My studio can be pretty bare bones when it comes to all the extra bells and whistles. I don’t need a lot and can make do with just the basics a good amount of the time. Heck, I didn’t have a zipper foot for my sewing machine for almost a decade!!!
I did upgrade my sewing machine to a wonderful Juki last year after 8 years on a totally mechanical little Janome. I still have her as a backup machine just in case, but man do I enjoy that knee lifter!
You always want a pair of scissors that you only use for fabric/yarn. I don’t know how many times I’ve messed up a project using dull scissors that my husband found on the side of the street (true story; we lived a few blocks from his work and he normally rode his bike and came home with a “present” for me. I don’t know if he thought they were mine and I dropped them or what but I ended up with a random pair of nice scissors). Designate a pair and mark them and keep them hidden when not in use.
They’re cheap, they walk off, they stretch out. Buy a new one more often than you think you need to.
A Good Iron
You. Will. Iron. Everything. I would almost go as far as to say that properly pressing is almost the most important step in sewing. Almost. Every step is important. Except the ones I skip…
You don’t need an expensive iron. I have the same model as the one in the image. It was a wedding gift and is very nice but is a general purpose model, not one of the fancy cordless, just for sewing, irons.
Or an empty mechanical pencil. When you turn corners, you want a nice sharp corner. Both of these guys are my go to tools for that job. Usually the empty/broken mechanical pencil. I keep one in the top drawer of my sewing desk; it’s usually scavenged from the bottom of a backpack or junk drawer.
I love mine. I adore mine. I dream about getting more. But one will do. The kidlets snapped off one end of mine a few years back and I should really replace it but it still works and I keep forgetting to replace it. Use it with your cutting mat and rotary cutter (see next list item).
Rotary Cutter and Self Healing Mat
Besides good scissors, this is one of my most used things in my studio.
Don’t use the tiny little guy that came with your sewing machine. If you hate to rip seams as much as I do, make the job a little more bearable with a nice, fat handle on your seam ripper. Depending on how much you use yours, you may have to replace it more often than you care to think about.