They fall into 4 categories:
1.) Cutting - Local fabric stores frequently promote this category for 40-50% off, so wait for a sale!
- Scissors - sharp blades are a must to cut cleanly through your fabric (especially temperamental ones like chiffons). I've been using Fiskars Razor-Edge Shears.
- Rotary Blade - as with scissors, a good quality blade is required to cut your fabric well. I tried a cheapie once and it would fray the fabric before cutting through.
- Rotary Mat - necessary for your rotary blade and helpful for measuring as well
- Straight Edge - any hard ruler will work to be used in conjunction with your rotary blade and mat
- Soft measuring tape (not pictured) - great for taking your body measurements (measuring tips here) and for fabric
- Regular (hard) ruler - handy for pattern drafting (I use it to draw in waist lines etc.)
- Small screwdriver & brush - (should come with your sewing machine) The screwdriver will be needed for changing out your sewing needles and the brush will clean the lint from the inside of the machine.
- Seam ripper - this is probably the hardest working tool you'll have. I've probably spent more time ripping things apart than sewing them together!
- Tweezers - useful for digging lint out of your machine or knotted threads when the machine jams
4.) Sewing (most feet also come with your sewing machine)
- Zipper Foot - for zipper insertion, but I also use it for blind hems (tutorial here) (silver foot at the bottom of the photo)
- Standard Foot (not pictured) - for all-purpose / general sewing
- Buttonhole Foot - this nifty one holds your button on one end and provides the machine the exact length needed for your buttonhole (long white foot at the bottom of the photo)
- Thread (not pictured) - get the basics (black, white, cream, and navy) and then fill in as needed. Beware of reds and greens! I always wind up getting the wrong shade so try bringing a swatch when possible.
- Bobbins (not pictured) - I'd recommend getting 10+ (I have about 20) so you're not always trying to switch out thread colors
Sewing Kit Items
Other "getting started" posts:
1.) Materials & Tools
2.) Sewing Tasks
Hope this was helpful!