Needles and pins! The old adage about buying cheap and paying twice really does apply here, and all the cheap and cheerful needles and pins just don’t cut it!
Sewing machine needles are not a purchase for life, and you’ll need specific needles for specific tasks like sewing denim or jersey for example. As a general rule, use a fresh needle for each project, and swap for every 8 hours of continuous sewing on the same project. Personally i cannot recommend german sewing machine needles enough. They aren’t much more expensive than the cheaper chinese ones, but the points are better finished and they are much smoother in the machine. Here’s a great link to a fab article “N is for needles” on what needle to use for different fabrics, I couldn’t have written it better myself!
Cheap pins are the bane of my life, snapping as you put them in the fabric and getting blunt and snagging my fabrics. I love prym who are european and my all time personal favourite pin for dressmaking is the extra fine, extra long. Occasionally I may use a specific needle for unusual work, like sequin or quilting, but these are the pins I always have to hand. I order from My favourite online haberdashers that’s very reasonably pricedJaycotts, and it’s worth signing up for the newslettter as they do regular flash sales and promotions
Ok, many stitchers don’t like to hand sew, inevitably you’re going to have to do some hand sewing! Treat yourself to the rolls royce of hand sewing needles, and support a great British brand too! John james needles are still well finished, unlike some really poor needles I used recently that cut the thread as I sewed! My personal favourite sewing needle is a sharp #7, but if you’re confused by what needle to use check out this great article by John James