Welcome to another post in our beginner sewist series! We’ve covered fabrics and patterns for beginners, and now it’s time to get into the supplies you’ll need. Notions and tools are the small objects that are added or used to make a garment. You’ll find that your sewing kit will continue to grow, but there are some must-have essentials to get your sewing journey started. Below is a list of sewing tools and notions suitable for beginners.
Tools and Notions
It’s a machine used for fabric (garment) construction. Understanding how to use the machine and its accessories before attempting to make something is crucial.
This cylinder holds thread for the lower portion of stitches in a sewing machine.
Specially designed to go through sewing machines, it’s hard to make a garment without this powerful spool of wonder.
- Universal machine needles (all-purpose)
Sewing machines require specific needles designed for them. All-purpose needles are best for the beginner.
Every sewist needs these on hand to tackle notions, hems, and other miscellaneous sewing tasks.
These are tools specially designed for cutting fabric. Shears are often angled to keep them flat on the table for precise cutting. Along the same lines, a rotary cutter is used to create clean and precise cutting with a bit more control.
You’ll need a pair of non-fabric scissors to cut everything else, including pattern pieces and other types of paper.
Unfortunately, fabric frays, but don’t worry–there’s a tool for that. Pinking shears are fabric scissors that add a zigzag pattern to the edge of the fabric. Pinking is a base level method of finishing a seam.
Another highly coveted tool is a cutting mat. It will protect your surfaces and tools from damage.
Tiny little scissors to clip away at loose or mangled threads are a lot handier than you might think.
A clear ruler is a Heaven-sent tool in the sewing community. Measure and view your fabric at the same time.
Get accurate and crisp folds for your hem every time.
This flexible ruler measures the body. Pattern sizes differ from RTW sizing, so bust, hip, and waist measurements are often taken to determine the correct pattern size for cutting.
Whether it’s chalk, a pen, or something else, fabric marking is a must for a successful garment. Fabric marking tools are designed to disappear after being rubbed or washed, so they stay while you need them and disappear when you no longer do.
Pins hold fabric pieces in place, and a pin cushion holds pins safely in place when they’re not being used.
Some other forms of keeping pattern pieces in place are clips or pattern weights. These tools are great for specialty fabrics as they don’t create any holes or snags.
We all make mistakes, and this holy grail item saves the day any time a seam or notion gets a little wacky. You’ll learn patience with this one for sure.
Tracing wheels and tracing paper are used to transfer markings from pattern paper onto fabric.
A basic zipper is one of the first closures a beginner sewist will tackle. It’s carefully applied through a series of basting stitches.
The hook and eye are often paired with a standard zipper (as it helps to reinforce the top of the closure area). It requires hand sewing and fortunately, takes little to no skill at all to apply.
Pressing fabric is essential and cannot be overlooked, from beginning to end. You’ll press throughout the entire process of garment construction.
The ironing board is a perfectly padded place for all of your pressing needs. Pressing won’t be the same without it.
Get a piece of cloth to protect your fabric while sewing. Use a specially designed cloth for the job or a piece of scrap fabric.
This pressing tool helps to smooth out the curved areas in garments like sleeves, darts, waistlines, and collars.
This tool is designed to help press seams open. Using it makes the process so much easier.
Typically I would look at a list of this size and shudder a little at its length. Stay with me here– each of the tools listed are ones you’ll become familiar with very quickly. I’ll also leave you with some good news: This beginner sewing kit is practically a one-stop-shop for most of the sewing essentials listed above. It’ll leave you saying, “Thank you, Mood!”