When you start sewing, you don’t think about how expensive some of your tools can get. Most of the time, you think that the money will be spent on bandages (until you learn to stop stabbing yourself with the needles) or fabric. The tools seem like a one-and-done deal.

For the most part, they are. However, you will be using these tools frequently. Early on, it is probably okay for you to use whatever is handy. As you get better, you will want to have the best or most comfortable ones on-hand as you work.

The sewing tools you’re most likely to spend money on, based on statistics, are outlined below.

Good sewing scissors are an investment. You’ll probably prefer something smooth to the touch, easy on the grip. You’ll also want to test the blades for sharpness and cutting ability. If you ever find yourself cutting denim, you will want the best shears possible.

Japanese-designed Kai shears are great. They aren’t as photogenic, but the blades are sharp and the design both smooth and durable.

Hand-sewing can be a chore, but it can also be very satisfying. If you delve into that, be sure to get excellent needles. With the right needles, you can get into an almost meditative trance as the process becomes smooth and relaxed.

Once again, Japan wins out here. Hand sewing needles from there tend to be very comfortable and soft to use, as well as being good enough to last years – if not a lifetime.

A thimble is also a good idea. A soft leather one is great, and much more comfortable to use than metal ones.

Glass-head pins are also an investment you’ll want to make. Colored-head pins are what most people use, but they can be hard and uncomfortable to jam into tougher fabrics. Metal heads are a bad choice for this same reason. Glass-heads are softer and less painful.

Buy a sketchbook! If you are sewing clothing, you will inevitably do some design work. Getting a good pencil and a sketchpad can help. The sketches can act as a reminder of the overall look you want, along with a way to preserve any ideas for future use.