My list of essential sewing tools (that you should have too!)

I have been sewing for a while now; and the more you sew, the better you get at it but also your sewing tools box get smarter (and fuller). When sewing you don’t want to waste your time (or even worse, your materials) so little by little you start getting the best sewing tools that help you through your sewing journey.

In my sewing classes I usually share every little sewing notion that I have and my students are astonished when using them. For them, and for you if you are reading this, I decided to write down my list of essential sewing tools.

Are you ready? Here we go with the list of top essential sewing notions.

  1. Graded Ruler.
  2. Like the one below (measurement is in inches)

  3. French ruler
  4. This set of French and Curved rulers is perfect!

    If you just want to start with one French ruler you can get this one here. It combines a French Curve, Hip Curve, Straight Ruler, Cut-Out Slots

  5. Rotary cutter.
  6. At the beginning I was reluctant to try rotary cutters but once I did, I couldn’t come back! have tried different ones and the brand I prefer so far is Clover. If you have to buy just one, I’d recommend buying a small sized one, since it is easier to cut round shapes and still cuts pretty nicely well straight lines.
    Here is the one I’d recommend.

    Here are the refill blades

    If you want to buy a bigger rotary cutter size, here is what I’d recommend

    And the refill blades for this size

  7. Cutting mat.
  8. If you go for the rotary cutters, I suggest getting a cutting mat to protect your table. Here is one that I suggest. The bigger the cutting mat, the better.

  9. Wonder clips.
  10. This is one of my favs. When you start sewing you may think that Wonder Clips are not for you, but believe me, my Wonder Clips have saved me so many frustrations and have helped me in most of my sewing projects, that I recommend them to anyone.
    I also recommend getting your Wonder clips from the Clover brand. They may cost you a little bit more than the no-brand ones, but they are super sturdy.
    Here is a 50 wonder clips set

    I also have the jumbo wonder clips because sometimes they are also super helpful!

  11. Thin pins.
  12. I like using thin pins so that they don’t spoil my fabrics. I also like leaving them while sewing, so a thin pin is better for that.

  13. Scissors.
  14. A pair of good (and I insist in the word good!) scissors is absolutely a must. I use Fiskars as they are reliable and sturdy.

  15. Thread nipper.
  16. I always have one thread nipper besides my sewing machine. Much easier to cut the thread with this sewing tool than with the scissors.
    This is a very cheap sewing tool that I use all the time.

  17. Needles.
  18. Having good needles is better for your machine (and for your personal safety!). I recommend two needle brands that work with most sewing machines. You will need different needle sizes that you will using depending on the thickness of the fabric you are sewing.
    The first sewing machine needles that I recommend is Schmetz. Here is a good kit with 3 different sizes

    And the second sewing machine needles that I recommend and also use is Organ. Here is also a good bundle with different needle sizes.

    If you are sewing knit or jersey fabrics you will need jersey or stretch needles like these ones

  19. Tailor’s chalk.
  20. I have used different pens and fabric markers, but I am back to the old and classic tailor’s chalk because it is good for tracing my seam lines and it washes off easily when you wash your fabric.

  21. Centimeter.
  22. It goes with no saying that a centimeter is needed when sewing 😉

  23. Tracing paper.
  24. You can also use baking paper if you run out of tracing paper 😉

  25. Carbon tracing paper.
  26. This coloured tracing paper is super useful to transfert your seam allowances, darts and any pattern details.

  27. A hot hemmer is also useful when you want to make even hems without taking too much time.
  28. The hot hemmer helps you to fold, measure and press hems. Heat resistant, press directly on the ruler.

  29. Sewing weights.
  30. Very useful for tracing patterns. You can make your own sewing weights by easily following this sewing tutorial here.

This list of sewing essential tools contains affiliated links.


  1. Gwen Stackler

    I didn’t know that there was such a thing as a hot hemmer! (Grammarly is telling me that isn’t a word, well neither is Grammarly!) I NEED that.

    One thing that I have grown to be unable to live without is my pinking shears. Between using prone-to-fray fabric and using patterns that have freakishly oversized (In my opinion) facings, they are life savers.

    • It is actually very useful!
      I bought my first pair of pinking shears last year, I am not used to use them all the time but I do agree they are a good tool!
      Thanks for stopping by Gwen!

  2. Great list! I’m always in search of good notions 🙂

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