You do not need a lot of fancy equipment to make your costumes, but some basics are necessary. Unless your are making a lot of costumes, just get what you need or improvise and use what you have around the house. I do suggest that you keep your sewing supplies in a box, whether it is a shoe box or something fancier, it makes it quicker to do your work when you don’t have to spend time looking for all your sewing supplies. You can pick up a lot of supplies at a dollar store.

Scissors – A pair of scissors that are sharp is more important than size or price. Sharp scissors make cutting easier and cleaner. I like to use 8″ or 10″ scissors for cutting fabric and 4″ or 5″ for cutting threads and trimming. Nothing is worse than getting blisters from dull scissors.

PINKING SHEARS – Pinking shears have zigzag blades to cut fabric and keep the fabric from raveling or fraying. Again, size and price are not as important as keeping them sharp. It is no fun when your fabric bunches up from dull blades and you have to pry them off.

STRAIGHT PINS – Again, size doesn’t matter. I like to use 2″ yellow head pins. They are easy to put in & take out and a lot easier to pick up when you drop them.. Using a pin cushion, whether cloth or magnetic, helps keep your pins off the floor and out of your feet.

SAFETY PINS – Size of safety pin doesn’t matter. I like to use them because straight pins can fall out, and your have to start over, or scratch your skin and bleed on your garment. Use smaller safety pins on finer fabrics such as silks & chiffons. 

TAILORS CHALK – I like to use the 1 1/2″ squares that usually come in a 2 pack of blue & white. With chalk you can brush it off when done unlike wax that will leave a stain when ironed. You can also use a pencil or white chalk board chalk or similar items. Just be careful that it won’t bleed thru when ironed. 

SEAM RIPPER – Seam rippers come in variety of styles. Use whatever works best for you and be careful because it will rip thru fabric faster than you think. 

NEEDLES – Needles come in all sizes and styles. You can use whatever works best for you. I like size 10 quilting needles, they are small and go thru fabrics easily. Needles can come in variety packs for thick and thin fabrics.

THIMBLES – I know! Everyone hates getting used to wearing them, but they save your fingertips from lots of tiny holes. Whether you get closed tip or open ended (for long finger nails), try and get used to them if you are going to be doing a lot of sewing. Thimbles come in plastic or metal, they both serve their purpose.

RULERS – I prefer to use a 2″ X 18″ clear plastic ruler with grids for marking patterns and similar 1″ X 6″ ruler for pinning hems. A seam gauge is good for accuracy but any kind of ruler will work. You can use whatever works best for you. 

SEAM RIPPER – Seam rippers come in variety of styles. Use whatever works best for you and be careful because it will rip thru fabric faster than you think. 

IRON – The main thing you want in an iron is a Teflon bottom. I buy irons that are in the $20-$30 range (irons get dropped a lot and don’t last long). I like irons that do not have an automatic shut off and that have a Teflon bottom and burst of steam. The burst of steam is helpful to get a good crease. I like that my iron does not shut off automatically but for safety you may prefer to buy an iron that does shut off automatically.

IRONING BOARD – The type of ironing board doesn’t matter as long as it is clean and has a hard flat surface. Steam can make stains bleed thru if using someting dirty. Over the years, I have used regular ironing boards, table top styles and even a towel on a table or on the floor.

PRESS CLOTH – The type of cloth does matter. It should preferably be cotton. Even a sheet of paper towel will work. Again, make sure that you test your iron somewhere on the inside of your garment or a fabris scrap to see if it will leave marks. Most Teflon bottom irons will not leave marks but you never know. It is better to be safe than to ruin a garment with iron marks. 

SEWING MACHINE – The kind or brand of sewing machine is not as important as knowing how to thread it properly and how to adjust the tension and stitch length. Be sure to get it tuned up every now and then. Buying a used or refurbished machine is a good idea if you are going to be making a  lot of costumes. For most costumes you will only need forward and reverse and a zig zag stitch.