Basic Sewing kit: Complete List

Dear seamstress friends, the need for this post was evident. It is now essential to assemble the basic sewing kit with the essential materials. You will find many places to buy everything you need. I recommend going to a haberdashery where you have an assortment and they can answer your questions. It pays to invest in quality and has a durable material. The material of a seamstress is not excessively expensive, and there is always the possibility of inheriting some scissors or thimble from the family.

Over time, you will surely have the travel sewing kit, the beach sewing kit, and even a children’s version sewing kit. I advance that in each of them will be the tools that we will present below.

Basic materials for the seamstress:

Basic sewing material

01: Jaboncillo

Also called “soapstone” is a piece of chalk or triangular square that can be found in various colors. Marks are easily removed with a brush. Ideally, have one colored and one white for dark fabrics.

02: Tape measure

it is plastic or fabric and measures 1.5 m. It is better if it is the same width as the standard seam allowances (1.5 cm). The cm is marked on both sides, inversely, so you can always get a measurement, regardless of which end is chosen as the origin. There are several colors, although the yellow is officially that of the seamstress.

03: Pincushion

They are found in many forms and can also be made with remnants of cotton fabrics. They serve to store the pins. Those of fabric blunt less the pins than those of foam.

04: Zippers

Having a pair of multipurpose polyester zippers in the seamstress always comes in handy for some last-minute fix.

05: Basting thread

it is 100% cotton with a high degree of breakage. Ideal for basting (temporarily joining layers of fabric by hand), because it is easy to break and remove without leaving marks on the fabric. It should never be used in a sewing machine.

06: Needles

The assortment of fine needles for hand sewing. The dressmaker or sharp needle is usually used for basting since it does not spoil the fabric. Numbers 5 and 6 are the most common.

07: Needle threader

Especially useful for small-eye needles or for those who have lost their glasses closely.

08: Crystal-headed pins

These are prime multipurpose pains of life’s universal pins. The ball on the end helps to use them and they have the advantage that they can be ironed without being melted by the heat (although it is not recommended to iron on pins because they leave a mark on the fabric).

09: Thimble

It can be metal or other material. It is placed on the tip of the finger with which the end of the eye of the needle is pushed. You have to choose one that fits the finger perfectly.

10: Scissors

They are made of steel and exist in various sizes. With a 7 cm blade, it is more than enough to cut the threads of the machine and some leftover fabric. We will never cut paper with them, otherwise, they would no longer be sharp. Check the best sewing scissors.

11: Polyester thread

It is the type of thread most used for machine sewing, due to its resistance (compared to cotton). It is advisable to have a selection of basic colors in the sewing kit, which will grow as garments are sewn and matching threads are purchased.

12: Safety pins

Made of stainless steel or brass, they are manufactured in a wide variety of sizes. Passing gums or joining layers of fabric are two of its many uses.

13: Buttons

A few basic buttons for emergency arrangements always come in handy.

14: Square brackets

very useful for closings and emergencies.

15: Automatic

A must-have in any sewing box. Silver in color and medium in size, they are practical for waistbands and various arrangements.

What to use as a seamstress?

Seamstresses are found, never bought. An empty cookie tin, an antique open box in the garret, or Grandma’s retro sewing kit are the ideal candidates for that prominent role.

This can is very special to me. She comes from a hotel in Almagro full of magazines, flower cans, and vases that appeared in the movie All About My Mother.

Sewing tin

To store small things that are not used very often it is better to use another box. For example, an empty matchbox, an ideal place to put the buttons that fall from the garments until finding the ideal time to sew them.

Finally, we will place all the materials inside the new sewing box, which will be part of the decoration of our home.

A good seamstress has to be mixed up because that indicates that it is used.

Flower tin can as a seamstress

Tin with sections

It is helpful to divide the inside of cans or boxes to better organize materials. The number of threads and buttons increases exponentially in the seam, so storing them according to color or size is very practical.

Let’s see how to do it:


  • can or box
  • 5mm feather cardboard sheet (or thick cardboard)
  • cutting board so as not to damage the table (or cardboard)
  • cutter
  • metal ruler for cutting with a cutter
  • marker pen
Cardboard pen and cutter

STEP 1 Cut the pieces

  • Measure the width and height of the can.
  • Make 2 rectangles in the foam board with the width and height of the can.
  • Cut the 2 pieces with the cutter.
Cut pieces of cardboard pen

STEP 2 trim notches

  • Mark half of each piece.
  • Cut a notch width equal to the width of the cardboard, in our case, 5 mm.
Cardboard pen pieces with notches

STEP3 Fit the pieces

  • Slide one notch into the other notch in true Ikea style.
  • To make the structure stable, adjust the depth of the notch until the piece is fully seated.
Cardboard separator pen in the shape of a cross

STEP 4 place inside the can

  • We put the cross-structure inside the can.

The more embedded it is, the more stable it will be. It is better to leave it a little larger from the beginning and cut as we test.

Tin with cardboard separator pen

STEP 5 Sort the threads

  • Put the threads in each section ordered by color.

In this case, they have been threads, but it can be any other material (even if it is not sewing …).

Threads sorted in can with dividers

With all the material ordered, it is much more pleasant to sew and store the buttons and ribbons purchased on excursions to haberdasheries and street markets.

Still, don’t binge on cookies to empty cans!

Until next time!

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