White background, blue container with sewing pins, measuring tape, blue sewing scissors
DIY,  Handmade,  Homemaking

The 5 Best Tools You Need to Start Sewing

How to start sewing!

There are some great resources out there on how to sew basically anything you can think of. However, it can be super tricky to even start thinking about sewing when you don’t know where to start. So here are 5 best tools you need to start sewing anything!

I know for myself if I did not have my nannie or mom to have shown me how to sew I am not sure I would be confident in starting now.

My hope for this post is that you will feel more confident with sewing once you have read this through! I will be answering questions in the comments section later. So if you get to the end and realize you still have a few questions please leave them in the comments!

A bit of a disclaimer: I am no professional sewer here. I just enjoy it and think everyone should have the chance to learn!

Now this post is focused on the tools you will need to start sewing, but if you stick around I will also be sharing how to start using a sewing machine! So you can get started right away!

Once you learn how to sew what is one thing you are going to make? I would love to hear about it!

White background, blue container with sewing pins, measuring tape, blue sewing scissors, black metal measuring tape, thumb saver, tomato pin cushion

One thing I have learned over the years of sewing is that not everyone does it the same way and there is no exact method to sewing! Of course I am sure the professionals probably have other things to say about it! But in mu opinion most people just doe what works for them!

For me I don’t normally follow a pattern and instead just do my own thing! And I make a lot of people nervous with that method haha! But thats just how my brain works!

Without anymore babbling from me here are the 5 best tools you need to start sewing!

Sewing Machine

I am sure this is probably a given! But I think what is important here is what type of machine and where is the best place to buy one!

I am really sorry but the Walmart special isn’t going to cut it and in the long run cost you more money than it is worth! trust me I know!

I know no one wants to break the bank when looking for a machine so my best advice would be to buy used. This can be a bit tricky if you don’t know what to look for in a machine but it will save you a lot of money!

My best tips for buy a used machine are: ask why they are selling it- you don’t want a broken one. What brand is it? Research some good brands that are accessible where you live. Some great ones I know of are Singer and Brother! When I was looking I went to a local sewing shop and they shared some more information with me on what I should look for in a machine.

Make sure the machine is not the basic plastic model. If it breaks having it fixed will cost more then it is worth. Buy one that is a step up from the basic model, one where the parts inside are metal! Also you will want to ask how much the machine has been used. This will just tell you if a lot of hours have been put on the machine it might need repairs sooner than you would like.

When I was looking for a used machine I looked on Facebook market place and craigslist. These options allow you to connect with the seller so they can share more details about the machine!

sewing machine on with fabric under the foot

Seam Ripper

Alright, if you are super new to sewing this is definitely something you are going to need and probably something you have never hear of! But it is this magical tool that helps you rip out a seam you messed up on! Now you might thinking is it really necessary don’t some scissors and some good pinching skills so the same thing?

I am here to tell you No! You do indeed need a seam ripper!

It makes it so much easier and faster to fix your mistakes that are bound to happen cause they happen to us all!

Sewing Scissors

Sewing scissors are meant specifically to cut fabric! Some call them fabric scissors or cloth scissors. They all do the same thing…make cutting through fabric a whole lot easier and there is less chance you will destroy the fabric.


I am sure you probably new this? Well if you didn’t here you go! You need pins to hold the fabric in place when you go to sew, iron, measure or cut! They are a simple purchase and can be found at any local sewing store. My one tip with them though would be to ensure they have a little ball at the end. This makes them easier to manipulate within the fabric. It also makes them easier to see when you drop them, Bonus!

sewing machine in background, blue scissors, measuring tape and pins in blue container

Measuring Tape

This is a bit different tenth one you use to for building or measuring basically anything around your home. This is a soft almost leathery feel tape that has the measurements written on it. It is flexible and easy manipulated so that you can move it around when measuring. You are going to use this measuring tape for many things. Measuring the length and width of your fabric. To make sure what your sewing meets the measurements need. For example if you are making napkins you don’t want to make one napkin one size another a different size! You will also need the measuring tape when measuring someone if you are sewing some sort of clothing piece.

You can find measuring tapes at any local sewing shop! They sometimes come with case to store it in or on its own. This is a tool that you can buy cheaply as long as the measurements are correct on the tape!

Which of these 5 best tools you need to start sewing at first confused you? Are any of these something you new you were going to need to make sewing easier?

blue fabric scissors, metal measuring tape, white measuring tape, tomato pin cushion, pins in blue case

How to start sewing:

Before you get started you are going to want to find a sturdy and somewhat large place to put your sewing machine, oh that also has some good light so you can easily see!

Next you will want to make sure you know how to plug the machine in and how to turn it on!

Put the foot peddle down on the ground, near the foot you feel most comfortable controlling the machine with!

Next up you are going to thread the machine! Your instruction book should have the directions on how to do this!

Make sure the machine is on and it is now time to start sewing!

I suggest picking something simple to sew! Maybe a baby blanket? or a small pillow? Its better to start out small then it is to jump into something too big!

What are you hoping to sew first?

sewing machine in background, tomato pin cushion, blue fabric scissors, blue pin case, white measuring tape

Thank you so much for stopping by, it means so much to me! If you are looking for more sewing posts check out this one on hand sewing!


  • Suani

    Ooooh i love this! It’s like it was written for me!
    I’ve been wanting to start sewing but it feels so overwhelming. I didn’t know where to start. At least now I have a supply list to get me started.

  • Danielle

    These are great tips. And even as an experienced sewist, I use my seam ripper ALL the time. More than I’d like, lol.
    I bought my first Singer machine at Walmart for cheap, and it was mechanical. I used it a lot and even learned to quilt on it, working it fairly hard. The only reason I had to upgrade was I wore a groove in the metal from using the walking foot too much and couldn’t quilt with it anymore. But it was still fabulous for regular sewing and I gave it to a friend who wanted to learn to sew.
    Looking for an used machine is a good idea – but an inexpensive machine can work just fine too.

    • mikaela

      Oh that is so great to know! I had a terrible experience with my cheap Singer machine that I just assumed the Walmart base model is always terrible! haha I must have just gotten a lemon!

      • Danielle

        Oh, that’s too bad! Or maybe I just lucked out with mine. I do think it’s beneficial to get the best one you can afford. But when you’re just starting out and not doing anything complicated, or aren’t even sure if you’ll love sewing or how often you’ll sew, it’s fine to start with a basic machine. Then you can upgrade when you’re ready and know what special features you need and how you’re planning to use it.
        It would be frustrating as a new sewist to struggle with your machine though! I’m sorry you had a bad experience.

  • Allie

    This post is really informative. I love how detailed it is, and how the steps are broken down. I’ve never sewn anything and feel confident I can after reading your post.

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