Today let’s talk about some simple sewing tools that will make your life easier. I remember early on in my sewing career not having a lot of tools and sometimes being frustrated at not getting corners that turned out well, or having safety pins pop open in the midst of pulling elastic through a skirt. And the good news is….there are simple tools for helping with those projects! Most of them are not costly, but really will help you to get a better finished sewing garment.
So, let’s start at the very beginning with a great pair of fabric scissors.
They don’t have to be expensive….but they do have to be sharp! You will have a much better time cutting out patterns if your scissors are sharp. I really love my dressmaker shears that have a closure on them. I like that I can keep them closed and away from little hands.
A tape measure is another essential. I really long these long, yellow ones that have both metric and imperial measurements. And did I mention it is long? Like super long…..fantastic for measuring quilt tops.
Another thing I never had when I first started sewing was extra bobbins. So I would either use whatever color was on the bobbin (not-so-great looking), or unwind the whole thing and re-wind it (such a time waster). So, grab some extra bobbins. I think I am up to 20-30 bobbins and I love it….I can just grab the same color as my thread and I am ready to sew any color I need.
You are also going to need lots of pins. I really like ones with big heads on them, mostly because I have carpeting in the room that I sew in…and it’s way easier for me to find a pin that falls on the floor. My philosophy is pin, pin, pin! I know some don’t agree with me, but I find that the more I pin, the better my project turns out.
I also can’t live without a sewing gauge. I use it to make sure that my hems are straight and it is amazing. One sewing tools that I use on just about every project I make. (My three year old seems to love them too….so I have 2 or 3 because they sometimes go missing 😉 )
Another must have is a seam ripper. I had the tendency when I first started sewing to not unpick anything and kept telling myself “it’s good enough.” Until one day I could hear my grandmother’s voice in my head saying, “a job worth doing is doing right.” And she is, of course, correct. Any project that is worth doing is worth doing right. I also somehow thought that expert sewists never used their seams rippers…..and now my belief is that expert sewists use them the most! There still isn’t a big project that I do that I don’t have to rip out something and do it again…..I have learned to LOVE my seam ripper!
This is another tool I love—my point turner! It helps so much with getting great looking corners. Don’t forget to clip them as well.
Something to mark your fabric is also an essential sewing tool. I love tailor’s chalk (mostly because it is super cheap and never runs out of ink!) but there are lots of tools out there to mark fabric: fabric markers, chalk markers and probably many more that I don’t even know about.
This next tool is one that I didn’t even have until last year (liZ gave it to me for my birthday) but I am regretting the fact that I didn’t have one for years. It’s called a bodkin and it is amazing for pulling elastic through casings. For years I have been using fat safety pins that tend to open in the middle of pulling them through….and making me frustrated.
This tool is a time saver for sure! The elastic pulls through the small hole and then the ball-point end is easily pushed through the casings…..it’s fantastic!
And my last set of tools is probably the most expensive (coupons can help) but they really are essential for sewing! A cutting mat, a clear quilting ruler, and a rotary cutter.
And today our piece of sewing advice comes from Delia of Delia Creates. Here is what she said she wished she’d known when she first started sewing.
“I wish I knew that sewing doesn’t have to be hard, that it’s fun, and even empowering. I spent so much time asking my mom to sew things for me in high school or “helping me” (wink, wink) sew things, that I missed out on falling in love with this craft earlier on. In fact, I didn’t really learn to properly sew until I had children. Sewing gives you an amazing…”Huzzah! I just made something awesome from nothing!” feeling, which is hard to beat. Start small, start by refashioning some old clothes…you can do it! ” ~Delia
PS–Did I miss any of your essential sewing tools? Please share….we all would love another addition to our sewing baskets.