Don’t you love being the person who can solve a problem? The one who can fix something amiss? I’m not talking problematic relationships or even leaky roofs (though bonus points if you can help with those bigger issues!). But knowing how to change a tire or get a popped zipper back into place comes in awfully handy — for you and for those around you. I want to be the person who has a sewing kit on hand when the groom pops a button or my travel companion’s hem comes undone. And, of course, I want to be able to repair my own seams, buttons, and hems on the spot, too. (Quick repairs keep matters from getting worse!) So I keep a sewing kit tucked in my purse.
Sewing kits range from a simple card of thread, needle, and buttons to a case chock full of snaps and hooks, buttons, and cutting utensils. You can easily make one of your own according to just how prepared you want to be. (If you’re taking a trip, you may want to tuck a more elaborate kit into your suitcase or camper than you normally carry around, for example. And if you don’t have a sewing basket at home — because you do very little sewing — you might rely on a little kit for repairs at home, too.) You can also purchase ready-made sewing kits inexpensively!
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DIY sewing kit
Here’s what you’ll want to include in your basic DIY sewing kit:
- Needles. Stock a couple of sizes for different uses. No need to include needles for every possibility; a short needle for cottons and linens and a basic longer needle for heavier fabrics will handle most any sewing task.
- Pins. Include a few safety pins and some straight pins to hold your material in place while you’re sewing. Simply slide them in a little piece of fabric. (Felt is nice for this.) If you have a bigger kit, you can include a little pin cushion. BTW, a diaper pin often comes in handy! (A toddler’s shorts falling down? Can’t alter on the spot, but you can pin the waist tighter. If you have a diaper pin you won’t have to worry about the pin opening when your wee one’s active, either.)
- Thread. For a basic kit, some white thread and some black thread will do it. Otherwise, stock the colors you’re most likely to use for your wardrobe. Navy, green, and red are usually good additional choices. Consider keeping a translucent thread in your kit for when you can’t match a color.
- A little pair of scissors. I love good scissors. My daughter gifted me a small pair of Ginghers, which I love. And a friend gifted me these, which I keep tucked in my sewing kit.
- Seam ripper. This makes it easy to remove problematic stitches (mistakes) without accidentally ripping your fabric (with scissors, for example). I’ve had my seam ripper for over 40 years. I often wonder how many miles of stitches it has ripped out!
- A needle threader. Maybe you don’t need one of these, but it takes up very little room and is pretty handy for us squinters.
- Tape measure or gauge. I like to keep one of these in my purse anyway (never know when you might need to measure furniture sitting by the side of the road for pickup!), but it comes in especially handy for sewing. I also love my little measuring gauge. You can set the length you’re going for (in a hem, for example) and use it to easily match the size all the way around as you pin.
- Buttons. Yes, it’s very unlikely you’ll have a button to match the one that’s popped, but you may as well include a few basic shirt buttons. If you’re using your kit for at-home sewing, you may want to stash all your extra buttons in there, too.
- Thimble, if you use one. I use one for quilting but not for hand sewing. If you like to use a thimble, though, tuck one in your sewing kit. It doesn’t take up much room!
There are so many options for storing your sewing kit supplies. Possibilities include:
- A little case or tin
- A card. Just cut a piece of sturdy cardstock and wrap your thread around it, like the one pictured above.
- A little jar. (This is best for an at-home kit, of course!)
- A coin purse. (This is a vintage one, but you can see how well it works!)
- A small pencil bag or cosmetic bag
- An eyeglass case. Use one as-is, or upgrade it with some fabric, like this one.
- Padded (quilted) fabric. You can simply slide your needles and pins into the padded fabric and roll up your thread and other supplies. (Tie it with a ribbon if you like.) Or you can craft a rollup sewing kit like one of those featured below.
Patterns for making your own sewing kit
There are some fun patterns here. Take a look — you may be able to fashion your own after seeing how others do it. Or maybe you’ll want to invest in step-by-step directions and templates.
Sewing kits make great gifts, and you could whip up a handful at a time. (A little sewing kit along with a beginning sewing book would make an appreciated gift for a child interested in learning to sew.)
Sewing kits for purchase
There are many delightful sewing kits available for purchase, if you’d rather buy one ready to go! Even if you’re not in the market to buy one, you can look around for DIY inspiration!
Just a handful of options:
- Sarah at BeeCreative makes beautiful fabric sewing kits, with tools included.
- Laura at LemonPeppoArt hand crafts a barkcloth travel kit that’s full of lovely “pages.”
- Fabric Experts offers a fully stocked sewing kit that would be great for travel.
- Here’s a small sewing kit with supplies in a sturdy box.
- Singer makes a little travel kit much like the one Santa tucked in my stocking one year when I was a little girl. (I’d recommend replacing the scissors!)
- And here’s a simple, “Rapid Repair Kit” by Merchant & Mills.
Do you carry a sewing kit? What’s in it and what does it look like?
You might also enjoy:
Little Fixes — 54 Clever Ways to Extend the life of Kids’ Clothes by Disney Powless
Mending Matters by Katrina Rodabaugh
Fix Your Clothes by Raleigh Briggs