You only need a few items to be prepared for the most common mending needs.
Unless you are someone who actually sews, you don’t need much in your sewing kit. Pre-assembled sewing kits come with threads in an array of colors that we’ll never ever use–and those just add clutter.
We put together our recommendations for the basics – and suggestions for a few extras.
Start with a nicely sectioned box so you can keep the contents organized. We like this compact box with a lift-out divided tray. Or just use a basic plastic shoebox if you’d like!
Start with thread in black and in white. You don’t need any other colors. To replace a button or reinforce a split seam, those colors will do the trick. Black heavy duty button thread is a bonus item that isn’t entirely necessary – unless there’s a “bekeshe” wearer in the household. It is useful for all coats and it’s not a major splurge to include in your kit. Scissors to cut the thread are an obvious addition.
A seam ripper is something convenient to have. You’ll use it to remove all those labels sewn onto the outside of a new suit or coat, or to take off those itchy tags that simply can’t be worn.
Buttons – no need to buy any. Make sure to stash the spare buttons that come with new clothes (bonus points if you write on the packet which garment the button came from) in your kit. You can also remove the buttons from old shirts or suits that have common buttons before throwing out the clothes. Then you’ll have backups for other outfits. In time, you’ll have a giant button collection. And that’s it. There’s your basic sewing kit.
Safety pins are a must. Don’t count on the few pieces you get from the dry cleaners – buy a box with multiple sizes and it’ll last for years. Some fabric adhesive tape is a great pinch hitter when a hem comes down and there’s no time to have it repaired. We like this removable one that easily comes off once you’re ready to have the hem sewn.
A measuring tape comes in handy on many occasions, like determining sizing for online ordering.
If you want to go a little further, we have some more recommendations. You can include some of the buttonhole elastic we featured in this post. Maybe some snaps if you know how to sew them into a shirt placket. A pin cushion and some straight pins if you’re confident in your clothes-fitting skills.
What else do you have in your sewing kit? Tell us in the comments below! And if you’re looking for more advice on setting up a new household, check out this post! Want to learn more about sewing? We’ve got you covered here! Don’t know how to sew on a button? We’ve got that, too!