Content was updated 4/19 One of the things my readers always ask for is a basic list of sewing supplies to get started sewing clothes. These are supplies I always have on hand. Having everything on a basic list of sewing supplies is the first step to sewing successfully. I loved this suggestion because it’s always frustrating to get started on a project only to realize that you don’t have something you need and you have to stop mid-project (or not start at all).
So today I’m sharing my list of sewing supplies I keep around when I start sewing clothes. Hopefully they’ll help you be ready to start a new project on a whim. I’m also including links to the items I use and recommend so you don’t have to guess at what I’m referencing and you’ll know they’re tried and true!
A Solid Sewing Machine. I started sewing clothes with this Brother model and really liked it. It is a great machine for getting started and is easy to learn, has great features like one-step buttonholes, and is inexpensive.
When looking at sewing machines, always consider getting the best machine within your budget. I promise it will be worth the extra expense because better machines will limit your frustration and make sewing easier and more enjoyable. Promise.
I have since upgraded to this Janome DC5100 model and I LOVE it. My Janome has been a dream to sew on and has metal die cast parts that will last a long time and allows me to sew denim, leather, and tougher projects without thinking twice. It’s a little workhorse that I’ve been using heavily for about 5 years now. I would absolutely buy it again.
Cutting Sewing Supplies List
Fabric Scissors. Having dedicated fabric scissors is really important when sewing clothes. Paper dulls your blades and makes cutting fabric more difficult, so don’t cut anything but fabric with your fabric scissors. I like to tie a ribbon on the handle of my fabric scissors so everyone (including me) knows they’re different. Also, if you’re cutting around patterns, it’s helpful to have bent handle scissors to make cutting easier.
Rotary Cutter and Mat. A small rotary cutter (28mm blade) and a large self-healing mat are essential for cutting straight lines, but you may not realize that they’re also wonderful for cutting out patterns. I love using the 28mm blade size because it turns corners beautifully. It’s so much easier and faster than scissors. And while a smaller mat will work, the 24″ x 36″ is large enough for bigger pattern pieces. These two together make my cutting (my least favorite part of sewing clothes) a little more fun.I also have and use this larger rotary cutter that is so fun to use just because its super cute… :)
Notions Sewing Supplies List
Pins. Gotta have them. Especially when you start sewing clothes with slippery material. I use them on almost every project (just not around my serger). These basic pins have cute plastic balls on top, but pins with glass heads won’t melt if you accidentally put the iron on them. You may be tempted to get the tiny silver pins, but don’t. Choose pins with some sort of ball or head–they’re easier to use and find in your project.
Seam Ripper. I know. No one likes to use their seam ripper because it means you’ve probably messed up, but it’s essential, especially when you start sewing clothes. Get one that fits comfortably in your hand–a good tool makes seam ripping less painful. This one is not only comfortable, but the little “eraser” helps get all the annoying thread bits off your project quickly and easily.
Interfacing. It’s another thing you don’t think about until you’re in the middle of a project. Interfacing is really important in things like fitted waistbands, collars, and plackets where you need a little more strength and shape than the fabric gives by itself. It comes in different weights, but usually I use a light or medium to match my fabric weight.
Steam Iron. I rarely iron my clothes, but I ALWAYS press my seams when making them. Get a nice iron with steam so you can get your seams nice and flat, which makes everything lay nicer. I also like to make sure my iron is heavy for the same reason.
Elastic. Elastic is one of the easiest ways to make clothing more fitted especially when you’re getting started sewing clothes. I usually keep a stash of widths from 1/4″ to 3″. Elastic that’s 1/4″ is great for sleeves and other little gathers, and you’ll probably use wider widths for waistbands mostly. I like to get soft elastic that’s more pliable–it’s easier to work with and nicer in your finished pieces.
Buttons and Zippers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten almost through with a project to realize I don’t have the right zipper. Gah! So I recently stocked up and I can now create lots of pieces before I have to wonder about having the right zipper.
Buttons are another staple–make sure you have some great basics (white/clear, brown, black, and ivory are great to have) on hand. You can never have too many buttons, right?
And there you have it–my sewing supplies list with nine basic things you need to get started sewing clothes. Which of these sewing supplies list items is your favorite? And what supplies do you think belong on this list?