Basic Sewing Kit…

Have you noticed that when you look  at class lists, or other instructions for different needlework activities, one of the requirements is a ‘basic sewing kit‘?  You haven’t?  Have a good look next time you look at the class requirements.  But what makes up a basic sewing kit?  Although I can knit, and have a crochet project in the beginning stages, I am more likely to attend something to do with embroidery/cross stitch, quilting or dressmaking (though it has been years since I last did that!), and these will be the basic kits that I will be focusing on here…


When I look at my sewing box from when I used to do a lot of dressmaking, I am surprised at the size of it (as an aside – I have just found my ideal ‘Dear Jane’ box!)!

My old Dressmaking Sewing Box

I would take this sewing box with me everywhere!  Over time I have raided the sewing box for the various tools to use elsewhere, and this is what the inside is now like…

Old Sewing Box
Inside the old Dressmaking Box

But if you are just starting out, do you really need a box of this size?  In my opinion, most definitely not!  All that is required in a new to dressmaking kit is:

Basic Sewing Kit
Basic Dressmaking Kit



  1. A Pair of Dressmaking Scissors.  Get the best that you can afford.  I still have my original scissors, but as these have not been sharpened for many years, I would now only use them for cutting anything other than fabric.  They are good for using on template plastic. The ones in the picture above, I bought from Knitwit about 20 years ago, and I think I have only had them sharpened once.  They are still able to smoothly cut fabric!
  2. Pins. And a pincushion (although it is not absolutely necessary to purchase a pincushion – an easy first project is to make one for yourself.)  A set of quality straight dressmaking pins is an absolute necessity.  There are a number of different types of pins on the market, and different brands.  You need pins that are smooth so that no tiny barbs can catch the fabric.  This topic will be explored further in a future post…
  3. Tape Measure: not pictured, but an absolute necessity.  You must have a complete tape measure, as the metal end is included in the measurements.  Be careful not to cut yours, as this can also make accurate measuring difficult.
  4. Tailors Chalk: For transferring markings to your fabric from your pattern.  Pictured here is the tailors chalk I have had for around 20 years (it has been around 15 years since I did much dressmaking).  Now you can get the tailors chalk in pencil form.
  5. Cotton: Always keep a spool of white, ecru and black on hand.
  6. Bobbins: If you have your own machine, and even if you are using one that belongs to the sewing school where you go, having your own bobbins is, in my opinion, a necessity.  When using the sewing school bobbins, you will waste less cotton thread if you have your own personal bobbin loaded, as you will be able to use this whenever you are sewing, rather than having to reload a bobbin everytime you go to use the machine.

So this is what I believe is an absolute necessity. What would you have in your Basic Dressmaking Kit?  There are other tools that you may add to your kit, but that is a topic for another day.  Next week, I will be looking at the tools required for Cross Stitch and Embroidery…

Until next time…

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