Essential Sewing Tools & Supplies

Hey, you!

Do you know what the essential sewing tools and supplies you will need?


Well, I do.

And if you stick around, you will too.

Sewing is a craft–and every craft has its tools. The essentials that allow you, the dreamer, to make your dreams a reality.

There is no doubt in my mind that a professional end result, as well as the enjoyment of the process, is directly related to having the proper tools and supplies.

Now, in the beginning, it is hard to know exactly what sewing tools you actually need.

And it is easy to be utterly confused as you stand transfixed in front of that massive wall of notions at your local fabric store.

notions wall at local sewing/craft store

I can’t tell you how often I’ve stood in front of just such a wall or walked an aisle lined on both sides, picked up this whatnot or that. Glared at it as if begging it to reveal its value to me. Then, reading the back cover before returning the item to its spot still unsure if I really needed it.

But today is your lucky day.

Because I am here to make sure that confusion doesn’t happen to you. You can learn from my hard-won experience. You can avoid the overwhelm.

And you can save your dollars so that you can later spend them on, what else, but luscious, dreamy fabrics. Can I get hallelujah?!

So without further ado…

Here is my essential list of sewing tools and supplies that you absolutely must have to begin the journey of bringing your dreams of insanely pretty dresses to life so that you can get busy flaunting them.

Are you ready?!

Then, let’s keep this stupid simple and begin…

NOTE: This article contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure HERE.

Essential Beginner’s Sewing Tools & Supplies

A Large Jar of Patience

blue jar labeled patience

This isn’t a tool that you can buy, of course. But you will need it! I will make this journey as easy as I can for you. But truthfully, it is still a learning process.

And sometimes, learning can be a little frustrating. So be patient, grasshopper. Be patient.

Cutting Tools

Shears  + Paper scissors + Thread snippers or embroidery scissors + Seam ripper

RELATED: Click this link to learn all about the essential cutting tools!

Straight Pins

1⅜” White Glass-head Pins + Ballpoint Pins + Pincushion

RELATED: Click this link to learn all about straight pins and pincushions too!

Sewing Machine Needles

Universal (a variety pack) or Universal 80/12 + Ballpoint/Jersey

RELATED: Click this link to learn all about sewing machine needles!

Hand Sewing Needles: Sharps + Ballpoint

All you need is sharps hand needles for wovens and ballpoint hand needles for working with knits.


You need Gutterman or Coats and Clark’s thread in the four basic colours: white, black, beige or eggshell, and gray or slate.

RELATED: Click here to learn all about sewing thread!

Measuring Tools

60″ fiberglass measuring tape2×18 grid ruler + seam gauge

RELATED: Click this link to learn all about measuring tools!

Marking Tools

I really like the classic tailor’s chalk and Clover’s Chacopel Dressmaking Chalk Pencils.

RELATED: Click this link to learn all about marking tools!

Pressing Tools

a heavy iron + a full-size ironing board + a pressing cloth + a spray bottle

RELATED: Click here to learn all about pressing tools!

Sewing Machine

First, consider your budget. Please, please don’t buy more sewing machine than you can ever use. But at the same time buy enough to grow with. (You can’t go wrong with a Janome sewing machine! I adore my Janome DC2014!)

To assess a sewing machine, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it heavy? Good.
  • Is it too noisy? Not good.
  • What extra accessories does it come with? Look for a sewing machine that comes with a bonus bundle.

Finally, sit down at the sewing machine and take it for a test drive. Bring some fabric you are dreaming of sewing with you, including something extra thick like denim.

Now, sew a straight stitch and a zig-zag stitch. And look closely at the stitching lines produced. Do they look good on BOTH the needle side and the bobbin side? They should. There should be no fugly puckering or skipped stitches.

Finally, sew through three to nine folded layers of that denim. Did it do so smoothly and without a hitch? Or, did is sputter and stall? If it sputtered and stalled, I would suggest you continue searching.

I hope this helps.

RELATED: Click here to learn everything you need to know about sewing machine so that you can begin unleashing your dressmaking superpowers!

The End


I know it sounds like a lot, but honestly, these are the essential tools and supplies you need to begin learning how to sew insanely pretty clothes!

And once you’ve made your first garment and are flaunting it, I think you’ll agree…

They are so worth it!

And remember…

Life is the ultimate red carpet event. Dress for it!

RELATED: Now, that you’ve gathered all your essential tools, click this link to learn all about your sewing machine!

RELATED: Click here to learn The 14 Commandments of Sewing!

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