Must-Have Sewing Accessories

Many believe that sewing is a dying skill. Due to ever-improving technology and the booming fashion industry, the ability to alter and create clothes and homeware items from scratch is no longer considered necessary. However, learning to sew can be a tremendously valuable life skill, not to mention enjoyable. Taking a sheet of fabric and transforming it into a made-to-measure garment can be an enriching experience, allowing you to express your creativity and unique sense of style. Furthermore, learning to tailor and repair your well-loved clothing items will increase their longevity - benefitting both the planet and your wallet. If you want to learn how to sew, here are some essential accessories you’ll need to complete projects quickly and efficiently.

Fabric Scissors

You may think scissors are scissors - not necessarily so. Fabric scissors are specially designed to cut through all manner of materials, from delicate silk to robust denim. The blades of fabric scissors are longer, thicker and sharper than average household scissors, making them able to cut swiftly and cleanly with expert precision. Note that using your fabric scissors for anything other than fabric is considered a cardinal sin in the sewing world, as materials such as paper and card can severely dull the blades.

Measuring Tools

Measuring tools like tape rulers are vitally important for sewing almost anything. Flexible measuring tape is primarily used to take body measurements to make perfectly fitting garments. You may also use a tape measure to draft patterns and measure your fabric. While a transparent ruler might not be necessary, it may prove helpful for precision measurements when adding a stitching line or a seam allowance.


A pincushion is a convenient tool that keeps all your needles and pins right where you need them. Usually made from fabric such as felt and stuffed with polyester toy filling, pin cushions are available in a wide variety of colours and novelty styles. You could even make your own pincushion for a fun, straightforward beginner sewing project. Consider sewing an elastic strap to your pincushion, so you wear it around your wrist for easy access to your needles and pins.

Pin Magnet

You may be able to keep your needles and pins organised with a pincushion, but some still manage to go missing. Locating a needle in a cluttered craft room truly is like looking for a needle in a haystack; however, you can avoid the risk of stepping on stray sharps by sweeping your floor and surfaces with a pin magnet. You can also use a pin magnet in place of a pincushion, making this accessory a handy 2-in-1 product.


When it comes to needles, one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. Indeed, different needles are better suited for different fabrics. For instance, finer needles are usually used for lightweight, delicate fabrics like silk, satin and chiffon. Hand-sewing tougher fabrics like denim and corduroy can be hard work; however, if you plan on using a sewing machine, opt for a 90/14 needle for lighter denim and 100/16 for heavyweight denim.

Tailor’s Chalk

Marking tools like white pencils and tailor’s chalk are used to make temporary guide marks, indicating where fabric is to be cut or sewn. Tailor’s chalk is more compressed than regular chalkboard chalk; hence it is robust enough to withstand being rubbed as you work on a garment, but it can be easily removed with a damp sponge. You can purchase tailor’s chalk in numerous colours, so your marks are visible regardless of the colour of your fabric.

Adjustable Dressmaker Dummy

Dressmaker’s dummies prove exceptionally helpful for tailoring and creating garments that fit like a glove. While adjustable dressmakers’ dummies don’t come cheap, they are a vital investment if you plan on making garments for multiple people of varying shapes and sizes. These dummies are usually padded, enabling you to pin fabric to them when needed. Furthermore, a dressmaker’s dummy grants you the foresight of seeing how a garment-in-progress looks on a human form before you make significant decisions and changes.


Unsurprisingly, needles and pins are sharp. While a few minor injuries are part and parcel of becoming an expert dressmaker, you can reduce the risk of sore fingers by wearing a thimble. Thimbles are small metal or plastic cups you can wear on your fingertips while sewing. Most thimbles feature small indents to help you push and guide a needle through tough fabric without slipping.

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