I love to get by with only what’s absolutely necessary that way there isn’t a bunch of junk cluttering up my life. But if you use something and it makes your life easier or more enjoyable then you should make some room!

You can certainly get by with just a few supplies when you first start sewing. But, as time goes on, you might find that there are a couple of things that would be nice to add to your collection!

Here are a few things that aren’t essential to sewing, but that I can’t live without.

Rotary Cutters

Scissors are great, and you can certainly get by sewing for many years with only a good pair of scissors! But… I LOVE my rotary cutters! I have two sizes; a large and a small.

A rotary cutter is like a pizza cutter for fabric. It has a round blade that you run over top of the fabric to cut it. This saves time because you can put your ruler or pattern piece over your fabric and cut right away, skipping the step of tracing the pattern first!

I like things that save time!

I have two sizes depending on the thickness of the fabric I’m working with and the intricate nature of the pattern.

Quick tip!

ALWAYS put the safety guard on your rotary cutter before setting it down. Getting into the habit of doing this from the get-go is a good idea! No one wants to pick up the blade end of a rotary cutter by accident!

Cutting Mat

Having a cutting mat is like owning a miracle. Seriously, they heal themselves. If you have a rotary cutter you will need a cutting mat, otherwise you’ll cut up the surface of whatever you cut on.

Cutting mats are made from self-healing material that will heal itself after you cut slice into it. Over time they can wear out but I’ve had mine for over 10 years and it’s still going strong!

Every once in a while scrub it with some dry steel wool to remove any embedded fibers so that the mat can do it’s job of healing itself!

Small Ironing Surface

I don’t like to use a large ironing board. It takes up space and I never want to set it up to iron because the kids like to knock it over on me!

SO I like to use a small tabletop ironing board instead. You can find them in sewing supply stores or you can make one from a TV tray, some heatproof fabric, batting, and some durable top fabric. Here’s a cool post about how to make one.

I haven’t had the chance to make one yet! You can also just lay a towel folded a few times down on a hard floor and use that to iron on instead of a big ironing board.


Owning a serger is amazing! It can take your projects to a whole new level of professionalism! The zig-zag stitch on your machine can be a great substitiute for a serger until you can afford to get one.

I found mine used for a fraction of the cost of a new machine and it hasn’t failed me yet.

Serging the edges of your projects not only makes them look nicer and more professional but it will help them to last longer through multiple washes by holding the edges together and putting less stress on the seam.

Large Ruler

A large ruler can be very useful! Especially in conjunction with a cutting mat and a rotary cutter. It’s like they were meant to be! I like one that is clear so that you can see what’s going on underneath.

Pinking Sheers

Pinking sheers are scissors that cut fabric in a zig-zag instead of a straight line. They are used when you won’t be finishing the edge of the fabric completely but don’t want it to fray.

The zig-zag cut makes the fabric unable to fray under light use. I use my pinking sheers when sewing doll clothes since the edges are usually not hemmed like you would when making something for yourself or your children.

They’re also great at taking some of the bulk out of the hem of an item so that you can more easily sew the hem in your machine. For instance, if you were sewing with denim fabric.

Compressed Air

Compressed air seems like something you’d find at your mechanic’s garage and not in a sewing room! But hear me out… those little cans of compressed air you buy from office supply stores can be quite useful for an avid sewist.

I sew with knit fabrics a lot and they can create a lot of fuzzies that can get stuck in your machine. I use the compressed air to lightly dust out my machine periodically. Usually if I’m having a bobbin issue it’s because there is a fuzz in my bobbin housing. Once I blow it out the problem usually goes away!

Full Spectrum Light

A nice bright lamp is essential for your sewing table. But sometimes the type of light regular bulbs give off can distort the colour of your fabric. If you sew a lot at night then you can’t rely on daylight to help you out.

Getting a full spectrum light will mean that you see the colours of the fabric in their true colour. This can save you from mismatching a project when picking fabrics.

If you want to up your sewing game add these tools to your sewing room and your projects will be easier to complete and will have a more professional look to them!