The Basic Sewing Kit

Start with these sewing essentials, and add specialized supplies as needed.

 

Assorted fasteners: Hooks and eyes, small snaps

 

Beeswax: A wax coating keeps thread from tangling during hand sewing; keep it in a plastic holder with slots to slide the needle and thread through.

 

Buttons: Keep a small supply in various sizes and colors.

 

Elastic 

 

Hand-sewing needles: With assorted sizes, you'll be prepared to work on different fabrics. Sharps are best for most stitching and mending; ball points should be used on knits.

 

Iron-on tape or patches

 

Needle threader: To use, slip the flexible wire loop through the eye of a hand needle, feed the thread through it, and pull the wire back out, bringing the thread with it.

 

Needles in assorted sizes: When it comes to sewing machine needles, general-purpose sharp-point needles are good for most woven fabrics. For knits, use ball-point needles.

 

Pin holder: A magnetic one can pick up scattered pins.

 

Pincushion

 

Safety pins: Store them on one pin so they don't scatter throughout the basket.

 

Scissors: For cutting fabric, a pair of good quality sewing scissors or dressmaker's shears is a necessity; you'll also need pinking shears to prevent fabric from fraying. There are several types of sewing scissors, each with a specific purpose.

 

Seam binding

 

Seam ripper: This tool opens seams almost effortlessly.

 

Straight pins

 

Tailor's chalk: Use this to mark fabric before cutting and altering.

 

Tape measure: Use this to measure soft, curved things (use a yardstick to measure fabric on a work surface).

 

Thimble: When hand sewing, wear it on your middle finger to push the needle through.

 

Thread: All-purpose is appropriate for most sewing. Use extra-thin thread on particularly fine fabrics; heavy-duty on thick fabrics. Buttonhole twist is good for buttonholes and decorative stitching. For mending, make sure you have a variety of colors that match your clothes.

 

 

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