So, not a lot of sewing is happening this week, though that’s going to be changing as soon as I turn in my sketches by Saturday. In the meantime, I rounded up some of my favorite sewing tools, just because.
When I first started sewing about six years ago, I didn’t really know what supplies to gather beyond a sewing machine, iron, ironing board, pins and shears. I had fabric too, of course, but the whole world of notions was a mystery. Because I didn’t know what to get, I got everything. I saw people with measuring tapes looped around their neck so I bought one. Turns out, I never use my measuring tape. Same with the French curve, the esoteric sewing apparatuses — I don’t even know what some of them do or are called!
Over the years, I’ve developed strong preferences for my sewing tools. What you see above have been game-changers for me.
Bodkin – This is one of my absolute faves. I love this tweezer-looking tool for threading elastic into waistbands. Even with 1/8-inch elastic, the teeth at the ends grip firmly, and it’s the perfect length and width to go through narrow kids’-sized casings. Sure, you could use a safety pin, but this is a whole lot more fun to use. I do sometimes use a safety pin at the other end of the elastic so I don’t lose the elastic — hate it when that happens.
Wonder Clips – I believe these are meant for quilting but I love using them for sewing knits and especially for holding zippers in place.
Magnetic Pin holder – This is a rather new addition to my sewing toolkit and it’s changed my life. I LOVE pincushions, but I didn’t realize how much time I was spending carefully inserting the pins back into the cushion. Now I practically fling my pins in the general direction of the magnetic holder and voila, accessible and neatly contained.
Flower-Head Pins – I like the regular ones, too, but these fine pins are my go-to pins. They’re great for every type of fabric and though you do have to be a little careful because they’re delicate and could easily get bent out of shape, combined with the magnetic pin holder, they make a fierce workhorse duo.
Washers as weights – I guess there are fancy weights for sewing? I went to the hardware store and grabbed a few of the big washers in several sizes and they’re perfect. I usually use one per corner and maybe one in the middle depending on the pattern piece and they’ve served me well. I’ve lost quite a few though (I suspect K had a hand in this), so I’ll need to replenish soon…
Seam gauge – While creating this post, I discovered this seam gauge that I now want, but so far this Dritz one has been great. I use it all the time and have two. One is by my iron at all times and the other lives near the sewing machine.
Chaco liner – I prefer the pen style, but I also like the lipstick style too. For some reason, the lipstick style seems to work better on knits for me. The click-click-click as I trace is a great rhythmic comfort, and I love how easy it is to draw straight lines with these. I’ve tried pretty much every kind of tailor’s chalk out on the market, and these are the best by far.
As you can see, I’m very partial to the Clover brand (note: I’m not at all affiliated with any of these brands). Their products are so well-made and have stood the test of time. Oh, I forgot to get a photo, but the biggest game changer of all has been the Swedish Tracing Paper. I don’t have to extoll its virtues since people have been raving about it in the sewing blogosphere forever, but it’s really made tracing all my Japanese patterns so much more pleasant. Dare I say, almost fun? The paper is sturdy, malleable, sewable, writable, everything-able! Love love love it.
So there you have it, my fave tools. What about you? What’s in your toolkit of indispensable sewing supplies?