If you’re starting to feel cooped up & claustrophobic right now, you aren’t alone my friend. I, too, find myself sighing wistfully at the happy hours with friends, parties, and outings for non-essential supplies from days of yore.
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Sewing has been an extremely therapeutic creative outlet for me as of late, and has been a great way to help the time pass more quickly. Of course, adding a few sweet refashions to my wardrobe is a pretty swell bonus!
I know a lot of you don’t sew, and I’m not here to judge you for that. 🙂
But I’m willing to bet some of you who suddenly have a lot more free time on your hands might be ready to take on a new hobby right now.
Whether you’re new to sewing, or an experienced seamstress, having the right sewing supplies can make all the difference.
Here’s a roundup of my favorite sewing supplies for new sewists (including my favorite sewing machine for beginners).
This is probably the scariest decision a beginning sewist has to make (and the priciest).
There are so flipping many sewing machines out there, ranging in price from uber cheap to crazy expensive.
While I sew on a fancy Pfaff that retails in the $1k range, don’t worry (It was payment for some promo work I did for them a while back)! You don’t need to spend that much, and I actually don’t advise spending that much when you’re just starting out.
You do, however, want to make sure your new machine is made by a trustworthy brand and that it will hold up to whatever sewing challenge you put before it.
That’s why my top pick for a beginner sewing machine is the Brother XM2701 Lightweight Sewing Machine.
I’m a huge fan of Brother sewing machines. My first sewing machine was an older version of this model and it checked a lot of boxes.
It’s lightweight, which is super important if you’re not going to have a dedicated sewing area right away. Mine lived on top of my fridge between uses for over a year, and it was never a problem lugging it out for my next project.
This sewing machine is also sturdy and well-built. It can handle sewing through thick layers of fabric and extensive use. I’ve tried using super cheap machines (think $60 and under), and they just feel cheap. This machine feels more high end than its price tag indicates.
You get a lot of good basic features with machine as well, including multiple presser feet and a decent array of stitches.
The price is right. The features are decent (especially for this price point). The construction is solid. I don’t think sewing beginners can go wrong with this one.
If this sewing machine doesn’t quite strike your fancy, here are a few others I’d check out:
- Janome Arctic Crystal Easy-to-Use Sewing Machine
- SINGER Start 1304
- Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine
The only cutting supplies you really need to get started are some good fabric shears.
Some will say you need cutting mats and rotary cutters, but these aren’t necessities (I can’t remember the last time I used mine).
My sewing scissors of choice are my Gingher 8-Inch Knife Edge Dressmaker’s Shears, but if you’re just getting started, you might not want to spend $21 on a single pair of scissors.
I recommend starting off with a cost-efficient multipack, like this one by Singer.
I also recommend investing in a pair of Pinking Shears. These funky scissors have saw-toothed blades instead of straight, which lets you cut a zig-zagged line.
If you’re using cloth with unfinished edges, cutting the fabric will result in a lot of fraying. While pinking shears can’t prevent fabric from fraying, the zig-zag pattern limits the length of the frayed thread, resulting in a cleaner finish.
Now for the little things you’ll need to get started.
Dritz makes an excellent all-in-one starter kit that contains pins, safety pins, a pincushion, a seam ripper, a tape measure, a sewing gauge, as well as a few extras. This is a great way to go if you’re looking to save money by bundling your supplies, rather than buying them individually.
Here are my top recommendations for small sewing supplies you’ll need to get started on your sewing journey:
Extra Sewing Machine Needles
Needles wear out and break fairly frequently. Unless you want to take an unwelcome pause in your creative project while you run to the craft store to pick up a new pack, it’s a good idea to have some on hand. Just make sure to replace them when they start to snag your fabric!
I prefer pins with colorful heads to the all-metal variety, as they’re much easier to find when you drop one (which you will), and they’re just more visible in general.
Hand Sewing Needles
While the vast majority of your sewing will done on your machine, you’ll still need to complete some projects by hand. Bummer, I know. 😉
All of these pins and needles will need a place to call home! I like the classic Tomato model as it comes with a pin-sharpening attachment (Bet you wondered what that little strawberry thingy was for).
I keep a few of these on hand (they always seem to wander off when I need one) for my refashioning projects. You just can’t beat them for ripping off sleeves, shoulder pads, or whatever else is getting between you and the awesome design you’ve envisioned. They’re also helpful for helping fix the occasional sewing mistake!
I prefer flat seam rippers to round ones as they’re less likely to roll off your work surface and get lost!
Measure twice, cut once! I like this pack, because it also contains marking pencils (Bonus!) at a really good price!
Whether you’re hemming, making bias binding, or measuring pleats, you won’t want to be without this terrific tool!
Black & White Thread
You don’t need a rainbow of thread colors to start your sewing journey. As long as you have black thread for dark colors and white thread for light colors, you’ll pretty much be okay. Of course, it’s better to match your thread color with your fabric color, but very few people will notice the difference.
I almost didn’t add this one to the list, as these aren’t strictly necessary. However, a lot of sewing beginners get intimidated by threading their new machine for the first few times. Having pre-threaded bobbins to start makes this process a little less daunting. Plus, the bobbins can be rethreaded later!
Fold-out Ironing Board
Some sewing practitioners recommend tabletop ironing boards, but I prefer their larger fold-out counterparts. I think they’re easier to work with, plus you get the added bonus of a fold-out work space for non-ironing projects as well.
I use my fold-out ironing board as a cutting table all the time, as it sits at a perfect height to not strain my back. And when I’m done with it, I can tuck it neatly away in a closet or or the corner of my sewing area.
A huge part of making your sewing projects/refashions look professional is pressing them. Fortunately, you don’t need a crazy expensive iron to do this. As long as it heats up quickly and is reliable, you’re all set to press! This inexpensive model does the trick just fine.
You can view a shoppable version of my beginner sewing essentials recommendations right here!
Are there any other sewing supplies you have questions about? If so, let me know in the comments below!