Tools I Use Without Really Thinking About Them
Here is a list of a few sewing tools that I use everyday but don’t really think about. Some of them are obvious but some of them are not. All of them are part of my everyday sewing life.
Rotary Cutter and Mat
This pair of tools is an absolute must for any modern day sewer. The rotary cutter and mat makes cutting simple, accurate, and fast. I’m not sure what we did without them. Other than a good pair of scissors there is no substitute.
Of course scissors are a must. I have several pairs that I use. I have a very good quality pair of shears that I use only for cutting fabric. I have a pair of basic utility scissors for cutting most everything else and a pair for paper. I have a small pair for small jobs and cutting threads. Finally, I have a pair of pinking shears for those fabrics that ravel to give them a cleaner look and to make them easier to handle. Again no real substitute for a good pair of shears.
I love to use fabric clips instead of pins when possible. I find that they are so much easier to deal with and are absolutely necessary when working with leather or vinyl.
Of course there are inexpensive sewing hacks to save the day if you don’t have these in your sewing box. You can troll your office supply for binder clips in large, medium, and small. Check out your craft store, hardware store, or supermarket for the old-fashioned snap type clothes pins. Or how about hitting your local pharmacy for some hair clips for inexpensive alternatives. You can often get these free or next to free with your pharmacy’s extra buck rewards.
Bodkins or drawstring turners are great little tools to have. I am really surprised at how often I use mine in the bag making that I do. I especially like the large size one in the photo. I use that one most of the time.
Of course like most things there are a few inexpensive, though not as easy, ways to accomplish the same thing. One is a safety pin attached to the drawstring and feeding through a little at a time. The other is one of my favorite storage hacks and that is a straw. Simply slide the drawstring into the straw and close it with the safety pin then feed the straw through. These are tried and true methods but the bodkin is really worth the minimal investment.
Pilot Frixion Pens
These frixion pens are awesome. I hunt my local office supply or Amazon for these. They are regular writing pens but have a special property that is great for sewers and crafters and that is that they disappear when you iron over them. How good is that? They write smoothly on fabric and disappear like magic. No more guessing about straight or curved lines for that matter. I just love these. Every now and then you can find a coupon for these but rare.
What is there to say about seam rippers. My life would be so much more difficult without them. It doesn’t matter how much sewing or needle work you do you always end up ripping something out and there is nothing better than a $2 seam ripper. I have them everywhere because I set them down and can’t remember where they are then I clean up the mess and find about four of them. These handy dandy little items are definitely ones I can’t live without.
You can stock up on these when they are on sale with a coupon!!
One of my favorite “tools” to use in sewing is plain old glue sticks you can get at any office supply store or by clicking the Amazon link. You can use them to hold just about any fabric together while you sew. I especially like them for inserting zippered pockets. Spread some glue on your zipper lay your fabric opening over it and press to set the glue and you don’t have to worry abut the zipper moving while you sew or your needle getting gummed up.
Smart shopping can get these handy tools free or next to free. Keep an eye out at your local office supply store around late July and August when school supplies go on sale. You can usually pick these up for $0.01 or free if you have credits. I like to stock up on them.
A cordless Iron is an indispensable tool for every sewer. I don’t see how it is possible to get a neat and finished product without one. I keep mine near my sewing machine at all times and constantly use it to make sure all of my seams are neat and tidy and that all of my fabric is flat and wrinkle free. Just a few wrinkles can throw off your whole project so an iron is absolute must have and using it is second nature. I got this little gem at Sewing Machines Plus on sale with free shipping. It was a real bargain and I have not regretted my purchase. Believe me when you go cordless you will never go back.
I don’t quilt but a quilter’s ruler is another tool I use without much thought. Besides the fact that it is transparent it marks out all of the angles you will need for most craft and sewing projects. Quilter’s rulers come in all shapes and sizes and I actually have several on hand to make creating squares, rectangles and curves for any number of projects simple and easy.
Seam Gauge and Measuring Tape
Here are two tools no sewer can live without. Of course the standard Tape Measure is a must for sewing just about everything but I love my seam gauge. I use it all the time for things other than seams. Because it has that little slider in the middle you can make sure any measurement up to 6″ is perfect every time. I particularly like it for boxing corners in hand bags and hemming. It makes both jobs go fast and easy. It seems like I reach for my seam gauge whenever I have to measure anything that less than 6″. It does the job perfectly and is small in my hand so I really do not have to think about it.
Teflon Sewing Foot
My Teflon sewing foot has been a Godsend. I like to use faux leather and vinyl in my bag making and the Teflon foot makes it super easy to sew. It just glides along the faux leather and vinyl without sticking. It is especially good with the clear vinyl I use in wallets and name tags. I just love it.
All of these products are products that I use without really thinking about them. They are mainstays in my sewing room that I could not live without. I highly recommend that you invest in some or all of them. You will not regret it.