I confess, I have spent too much money over the years trying out different sewing gadgets, supplies, and equipment. I am always looking for the best sewing tools, and even when I think I found them, I am always will to try something new! I have put together a list of all my favorite sewing supplies, and I am hoping my list will introduce you to some of your new favorites. At least 75% of my sewing supplies are from Amazon.com. I'm an Amazon Prime member, so shipping is fast and free -- it's just too easy! However, when investing money in a sewing machine and machine accessories, I highly recommend purchasing from your local dealer, if possible.
My sewing supply list was last updated on 24-Apr-2020.
SEWING MACHINES & ACCESSORIES
SEWING MACHINES & ACCESSORIES
My main sewing machine is a Bernina 770QE and my serger is a Babylock Imagine. As a more affordable sewing machine option, I highly recommend the Brother CS6000i. My cousin owns this model and I think it is a fantastic machine for a great price. Prior to upgrading my serger, I used the Brother 1034D and think it's a wonderful serger. In fact, I still use it alongside my Babylock.
My favorite needles for my machines are made by Schmetz. I have linked the assorted universal needle pack, but be sure you have the right needle type/size for your projects. Refer to this handy Schmetz needle guide if you need help.
In case you are wondering what the Lien Super Sticky Gripping Pads are for, they work great to adhere your foot pedal to your floor. I have hardwood floors, and these silicone pads really hold my pedals in place without ruining the floors. The pads come in a pack of 10, perfect if you have multiple machines!
FABRIC PREWASH & PRESSING TOOLS
"The importance of good pressing cannot be overemphasized." - Merchant & Mills
My Rowenta started leaking water, so I changed to a gravity-feed iron, the Silver Star ES-90 I purchased from Wawak. If you are looking for a regular iron, my friend has the CHI and it's a pretty good iron. For more information about my gravity-feed iron, please see my blog post. You can purchase the Silver-Star ES-90 from Amazon (link below), but I prefer Wawak for this type of item -- and it's $20 cheaper at Wawak!
I prewash all of my fabric before I sew it. The Shout Color Catcher sheets are great for helping to prevent dyes running onto other fabrics (I got this idea from Sly Fox Fabrics). I love adding Downy scent booster beads because, well, who doesn't love fabulous smelling fabric/clothes? The wool balls (which I call "Woobies") really help accelerate drying time and decrease wrinkles.
SCISSORS & CUTTING TOOLS
A good pair of sewing scissors/shears is definitely something you should invest in. My favorite scissors and rotary cutters are made by Kai. Gingher scissors are great, too, especially the micro-serrated scissors for cutting fine or slippery fabrics. As a reminder (as if you need one), don't cut your patterns/paper with your fabric shears! I love the titanium office scissors from Scotch for cutting out my patterns and paper. I use the hot knife for cutting metallic or lamé fabric because it "seals" the edges as it cuts (a tip I picked up from the great Kenneth D. King).
PINS, HAND NEEDLES, & CLIPS
My favorite pins are glass-head pins because I can press them with my hot iron and they won't melt. The blue-head, fine silk needles are wonderful for thin and delicate fabrics since they don't leave holes. If you need something easier to grip, the plastic flower-head pins are great, just be careful with your hot iron.
My most favorite hand sewing needles are ones I got at Liberty in London by Merchant & Mills. Amazon doesn't carry them, but you can find them here. I also use the needles linked below by John James, and they are very good as well. I prefer magnetic pin cushions because I use them to pick up pins quickly. Wonder Clips are a must, but I linked a cheaper version that works just as well (and I love all the different colors).
MEASURING/DRAFTING TOOLS & PAPER
Measuring is one of the most important steps in the sewing process to ensure a well-fitting garment. Below are my favorite rulers and drafting tools that help me alter my patterns. The flexible curve ruler is awesome for measuring curved areas liked armholes and necklines. I really like Swedish tracing paper because you can sew it up and test your pattern out before cutting into your fabric.
Transferring markings from your patterns to your fabric is a necessary step in order to ensure your projects are sewn correctly. However, there isn't just one marking tool/method that works for all fabrics. You could choose to sew tailors tacks for markings, but personally I am too lazy! That said, having several different marking tools is essential. Below are some of my favorite tools, including transfer paper, heat erase pens, chalk, washable makers, and an amazing white pencil.
These are tools I use on a regular basis and are a staple in my my sewing room. My basting glue stick and double-sided Wonder tape help me with the zipper insertion process, among other tasks. The turn-it-all kits has been a lifesaver for turning out tubes. The clear elastic is making an appearance because it's my favorite way to stabilize the shoulder seams in knit garments. The forceps (hemostat) are used for zipper insertion (check out this video insertion method using a hemostat).
OTHER GOOD STUFF
These are nice to have items. Actually, my cutting table is a MUST! My dress form is from PGM. Just be sure to get your size if you buy one (mine is a size 6). The Fabulous Fit kit is a good way to pad out your dress form so it mimics your body shape. However, you could do this with batting as well. Ott lights are fabulous, I have about 4. When it comes to organizing supplies, my label maker is key.