Recently updated on April 5th, 2023
All of the different sewing tools make you feel pins and needles, don’t they? Beginners may find it overwhelming with all the sewing supplies available. In addition to some sewing tools that are essential, you can also acquire some fun, optional materials down the road.
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 a multitude of 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. We’ll instead focus on sewing tools and how they are used. Here are some categories of common sewing tools to make things easier.
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 really fast! Stitching them together is best done before pinning pieces together.
Use the finest pins when sewing with standard pins to avoid permanent holes in your silk fabric.
Pincushions are helpful for organizing pins and making them accessible when needed. Another option is to use an old mint box as a container for your pins.
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. It is necessary to iron open seams and hems before sewing the pattern pieces together.
The seams of your clothing will look nice and professional if they are 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, take note of how it was fabricated at the fabric store.
Hand Sewing Tools
These sewing tools are essential whether you’re learning how to sew for yourself or for more elaborate projects in the future.
A thimble is perhaps the most commonly used sewing tool when sewing by hand. A needle punching bucket is a nifty metal object (also made from plastic and leather) designed to prevent your finger from getting pinched.
For something fancier, you can purchase thimbles decorated with stones that look like jewelry, but you won’t need more than a basic thimble.
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.
In order to sew, you’ll have to cut fabric! Scissors come in a variety of types. In this article, we’ll discuss various cutting devices, but for now, invest in a quality pair of scissors you’ll use exclusively for sewing!
Machine Sewing Tools
The sewing tools and accessories in this section will help you maintain your sewing machine. Make sure you get the materials you need to maintain your sewing machine, whether you have a new machine or a hand-me-down.
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. As well as inserting piping, or 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 toothbrush or an old toothbrush.
Sewists can benefit from screwdrivers! Your sewing machine needles can be changed, or parts can be cleaned or repaired with it.
Regular lubrication is necessary for the moving parts of a sewing machine, just as they are for cars.
Cutting Tools for Sewing
Now let’s take a closer look at the different types of scissors and cutting tools that 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.
An excellent pair of scissors is essential. The duller the scissors, the more time it will take to cut even the smallest piece of 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.
For cutting materials other than fabrics, such as metallic trim, zippers, or paper and plastic, keep general-purpose shears along with sewing scissors. Your sewing shears will be preserved this way.
The blades of these scissors are tapered and pointed.
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.
The blades of these shears can be opened with less effort thanks to a spring between the handles. Carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis sufferers may benefit from this.
Rotary cutters have circular blades attached to their handles. When cutting pattern pieces from silk, a rotary cutter will provide you with better results.
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.
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.
If you finish stitching, use these to snip off any loose threads. Reaching for scissors is slower than grabbing this tool. It is optional to use thread nippers, but Gingher’s metal ones are highly recommended. The embroidery scissors, buttonhole scissors, and appliqué scissors are other cutting tools.
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, in addition to hand sewing needles and sewing machine needles. To complete your own sewing projects, you will need to know the needle size as well as the different types of needles.
There are different sizes of sewing needles. Depending on the type of thread, fabric, and sewing project, you should use a different needle.
The first characteristic is the size of the needle. Silk is a fine fabric, so use a fine needle when sewing it to avoid leaving unwanted holes in it. You must use a very fine needle when sewing small 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 are using embroidery floss to finish your piece. Otherwise, you will spend most of your time threading the needle.
For different fabrics, needles come in different sizes and types. Starting a sewing project with fresh sewing machine needles is recommended by most sewing experts. It’s common for us to blame broken threads on tension or other machine issues when it’s actually the needle that’s causing the problem.
A needle’s size tends to increase with fabric weight, as a general rule.
Sewing Needle Types
A machine needle can initially seem a bit confusing due to the variety of sizes and types available. There isn’t much difficulty in understanding the different types. Our list includes the most popular needles and the techniques and fabrics they can use.
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 are recommended for sewing knits such as jerseys to prevent snags in your fabric. By slipping the needle between the fibers (instead of piercing), there will be no damage to the fibers.
Sewing elastic knits such as swimsuit fabrics, spandex, and synthetic suede is possible with the stretch needle.
You can sew denim and heavy woven fabrics with needles marked as jeans and denim. They are medium ballpoints with reinforced blades. A thicker layer of fabric can be penetrated by them.
You may break your needle if you use the wrong needle with heavy fabric.
Ensure that you are using leather needles. These knives’ point is chiseled so they can cut through leather. Imitation leather can also be made with them. After you finish your project, you should switch needles. Knits and woven fabrics can be damaged by the cutting point of the leather needle.
Marking Tools for Sewing
Are you looking for a way to mark your fabric without damaging it? All types of sewing projects can benefit from this set of sewing tools!
Your pattern can be transferred to fabric using chalk to draw stitch lines, darts, and other markings. In addition to being available in various colors, tailor’s chalk also comes in pencils and chips with tapered edges. Before marking your pieces, test them on your fabric. Rub your finger over it, and it should disappear. In the event that the mark remains, use tailor’s tacks or mark only the wrong side of the fabric.
There are disappearing ink pens available at craft stores. After a certain period of time, the ink will evaporate, or you can wipe it off with a damp cloth. It is especially important to test the ink on silk before you use it.
Darts are easily marked, and other information is transferred from your pattern to your fabric using this old technique. A loose loop of thread can be hand-stitched to mark a spot (use a color that contrasts with the fabric). Just pull out the loose thread after the dart has been sewn in.
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.
A clear ruler can be extremely helpful when adding seam allowances to a pattern and drafting a pattern.
The lines must be blended in when lengthening or shortening a pattern. You can draw perfectly smooth curves by using a French curve.
This tool is useful for determining a button’s size. Investing in a button guide isn’t absolutely necessary, but if you make a lot of items with buttons, it may be helpful.
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, with the help of SewingWithEase, you now have a better understanding of how sewing tools work. Don’t forget that less is more in the beginning. You will need the essential sewing tools to get started, and you will be able to add to them as you progress and learn more.
As a beginner in the world of sewing, choosing the right tools can be overwhelming. However, with the tips outlined in this article, you can confidently select the tools you need to get started on your sewing journey. Remember to prioritize quality over quantity, invest in essential tools, and take your time in selecting the right ones for your needs. With the right tools in hand, you’ll be able to create beautiful and functional pieces that you can be proud of.
You may be interested in our Beginner’s Guide to Embroidery Machines, too, so don’t miss it and happy sewing!