Sewing Tools

Which Sewing Tools To Take On the Thrilling Way From Fashion Zero To Hero?

A lot has been said about sewing tools, and there is a good reason for it. 

What would we do without the right set of useful sewing tools at hand? We would be bound to pause our sewing efforts at the daydreaming stage. It’s as simple as that! Learn how to sew and make sure that sooner or later, you’ll also have access to a robust sewing kit.  

What about having a quick review of the sewing accessories list? This way, we’ll prepare our creative engines in advance. Then, later on, all that is left is pressing the fashion gas pedal!

Sewing tools
Image source: Victoria Borodinova z Pexels

Whatever they say, a breathtaking fashion career is at your reach. 

You just need to:

    • have some patience, and 
    • be bold enough and reach for a victory; 

See our guide describing a path from a sewing hobby to successful sewing business to get to grips with this promising idea. 

Needles hand sewing
Image source: The Creative Curator

Sewing tools and sewing equipment―What’s the difference?

When it comes to terminology, sewing tools and equipment can be considered the same thing. Otherwise, they can establish separate categories. Terminology varies depending on the source. 

We prefer to keep them separated. It helps in clarifying the complex concept that we’re dealing with. 

Sewing tools and equipments
Image source: Suzy Hazelwood z Pexels

Sewing equipment

Sewing equipment is those furnishing pieces of the sewing backroom that need electricity to work. 

Also, check these sewing room ideas to learn how to equip your sewing room with charm.

Sewing equipment includes heavy-duty stuff like:

    1. sewing machine, 
    2. steamer, 
    3. iron, 
    4. serger, et.al.

Sewing equipments
Image source: cottonbro z Pexels

Sewing tools

Besides sewing equipment, there are loads of sewing tools and notions. These sewing supplies are used manually and are usually relatively small. 

Take a look at a few sewing hacks that we collected on the blog. They reveal what you can do with some of the materials used in sewing to level up your sewing skills in no time. 

When it comes to basic sewing tools, we’re dealing with: 

    1. sewing scissors,
    2. needles,
    3. threads,
    4. sewing pins
    5. rulers,
    6. measure tape, and others,

to mention only a few! 

Have a look at your sewing kit to see what else is there. Sewing tools are usually small, handy, and not as expensive as sewing equipment. 

Sewing kit tools
Image source: Jennifer Burk on Unsplash

When it comes to inexpensive things that attract attention, there are custom woven labels by Super Label Store.

These different types of woven labels, hang tags, and care labels have a few first-class qualities worth mentioning. 

    1. Super easy to create by using configurators on the Super Label Store website. Thanks to them, you can design and order in minutes.
    2. Super quality, premium from start to finish.
    3. Super custom translates to 100% uniqueness in creating your project of a custom label.
    4. Super low quantities―it’s for everyone, from a home-based sewing fanatic to grand hospitality businesses. Each client can make a personalized order.

Clothing dark light royal luxe tag

Classification of sewing tools and equipment and their uses

There are hundreds of sewing tools. You can imagine that putting them in order is not the easiest thing to do. Thank God other sewing enthusiasts try to make our lives easier. 

Like for example, a viral fashion YouTuber, Tock Custom. He created a guide to sewing tools and equipment with names and images. It’s both for people getting into the craft and those who want to refresh some industry-related terms.

For more sewing tools and equipment pictures, go to:

    1. Sizzle Stitch―for the complete list (82 pieces!) of sewing notions and equipment,
    2. Garments Merchandising―for 16 pattern marking tools, 
    3. Sewing Spider―for 20 essential sewing tools and their uses with pictures,
    4. We All Sew―for sewing tools for beginners with beautiful pics and sleek descriptions;

Then, for a five minutes break from learning, to summarize your efforts, take this Quizizz. It’s about sewing tools and sewing equipment with their uses.

Sewing tools and equipment for beginners
Image source: Sew Way

But wait a minute; We wanted to categorize sewing tools and equipment to make them more accessible. We added a few more terms to the cart instead. 

Let’s clean this mess by tackling the subject in a neat table below (by Whaleys-Bradford). The categorization proposed by the authors is only one of many options; we’ll get to another later.

For more sewing tools and equipment pictures, be sure to check Sew Way

Dressmaking tools and equipment

Sewing tools

Pressing tools

Fabric measuring tools:

    • tape measure, 
    • tailor’s chalk,
    • pencil, ruler & rubber

Take a glance at the sewing basket types and uses. 

Sewing machine

(If you have a sewing machine, you’ll also need a sewing table and a sewing chair)

Ironing board

Dress cutting tools:

    • dressmaker’s shears: 
    • paper scissors
    • sharp scissors
    • rotary cutter

Learn to sew before you make the first cut!

Machine needles

Read also about sewing threads types and tips

Iron

Seam unpicker

Pressing cloth

Extra sewing feet

Tailor’s ham

Hand-sewing needles

Pincushion

Thimble

More than 200 various tools belong to the sewing industry. Not surprisingly, there are many different ways to categorize equipment and sewing tools names.

The YouTube video below should clarify a lot and present a different point of view. 

Basic sewing tools
Image source: Instructables

Essential sewing tools

According to the most popular categorization, essential sewing tools types are:

    1. Measuring tools,
    2. Drafting tools,
    3. Cutting tools,
    4. Marking tools,
    5. Sewing and pinning tools;

But there are also more personal lists of sewing kit tools. 

Take a look at:

    • “10 Essential Sewing Tools and Equipment” blog. The Inspired Sewist (whose name of the blog speaks for itself) presents the most needed sewing supplies to have around.
    • Artisan Stitch lists the tools needed for sewing according to her personal attitude. She starts with the most essential and finishes with those she never uses.
    • “5 sewing tools you’ll wish you had earlier” is an emotional message about the content of the sewing kit from the Blog.Cashmerette;

Materials used for sewing
Image source: Teona Swift z Pexels

There are thimble, thread, sewing gauge, cutting mat, tracing wheel, and many more; 

You’ll love to observe these sewing tools and equipment pictures while scrolling Home Stratosphere

Despite being practical, many hand sewing tools please our eyes with their elegant beauty.

Sewing thread
Image source: Home Stratosphere

For the ultimate table presenting basic sewing tools and their uses, we reached out to Design My Costume

Keep in mind that this is only a tiny part of all the sewing tools out there. We bet that even the most professional sewer didn’t see them all. We present the basic set to face you with the general idea. 

Let’s see what we have found:

Measuring tools

Tracing (marking) tools

Cutting tools

Pinning and sewing tools

Sewing gauge or hem gauge―for measuring short distances; for hemming;

Tailor’s chalk, chalk pencil―for marking directly on the fabric, can be brushed off later.

Cutting scissors―beneficial for various projects. Check sewing scissors.

A pincushion― for holding bare pins and needles;

Yardstick―for measuring straight, longer distances and checking grain lines;

Tracing wheel―can be rolled onto fabrics to create designs and lines (can be serrated or smooth).

Bent handled shears―cut with the entire length of the blades smoothly; good all fabrics. 

Needles―bind the thread to the fabric.

Hip curve―for measuring long curved lines like hips, lapels, neck, arms;

Carbon paper―to put under the tracing wheel; it transfers the design from the wheel to the fabric. It’s made of a wax-papery material.

Thread clippers―a spring-loaded tool that’s handy to cut thread. 

Thread―comes in various colors, materials, and levels of thickness;

Read about Sewing threads types and tips

Liquid marking pen―its function is the same as chalk, only that the first has to be washed out or fades within 48 hours.

Pinking shears―they cut an edge that will not ravel, best for: zigzag sewing, decorative edges, 

finishing seams;

Thimble―protects a delicate fingertip and helps it push the needle when sewing;

Seam ripper―removes thread that is sewn into any fabric (without tearing the fabric).

Sewing machine―capabilities depend on the model. They make the sewers’ jobs quicker and enhance activities like stitching buttonholes and zig-zag.

From the Design My Costume “16 Fabric Cutting Tools for the Beginners and the Pros,” you’ll learn that cutting tools can be:

    1. Manual, like: 
      • scissors, 
      • drill cutters, etc. 

      2. Semi-automatic, like: 

      • straight, 
      • round, and 
      • band knife 

cutting machines, and 

      3. Fully automatic, like:

      • laser, 
      • water jet, 
      • rib, 
      • air jet, 
      • ultrasonic, 
      • plasma torch 

cutting machines. 

Essential sewing tools
Image source: Karolina Grabowska z Pexels

Good old sewing tools. We owe them our best sewing tips and tricks. Watch these “22 sewing hacks that will change your life” by 5-Minute Crafts: 

Nota bene: If a five-minute-long video with 22 hacks can change your life, imagine what you can do in a day or week. Check out our Super Label Store blog regularly!

When it comes to the sewing process, the sequence of sewing equipment list rolls in logically: 

    1. You start by measuring parts of your material that you’re going to use and planning how to do it,
    2. When everything is arranged, you start marking/tracing on the fabric,
    3. After marking your design or fabric, reach out for the right cutting tools to start making the pattern. Get yourself a cute sewing cutting table as well. 
    4. At this point, you’re ready to start sewing a fantastic garment, a fruit of your prodigious imagination. Read a sewing fabric blog to elaborate on the practical side of this idea. 

Hand sewing tools
Image source: Stockvault

Types of sewing equipment

Before we see another set of sewing tools, let’s watch this restoration process on YouTube.

These are the original efforts of the upcycling enthusiast. He went from finding trash to turning it into a shiny new-like sewing machine.

Discover also other upcycling ideas (we can’t stress enough how much we love upcycling). 

Can you see how much can be done thanks to restoration? An old sewing machine dug out from deep mud isn’t doomed for remaining an unuseful antique.  

A man who managed to come up with this original idea for a Valentine gift deserves a gold medal. (Let’s see if his wife can sew him one).

Sewing equipment: what is a sewing machine? 

Sewing machines are textile mechanisms employed to stitch cloth together amongst thread. 

When did our civilization enhance the idea of using and developing sewing machines? It was during the foremost industrial revolution. The aim was to decrease the amount of manual sewing work performed.  

At the time, in the lack of electricity, users used to power them by: 

    • turning a handle, or 
    • pressing a foot-operated treadle mechanism;

Sewing equipment list
Image source: Mathias P.R. Reding z Pexels

Now, there are at least 19 types of sewing machines, according to Sew Guide (and 21 according to Sewing Is Cool:

    1. Domestic model sewing machine 
    2. Industrial model sewing machine 
    3. Hand operated sewing machine
    4. Treadle sewing machine
    5. Mechanical sewing machines 
    6. Electronic sewing machine
    7. Computerized sewing machine
    8. Mini sewing machines
    9. Lockstitch machine
    10. Chain stitch machine
    11. Blind stitch machine 
    12. Cover stitch machine
    13. Sergers
    14. Safety stitch machine
    15. Flat seam machine
    16. Bar tack sewing machine
    17. Button sewing machine
    18. Long Arm quilting sewing machine
    19. Embroidery only sewing machine

Above, we mentioned only their types. Within these categories, there are particular machines and other names. Let’s leave them for upcoming lessons. 

You can already picture that the road to knowing them all is rather bumpy.

To give a shape to the professional classification of sewing machines, let’s gather them in the table below (thanks Soso Poetry):

General classification

Based on technical characteristics

Based on sewing machines

Based on the stitch type

Special sewing machines

Based on sewing needle number

Sewing automata

Based on workpiece feed

Sewing systems

Based on bed type

CN sewing machines

Based on fabric type to be sewn

Robotic sewing machines

Did it clear the subject? Or should we go with more popular categories?

Sewing equipment and their uses
Image source: Jonas Kakaroto z Pexels

Stitching Mall presents a more accessible division of sewing machine breeds:

Mechanical sewing machine

Electric sewing machine

Computerized or Automated sewing machine

Embroidery machine

Overlock sewing machine or Serger

Domestic sewing machine

Industrial/Factory sewing machine

Automatic sewing machine

Chain stitch machine

Interlocking machine

Hand operated (manual) sewing machine

Umbrella sewing machine

Mini Sewing Machine

Blind stitch machine

Treadle sewing machine

Lockstitch machine

Handy sewing machine (battery operated)

Cover stitch machine

Tailoring machine

Boutique sewing machine

Bar Tack sewing machine

Safety stitch machine

Garment manufacturing sewing machine

Button sewing machine

Jeans/Leather/Heavy-Duty/Jute bag sewing machine

Long Arm quilting sewing machine

Did you expect all these names? Neither do we! Since we’re already here, let’s break down a few valuable pieces of info extra.

Types of sewing equipment
Image source: EVG Culture z Pexels

Mechanical sewing machine―sewing equipment list

Mechanical sewing machines come in handy when you need to do the basic sewing settings by hand. For this reason, those who only learn to sew and want to have everything under control adore them. 

These machines are also relatively affordable. 

To mention several pros:

    • simple to operate with presser-foot or handle,
    • adjustable stitch length,
    • bottom loading bobbin,
    • adjustable tension,
    • not expensive,
    • easy to repair,
    • half shuttle sewing machine,
    • handles light to medium fabric,
    • basic straight stitch features, single (straight and reverse) stitch,
    • requires manual/kinetic energy, no electricity;

To understand how the machine works in detail, watch this short animated YouTube video by Design Squad:

As there are a couple of pros, there will be some cons, so let’s review them as well:

    1. Mechanical sewing machines cannot handle heavy or thick fabric. So, forget about sewing:
      • denim, 
      • fur, 
      • jute, 
      • synthetic, and 
      • leather;
    1. You have only a basic stitch option.
    1. All happens manually here, so does threading the needle. You need a lot of energy to do everything with this type of machine. 
    1. Sewing becomes monotonous because it’s so simplified.

Useful sewing tools
Image source: Tilly and The Buttons

Electric sewing machine―sewing equipment list

An electric machine is a mechanical sewing machine with an electric motor. 

Industrial sewing machines (a subtype of electric sewing machines) are full shuttle machines. We use them for the mass production of garments. They need practice, so it’s not a game for beginners; 

Electronic (another subtype of electric sewing machines) sewing machines are characterized by:

    1. heavy metal body (larger and heavier than mechanical machines),
    2. better durability,
    3. good for DIY sewing, mending, repairs, light to medium fabric sewing,
    4. plastic outer body and aluminum/cast iron internal body,
    5. with some models, you can stitch denim and leather;
    6. lightweight & portable,
    7. attractive, colorful designs,
    8. has more stitching and decorative stitches than a mechanical machine,
    9. high speed when put to work (but not meant for garment manufacturing plants),
    10. on the costly side when purchased but low maintenance,
    11. need electric power to work,

There are several concerns and popular convictions on this type of sewing equipment:

    1. They may have a dangerous electric current

Nothing like this will happen if everything goes as planned and the brand of the machine is certified. 

Yet, if you’re still anxious, get yourself an earthing or power stabilizer.

      2. You can easily break it. 

Just like anything else in your house: an oven, toaster, and vacuum cleaner. Somehow, it happens very rarely. 

      3. You need a warranty 

You get a warranty with every new sewing machine of any type.

If you wish to have a warranty, be sure to buy a new (or company refreshed) sewing machine instead of the used one. 

Keep in mind that the warranty is only part of the game. It’s so much more important to offer good care daily to your sewing machine. This way, you’ll avoid getting it serviced.

      4. It’s less durable than a mechanical one. 

The users’ experience shows that an electronic sewing machine lasts about 10 to 30 years or more than other machines. 

Keep in mind that how much you care for it makes a massive difference to its longevity. 

      5. The less you use it, the longer it will live.

We should take some urban legends with a grain of salt, with a big one. 

Fear of breaking down the machine may lead you never to use it, and it can still look like junk (by the way, remember the one we took out of the mud?).

The more you use it, the more often you care for it! True story. 

      6. Using an electric sewing machine leads to high electricity bills.

The power these new machines use is low. 

For example, running an automatic stitching machine costs less than the electricity consumed by a domestic LED bulb.

Also, a mini sewing machine and a handy sewing machine use batteries to work. 

      7. If a machine has many options, it is costly.

An electronic machine is a bit more costly than a standard mechanical machine. Yet, it’s still very affordable—especially when compared to the quality and number of available options. 

Sewing tools and notions
Image source: nappy z Pexels

Computerized or Automated sewing machine―sewing equipment list

A computerized sewing machine is an automated, electric sewing machine. 

Several factors differentiate them from previous types of machines:

    1. You can connect them connect via the internet,
    2. You can connect them with your computer,
    3. You can use design memory cards;

Even if they’re so high-tech, they are easy to operate, even for beginners.

Industrial units are places where you’ll find many of these sewing machines. They are great for automating repetitive jobs.

With 50 to 200 in-built stitches and appropriate settings, they can do wonders. They work by creating identical designs multiple times.

What else is multiplied in such machinery?

    • needles
    • spool spinners
    • thread spools for embroidery, sewing, quilting, smocking, etc.

It’s all the matter of the effect you want to achieve. If you regularly make many similar sewing patterns and techniques, it is the best sewing machine for you.

And by the way, what do you need an internet connection for?

To download any design pattern from the net. Then, you can “teach” your computerized sewing machine to perform the pattern, and here you are!

We know it thanks to Stitching Mall. Have a look at the page to know more. 

Embroidery machine―sewing equipment list

After you can work on large, plain sewing fabric, you get an urge to do something cute. Say, a butterfly or a sweet little heart here and there. 

As soon as you hear a calling for making beautiful embroidery, you start by hand. 

After some time, it’s not enough. You are hungry for more speed, time-saving methods, and neatness. 

That’s why professionals came up with the idea of making embroidery sewing machines.

An Embroidery machine can be classified into two categories:

    • domestic sewing machines, and 
    • industrial sewing machines

According to Design My Costume, there are :

    • single head and single needle machines, and
    • single head, multi-needle machines;

Overlock sewing machine or Serger―sewing equipment list

An overlocker locks the edges and prevents them from fraying. With this machine, you can join or sew the edges of the fabric with three or four threads.

To act as it’s supposed to, an average overlocker has:

    1. inbuilt cutter,
    2. blade to cut the uneven edges of the fabric while edging the garment or textile;

There are two options. You use an automatic sewing machine’s overlock stitch or buy a separate overlocker or serger (it’s the same thing).

The latter not only finishes the edges but also cuts the extra thread and fabric.

Sewing accessories list
Image source: Pavel Danilyuk z Pexels

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