Below we share some of our favourite sewing tools and how they make our sewing tasks just that little bit easier – we can’t imagine sewing without them!
Wonder Clips are incredibly useful strong clips that are great for holding layers of fabric together when pins are not an option – perhaps the layers of fabric are too thick, for example when making a bag or stitching binding to a quilt, or you are using a delicate fabric where pins will make a hole. They come in small and Jumbo size.
You will spend a lot of time needing to mark fabric when you are sewing and some tools make it easier than others. We love the Hoechstmass Chalk cartridge set – it comes with chalk refills in a whole rainbow of colours so you can ensure your markings will show up on any fabric. Plus you can sharpen them for when you need a fine line.
Personally we use Best Press, available from The Cotton Patch but you can use spray starch available from a supermarket usually for ironing shirts! These products help to make your fabric much more manageable. The creases iron out more easily, smaller pieces of fabric keep their shape better and are easier to handle. Plus the scented versions make your fabric smell lovely!
Good Cutting Tools
Whether you prefer scissors or rotary cutters, good cutting tools are essential. You don’t want something that mangles your fabric or makes it hard to cut out or you will be put off your sewing. This is an area where it is well worth paying out for good quality. We both use Fiskars scissors and pinking shears, available on the Minerva Crafts website and these are sharp and powerful. They also have a good range of rotary cutters; Olfa rotary cutters are good too. If using a rotary cutter you’ll also need a self-healing cutting mat.
This tiny gadget is really handy to keep by your side when sewing as it allow you to check key measurements such as seam allowances, without having to resort to using a bigger ruler or tape measure. It has lots of commonly used measurements for dressmaking and quilting and will be a very useful addition to your sewing arsenal. You can measure from 1/4″ to 1 3/4″ with this tool.
Various brands are available – ours is a Collins Measuring Gauge. You can buy this here priced at £2.40.
Bamboo Point Turner
No more grabbing a knitting needle and making a hole when you need to push a corner out on your sewing, the bamboo presser is a more gentle way of poking out those ends. It’s also a great tool for providing a temporary crease line on fabrics – particularly good for marking straight quilting lines without the worry of using a marker pen which may or may not disappear after you’ve quilted. The wide end can also be used as a simple pressing tool for small pieces of fabric instead of using your finger!
FriXion Marker Pens
A relatively new innovation that has found a use in sewing for marking patterns and lines on fabrics. The beauty of these pens is that the line is erased when friction is applied and from the heat of an iron. Be warned though that lines have been known to re-appear if the item is stored in a cold environment, but used with care, they are a great tool for sewers.
You can buy a pack of three Pilot FriXion pens from The Village Haberdashery.
A Good Iron
A critical tool whether you are using it to iron your fabric or press seams. This is another area where we’ve found it’s worth paying out for a good one, ideally with a steam setting. If possible check out the size and weight to find which is most comfortable for you as you will be holding it a lot!
Read our pressing tips here.