What Every Sewing Kit Must Have

Today I thought I’d go through exactly what you need for a basic sewing kit (the essentials), as well as for a more advanced kit.

The basic kit is ideal to take on holiday or for any small repair job, or sewing emergency. I’m thinking weddings! How many times has something gone wrong with a bridesmaids dress or even the bride’s? Never go to a wedding without one, just in case.

Having your own sewing kit to take along to your local sewing class can also mean you can crack on with your project without having to share or look for equipment. See the following list of must haves:

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The Basic Sewing Kit

This vintage tin makes an ideal storage box.

Another option could be a make up bag, as some are quite roomy.

You will Need:

A small pair of scissors

Stitch unpicker

Tape measure

Spare buttons (optional)

Thread (one light and one dark)

Needle book (with pins and needles)

Safety pins

For a Child’s Sewing Kit:

As above, but the scissors need to have rounded ends and they may need children’s plastic needles at first.

I would omit the stitch unpicker until the child is found to be competent and responsible enough to use one.

Taking Your Sewing up a Notch?

You can enjoy adding to your basic kit slowly over time.

First of all you need somewhere safe and pretty to store everything, so invest in a good sewing box large enough to keep all of your supplies in and if looked after it should last you for years.

A good sewing box will hold everything

A good sewing box will hold everything

A handmade pin cushion is one of the simplest projects you can make, to add to your basic kit. You may like to make a large cushion to hold the extra pins you will need, as you really can’t have enough. Ideally I like to have lots of pins in a pin cushion, the slimmer the pin the better as the thicker pins can leave large holes in your work and are harder to push into the fabric.

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Coloured pin heads are cute.

For each new project you attempt, buy a complimentary coloured thread and start building a stash of colours. But, speaking of stashes, have you heard the saying?, ‘The one who dies with the most fabric wins’. That’s a very popular motto. Whenever I buy fabric I always buy a little more than I need, this is handy in case a mistake is made, but then you have left over fabric for making smaller projects or even a ‘scrappy quilt’, which is just as it sounds a quilt made up of scraps.

Don’t forget to collect trims, ribbons and buttons wherever you go be on the look out. Never throw an old item of clothing away without removing the zips or buttons. Just bung them in a ‘button jar’. And why not cut off those annoying loops of ribbon that they add to jumpers and tops that always manage to slip out on show. Keep these for hanging Christmas decorations, or just to tie round a little gift?

Other Items to Add to Your List

A good pair of dressmaking scissors, for cutting fabric. (Never use these to cut paper as it will blunt them). Therefore you also need a pair of everyday scissors for cutting paper and templates.

Pinking shears are scissors that have a serrated edge which are great for giving a decorative ‘zig zag’ finish. They are also practical as they help to prevent the edges of your fabric from fraying. Good for finishing the flags on buntings.

Marking tools, including tailor’s chalk or pencils and non-permanent pens. A non-permanent pen can be ‘air-dry’, but there are also ‘iron-off’ pens that disappear when heat is applied.

A thimble should fit snug on your finger.

A good selection of sewing books to guide and inspire you, from instruction manuals to pretty projects. You really can’t have too many. But if you do have other books that you are finished with and would like to turn them into sewing books, I’ve got an idea here for you in my earlier post.

Too Many Craft Books?

Too Many Craft Books? See my earlier post.

For Patchwork and Quilting

You will ideally need a rotary cutter, 24 inch ruler and self-healing mat for accurate cutting, which simplifies your work enabling beautiful results.

A ‘retractable’ rotary cutter is a safer piece of equipment if you have children roaming around that may pick things up, as the sharp edge of the cutter retracts back into place once you let go of the handle.

A Retractable Rotary Cutter

A Retractable Rotary Cutter

For Embroidery and other Hand Stitching

All you really need is an embroidery hoop and threads, as well as embroidery needles that have  a larger eye.

Then it’s a sewing machine and that’s another post for another day. I hope you have found this helpful?

A Good Place to Start

This little sewing kit is a good place to start if you don’t have any equipment at all, or maybe to give as a presy for a wood be sewer. The only thing missing is the stitch unpicker, but it does include a thimble instead.

Happy sewing.


(Raggy Robin is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk)


  1. Margaret twistsays: Reply

    Really interesting where are you in gilesgate?.

    • Hi Margaret

      You can find the Sewing Room in Vane Tempest Hall. It’s in the centre of Gilesgate, (where the main junction is). The Queen’s Head pub sits at the junction and the hall is right behind it.


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