This chapter contains descriptions of most sewing equipment. It is not all inclusive, there are lots and lots of 'toys' out there for people who sew.

If you are just getting started, I recommend the following equipment.


Steam Iron – Any iron will do, but it is necessary. Steam can be handy.

Ironing Board – A standard folding or tabletop ironing board will work. The board will usually come with a cover. Use caution with coated covers, teflon or aluminum. They can cause greater heat build up on the fabric and scorch easier.


One or more of the following items for making marks on your fabric:

Chalk for Marking – This comes in various forms. Nice method to avoid fabric staining.

Marking Pencil – Marks brush or wash out.

Water Soluble Pens – Marks come out when item is washed.


Sewing Gauge - Measure hem depth and seam width.

Ruler 12” / 30cm- Draw lines and measure.

Short Ruler 6” / 15cm - Draw lines and measure.

Sewing Tape Measure – Measure body and objects.


Either a sharp or between needle is recommended.

Sharps – General hand sewing, medium length, sharp point.

Betweens / Quilting - Shorter than sharps with small round eye for fine sewing.


Straight Pins - Sharps – Sewing pins with a straight body that is slightly flexible. There are many different types of heads: Glass head, plastic ball, flat in shapes, etc.

Safety Pins – Standard safety pins for turning items and threading tubes.


Craft / Office Scissors – Cheap scissors (8-9” / 20cm) to use when cutting paper and other things besides fabric.

Fabric Shears – Good quality, sharp scissors (8-9”) to use when cutting fabric.

Small Scissors – Use for snipping threads and precise cutting in tight areas.

Seam Ripper

Seam Ripper – A tool used to cut the threads in a sewn seam and remove stitching. Although there are several types, it typically has a blunt tip with a sharpened curve for cutting.


Standard Sewing Thread

Recommended colors: White, Black, Grey, Beige

Money Saving Tips

Get your 8-9” / 20cm non-fabric scissors at a variety or office supply store.

Water soluble markers can be purchased from art supply stores.