Sewing Essentials Banner Image

There are many great reasons to take up sewing! Saving money, expressing your personal style (in clothing and home décor) and learning a new, practical skill are just a few. We’ll get you started with these sewing essentials.

There’s more to sewing than a needle and thread although you can’t sew without them!  From hemming your jeans to making throw-pillow covers to creating a one-of-a-kind outfit, Walmart has everything you need, including the know-how, to bring out your inner material girl.

Sewing Essentials 101:


Hand sewing supplies

  • Esprit Sew All Sewing Kit
  • Unique Creativ Assorted Colour Plastic Head Pins
  • Dritz Hand Needles, Assorted Sizes
  • Fiskars 9” Dressmaker Scissors
  • Prym Sewing Yard Marked Tape Measure
  • Viva Infinite Rotary Cutter
  • Coats & Clark All-Purpose Polyester Thread
  • Prym Sewing Wire Needle Threaders
  • Unique Creative Seamfix Thread Remover

Machine sewing essentials

  • Singer 1304 Start Sewing Machine
  • Klassé Universal Sharps Size 90/14 Sewing Machine Needles
  • Unique Creativ Pre-Wound Reusable Bobbins in Assorted Colours
  • Unique Creativ Sewing Machine Maintenance Kit

You’ve likely seen beautiful ideas for Small Sewing Projects on Pinterest, and now you’re ready to try sewing one of them for yourself.  Great! Here are the supplies you’ll need to get started.

Esprit Sew All Sewing KitEsprit Sew All Sewing Kit

If you’re new to sewing, look for pre-assembled sewing kits like this one by Esprit that contain a variety of essentials in a single package. For most simple jobs you’ll need: needles, thread, a threader, scissors, straight pins, pin cushion, buttons, a tape measure and thimble. Other items handy to have include a fabric marking pen, seam ripper and tracing wheel.

Hand sewing supplies

Stitching by hand is a great way to work on a small project.

Unique Creativ Assorted Colour Plastic Head PinsUnique Creativ Assorted Colour Plastic Head Pins

Straight pins temporarily secure fabrics and allow you to easily mark and cut out patterns, attach fabric or hem and sew seams. Straight pins feature round or flat heads and come in different lengths, thicknesses and materials. Dressmaker or seamstress pins are all-purpose, like this 100-pieces pack from Unique Creativ, appropriate for most sewing projects. If you’re working with heavier fabrics, choose longer specialized pins, such as quilting and upholstery pins. Use a pin cushion to organize and store your straight pins.

Dritz Hand Needles, Assorted SizesDritz Hand Needles, Assorted Sizes

Most sewing projects, from stitching doll clothes to hemming drapes, require some hand finishing, so you’ll need a good selection of common sewing needles like bodkins, sharps and appliques. Be sure to use a needle that’s comfortable for you and appropriate for your fabric. Thinner needles are best for stitching lightweight or delicate fabrics, while thicker needles are suited to hemming denim, tapestry and heavier materials. Look for a variety pack of needles, like this one from Dritz, that contains an assortment of sewing needles in different sizes.

Fiskars 9' Dressmaker ScissorsFiskars 9” Dressmaker Scissors

A sharp pair of fabric shears, like these from Fiskars, will cut through most materials with ease. Shears have asymmetrical handles that are bent upwards to provide better leverage for cutting thicker fabrics. Pinking shears cut in a zigzag pattern that helps reduce fraying and is helpful for finishing seams.

Prym Sewing Yard Marked Tape MeasurePrym Sewing Yard Marked Tape Measure

A tape measure, like this one from Prym Sewing, is a must-have for any sewing project, big or small. For consistently precise measurements, replace your cloth tape measure every few years as it will stretch slightly over time. Keep a small notepad and pencil within reach to jot down measurements for accurate sizing.

Viva Infinite Rotary CutterViva Infinite Rotary Cutter

The fast and simple way to transfer patterns to fabric and cut them out is to use a rotary cutter, such as this Viva Infinite model. Replace the blades of your cutter regularly to ensure they’re always sharp. Use the cutter with a cutting mat and ruler. A self-healing cutting mat can protect your work surface and create a dedicated workspace for sewing projects. A clear gridded ruler can be placed right on your pattern or fabric, making it a cinch to mark off measurements, transfer patterns to fabric and straighten your fabric edges.

Coats & Clark All Purpose Polyester ThreadCoats & Clark All-Purpose Polyester Thread

The success of any sewing project ultimately depends on the quality of the thread. Look for a high-quality thread with a smooth finish to prevent seams from coming undone. Choose thread with a similar fibre content to your fabric. This polyester thread from Coats and Clark works well for most sewing projects and comes in 26 shades. Choose a thread colour that matches your fabric’s dominant colour and is one or two shades darker. Keep several basic colours on hand for everyday sewing.

Prym Sewing Wire Needle ThreadersPrym Sewing Wire Needle Threaders

Threading needles manually requires plenty of patience and a steady hand. Prym Sewing’s 3-pack of needle threaders can save you time and frustration, whatever your skill level. Each threader has a rigid wire loop that makes it easier to slip your thread through the eye of your needle.

Unique Creativ Seamfix Thread RemoverUnique Creative Seamfix Thread Remover

Whether you’re a needlework newbie or a domestic doyenne, a seam ripper can be invaluable. This pencil-thin tool has a tiny pronged blade on one end to remove stitches without cutting into the fabric. Use it for ripping out seams when hemming pants or skirts, upcycling fabric from vintage clothes, widening buttonholes, removing basting stitches or undoing sewing mistakes. Unique Creativ’s seam ripper features a unique plastic cap that grabs and removes excess threads without marking the fabric.

Machine sewing essentials

Sewing machines come in different styles for varying levels of ability. Begin with something simple and move on to more complex machines as your ability develops.

SINGER 1304 Start Sewing MachineSinger 1304 Start Sewing Machine

A sewing machine saves you time and money by letting you transform fabrics into practical pieces for your home and wardrobe. A basic sewing machine, like this Singer model for beginners, is great for everyday craft projects and clothing repairs, such as mending and hemming. Look for easy-to-use features, upgradable parts and a variety of stitch patterns and speeds.

Klassé Universal Sharps Size 9014 Sewing Machine NeedlesKlassé Universal Sharps Size 90/14 Sewing Machine Needles

Sewing machine needles come in various sizes and fabric weights and are colour coded and numbered. Higher-number needles are better for denim, velvet and heavy fabrics, while lower-number needles work well for delicate, sheer and lightweight fabrics. Buy a variety pack in assorted sizes and fabric weights, like this one by Klassé, so you’re ready for any sewing project that comes your way.

Unique Creativ Pre-Wound Reusable Bobbins in Assorted ColoursUnique Creativ Pre-Wound Reusable Bobbins in Assorted Colours

Whether you’re crafting a Halloween costume for your toddler or designing a dress for date night, bobbins will help you bring your sewing project together. A bobbin is like a small spool of thread that sits inside the sewing machine to interlock threads and create an even, strong stitch. Most sewing machines come with two or three bobbins, but keep extras handy, like these pre-wound, reusable bobbins, to swap out thread colours at a moment’s notice.

Unique Creativ Sewing Machine Maintenance KitUnique Creativ Sewing Machine Maintenance Kit

Your sewing machine needs only a few simple tools to work its stitchery magic. A small screwdriver is a must for changing sewing needles, letting you loosen and tighten the screw that holds the needle in place. Most sewing machines come with a screwdriver set, but if yours doesn’t, this Unique Creativ Kit will help you do maintenance and make small repairs. It includes sewing machine oil—regular oiling is important to reduce friction on moving parts and prevent rust. A rule of thumb is to add oil after every 20 hours of use.

By hand or by machine, sewing can be satisfying, money-saving and a creative way to spend your time. The best way to learn is by doing, so now that you know what you need, let’s get stitching!