If you're new to the world of sewing but raring to get started, you'll first need to kit yourself out with some essential sewing supplies. You can begin with the bare essentials and then of course add to your tools as you go along. There's so much out there that you might wonder what counts as an essential starter item, and what can be added on later. Here's what we recommend to get you started.

Starter Sewing Kit

You'll need something to keep it all in unless you're very lucky and already have a sewing space kitted out with shelves and drawers, that is! Unsurprisingly, there are lots of options. Sewing stools, sewing boxes, traditional wooden storage, as well as moden print fabric storage. There's clear plastic boxes, craft bags, tin and box sets and probably more. The choice is yours - click here to take a look at our selection.

double sided sewing basket

Fabric Scissors
We suggest you invest in some high quality fabric scissors.  It's probably not a good idea to buy a cheap pair - you want strength, durability, good steel blades and our recommendation would be to look to recognised brands to ensure peace of mind. Fiaskars and Prym are both top quality brands and you can learn more about them here. There are fabric scissors available for right or left handed people, and these scissors are able to handle cottons, jersey, demin, embroidery and more. You might also want to invest in some thread snippers, which are easier to handle at the sewing machine than your larger fabric shears. 


Cutting Mat
This is definitely an essential if you want to avoid scratched, marked work surfaces.  Use your cutting mat with your rotary cutter, tracing wheel, scissors and more - and your tables and worktop will escape unscathed! Cutting mats are also a good, flat surface for laying your out fabric on. Choose from a selection of sizes here.

Cutting Mat

Fabric Markers
Marking up your fabric ready for cutting is an important part of the process and multiple options are available. From slabs of tailor's chalk to chalk pencils, from water erasable markers to tracing wheels - we have got a great selection and once again, the choice is yours. Some of the markers we have available are clever, award winning innovations but if you want to keep it simple (and cost effective), opt for a slab of chalk in a holder, just £3.00 to get you started. Refills £2.10. Click here to browse all available products.

Tailors chalk

Tape Measure
You'll need to invest in a flexible style because you'll be measuring more than just fabric. All of our tape measures fit the bill - it's just a case of choosing imperial or metric, and deciding if you want a retractable measure or regular. Basic tape measures start from just £3.12 each, and retractable tape measures start from £3.54. Don't opt for a cheap 99p one from eBay - you will use this particlar tool so much, and you need good, long lasting quality. Take a look at our affordable but durable tape measures here.

Tape measure

Pins & Holder
You can pick up a pack of basic pins cheaply pretty much anywhere. However, pinning your pattern to your fabric is another part of dressmaking that must be done just right. It's better to make things easy on yourself by using pins that will hold your fabric securely, are easily visible and have coloured glass or plastic heads so they are easy to grab, handle, insert and remove. These pins will be used again and again so represent good value for money. Our glass head pins start at just £2.64 a pack. Take a look at what we have on offer here. On this page you will also find pin cushions, wrist pinny's and magnetic dishes - all for holding your pins so they are easy to locate.

Seam Ripper
Once you've laid out your fabric, pinned your pattern and done your cutting you will move on to sewing your garment. Realised you've sewn something the wrong way? Or inside out? The seam ripper easily and efficiently unpicks your stitches so you can make the necessary alterations. These are such popular and indespensible items that sewers often own more than one!  You'll find a choice of seam rippers here, starting at just £2.16. As you can see, they're such necessary items that they are often included as an extra with sets of sewing threads.

Whether you're hand sewing, or using a sewing machine, needles are one of the most important items you will use. To start out with, you might be better getting an assorted pack of general all rounders. You can add to your collection as you go along (i.e. using special needles for denim, for stretch fabrics, etc). We have a good selection here, from just £1.38 per pack. To make your sewing an easier experience, we would once again advise buying good quality needles. They aren't expensive as a rule generally, but don't think you have a bargain if you get some 99p needles - you might find yourself fighting with fabric as these cheap needles struggle to cope.

Pressing your garment is the final, most important step. This is when you should press your seams to lay flat, and establish the shape you want your garment to take. Plus, you want your make to look neat and perfectly finished! Take a look here, as we have the perfect mini iron that won't take up too much room in your sewing space. Plus, this iron will be your dedicated dressmaking iron and you won't be tempted to use it for the weekly laundry!

This handy kit contains 3 of your essential items along with a bonus product to store your needles. The kit comprises: stitch ripper, tracing wheel, chalk wheel and the needle twister. This is a great way to get your sewing kit started. 

Of course, you are going to need other supplies for your project. Assuming you have a lovely new sewing machine and once you have your kit together, you then have to choose your sewing pattern, fabric, thread, zipper, buttons.....simply look at the menu to navigate and you will find all of these items and much more in our online store.

If you want to take the guess work out of putting your kit together, we've actually done the hard work for you with our complete Starter kit. For just £114, you will receive: 

1 x Pattern Master
1 x Pattern Notcher
1 x 26cm Tailor/fabric shears
1 x Quick stitch unpick/snips
1 x cms/inches tape measure
1 x Bobbins & bobbin case
1 x 250g tub of quality dressmaking pins
1 x Ergonomic Awl
1 x Ergonomic Tracing Wheel
1 x Ergonomic stitch ripper
1 x Ergonomic chalk wheel/stick
1 x Pair small general use scissors
1 x 100m white thread
1 x 100m Black thread

We'll also discount the 2 tier plastic storage container for you! This kit contains lots of Prym branded tools, so you can expect top quality supplies at discounted prices.

Whenever you're ready to begin your journey, take a look at out blog. You will find hundreds of inspirational projects and makes that can help you decide what to sew and what fabric to use.

Happy Sewing!