A sewing machine
We often work with Janome green (more info here) but Lidl (a French supermarket) sells the Silvercrest machine which has a great value for the money. It is sold in stores 2-3 times a month for around 80€.
Pins (lots of them!)
Choose the thinnest pins you can find so that you won’t damage the fabric, preferably flat head. Avoid glass head pins (round head), which are thicker and can damage fabric and leave holes. You will also quickly come to appreciate the value of a pincushion when you’re in the heat of the moment.
Make sure you have two pair on hand: one to cut fabric (sewing scissors) and another pair to cut paper. Don’t mix them up!! Using your scissors for designated tasks will make them last longer. Sewing scissors are relatively expensive but a necessary investment!
As you can tell by its name, a seam ripper undoes any missed stitches quickly and cleanly.
Beginners beware however! The seam ripper can easily become a false friend; make sure you don’t cut the fabric with it! A seam ripper is usually sold with a sewing machine.
Or washable markers to make temporary marks on fabric. If you choose tailor’s chalk, choose yellow or white when working with light-colored fabrics.
To finish any stitching by hand.
Used mainly to pass elastic through a waistband.
Your machine should come with a few spools but make sure you always have a few on hand for different thread colors.
Bobbins of thread
At least the basic colors: black, white and cream
Yes, you ABSOLUTELY need an iron nearby (like really nearby) whenever you are sewing. You will need it to prepare your fabric and hems, sew your seams etc.
Scraps of fabric
Or muslin to practice.
A pretty sewing box to store it all!