What are the must have sewing tools and equipment for a well stocked sewing room? Whether you’re doing beginner sewing projects or tackling a more advanced endeavor here’s the necessary gear you’ll need.
Now a days there are SO many different tools and gadgets. In machines alone there are lots of different types. And while you may be tempted to start collecting all of them, my guess is that your sewing room as well as your wallet just doesn’t have the space for all those crafty gadgets and machines.
Luckily though you can really have a super well stocked sewing room with just a handful of items. And if you’ve never seen pins being made, make sure to check out the video!
What Sewing Machines Do You Really Need?
Let’s first talk about machines and bigger gear that you want in your sewing room. I’m including amazon referral links where I can to make it convenient for anyone who wants to see more detail or purchase any of these items but you should be able to find all of them at your local fabric store. Additionally if you want to just shop amazon I have a everything in one big amazon sewing list.
You don’t need any thing super fancy. I’ve had both fancy and basic and for what I do basic totally does the job. The only reason I like the “fancier” ones is that they have more powerful motors and can handle ALL the sewing I do. This is hands down my favorite sewing machine for beginners and even those who sew a lot like me! The other great thing about this machine is that it has speed control (you can limit it’s speed with a switch) which makes it easier for learning for the first time or just learning a new technique.
I have a whole long post about how much I love my sergers and how to buy a serger you will love and actually use too. But if you’ve never used one they are kinda like a microwave, unnecessary but once you try it you’ll wonder how you lived without one. They just make things faster and easier. If you sew a lot it might be worth looking into.
Sewing is the only time I iron. But some times you need to press things into place. You’ll also want a place to iron. I have both a traditional ironing board that I use every once in a while and a big flat style one that I made that I use All.The.Time. Check out my Ironing Pad tutorial to make your own.
I stole my moms pattern weights when I went to college. One of the best decisions of my life. I’m all about pinning as little as possible and with these babies you don’t even need to pin when you’re cutting out a pattern. Guys they are life changing!
What Sewing Tools Do You Really Need?
From cutting tools to measuring tool and other to get you…
My personal opinion is that if you want to sew you need a pair of Ginger scissors. These high quality scissors are long lasting and designed with sewing in mind. They might be expensive but just wait until they go on sale or use a 50% off coupon because they are Worth.Every.Penny! But don’t forget to instill the fear of your wrath in your family so no one tries to use them on paper. My favorite are the dressmaker shears.
I’m always finding stuff that I don’t want to use my good scissors on whether it’s downloaded printed patters or something else. Make sure that you have a designated pair of scissors for not fabric stuff.
I use these for everything. Snipping threads, cutting button holes, you name it. I am an adamant seam ripper hater. Really I’d rather spend more money and start a project over, well almost. But I use my embroidery scissors to carefully pull out mistakes. You can even use them to help pull out tricky serger stitches. Plus I’m a little addicted to buying these cute tiny cutters. Like really if you want to give me a gift a pair of cute embroider scissors would melt my heart!
Quilting Pins and Hand Needles
Pins are one of those things that are totally personal preference but I like those long quilting pins with the big heads, easy to use and find. Unless I’m using really delicate fabric they’re my fav. At some point you will need to do some hand sewing, whether you’re attaching buttons, closing up a turning hole or some other task. Best to have a few needless around.
Magnetic Pin Holder
I don’t do pin cushions that requires too much attention I’ve got this awesome magnetic pin holder wand (you find it right on the notions wall) and I just lob the pins at it while I’m zipping along. It’s also great for grabbing pins that may have fallen onto the floor! I love the wand style but I also have the dish style (you can see a DIY version below with the loop turner). I like to place that kind around my work space. If you have room for more than one I’d get both styles!
Measuring Tools for Sewing
I have three different types of rulers on my must have list. First, I love the small clear 2X18 inch lightweight ones (often with blue or red grid lines). I use them for so many tasks from pattern drafting to just measuring out elastic. They are flexible and can even measure curves. Once again another notion wall must have.
Second I recommend a large rotary cutter ruler you know those hard plastic ones? These will help make straight line cutting a breeze. I am not a quilter but I use mine all the time. It is also great for visualizing where a print will land on your project and many other measuring needs.
Finally, a measuring tape. Any kind that has the measurements you use on it. There are some super cute ones out there but make sure if you are used to doing things in inches you don’t buy a centimeter only measuring tape. Ask me how I know ;).
Rotary Cutter and Large Rotary Mat
Most everything I cut out I use a rotary cutter, they are fast and quick. Once you get the hang of using it you can also cut multiple layers in one go. I love my giant rotary mat. I recommend getting the biggest one that can fit your space you won’t regret it! I actually have one underneath my couch in case I feel like throwing it on the dinning room table so I can cut things out while my kiddo does homework.
Oh my friends I did not know about this magical turning tool until I was married. But once I was introduced to the loop turner I fell in love. You can turn very small straps or larger ones without all the smooshing, scooching slowness of a safety pin or chopstick. Want to learn more, I wrote a whole post about why the loop turner is the best kept sewing secret.
Kid Art Paper
I know they have special pattern drafting paper but I’ve been using rolls of kids craft paper and it does the job. There’s a roll leaning on my cutting table as we speak.
Fabric Marking Tools
I love to have both the marker and pencil style. Disappearing fabric markers are like magic. If you need to transfer pattern markings or if you’re making multiple items and need to keep the pieces straight (like sizes for example) these are great. There are water soluble, heat disappearing and time disappearing option. I strongly prefer the ones that can be removed with water.
Another way to mark fabric is to use chalk pencils. As much as I like the fabric markers they don’t show up on dark blue and black. For that purpose I love a good white chalk pencil. The chalk can just be brushed or washed out.
I sew with serger thread. I know I know you purist have lost all respect for me. That’s okay we already know I’m a cheater sewer anyways. But it’s cheap and does the job. Every once in a while some one will leave a comment or send me a messages about how the quality is lower and they would never do that. No problem if you have that opinion go ahead and buy the more expensive stuff. I have been doing this for years in both my personal sewing and for my business and I’ve never ever had a problem or complaint.
And last but not least fabric. You gotta have it!
Other Fun Sewing Gadgets and Accessories
I used to put these under MY necessities since I personally use them all the time and think they are worth it, but you don’t actually need these to get going. Although, you may find you like them once you do give them a go.
Cone thread holder
Serger cone thread is so much cheaper than those tiny spools all you need to use it is an inexpensive holder. You can find one on the notions isle and that way you can save on your thread costs! I like this one.
There are lots of different threads but the two standard ones I like to have on hand are elastic thread and woolly nylon. Have you ever sewn with elastic thread? It’s surprisingly easy and that’s how you can get that cool stretchy gathered (fake smocked) look. Check out my tutorial to learn how to sew with elastic thread if you don’t know how!
Now wholly nylon is this really crazy goofy thread that you use in a bobbin to hep you sew on knit fabric. It makes your stitches stretch and helps you get perfectly finished hems that look professional and hold up to wear.
If you plan on sewing on knit fabric I highly recommend getting this kind of twin needle. For more about how to use it see my post all about hemming knits.
Fold Out Paper Mat
Some times I like to work on the floor when I’m making adult sized things and I have a great card board folding cutting board that is fabulous. I can’t use the rotary cutter on it but it makes laying out patterns so much easier.
Did I Miss Any Must Have Sewing Tools?
If I did let me know in the comments I’m sure my mom brain is leaving something important out but as I’m scanning my studio that’s all I’m seeing!
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