Sewing Techniques / Tips & Advice / Tips & Tutorials

What’s In Your Sewing Kit?

Whether you’re a beginner, or an expert – every sewing enthusiast should have the same basic essentials in their sewing kit. I’m talking the things that are necessary for most sewing projects, the things you would find in every sewer’s basket.

Read on to see if you have all of the things on the list, and if you would have anything to add to it!


– A good pair of fabric shears. And use them for fabric only! Have a pair of other scissors for paper and whatnot.

Pinking shears

-Little thread clipper scissors

Tailors chalk / fabric pencil / fabric marker

Seam ripper (because even an experienced sewer still makes mistakes all the time!)

–  Seam gauge. Good for measuring an even hem, and spacing between buttons.

– Clear plastic ruler

Thread. Usually (unless you are doing a decorative topstitch) your thread should match the color of your fabric.

Tape measure

Hand sewing needles

Pins. There are different types and sizes of pins, usually according to the type of fabric they are used for. I have teo pictured – flat head and glass head pins. A lot of people prefer the glass head pins, because they are easier to see and handle.

– A good pin cushion. Maybe a DIY? :)


A bingo magnetic wand. I use this to pick up all those pins that scattered around during a project. And it really saves time when all of the pins spill!

Tweezers. These come in handy a lot more than you think. Whether it be getting into the little nooks of your machine, helping you with threading, etc. They can really help!

Beeswax. Run your thread through the beeswax before you start hand sewing. It will keep it from knotting up and snagging.

Fray check. Prevents fraying, obviously. Really useful for machine made buttonholes.

Hem tape. For quick and easy hemming.


Needles. Again, they come in all different sizes and fabric types. The most basic ones you should have, in my opinion, are Universal, Knit Ball Point, and Twin Needle.

Basic presser foot

Zipper presser foot (there are so many more specialty presser feet you can get. But these are the two most basic you should have!)

Tiny little screwdrivers. Sometimes things come loose and need basic fixing. Best to have these handy.


And those are the basics!

Is there anything else that you consider to be an essential part of your sewing kit?

About Author

Holly writes part time for the Megan Nielsen blog– sewing like crazy, creating tutorials and sewalongs. She has been sewing since she was a little girl, and has her degree in apparel design. Now she’s a stay at home mama, and spends all her free nap times at her sewing machine.

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annette tirette
11 years ago

I always have seam binding around, it’s sort of my preferred way to finish seams (especially in unlined garments!) since I don’t have a serger.

I also keep a large roll of white sketch paper around (it’s quite cheap) for pattern alterations and tests. It’s sturdier than real pattern paper and loads cheaper, so I’ll do all my slashing and spreading on the cheap paper and transfer the final pattern piece when I’m satisfied.

11 years ago

I bought a roll of sketch paper from Ikea that was super cheap in the kid’s section! It is great for pattern-making.

11 years ago

Fray check is probably my favorite thing ever on this list. I’ve never heard of using beeswax before though, that’s genius!

11 years ago

I really like this post Megan. I’ve been sewing for many years and my supplies have accumulated. It’s actually one of my goals to clean out my sewing supplies over Memorial Day weekend (at the end of May). I’m going to remember this post when I do.

11 years ago

I also would put elastic cording in my essentials. It is useful for so many things, from hair bands to button loops to clothing. And I always have a ton of velcro in my sewing box, because I make adjustable dog coats for my dog (he’s totally spoiled).

11 years ago

Great post Holly!

I have all of these things on the list – except the magnetic wand. I need to find one! I lose the odd pin here and there, and as I have a hardwood floor, I’m terrified that one day I’ll find it again by stepping on it (or one of the cats will suffer the same fate).

I also find having a wooden ruler and yardstick are two very handy items. It’s easy to see the measurements on them regardless of the fabric and they’re great for lining up the grain and other straight line jobs.

Blogless Anna
11 years ago

I can’t live without my rotary cutter and self healing mat. I often grade between sizes when tracing out a pattern so I my french curve is also a treasured tool.

Terry Kessinger
11 years ago

The magnet wand is a great idea, and I agree with Blogless Anna that the rotary cutter/mat is so often used. I also, like Annette, keep a comp book to write notes for measurements or changes I might make in something. One additional thing I have always at the ready is a pair of hemostats for helping turn things right side out, as well as a wooden knitting need for making corners pointy.


[…] loop turner, or a hand stitching trick to do this. But I have another option – remember in my sewing kit post, where I mentioned that I use a set of tweezers for so many different things? This is one of them. […]