This is a collection of some of the top must-have sewing items that I use on a regular basis. Some are things you would think of to use and some are tricks I have found to use that help.
1. Hump jumper
Okay, I am sure you are thinking what on earth is a hump jumper, well let me explain. It is a small piece of plastic that allows you to go over thicker pieces of fabric on the sewing machine. It lifts up the presser foot so the sewing machine doesn’t have to work as hard to go over it. AKA Jean-A-Ma-Gig. It also doubles as a shank extension for when you are sewing on buttons with the sewing machine or even by hand.
2. Cutting table
Another one of my must-have sewing items is a cutting table. Check out my article where I review the best cutting table I have found for the price. This cutting table is a great addition to your sewing room or even a craft room for that matter. It has multiple uses, is adjustable in height and great for being able to cut out fabrics to laying out large patterns. Even basting a quilt top.
I have a lot to say about scissors. Just like someone who uses tools and owns a toolbox, they know you can never have too many screwdrivers. This is the same type of thing. There is never too many pairs of scissors. This is because there are so many different types of scissors for different applications. You need dressmaking scissors, which are a heavier pair of scissors. Then there is the thread snip type of scissors and I would also get a small pair of basic cutting scissors as well as a pair to devote to only cutting paper with. Like I said the list of scissors I can recommend goes on and on.
These pins are definitely on my must-have sewing items list. They aren’t just any regular cheap ol’ sewing pins. You want good, sharp sewing pins. These pins cost more but they are well worth the money. They make all the difference in the world when you are pinning fabrics. The sharp pins go right through the fabric like it was butter. Where the cheap pins will snag the fabric and sometimes even pick the fibers leaving a permeant mark on the fabric. My favorite is actually fine quilting pins. They are nice and long and very skinny with glass heads. Having glass heads means you can iron over the top of them and not worry about melting the heads.
5. Scrap fabric
These must-have sewing items are some cheap fabric is a great thing to have on hand. You can make slopers, fabric patterns and test stitches on this scrap fabric. I usually have at least a bolt of muslin fabric to use on hand. Sometimes I go for the unbleached off-white and other times I buy the bleached all white color.
6. Sewing machines
I actually own multiple sewing machines. From the basic starting sewing machine up to the expensive top of the line sewing machine. I really like Brother’s starter sewing machines for the money. They are built well and sew really well. All of my top of the line sewing machines are Husqvarna Viking brand.
7. Dress form
If you are going to be sewing clothing you will definitely need a dress form. There are different sizes of these forms. Be sure to get the one that is closest to your body measurements or close to those measurements. The one I use is a Dritz brand. I have in the past used a singer branded dress form. They are all good in my opinion. Just make sure to follow the instructions on how to extend the form. If you extend it wrong it will strip the screw threads and it’s won’t stay where you set it.
8. Ruler, cutter, and mat
For any type of straight line cutting, I always use my Fiskars cutting mat, acrylic ruler, and rotary cutter. Once you get the hang of using these tools it makes cutting so easy. I even will cut out circles and curves as long as it’s with my smallest rotary cutter. Check out my review of this set in a previous post.
9. Book – More Fabric Savvy
I consider this book to be the fabric bible of sewing. It is my go-to book for any type of sewing fabric I can think of. I have great info on the type of thread you should use on the fabric, the needle size, and stitch length. As well as, the type of hem you will use for this type of fabric. It is an older book with the publication year of 2004. Even so, it is the best book I have come across for helping me with different fabrics.
10. Accessory feet
I love different accessory feet for the sewing machine. It makes doing specialty sewing with different items so much easier. Some accessory feet take time to figure out how the foot sews but past that, hands down well worth the money to invest in these for your sewing machine. Be sure you take note on the type of sewing machine you have and you purchase a set that actually fits your sewing machine.
11. Fast tube turn set
This set of tubes is perfect for bias tape, spaghetti straps, frogs, and Chinese knot buttons. The larger tubes are great for upholstery piping, fabric belts, to large size fabric coil baskets, and fabric coil rugs. This fast tube turn set will save you so much time and effort in turning the fabric and inserting cording into tubes after they have been sewn.
12. Good iron
It is essential to have a good iron no matter what type of sewing you are doing. Rather it is garment sewing, home decoration, or even just machine embroidery. The iron is a tool you will use over and over on each and every project you work on. That is why I say it is a must to have a good iron. My preference is the Rowenta brand irons.
Another good tool that I use often is a streamer. It for sure isn’t a necessity when you are sewing but it sure does help to make things look more professional. If you don’t want to buy a steamer then I would recommend you to take your finished garment to the dry cleaners and have them professionally press it. You will not believe the difference that will make in your garment. Rather you take it to the dry cleaners or steam press it yourself, this will boost your sewing skills greatly.
14. Painters tape
Another one of my must-have sewing items is painters tape. This one is an odd one you might think at first. Painters tape is a great thing to use to mark off seam allowances on your sewing machine or even cutting mat. I also will use it on my acrylic ruler for a cutting line. This allows me to quickly know where to cut when measuring, especially if the measurement is an odd one. You can also use it to mark hemlines, seam points, and many other things. The nice thing about painters tape is it isn’t permanent and usually doesn’t leave a mark on what you remove it from.
15. Craft or tackle box
I am a sucker for any type of storing box to keep accessories or any odds and ends in. I use both craft boxes and tackle boxes. Sometimes I like tackle boxes better because they have more compartments and sometimes are cheaper than a craft box. Keeping things in an organized fashion will help you sew easier and save you time.