Sewing Kit Eseentials for Beginners

Primitive Quilts & Projects Magazine inspired me this morning with a call for Building the Perfect Beginner-Level Sewing Kit. It started me reminiscing on how I learned to sew. 
I realized that several of my beginner tools are ones that I still rely on today. But some are unconventional discoveries from the hardware store. Here is my list for the essential things that I can't live without in my sewing box:
  • Invest in an ergonomic seam ripper! If you have ever stabbed yourself with one of those tiny new sewing kit seam rippers and bled all over your sewing, or worse - went for stitches - then you know a beginner especially needs to practice safe sewing.
  • Seam Gauge:  I laugh to think how many times did I checked my seam gauge when I was learning to sew. You too? It is essential for learning to see in sewing sizes like the magical difference between 1/4" and 5/8."
  • Jelly Thimble:  Didn't have one of these when I was a beginner. Totally new sewing tech! Much easier to get used to than traditional thimbles.
  • Duct Tape: Yes, you heard me. There is duct tape I my sewing kit for cleaning up threads, and sometimes (I confess) substituting for pins. Haven't you used duct tape to stretch your quilt backing for basting?
  • Glue Stick:  The purple washable glue stick is archival safe for your project. Even if you -ahem- take a year or so to finish your project. Very handy for applique, felt, bulky seams, and my favorite; hexagons! [If you don't know what I mean, please see Very Easy English Paper Piecing RHQ Tutorial.]
  • Magnet:  Whether you have a fancy magnetic wand or just borrow the "save the world it's the only planet with chocolate" button from the fridge door, get a magnet in your sewing kit for finding lost pins and needles. Otherwise you'll have to ask your Honey to walk around barefoot to "find" your fave lost needle for you. No...don't do it.
  • Scissor Holsters:
    Everyone needs a home, and your scissors are no exception. Holsters make these favorite tools easy to find, and prevents them from poking holes in your project bag too.
  • Most importantly, be sure to pack your sense of adventure in your new beginner-level sewing kit. Learning to stitch will take you sew many places in the land of creativity. U go sew!
Lastly, I'd like to share my first sewing project with you because it is a good starting project for anyone building a new sewing kit. Here is the felt needle book I made when I was in 4th grade. I still use it almost every day!
  1. Shell shape, cut in three colors of felt.
  2. Whip stitch all 3 layers together at bottom edge.
  3. Yarn couched star on cover is purely decorative, but embellishing makes a beginner feel like a pro, so don't skip this skill building step.
Bonus Tip:  If you still have room in your new sewing kit, add your Tiara to signal Tiara Time: creativity in progress - do not disturb.


  1. Oh, I put my tiara in the kit first! With my princess coffee mug. It's so good to see your needle book, cute!

  2. Jelly thimble?
    Who knew?
    I'm a sometimes sewer. Yet, I have two machines and more thread than will fit in my sewing box. I used to quilt (LoVe hand-quilting!) and actually have a ALMOST finished full-sized beauty sitting patiently on a closet shelf. All it needs is binding and a little hand-stitching to finish. Maybe this winter! ::she says thinking, I said this last year … and the year before …::

    I'll be back for motivation!


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