Sewing Notions – What are Sewing Notions?

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Sewing notions are all the extra supplies you need besides your fabric in order to complete a sewing project. They may include elastics, tools, zippers and even specialized cottons or needles. Sewing notions are indicated on the back envelope of paper patterns or on the first couple of pages on downloadable sewing patterns.

What are Sewing Notions?PinWhat are Sewing Notions?


Where to Buy Sewing NotionsBasic Sewing NotionsNeedles – Machine and HandThreadsPinsPincushionsSeam RippersSewing Machine FeetTools Sewing NotionsCutting ToolsMarking ToolsPressing ToolsEmbroidery ToolsFastenersZippersVelcro (Hook and Eye)ElasticsButtonsBucklesSnaps and PoppersEmbellishments Ric-RacPom Pom TrimRibbonSequins and RhinestonesLaceTapesHemming TapeBias TapePipingSewing Notions – In ConclusionMore Beginner Sewing Articles

Where to Buy Sewing Notions

You will find sewing notions at your local fabric store usually grouped in one location. Other sources include eBay, Amazon and online fabric stores.

Basic Sewing Notions

These basic sewing notions will form the basis of all sewers kits and will be used over and over again making them great value. Many of these can be purchased in kits to save money.

Sewing Notions - BasicsSewing Notions - BasicsPinSewing Notions – Basics

Needles – Machine and Hand

Needles come in different thicknesses and serve different purposes. Choosing the correct needle will make all the difference when sewing tricky fabrics. They will prevent skipped and uneven stitches and will give a nice even tension. Examples of machine needles include stretch needles, leather needles, topstitching needles and universal needles that are used for general sewing.

If you are looking for an all purpose hand sewing needle then start with a packet of sharps in assorted sizes.

Further Reading:

Types of Sewing Machine NeedlesTypes of Hand Needles


Most sewing projects can be sewn with an all purpose polyester thread. Choose threads that are good quality as you will save giving yourself the frustration of threads snapping. Occasionally your pattern may call for a specialized thread such as embroidery thread or upholstery thread.

Further Reading:Types of Threads for Sewing


Did you know there are different types of pins for sewing? Pins vary in lengths, thicknesses and tips may be sharp or rounded. Using the right pins is essential on delicate fabrics such as silk and knit fabric to prevent holes and snags

Further Reading:Types of Pins


Well, you need somewhere to put all those pins and needles! Pincushions are inexpensive to buy or you can easily make your own from small scraps of fabric. Magnetic pin cushions are useful to have as well and can be purchased from most fabric stores.

mason jar pin cushionmason jar pin cushionPinMason Jar PincushionPinFelt Pin Cushiondiy pin cushiondiy pin cushionPinDIY Pin Cushionhow to make a pincushionhow to make a pincushionPinHow to Make a Pincushion

How to Make a Pincushion – Patchwork square shaped pin cushionPincushion Patterns – Felt with an applique sewing machine motif. This pincushion is done is all hand sewing.Mason Jar Pincushion – Recycle old jars into a stylish pincushion for your workroom.DIY Pin Cushion – Round pin cushion

Seam Rippers

A seam ripper is a must have tool that while not always listed in sewing notions, you cannot be without. This tool will remove stitches that are crooked or just wrong. Even experienced sewers need to unpick some days, so keep several on hand and never feel bad for using it.

Sewing Machine Feet

Most sewing is done with an all purpose sewing foot but there are times when a pattern may specify a particular foot.

Further Reading:Sewing Machine Feet – top 10

Tools Sewing Notions

There are tools for all kinds of things that you will need for sewing. Most are inexpensive and small so will fit easily into a sewing box or drawer. Like the basic sewing notions, these will be used repeatedly and are a great investment in your hobby or business.

Sewing Notions - ToolsSewing Notions - ToolsPinSewing Notions – Tools

Cutting Tools

Cutting tools are considered essential sewing notions and will be among your most used items. If you are on a budget, then just purchase a pair of sewing shears, a cheap pair of scissors for cutting paper and some snippers for cutting threads. Pinking shears have a serrated edge and although they are a little more expensive, they are useful if you don`t have a serger for finishing seam raw edges.

Further Reading:Cutting Tools

Marking Tools

The most basic marking tool is tailor`s chalk. It comes in different colors and can be in a pencil form or shaped pieces.

Further Reading:Marking Tools

Pressing Tools

The main sewing notion you will need for sewing is an iron and ironing board. There are tailors hams, mini irons, and numerous other pressing tools but these are mostly optional and used by more experienced sewers.

Further Reading:Pressing Tools

Embroidery Tools

For sewing projects that have embroidery, you may need some extra sewing notions such as an embroidery hoop. Embroidery is an inexpensive way to embellish items and can be a relaxing and enjoyable hobby. Sewing patterns that have smocking may call for certain embroidery threads.

Further Reading:Embroidery Tools and How to Embroider


Fasteners are one of the most common sewing notions that you will find in sewing patterns. Most clothing will need something to help you get it on the body including zippers, snaps, velcro and buttons.

Sewing Notions - FastenersSewing Notions - FastenersPinSewing Notions – Fasteners


There are 2 main types of zippers that will be listed in sewing patterns – nylon zippers and invisible zippers. When the length of the zipper is specified it is measured along the actual zipper – metal to metal. It is not the full length of the tape which is usually around 1.5 inches (4cm) longer.

Further Reading:

Types of ZippersHow to Sew a ZipperHow Shorten a Zipper

Velcro (Hook and Eye)

Velcro is one of the wonders of the modern sewing world. Easy to sew, even for beginners, it is popular on kids clothing and bag patterns. Your pattern should specify the length and width of the Velcro needed. The generic name for Velcro is hook and eye tape.

Further Reading: How to Sew Velcro


Different elastics suit different purposes. Some are loose and overly stretch and others are firm and designed to be sewn into waistbands and necklines. As well as the type, take note of the width required.

Further Reading:

Types of ElasticHow to Sew Elastic


Buttons are used to close blouses, shirts, skirts, dresses – the list goes on! Look for the button size and type.

Further Reading:Types of Buttons and Alternatives to Buttons


While buckles aren`t a common sewing notion, they can give character to dresses and belts. Check the width of the buckle specified and when purchasing, take into account your washing methods. Some buckles don`t do well in the wash.

Snaps and Poppers

Snaps are an easy alternative to using buttons. They can be sewn on or purchased with setting kits.

Further Reading:

Hook and EyeHow to Use Kam SnapsHow to Sew on SnapsMagnetic Snaps


Your sewing pattern may specify certain embellishments in the sewing notions list or you may choose to add your own. Nothing adds individuality to a sewing pattern more than a bit of sparkle and color!

Sewing Notions - EmbellishmentsSewing Notions - EmbellishmentsPinSewing Notions – Embellishments


Ric rac is the wavy trim you see pictured above. It comes in numerous widths and may be sewn on top of an item or caught into the seam.

Further Reading:How to Sew Ric Rac

Pom Pom Trim

Pom pom trim is a row of pom poms attached to tape. They can be cotton or polyester and like ric rac, may be sewn on top of a garment or caught in at the seam.


Ribbon makes a pretty statement when used as a sewing notion. Just make sure you get a good quality ribbon that won`t shred in the wash.

Further Reading:Types of Ribbon

Sequins and Rhinestones

Bling it up! Sequins and rhinestones add sparkle and fun to leotards, dresses and absolutely anything. Sequins can be purchased as individuals or joined together in a row.

Further Reading:

How to Sew Sequin TrimHow to Sew SequinsHow to Attach Rhinestones


Lace is a really popular sewing notion. It is easy to add to sewing projects and generally washes and lasts quite well. It the lace will touch any part of the body, make sure it is not scratchy. Cotton laces are generally softer than polyester ones.

Further Reading:

Types of LaceHow to Sew Lace Trim


Sewing notions often include tapes. These can be bias tape, piping, webbing and even hemming tape. The usages of these vary from the functional to the decorative.

Sewing Notions - TapesSewing Notions - TapesPinSewing Notions – Tapes

Hemming Tape

Hemming tape is designed to hem garments without sewing by fusing it with an iron. It is also useful for sewing knit fabrics as it gives stability to hems. You are more likely to find hemming tape listed as a notion in no-sew or beginner patterns.

Further Reading:How to Use Hemming Tape

Bias Tape

Bias Tape is an extremely common sewing notion. It is used as a decorative finish for raw edges and can also be used on necklines, armholes and curved hems. Bias tape comes in limited colors and widths in fabric stores or you can make your own easily.

Further Reading:

Types of Bias TapeHow to Make Bias Tape


Piping is commonly used in the edges of pillows as an attractive and durable border. It can also be inserted into seams for a pop of color and to add some structure to garments and bags.

Further Reading:How to Make Piping

Sewing Notions – In Conclusion

Now you know “what are sewing notions” you are ready to start sewing and creating something truly unique. Always think about how you can embellish your sewing projects and add a bit of your personality.

More Beginner Sewing Articles

CUTTING FABRIC – How to Cut Fabric CorrectlySEAM ALLOWANCE | How to Add & SewSEWING NOTCHES | How to Cut Notches in FabricSewing Pattern Symbols GuideHow to Sew a Seam | Easy Machine & Hand Seams

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