25 Things You Need To Learn How To Sew

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

I have 25 things you need to learn how to sew. I have been sewing my entire life, or at least when my foot could reach the sewing machine pedal. My mom started out by teaching my sisters and me how to make an apron. You know the kind with a waistband, the skirt part was ruffled and we made the ties to keep the apron on our waist. Oh, I can still remember how excited I was to learn how to make an apron of my very own. I also remember that I had to make to make two rows of longer stitches in order to carefully pull the “gathers” on the skirt section of the apron. We’ve come a long way baby with sewing machine parts like a “ruffler,” it does the ruffling for you! WooHoo! My sister usually teaches me all the computer stuff and one day she said she wanted to make a ruffle on a handmade quilt. I said to her do you have a “ruffler” she said what is that?


The rest is history, she’s been making ruffles on quilts for years now. I used mine when I made twirly skirts for my granddaughters and dresses for my daughters when they were growing up. I have had a few different sewing machines to sew on over the years. I grew up using a Singer sewing machine, so when I got married I bought a Singer to sew on. It worked fine for many years. Then I purchased a BabyLock machine, it was a nice machine as well. One thing to consider when purchasing a sewing machine is what plans do you have for using it?

Is it just for mending or making napkins, or for making things that just need a straight stitch and maybe a zigzag stitch? Now, remember, you can sew by hand, you do not have to have a sewing machine. But it will take more time and patience. Today, I’m talking about things you may need to learn how to sew with a sewing machine. Trust me, if you have a good machine, I did not say the top of the line crazy money machine, you can sew. And you will love it!

25 Items You Need To Sew

If you have a store near you that sells fabric, they typically sell sewing notions too. Here’s a PRINTABLE list: Sewing

  1. Sewing machine with a case or cover, this is critical to keep the dust off of it.
  2. Bobbins that work with YOUR machine, bobbins may look the same, but they are not.
  3. Bobbin holder, this is what I use, I have two of them: Blue Feather Bobbinsaver, Red
  4. Thread gets old and brittle, please discard thread that may be 8-10 years old, it shreds.
  5. Good scissors (please do not use these for crafts since that will dull the blades). I have several sizes for different projects.
  6. Needles, both for machines and for sewing by hand. Typically the needles for machines have numbers for different uses. My favorite sewing machine needles are Schmetz Needles.
  7. Rotary cutter
  8. Rotary cutting board
  9. Pins-quilter pins are the best because they are easy to pick up.
  10. Pin magnet holder: Blue Feather Grabbit Pincushion Assorted Colors
  11. Tape measure
  12. Chalk pencil to mark things on your fabric.
  13. Beginner’s guide to sewing book. The Sewing Book: An Encyclopedic Resource of Step-by-Step Techniques
  14. Good seam ripper that cushions your hand.
  15. Painters tape for sewing a straight line or use the measuring guide on the machine.
  16. Container to hold your thread and your tools you sew with.
  17. A small container to collect the threads you cut-Bitty buddy: Gypsy Quilter TGQ007 The Bitty Buddy.
  18. A good iron and ironing board. I have a small ironing board, just big enough to iron small pieces of fabric. I have a larger ironing board for bigger projects.
  19. Magnet pin collector, this will pick up the pins or needles you drop so much easier.
  20. Oil designed for your machine.
  21. Threader: Clover Desk Needle Threader, Purple
  22. Sewing gauge: Dritz Sewing Gauge
  23. Six-inch or so squares of fabric (scraps) to test the new bobbin after inserting it in the machine BEFORE sewing the item you are about to sew.
  24. A sturdy table for your sewing machine, it must not wobble.
  25. Patience: it takes time and patience to learn how to sew, but once you do learn to sew, there’s no going back. Have fun!

Keep Your Sewing Machine Oiled/Serviced

One really important tip is to keep your sewing machine oiled and serviced. Please use the correct oil for your machine. I remember being asked to help sew a project at a church function and people brought their machines from home. Here’s the deal, if that machine was Aunt Mary’s and you have never taken it out of the case for 10 years, it needs to be cleaned, oiled and serviced by a qualified technician that services that brand. So, please do not donate that machine charity if it doesn’t work because you usually can have one repaired. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a used machine, depending on the brand. It needs to be a brand where you can still get the machine parts in case it does need repairs in the future.

Brands I Recommend To Sew With

Now keep in mind I can only recommend those sewing machines I have purchased or sewn on myself. I’m sure there are other great machines. I love to sew and so will you if you have a good machine. Be sure when you’re shopping for a sewing machine that it has a feature to thread the needle. I can no longer see the little eye of the needle. Just giving you the heads-up here.

  • Bernina
  • Singer
  • Janome
  • BabyLock

Here are some things I look for when I have purchased sewing machines. Keep in mind things improve every year, but the Bernina machine I have today I will have the rest of my life, if I keep it serviced, which I do twice a year or more depending on how many projects I have going. My Bernina was a gift to myself from some money I inherited from my mother in 2006 after she died. It’s 11 years old and going strong. I know my mom is looking down from heaven smiling every time I sew with it.

Keep in mind when you purchase your sewing machine at a store where they teach classes on how to use it. They are usually included in the price of the machine. I have seen a Janome for less than $200.00 that I would buy in a heartbeat for a beginner learning how to sew.

I used to sew crayon bags for gifts for my daughters to have ready for birthday parties when the granddaughters were younger. I would make 200 of these and all my daughters used them as gifts for birthday parties.  Coloring Book Bags

Subscribe To My Posts:

2 thoughts on “25 Things You Need To Learn How To Sew

  • June 6, 2017 at 10:26 am

    I didn’t realize I should pitch my old thread. I have some that’s very aged I’m sure. Mom had an old black Singer sewing machine but I mainly learned to sew in 4-H. I remember making a kelly green track suit with yellow trim as a 4-H sewing project in the 70s. I need to make some aprons too!

    • June 6, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      Hi Deb, here’s the deal using very old thread. When I took my first class after I purchased my Bernina sewing machine, they told us the old thread may shred and leave a lot of lint inside the nook and crannies of your sewing machine. This makes sense because nothing is worse than being in the middle of doing a perfect waistband and the thread breaks because it’s old and thin. The thread becomes brittle, thin and shreds….not good when we are sewing. You could keep it for hand sewing and just re-thread a needle if it keeps breaking. I have some thread that is probably 10 years old and I can tell it’s starting to give me fits. Linda


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *