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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.




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.




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.



Comments (3)

  • skye_824 17 Feb, 2015

    Thank yo so much for your sewing supply list. My Valentine's gift from my husband this week is a really adorable sewing basket! A hint that I wanted to share is that I misplaced my chalk to mark my cut line. While searching, I came across a container of colored pencils that I have for our grandchildren to use when they are here. They work great! I'm able to select whatever color that I'll be able to see well enough, and the pencil mark washes completely out with no problem.

  • Anna1986 1 Nov, 2009

    Oh, my.. I hope one day I can learn this.. I would like it so much. I can do it, but only by hand.. why is it that every time I touch my machine, I brake it?

  • nakpunar 24 Sep, 2008

    and emery grain filled pincushions. They help to keep your sewing needles clean and sharp. You can find emery :