Essential Tools for Your Sewing Basket

Essential Tools for Your Sewing Basket

Here is a list of essential sewing tools and equipment necessary to sew and a description of their uses and example photo.

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A Sewing Basket brings to mind an image of a fabric-covered or wicker box that belonged to your grandmother. It was filled with sharp and shiny things that she probably never let you touch. Everything looked so magical. Maybe, one time, she asked you to get her a needle or some thread from it and you took a glimpse into the magical world of fixing your ripped pants and replacing a lost button.

Here’s a breakdown list of the most essential tools you’ll need to get started sewing:

Sewing Basket Contents

There are just a few tools that you will need to get your sewing basket established. Wicker basket is optional.


A small slender metal tool with a sharp point on one end and a hole or “eye” on the other. A basic, starter sewing needle should be straight. I lay mine on the table and roll it a little to check that it’s not bent. A long needle is easier to manage when you’re first starting out.


A pair of scissors to cut thread and fabric. Sharp scissors will make life easier. A dedicated pair will make the world a better place.


There are two: Safety Pins and Straight pins. They are used to keep your fabric layers together, in place while you are sewing.Safety pins are looped and have a small housing for the sharp tip. These are great if you are working around kids or young pets. Safety pins are also ideal if you might need to store your uncompleted project before finishing.


Straight pins are a lot like sewing needles because they are straight and have one end that is sharp for going through fabric. The other end of the straight pin has a small block, like a tiny bulb or flat head, to keep the pin from going all the way though. This will help to keep your pin where you put it and help keep your fabric where you want it.

Seam Ripper

The last thing you want when you are sewing is to undo what you just did. But it’s okay, It happens all the time! Someone invented this great device to take out stitches faster than you can put them in. The seam ripper is a small handheld tool that has a metal “U” tip on the end of a handle. The little U-shaped end has a sharp tip for getting under thread and a blunt tip to keep fabric from catching on the other side. The base of the U-shape is a sharp blade to cut the thread.

You could use scissors to cut the stitches. But once you try a seam ripper, you’ll never go back. They make the painful act of undoing your work much easier and faster.

Marking Tool

If you want to mark where your stitches will go or make other placement marks, then you’ll want to use a marking tool. Any washable marker will do, but there are a lot of tools made just for this purpose. Special fabric marking pens, pencils and markers are made to disappear with water, air, or laundering. Tailor’s chalk brushes off, but makes a boarder mark. To make a fine line that is easy to see, use a fine-tipped fabric marker.

Measuring Tool

A ruler or tape measure could be helpful in marking a straight line, or establishing symmetry in your project. Clear rulers show the contents under the ruler. Fabric tape measures bend to easily measure a neck, waist, or anything not flat.

These are the most basic sewing tools listed above. Here’s a quick check list:

  1. sewing needle
  2. scissors
  3. pins
  4. marker
  5. measurer

Although you really only need a needle and scissors to begin right away, this list of sewing tools will make getting started easier and simpler.

Let me know if you have any questions. I’d love to help you!


Quick-Start Guide to Sewing by Hand

Quick-Start Guide to Sewing by Hand

Here is the simplest, quickest way to explain how to sew by hand:

  1. Thread your needle
  2. cut your thread
  3. ready your fabric or project
  4. insert the needle through all layers
  5. pull needle and thread through the fabric
  6. repeat steps 4 and 5 to the end
  7. knot your thread
  8. cut extra thread.

This is a simple running stitch.

Alright, there you go! You did it! If you got the thread in the fabric, Congratulations! You have sewn!!

If you didn’t, don’t be discouraged. A longer explanation of each step is available here, How to Sew by Hand.

Did you like the quick-start guide? Let me know, in the comments below




Thank you for stopping by this brand new website! Feel free to learn more about me on the About Rebecca page or read my Privacy Policy. So far, that is all I have to offer you here in my site.

Why am I doing this?

When I wanted to learn to sew, I was told to wait. Training was only available when I wasn’t ready to receive it. I tried when I was offered home economics in seventh grade. The bobbin and I could never make peace. My mom tried to teach me a couple times, but I flaked out. I’ll give the full story on another Truthful Thursday. It took about 10 years for me to finally take the bulls by the horn and teach myself. It was really the only way I was going to learn. A website like this would have been a great reference for me.

In that, and in my mind, I write this website to myself at age 11 and to my husband, who I taught to sew right after we started dating. So, I hope I come off sweet, understanding, and extremely helpful. I keep it simple for my ADHD 10 year old, who always has something else going on in her mind. I try to not over-explain the directions. Let me know if there is something I can make clearer for you.

I’m doing this because it would have helped me. Please let me know how I can help you!

Our Future

Soon, this will be the go-to resource for people who want to learn to sew and other sewing basics. I will explain the easiest way to sew and share with you some fun and easy patterns. I’ll dissect the instructions on a store-brought patterns. I’ll go over features you might want to look for if you want a new sewing machine, and how to spot a good used one!

The mission of this website is to educate you (no matter your experience) how to sew, with simple, direct instructions and helpful photos. There will also be a wealth of information about sewing, tools, supplies, techniques, patterns, and a full list of sewing lingo explained! I’ll walk you through sewing by hand and sewing by machine. Then I’ll break down every part of that to be sure it’s crystal clear as a bell.

What about you?

I imagine you either have never sewn, haven’t sewn a long time ago, or never thought you would be trying to learn to sew. Instructions will be brief, descriptive, and include as many photos as possible.

I’m guessing you want to know how to sew to keep things together. First, we’ll cover how to sew a seam. Later, I’ll cover more kinds of stitches and their purpose, how to sew a button, how to mend a small hole, and the best starter project I’ve found.

I want: you to learn to sew and have so much fun, or at least not take very long. Then, come back here to learn more about sewing and different techniques. Send your friends here because it was such a quick and painless experience.
Whatever you want to learn about sewing, I hope to have it for you here.

Just keep holding tight…

I’ve been drafting for days to be sure that I cover all the basics. Just popping out of the writing cave, to let you know that I haven’t forgotten about you! Please let me know If you have any questions or how I can help.

About Rebecca

About Rebecca

Welcome to the page about me. I’m encouraged by YOUR interest!


My name is Rebecca Ruano. I live in beautiful North Carolina, USA. I have a lovely family of three. We spend a lot of time together snuggling or going on adventures. Here is a picture of us one morning on our way to an exciting grocery store adventure!

Ruano Family


Weaving was my first textile passion at the tender age of four. When I was eight, I insisted I was old enough to learn to cross-stitch. But my first experience with needle and thread was some time in between, when my mom showed me to sew with yarn and those plastic grid cards. I made tissue box holders, Barbie furniture, and many other useless pieces of pure fun. One summer in college, I finally taught myself to use a sewing machine.

Sewing for 15 years, I’ve sold hundreds of handmade dresses. I’ve worked sewing outdoor clothing for a little company in the mountains. And in the Midwest, I sewed mattresses for one of the best mattress companies in the world. I taught my husband and three close friends to sew using a sewing machine. I’d love to help you too!


Once you understand the information shared in this site, you, too, can say that you taught yourself to sew. You really have.

I feel that anyone can use a sewing machine and a needle and thread. All you need is the desire to learn, a few supplies, and a helpful guide. A little patience may also be handy.

Forty years ago, there was someone in every household who could operate a sewing machine. This skill has since fallen from our priority list. I’m glad you’re here to carry on this human tradition.

Wouldn’t it be nice to mend a hole, hem your pants, or replace a couple buttons on your own. Please leave me a comment. What would you’d like to know?


This website is the resource I wish I had when I started sewing.

On this website, I will show you how to sew using a sewing machine, and a needle and thread. I’ll give tips and tricks for basic sewing skills. I’ll help you decode a pattern. Basic sewing projects, fabric guides, product reviews, it all goes!! I’ll also keep you posted on my own current projects.

Have you ever wanted to sew? Have you ever wanted to be able to fix your clothes without getting someone else involved? Have you ever had an idea for something and just wished you could sew it yourself? Please tell me what you want to sew.

Please feel free to leave any questions or requests in the comments below. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

All the best,

Rebecca Ruano

Rebecca Ruano