I am a total notions fiend. I love having every sewing gadget ever envisioned or invented, but that doesn’t mean I use them all. Here are some sewing supplies I think belong in every sewist’s supply kit. I’ve focused on “tools” in this list – things that are non-consumable. You buy these once and hopefully keep them forever (aside from tracing paper, which gets used up).

I don’t currently have any kind of Amazon affiliate account for making money off linking these things to particular products. I’m not interested in making money off this… I just want people to sew. You can buy these things at any local store or even pick them up at garage sales.

This is for garment sewing, not quilting.

Basic List (for starters)

  • Sewing shears (aka scissors) that are flat along the bottom edge
  • Measuring tape
  • Tracing wheel and tracing paper
  • Hand needles
  • Pins – glass head pins if you want to splurge and get the best
  • Pin cushion – magnetic pin holder
  • Iron & ironing surface
  • Fabric marking pen (disappearing ink, or chalk)
  • Scissors that you will use for paper so you’re never tempted to use your fabric shears on anything but fabric
  • Ruler with cm and inch markings
  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing machine needles – universal and stretch

Getting Serious (when you’re hooked)

  • Chaco Chalk Liner (for marking lines)
  • Embroidery scissors (small ones, for trimming small things)
  • French curve ruler (or ruler set)
  • Pattern tracing paper
  • Tailor’s ham
  • Rotary cutter and cutting mat
  • Pinking shears
  • Point turner
  • Seam gauge
  • Thread snips
  • Seam ripper/picker scalpel set

Seriously Addicted (welcome to the club, we have cookies!)

  • Sleeve ham (like a tailor’s ham but cylindrical)
  • Tailor’s presser / clapper (block of wood)
  • Tube-turning hook or tubes
  • Bendable ruler
  • Awl
  • Buttonhole opening cutter
  • Hem measuring & marking tool
  • Sleeve board (for pressing)
  • Dress form – custom-sized or adjustable, your call
  • Pattern weights