Five Basic Sewing Tools You Need

Apart from a good sewing machine and spools, there are various other essential sewing tools that you’ll need to keep handy as you’ll be reaching out for them from time to time. It’s best to make a note of these essentials and always keep them at hand for sewing ‘emergencies’!

We’ve made the task easier by listing out a few essential tools that you should definitely have in your sewing kit.

1. Fabric Shears

Golden Fabric Shears cutting dark fabric

Yes, fabric shears are one of the most important items that you’ll need to stock in your sewing kit. It’s important to keep them separate and not use them for any other projects apart from sewing as their blades can dull out and end up damaging the fabric. It is also important to invest wisely in them instead of opting for the cheapest ones as good ones can last you for a long time.

2. A Rotary Cutter And A Clear Plastic Ruler

Rotary cutters can be useful in cutting out patterned fabrics and are much easier to use than fabric scissors. Their blades need to be kept sharp for the best results. They can also be easily replaced from time to time.
The rotary cutter should always be rolled away from the body. It’s advisable to never cut in a ‘backward’ direction i.e towards yourself as this can be very dangerous. It’s also crucial to keep your fingers away from the cutter. If you are a righty, hold the ruler with your left hand while cutting down the right side of the ruler. Lefties can do the opposite.

A clear plastic ruler can help in straightening your fabric’s edges and also helps in measuring out and cutting out fabric with precision.

3. Seam Ripper

A small seam ripper unpicking stitches

Mistakes do happen to the best of us – and this little tool can be of big help during those tough times. This tiny seam-ripping tool can help you cut and remove unwanted stitches. If you have a hard time seeing the stitches clearly, you can also use a lighted seam ripper.

Apart from its obvious use, it can also be used to cut open buttonholes as well as to turn out tiny corners! It can also come in handy when you need to open a slit into an applique fabric (not in the main fabric underneath). Now that’s value for money!

Make sure that you invest in one that comes with a sturdy and comfortable handle.

Join our Sewing Club!

Save 10% on your first order

Be the first to know about our tutorials, weekly deals and so much more!

Value is required
Thank you!

4. Sewing Clips

Colorful Sewing Clips on a white background

Yes, we know what all the pin-lovers are thinking! But these little sewing clips are much easier and safer to handle! They are extremely useful to hold layered sections without distortion. As they come with flat backs and flat sides – they can be used to hold fabric at a flat angle so that the hem or edge doesn't pucker or wrinkle up. The major advantage of investing in these is that you can even use them for fabrics such as laminate, leather, vinyl, silk, and satin wherein using pins is not suitable. Now that’s a win-win situation!

5. Fabric Markers

Fabric Markers that can be erased with a hot iron

Every sewing tool kit should have fabric markers to mark notches and lines on fabric. Yes, you can use traditional products such as tailor chalk, tracing carbon paper, and tracing wheel or ceramic lead pens. But aren’t we all a little tired of them breaking, being less visible, or fading away too soon? This is where these smart heat-erasable marker gel pens can act as a lifesaver! The unique gel ink of these pens makes clear marks on fabrics and disappears after ironing. Their sharp and accurate writing point leaves a thin yet clear line on every kind of fabric (yay!) Now you wouldn’t have to worry about your lines fading away when you don’t want them to or smudging/spoiling the rest of your fabric! How amazing is that?

Looking for a complete guide to start sewing and more background information and useful insights? Check out our Beginner Series for Sewing on the Madam Sew Sewing Blog and learn to sew at your own pace.

Or maybe you are looking for more advanced tools, now that your sewing essentials are in place? Then it’s time to check out the products on that can help you become a master sewer. Go to this blog with more nifty tools that you might not know yet, or this video about the sewing tools you didn't know you needed, or find more sewing tools here!

Do let us know if you think any other essentials should be added to this list! 😊