Once you get a sewing machine, there are a few more things you will need. Here are the items in my basic sewing kit. With these materials you can sew most things, however if you are drafting clothing patterns you will need additional tools. To start off, gather the items that make the most sense for what you plan to sew and then you can always pick up additional items as needed.
1. Cutting board, rotary cutter and plastic ruler-My cutting board is only 12x18 and it works fine for me. However if you will be doing lots of quilting you may want a larger board and ruler. Be sure the ruler is either as long as your board or longer. These materials last a very long time, so invest in quality to start out with.
2. Fabric scissors and a small pair of trimmers
3. Pins and a pincushion-You can easily sew a pincushion if you would rather make one yourself. Simply sew a small pillow or cube that is stuffed with fiber fill and you will be all set.
4. Safety pins-I only use safety pins when I'm assembling the layers of a quilt, however they also come in handy for applique, hemming pants and more.
5. Needle-Although I don't typically sew anything by hand, there have been certain occasions when a hand sewing needle is useful. Sometimes I finish quilts with ties, or do occasional embroidery and that is where the hand needle shines. They are also great for sewing on buttons.
6. Thread is fairly self explanatory, and the best brands are Gutterman and Coats and Clarks. The cheap threads tend to break so it's important to stick with a name brand. Beige thread will match almost any project, I tend to buy large packs of thread with lots of different colors. That way I always have colors to add decorative sewing to my projects.
7. Fabric markers or sharpies-There will be times when you will need to trace patterns onto fabric, or you might also enjoy writing on fabric or even adding sketches and drawings to a work. Sharpies work great, and they also have a line of fabric markers that come in really rich saturated colors. To heat set the marker simply set the iron to the appropriate setting for the fabric, and iron for a few minutes. Sometimes I use a swatch of muslin as a pressing cloth, especially when I heat set drawings. Simply put the muslin over the top of the drawing and iron.
8. Iron and ironing board-steam irons are fairly inexpensive these days, so invest in a quality one if you plan to do a lot of sewing. I've had the same ironing board the whole time I've sewed...since 1999! They sell replaceable covers for ironing boards so you can recover it at a later time if the cover wears out.
With these items in your tool kit you can sew just about anything you can think of! I use most of these items every time I sew, so they are a great investment and will get you started off right.