FREE Sewing for Beginners Guide

Sewing for beginners you essential tools and supplies list to get you started

Sewing for Beginners

Sewing for Beginners is a comprehensive list of tools and supplies to get you started. Even seasoned sewers can make use of my recommendations and pattern directory at the bottom of this post.

This post contains various affiliate links, some taking you directly to Amazon, because I love buying from Amazon! It is so easy to find everything you need in one place, delivered without quibbles, straight to your door.

1. Sewing Machine: This will be your biggest purchase so choose wisely.

Sewing Machines can be used to mend or create. You’ll find they have many helpful features for both everyday needs and large projects.

For example, an automatic needle threader ends the squinting and gets you sewing faster. I have a machine that has an automatic needle threader and it’s a God-send.

Some machines have a large colorful view screen that makes setup easy. You can even find machines with a port to connect to a laptop computer to increase your design capabilities, like my Brother embroidery machine.

Types of machines

There are many types of sewing machines for sale, so it helps to know what you can do with one!

EMBROIDERY: Sews designs and text onto fabric.
QUILTING: Sews many layers of fabric into a padded material.
SERGING: Wraps thread around the fabric edge and trims excess seam.
COVER STITCHING: Wraps thread around the edge without trimming.
FELTING: Sews fabrics without thread.
BLIND HEMMING: Makes stitches that are not seen.
SEWING: Of course!

Choosing a sewing machine can seem complicated because there is a lot to consider, such as cost, stitching functions, size, and more. Sewing power and speed are also concerns. If you travel or carry it to a class, it must be easy to carry. With many sewing machine brands on the market, there is one with the right features for you.

Budget-friendly sewing machines

Below is a list of some of the most popular budget-friendly sewing machine choices out there. The ones I have showcased are, in my opinion, the best basic starter machine for any beginner sewer.

However, if you would prefer something different or more advanced, click on the brand of machine that you like (for example: Brother Sewing Machines), and you will be directed to the Sewing Machines Plus website, where you can view many, many others in their range.

Singer Sewing Machines

Singer Confidence Sewing Machine

Brother Sewing Machines

Brother SM1738 17 Stitch Disney Sewing Machine

Janome Sewing Machines

Janome HD1000 mechanical sewing machine

Juki Sewing Machines

Juki HZL 80HP Computerized Sewing Machine

Bernina Sewing Machines

Bernette B37 Sewing Machine


Pfaff Sewing Machines

Pfaff Smarter 260C Sewing machine

Husqvarna Sewing Machines

Husqvarna Viking Jade 20 Sewing Machine

Child Sewing Machines

Janome HD 1000 Black Edition Sewing Machine with free bonus accessories

If you are still undecided, check out the best selling sewing machines for 2019 here available from Sewing Machines Plus.

2. Serger / Overlocker: This is an optional extra, but highly recommended.

Not familiar with sergers? View the understanding sergers guide here.

Brother 2340CV Chain and Cover Stitch Machine with 1, 2 or 3 thread stitching

Serger sewing machines cut and finish the raw edges of the material you are sewing. Unlike a straight stitch machine, sergers (also called overlock machines) use loopers to make the stitch and have a set of knives similar to a pair of scissors to cut the fabric.

This gives your garments a finished look in far less time than it would take with a regular sewing machine. Personally, I would definitely recommend buying a serger even if you are just a hobby sewer. It will finish all your projects neatly and professionally. Don’t let anyone convince you that using the zig zag stitch on your sewing machine will suffice to finish edges. No way!

Give your project that professional edge with one of the many sergers from Sewing Machines Plus today! They have a full line of serger machines for any budget or ability.

Can’t decide? Check out their Best Selling Sergers & Overlocks for 2019 here.

3. Cutting Table:

You may not need a cutting table as you might sew on your dining or kitchen table! But if you are anything like me, you will want your own designated sewing area. Cutting table included!

Sewing Machines Plus have a lovely range of sewing cabinets and cutting tables at very reasonable prices, so check them out here.

Arrow 98500 Sewnatra compact sewing cabinet oak finish


4. Iron: If don’t already have an iron, then now is the time to get one. You cannot sew without using one. “iron as you sew…”

Russell-hobbs-powersteam-ultra-3100w vertical steam iron 20630 black and grey
Steam Iron


5. Sewing Scissors: shears are probably most important purchase next to your sewing machine!

Buying a good pair of scissors will make cutting fabrics a breeze! I have included cutters here too. Personally I use scissors, but I know a lot of seamstresses who prefer cutters for smaller projects. If you prefer the cutters, then you will need a cutting mat to protect your work surface.

Fiskars classic dressmaking scissors
Dressmaking shears
Fiskars rotary cutter
Rotary cutter and cutting mat

Ansio A2 foldable self healing cutting mat

6. Threads:

Buying good thread is very important. Cheap and cheerful threads can break or knot inside your machine and after sewing for over 30 years, I can promise you, buying a good brand and paying a little more for quality thread really makes all the difference.

I recommend Gutermann threads, which you can easily buy from Amazon.

Gutermann thread basic colours all purpose sewing thread Gutermann creativ 10 reels of 100 cotton


7. Habedashery:

You will need a supply of various bits & bobs like dressmakers pins, seam ripper, tailors chalk, a measuring tapeerasable marker, hand sewing needles, thread snippers, extra bobbins and of course, fabrics of all textures and colours! Please take a look below at the list of goodies that I would buy for myself if I was starting out.

250 pieces glass head pins boxed for dressmaker
Dressmakers Pins


Prymlove small ergonomic design stitch seam ripper quick unpick
Seam ripper, also known as a Quick-unpick


Butterfly dressmakers tailors chalk
Tailors chalk
Prym 254cm 100inch tape measure profi fibreglass yellow
Measuring tape with cm and inches on either side


Threader erasable fabric sewing marker pens multi pack of 3
Erasable marker pens


Prym hand sewing needles sharps 5-9 assorted
Hand sewing needles
Fons and Porter 7829 Thread Snippers
Thread Snippers
Sewing Machine Bobbins
Extra sewing machine bobbins – ensure they are compatible with your sewing machine

8. Fabrics:


Molly blue poly cotton fabric with delicate pink flowers vintage floral per meter
Fabric sold by the meter
5pcs cotton fabric for sewing fat quarter
Fabric bundle sold as “fat quarters” for smaller projects


For lots and lots more fabrics go to Amazon here!

Other fabric suppliers: I’m sure you know some good local fabric stores in your area where you can browse to your heart’s content, but if you prefer buying online, then here are a few more choices for you:

Sewing Machines Plus

Loralie Designs Fabric

Adorn It Fabrics

9. Patterns:

Now. There are hundreds of thousands of sewing patterns available around the globe. You can find dress patterns, kids patterns, toy patterns, doll clothes patterns, easy patterns, advanced patterns, printable patterns, downloadable patterns, make-it-yourself patterns!

For a list of the big pattern suppliers please see below, or you can link to some of my previous posts for freebie patterns:

Hundreds of free dress patterns, templates & tutorials

Free ladies tops patterns to download

Bag patterns

Other pattern suppliers:

Bluprint has everything online, from paid for and free patterns to classes and projects for all types of sewing & crafts. It’s worth checking them out! They support independent designers and pattern-makers so it’s nice to buy from the small guys as well as the big pattern companies.

Butterick Sewing Patterns

McCall’s Sewing Patterns

Vogue Sewing Patterns

Simplicity Sewing Patterns

New Look Sewing Patterns

Kwik Sew Patterns

Indygo Junction Sewing Patterns

Jalie Sewing Patterns

LJ Designs Sewing Patterns

Great Copy Sewing Patterns

Style Arc Sewing Patterns

Sewaholic Sewing Patterns

Grainline Studios

Collette Sewing Patterns

Islander Sewing Systems 

Wildly Wonderful Wearables

Petite Plus Patterns

Saf T Pockets Patterns

Sew Essential Sewing Patterns 

The Foldline – Indie Sewing Patterns

Dragonfly Fabrics

The Drapers Daughter

10. Guides & Books

First Time Sewing: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide

First time sewing an absolute beginners guide
Learning to sew has never been simpler with this book by your side! Available from Amazon

Readers Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing: Step by step techniques for making clothes and home accessories

Readers digest new guide to sewing - step by step techniques for making clothes and home accessories
I personally use this guide book and highly recommend it! Available from Amazon

Crafty little things to sew

Crafty little things to sew - 20 Clever sewing projects using scraps and fat quarters
20 Clever sewing projects using scraps and fat quarters

How to design your own dress patterns

How to design your own dress patterns - a primer in pattern making for women who like to sew
A primer in pattern making for women who like to sew! Available from Amazon

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