What are your sewing notion necessities?

Everyone has go-to items within their sewing kit that they rely on every time they get behind the machine. For me, those items include notions that help me design, cut, and sew as best I can.The difference between having and not having those items with me when I sew can make or break my sewing experience.

Below is a list of a few items I love to have by my side when I start stitching. My sewing kit is overflowing with supplies, so these notions are just a tip of the iceberg.

One of the first few items I pull out when I being sewing are my marking tools. It's important to have several on hand, depending what fabrics I will be marking as well as their color (I need to be sure my marks show up!) For marking patterns, my spiked tracing wheel (right) is an absolute necessity. I simply trace over pattern pieces onto my new pattern paper (on a cutting mat of course, to save my table's surface), and the marks transfer over like magic. Below you can also see my bamboo point turner and glass-head pins. I love both because they are heat-safe and won't melt when I will undoubtedly get them too close to a hot iron.


When it comes to cutting, I have several favorites. Serrated fabric shears are a must for me when cutting slippery fabrics, while my rotary and mat keep me cutting quickly and efficiently. My smaller scissors are perfect for trimming stray threads or clipping curves and corners. I also usually have a pair of nippers hanging around my neck by a ribbon, which keeps them close to me instead of lost beneath a pile of fabric as I'm working.


My last group of must-haves live at the ironing board. As any sewer will tell you, proper stitching is also all about proper pressing. Aside from a good iron and ironing-board pad, I love having a seam stick (middle) to aid in pressing open seams, as well as a sleeve roll (bottom) and ham (not pictured). My clapper/point turner (top) is another huge helper when it comes to getting a good press (and when I was making my boyfriend's shirts, it became almost as important as my sewing machine).


My love for gadgets has always extended itself into my sewing room, creating an extensive curiosity of what new products are available in the sewing world to help improve my stitching. Do you have favorite items you love to use while you sew? What do you need by your side to guarantee a positive experience in the sewing room?

Other sewing topics you may enjoy:


Sewing Tools & Notions
Nicole Smith

About Nicole Smith


My name is Nicole and I am a contributing editor for Stitch Magazine. I'm originally from Texas but now live in Brooklyn, NY where I try to squeeze my fabric collection and my six sewing machines into a Flatbush apartment.

Previously I was the Lead Editor of SewStylish magazine and Associate Editor of Threads magazine. I was also the Crafts & Decorating editor of Adorn Magazine and worked in the fashion and beauty departments of Teen People and Seventeen Magazine.

My second book, Dorm Decor (Chronicle Books) with Theresa Gonzalez, is available now. My first book entitled Fashion DIY (Sixth & Spring Books), which I co-authored with Carrie Blaydes, is also available now. I'm currently working on my third title to be published by Lark Books in 2012.

4 thoughts on “What are your sewing notion necessities?

  1. I love your list, but would add a pair of tweezers and some small needle nose pliers. The tweezers are for getting any pesky thread ends out or for helping to clean out the sewing machine. The needle nose pliers are handy for pulling the needle through really thick stuff! I also like my twin pencil holder for adding on seam allowances.

  2. Whenever and whatever I am sewing i plug in my iron. i like to press after sewing in seams. crisp flat seams help to give whatever I am making a professional look.

    When it comes to handsewing, i always use a thimble. it helps to alliviate fatigue in my fingers and once you’ve gotten the hang of it, it makes for much speedier work.

  3. Seam ripper, Dritz cutting board so I can cut out on my bed, lots of pin cushions. I keep a pin cushion by my sewing machine and another on the ironing board for pins I take out as I press.