Learning a new craft like sewing is time consuming…isn’t it?
It takes weeks of planning, research, and preparation…doesn’t it?
Well most people think so, but the truth is…
Getting started is far easier than you might imagine.
Because REALLY… all you need is a few basic essentials.
And in today’s post, I’ll show you exactly what they are…
As I walk you step-by-step through the entire process of learning to sew anything no matter what.
So let’s get to it. First up…
Why Simple is Best
The fact is, not only is it possible to start off with just a simple thread and needle…it’s actually preferable.
Because just like with any hobby, by attempting too much too soon:
- you get overwhelmed,
- you get discouraged, and…
- you eventually quit.
And all the time and money you invest is wasted.
So to avoid this fate, just keep it simple. But you might be wondering…
How cheap is too cheap?
Since sewing can be expensive…homemakers often search for the cheapest possible solutions to sewing their items.
And that’s fine, except…there is such a thing as “too cheap“.
While it is technically possible to sew everything imaginable for as little as $10-$15…
There are low limits to what can be accomplished with such a setup…and I really wouldn’t recommend it to anyone truly serious about sewing their own stuff.
Instead…here’s what I do recommend:
The Perfect Sewing Setup for Newbies
With the following 7 items:
- Sewing Machine
- Notions and Supplies
What you have is a simple working sewing setup, perfect for anyone just starting out with home sewing.
And here’s why:
- It allows you to start ASAP with a minimal investment in both time and money.
- More importantly…it’s the perfect foundation to build upon later as your skills mature.
Now let’s talk more about each item on the list…
When you’re just starting to sew, thread is most complicated purchase by far.
What, you thought thread was cheap?
Well, you’re right!
However, there are so many different types of thread. Each types has it’s own, specific purpose.
This is where things can get confusing.
So in the beginning, regardless of what you want to sew, I suggest using what you already have for now.
If you don’t have any, then grab KINGSO 24 Assorted Colors Polyester Sewing Thread. It’s cheap and effective. [Amazon]
If and when you need to upgrade your thread, here’s what I recommend:
Next, we’ll talk about how we’re going to use that thread…
2. Sewing Needle
There are two ways to use thread…
The first is with a sewing needle, which we’ll talk about here.
The second is with a sewing machine, which is our next section.
I really recommend that you start with a simple sewing needle.
When you’re starting, a sewing needle will help you learn the basics of sewing.
You can sew everything you need with a needle and thread.
Is it optimal? No, of course not!
A sewing machine is much faster and efficient.
Think of it this way:
If you were teaching someone how to drive, would you teach them on a 2010 Volvo Sedan or a 2017 Corvette?
Of course you would choose the Volvo Sedan!
Sure, the person could learn with the Corvette, but is it really the best option?
Probably not. They’ll go too fast and spin out of control.
Similar to driving, when you’re sewing, you need to control every aspect of the stitch.
Using an old fashioned sewing needle and thread let’s you do that.
Just like I recommended with thread, use what you have for now.
If you don’t have a needle, here’s a great option for beginners: Dritz 25-Piece Assorted Craft Needles [Amazon]
Want some more options? See our:
Not feeling the old school needle and thread technique?
Our next section on sewing machines is for you…
3. A Sewing Machine
When starting to sew, the sewing machine is the biggest expenditure by far.
Because as common wisdom states:
Ideally, you want the highest model one you can afford.
But these days, virtually everyone already has sewing equipment of some sort. And virtually all sewing equipment is okay enough to at least get you started.
So in the beginning, regardless of your budget, I recommend using what you have for now.
The topic of different types of sewing machines is HUGE. In fact, we’ve dedicated an entire chapter to it. Here it is:
Now that you have your basic equipment, the fun begins…
You’ll be using patterns for as long as you sew.
As I mentioned earlier, control is key to sewing.
Patterns give you the guidelines to follow so you have fewer mistakes.
The ones I recommend will easily work for both a needle and a sewing machine.
Here’s a few easy ones to get you started: Skirt-a-Day Sewing Pattern [Amazon]
Looking for something more advanced? Check out some of my favorites:
Let’s get to some of the finer sewing essentials…
5. Notions and Supplies
Listen: while you can sew with the basics mentioned above, I don’t recommend it.
Why? Because you’re leaving yourself open to mistakes.
Remember how I’ve mentioned precision and control several times?
Sewing notions and supplies are the essential tools that will give you that precision and control.
These are items most people don’t give a second thought to, but you CANNOT properly sew without them!
Here are the ones you need to get started:
3. Tear Mender Instant Fabric and Leather Adhesive [Amazon]
4. Vkey 20mm Diameter Sticky Back Adhesive Dot Tapes [Amazon]
5. Singer Assorted Safety Pins [Amazon]
Already have those? Check out our more comprehensive list here:
Now let’s talk about where you need to keep all these essentials…
Keeping your sewing essentials organized will not only save you time, but it will also save you money.
You’re probably not going to misplace your larger items, like a sewing machine.
But misplacing thread, needles, and notions happens ALL THE TIME!
Remember, you CANNOT sew without them.
That’s why you need to keep your sewing essentials organized.
If you already have a sewing storage unit – great! Keep what you have until you outgrow it.
For those of you starting out, I really recommend Singer Vintage Sewing Basket [Amazon]
Also check out our Ultimate Guide to Sewing Storage Solutions if you’re looking for something bigger or more advanced.
At this point, you have everything you need to sew.
However, there’s a few more things I want to mention before we get started…
These aren’t necessary when starting, but they do make your life a lot easier.
These are the type of items that people buy and then say “how the heck did I ever live without them”!
I usually recommend these once you’ve spent some time sewing with your essentials.
For those of you that are more experienced, or if you’re starting and want to get ahead, here’s some things you need to look at:
1. Brother Universal Sewing Machine Carrying Case [Amazon]
2. SINGER Universal Hard Carrying Case [Amazon]
3. SINGER Machine Oil [Amazon]
4. SINGER Even Feed Walking Presser Foot [Amazon]
Want to know the rest? Check out our guide to:
Now for the fun part!
Congratulations! You have all of your sewing essentials.
Let’s move on to chapter two where we get you ready to begin your journey…