How to Choose Sewing Tools for Beginners

The different sewing tools make you feel pins and needles, right? Beginners may find it overwhelming with all the sewing supplies available. In addition to some essential sewing tools, you can acquire some fun, optional materials.

Before you head to your local craft store, check out this beginner’s guide to sewing tools, so you know what each item does.

In the sewing notions aisle of a sewing or craft store, you will find many sewing tools, from the rudimentary to the sophisticated. A beginner would get the jitters just reading that!

All these new things don’t need to overwhelm you. Instead, we’ll focus on sewing tools and how they are used. To make things easier, here are some categories of standard sewing tools.

Key Takeaways

  • Essential Sewing Tools for Beginners
    • Fabric Cutting Shears: Bent-handled shears are crucial for precise fabric cutting, with longer blades preferred for efficiency.
    • Thread Snips: Small scissors ideal for snipping threads and cutting stitches.
    • Seam Ripper: A tool for correcting mistakes by removing stitches without damaging the fabric.
    • Craft Shears: Dedicated scissors for cutting paper patterns or templates to keep fabric shears sharp.
    • Optional Rotary Cutting Tools: Include a self-healing cutting mat, a clear ruler, and a rotary cutter for straight cuts, which are instrumental in quilting.
  • Basic Measuring Tools
    • Tape Measure: A 60″ flexible tape for body measurements and curves, preferably with metal ends for durability.
    • Seam Gauge: A 6″ metal tool with a sliding guide for marking consistent measurements.
    • Yard Stick: Useful for measuring fabric on a flat surface, with a cutting mat as an alternative.
  • Basic Fabric Marking Tools
    • Fabric Marking Pencils: Water-soluble pencils in white and blue are essential for precise sewing and are used for temporary marks on fabric.
  • Basic Securing Tools
    • Glass-Head Sewing Pins: These are average-length pins with glass heads that don’t melt under heat. They are suitable for various fabrics.
  • Basic Hand Sewing Tools
    • Hand Sewing Needles: An assortment of needles for fabric types and weights.
    • Needle Threader: A device to ease the threading of needles, especially those with small eyes.
    • Thimble: Protects the finger when pushing needles through the fabric for extended periods.
  • Basic Sewing Thread
    • High-quality all-purpose sewing thread is recommended, with Mettler’s Metrosene suggested for its strong, lint-free properties suitable for machine and hand sewing.
  • Basic Pressing Tools
    • A sturdy pressing board or ironing board with a washable cover and a quality iron with variable settings for different fabrics. Optional use of a spray bottle with water or starch for fabric care during sewing.
  • General Advice
    • Keep sewing tools in a box with a lid to protect them from dust and loss.
    • Choosing the right tools and keeping them dedicated to their specific tasks (e.g., fabric shears for fabric only) will maintain their effectiveness and extend their lifespan.
    • As skills develop, beginners can expand their toolkit to include more specialized items.

Basic Sewing Tools

Get these basic sewing tools, and learn how to use them correctly before you spend all your money on new, shiny sewing gadgets! Starting sewing, going through sewing lessons, and tackling beginner-friendly sewing projects will all be easier with these items.


Straight pins are often used when making a piece. A seamstress with experience just holds the pieces together and sews fast! It is best to stitch them together before pinning them together.

Use the finest pins when sewing with standard pins to avoid permanent holes in your silk fabric.


Pincushions help organize pins and make them accessible when needed. Another option is to use an old mint box as a container for your pins.

Seam Ripper

Exactly as its name implies, a seam ripper removes seams. What is the point of ripping a seam? Occasionally, you may stitch the wrong side of the fabric together or stitch the left sleeve into the right sleeve opening, etc.

The fabric could be damaged if you attempt to rip a seam with scissors. Using the seam ripper, you can precisely snip the thread between the layers of fabric.

Iron and Ironing Board

A little ironing can go a long way in preventing disasters in the future. Precision in the cut determines how well a garment fits. Open seams and hems must be ironed before sewing the pattern pieces together.

The seams of your clothing will look nice and professional if ironed after you finish them. The iron should be set to the appropriate heat for your fabric. When the temperature is too high, it can mark the fabric. If you want to know how to care for your fabric, note how it was fabricated at the fabric store.

How to Choose Sewing Tools for Beginners

Hand Sewing Tools

These sewing tools are essential whether you’re learning how to sew for yourself or more elaborate projects in the future.


A thimble is perhaps the most commonly used hand sewing tool. A needle-punching bucket is a nifty metal object (also made from plastic and leather) designed to prevent a finger from getting pinched.

You can purchase thimbles decorated with stones that look like jewelry for something fancier, but you won’t need more than a basic thimble.

Sewing Needles

A hand-sewing needle differs from a sewing machine needle. A description of the different types of needles can be found below in the section on needles.


To sew, you’ll have to cut fabric! Scissors come in various types. In this article, we’ll discuss various cutting devices, but for now, invest in a quality pair you’ll use exclusively for sewing!

Machine Sewing Tools

This section’s sewing tools and accessories will help you maintain your sewing machine. Ensure you get the materials you need to maintain your sewing machine, whether you have a new machine or a hand-me-down.

Not sure how to do it? We have a guide to 10 best tips for maintaining sewing machines.

Presser Feet

Presser feet come in a variety of types. The multipurpose presser foot is best for general use. Installing zippers by pressing only on one side of the needle is one of the most common uses of zipper feet. Inserting piping, beaded trim, or whenever there is more bulk on one side can be used for this purpose.


There is a ridge on top and a ridge on the bottom of bobbins used in machine sewing. In the lower part of the machine, the bobbin case holds the thread wound onto the bobbin. Drop-in bobbin loading is available on some machines, such as the Baby Lock Jubilant.


Your sewing machine usually comes with a small brush. Lint can be removed from your machine using an old or old toothbrush.


Sewists can benefit from screwdrivers! Your sewing machine needles can be changed, or parts can be cleaned or repaired.


Regular lubrication is necessary for the moving parts of a sewing machine, just as they are for cars.

Cutting Tools for Sewing

Now, look closer at the different types of scissors and cutting tools you will need to complete your sewing project. Although you may not need all of these sewing tools right away, familiarizing yourself with the different cutting tools and how they work is still a good idea, regardless of your skill level, your project, or the materials you use.

Sewing Scissors

An excellent pair of scissors is essential. The duller the scissors, the longer it will take to cut even the smallest fabric. Additionally, there will be jagged edges. Some sewing shears have specific uses, while others serve a general purpose.

The blades of your sewing scissors will dull if you cut paper with them. Put some colored tape on the handles of your fabric scissors to mark them.

General-Use Scissors

Keep general-purpose shears and sewing scissors for cutting materials other than fabrics, such as metallic trim, zippers, paper, and plastic. This will preserve your sewing shears.

Tailor’s Scissors

The blades of these scissors are tapered and pointed.

Bent Scissors

In addition to having a bent lower blade, these scissors have a straight upper blade, which gives you greater precision and accuracy when cutting fabrics.


Thanks to a spring between the handles, these shears’ blades can be opened with less effort. Carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis sufferers may benefit from this.

Rotary Cutter

Rotary cutters have circular blades attached to their handles. A rotary cutter will provide better results when cutting pattern pieces from silk.

The pattern piece should be layered on silk, kept in place with fabric weights, and then cut with a rotary cutter. When cutting garment pieces, use a smaller blade. Cutting straight edges with a larger blade is a great technique for quilting.

Pinking Shears

Designed to prevent excessive fraying of woven fabrics, pinking shears have saw-tooth blades and cut edges in a zig-zag pattern. You can use pinking shears if you don’t own a serger or overlocker.

Thread Nippers

If you finish stitching, use these to snip off any loose threads. Reaching for scissors is slower than grabbing this tool. Thread nippers are optional, but Ginger’s metal ones are highly recommended. Other cutting tools include embroidery scissors, buttonhole scissors, and appliqué scissors.

Sewing Needles

It may surprise you to discover how many sewing needles you can find in craft stores. Different types and sizes of needles work best with different types of fabric, including hand-sewing needles and sewing machine needles. To complete your sewing projects, you must know the needle size and the different types of needles.

Hand-Sewing Needles

There are different sizes of sewing needles. It is best to use a different needle depending on the thread, fabric, and sewing project type.

The first characteristic is the size of the needle. Silk is a delicate fabric, so use a fine needle when sewing it to avoid leaving unwanted holes in it. It would be best to employ an excellent needle when sewing tiny beads to your creation. Test the bead by passing the needle through it. Depending on the thickness of your thread, the eye size will vary. Use a needle with a large eye if you use embroidery floss to finish your piece. Otherwise, you will spend most of your time threading the needle.

Sewing-Machine Needles

For different fabrics, needles come in various sizes and types. Starting a sewing project with fresh sewing machine needles is recommended by most sewing experts. We commonly blame broken threads on tension or other machine issues when the needle is causing the problem.

Generally, a needle’s size tends to increase with fabric weight.

Sewing Needle Types

A machine needle can initially seem confusing due to the various sizes and types available. However, understanding the different types isn’t difficult. Our list includes the most popular needles and the techniques and fabrics they can use.

Universal Needles

Weaved fabrics and thicker knits can be sewn with universal needles. Despite its ballpoint tip, the universal needle has a slightly round tip.

Ballpoint Needles

Ballpoint needles are recommended for sewing knits such as jerseys to prevent snags in the fabric. By slipping the needle between the fibers (instead of piercing), the fibers will not be damaged.

Stretch Needles

Sewing elastic knits such as swimsuit fabrics, spandex, and synthetic suede are possible with stretch needles.

Denim/Jeans Needles

You can sew denim and heavy woven fabrics with needles marked as jeans and denim. These needles are medium ballpoints with reinforced blades and can penetrate a thicker layer of fabric.

You may break your needle if you use the wrong needle with heavy fabric.

Leather Needles

Ensure that you are using leather needles. These knives’ points are chiseled so they can cut through leather. They can also be used to make imitation leather. After you finish your project, you should switch needles. The cutting point of the leather needle can damage knits and woven fabrics.

Marking Tools for Sewing

Are you looking for a way to mark your fabric without damaging it? This set of sewing tools can benefit all types of sewing projects!

Tailor’s Chalk

Your pattern can be transferred to fabric by drawing stitch lines, darts, and other markings using chalk. Tailor’s chalk is available in various colors and pencils and chips with tapered edges. Before marking your pieces, test them on your fabric. Rub your finger over the mark, and it should disappear. If the mark remains, use tailor’s tacks or mark only the wrong side of the fabric.

Disappearing Ink

Disappearing ink pens are available at craft stores. After a certain period, the ink will evaporate, or you can wipe it off with a damp cloth. It is essential to test the ink on silk before you use it.

Tailor’s Tacks

Darts are easily marked, and this old technique transfers information from your pattern to your fabric. To mark a spot, a loose thread loop can be hand-stitched (use a color contrasting with the fabric). After the dart has been sewn in, just pull out the loose thread.

Measuring Tools for Sewing

These sewing tools will help you measure, as well as the indispensable tape measure. You may want to invest in a few of these tools if you need to modify patterns frequently.

Clear Ruler

A clear ruler can be extremely helpful when adding seam allowances to and drafting a pattern.

French Curve

The lines must be blended in when lengthening or shortening a pattern. You can draw perfectly smooth curves by using a French curve.

Button Guide

This tool is useful for determining a button’s size. Investing in a button guide isn’t necessary, but it may be helpful if you make many items with buttons.

Hem Guide

You can use this guide to quickly measure the depth of your garment’s hem and curve. The edge is curved and square-shaped. The guide can be placed between the fabric and rolled hem to press the seam allowance.

Hopefully, SewingWithEase will help you better understand how sewing tools work. Remember that less is more in the beginning. You will need the essential sewing tools to get started, and you can add to them as you progress and learn more.

Sewing Tools FAQs

What factors to consider when choosing sewing tools and equipment?

When choosing sewing tools and equipment, several important factors must be considered. Firstly, you need to assess the quality and durability of the tools. Investing in high-quality tools will ensure they last longer and perform better, saving you money in the long run. Additionally, consider the specific features and functions of each tool and equipment. Different sewing projects may require different tools, so having various options that cater to your specific needs is crucial. Another factor to consider is the price. While investing in quality tools is important, you need to find a balance between cost and value. Compare prices and read customer reviews to ensure you get the best value. Lastly, consider your skill level and experience. Beginners may benefit from simpler and more user-friendly tools, while more advanced sewers require specialized and intricate equipment.

What is the most important tool for a tailor?

The most important tool for a tailor is their sewing machine. It allows them to stitch fabric together efficiently and create garments with precision and accuracy. A tailor cannot complete their work efficiently or produce high-quality results without a sewing machine.

What are the five 5 classifications of sewing tools?

The five classifications of sewing tools are cutting tools, measuring tools, marking tools, sewing tools, and pressing tools. Cutting tools include scissors, rotary cutters, and seam rippers. Measuring tools include tape measures, rulers, and measuring gauges. Marking tools include chalk, fabric markers, and tracing paper. Sewing tools include needles, thread, pins, and sewing machines. Pressing tools include irons, ironing boards, and pressing cloths.

What is the difference between sewing tools and sewing equipment?

The difference between sewing tools and sewing equipment lies in their functionality and purpose. Sewing tools generally refer to smaller handheld items used during the sewing process, such as needles, pins, scissors, measuring tapes, and thread. These tools are essential for executing specific sewing tasks and achieving desired results.

On the other hand, sewing equipment refers to larger, more substantial machinery and equipment used in the sewing industry. This can include sewing machines, sergers, cutting tables, fabric steamers, and other specialized equipment. Unlike sewing tools, sewing equipment is typically used for larger-scale or more professional sewing projects.


Choosing the right tools can be overwhelming for a beginner in sewing. However, with the tips outlined in this article, you can confidently select the tools you need to start your sewing journey. Remember to prioritize quality over quantity, invest in essential tools, and choose the right ones for your needs. With the right tools, you can create beautiful and functional pieces you can be proud of.

You may also be interested in our Beginner’s Guide to Embroidery Machines, so don’t miss it. Happy sewing!

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