are easy to control as you can hold the snips very easily and get in close to the fabric, whereas using scissors can be awkward. In saying that, you can get small embroidery scissors that do the same job as a pair of snips. I think I just like the sound of the snips better!
You can get the sewing gauge, seam ripper and snips in a pack altogether for a good price. You can find these packs at your local sewing store or you can buy them on eBay or Amazon.
Fabric Scissors/Shears and All Purpose Scissors
I highly recommend that you have a pair of fabric scissors/shears dedicated to cutting fabric only. the main reason for this is if you cut other material, such as paper, with you fabric scissors, it makes the blades go dull very quickly. When you go to cut fabric again the scissors may be prone to fraying or pulling the fibres when cutting the fabric.
My all purpose scissors are a cheap pair of scissors that do everything else for my sewing projects. I think it would be best to visit your local sewing store to see the different types of fabrics scissors available. My fabric scissors (the ones with the black handles) are Stag dressmaking shears. I got these for free when I bought my Janome sewing machine and I absolutely love them.
A tape measure is very handy for doing a quick measurement and for measuring things that are not so straight and flat. You can buy these from your local sewing store or buy them online from eBay and Amazon.
I Recommend the Following Tools for Quilting Projects
45mm Rotary Cutter
A rotary cutter is great for cutting out straight and accurate pieces of fabric. Some people use them for curves, but I haven’t tried it for curves myself. This must be used with a cutting mat and I always use it with my quilting ruler as well. The blades need to be replaced and the frequency depends on how often you use your rotary cutter. I use the rotary cutter as much as I can, mainly because I’m not all that good at cutting nicely with fabric shears. I recommend the Olfa Deluxe rotary cutter because of the built in safety. This is great if you have curious kids around or if you’re prone to leaving your cutting tools laying around on your work space. You can see and buy these rotary cutters on eBay and Amazon.
18 x 24 Inch Self Healing Cutting Mat
If you are using a rotary cutter you will need a cutting mat to go under it. The smallest size that I would recommend you get is an 18″ x 24″ cutting mat. The reason for this is that most quilting fabrics are about 22″ wide when it is folded in half. I usually cut quilting fabric when it is folded in half and the 24″ cutting mat is just long enough for this. You can get these from your local sewing store or you can buy them from eBay or Amazon.
6 1/2 x 24 Inch Quilting Ruler
The 6 1/2″ x 24″ size ruler is perfect for the 18″ x 24″ cutting mat. Be sure to look for a ruler that has clear lines along with angles as well. You can get these from you local sewing store or you can buy them form eBay or Amazon.
So that’s my recommendation for what to include in your first sewing kit or if you are making a sewing kit as a gift.
Is there anything else that you would add as an essential tool for a beginner? Would love to hear your thoughts. Just leave them below.