Today I uploaded this video rounding off my mini-series on sewing tools. This one is my all-time-wouldn’t-sew-without tools and in this blog post I’m going to summarise them.
All these things really streamline my sewing process, help me get better results and feel happier and more competent working on my projects.I thought about ranking them, but it would be rather like rankingmy favourite children, and i’m definately not going there! Sooooo in no particular order:
First, sewing machine needles, or more specifically using the right needle for the job. I used to be that sewist who just kept the same needle in the machine until it committed suicide due to exhaustion.
But, in recent years, I have been converted to the wisdom of changing your needle for each project (most of the time – I am human after all).
I don’t discard lightly used needles but if my machine plays up, it’s the first thing I check and I’m certain it’s improved the quality of my work.
I next shared my cheapest tool ever, my cardboard lump jumper. This thing has helped me with many a tricky line of sewing and it’s just the simplest, most helpful thing in my sewing room. If you dont have one you should run to your recycling right this minute and make one…. Go on, stop reading and do it! You won’t be sorry 🙂
My next item is my Hemline sewing gauge. I reach for this thing on every. single. project. To check seam allowances, to measure hems, because I can’t remember numbers I’ve measured from one second to the next… I use it all the time. It’s such a cheap tool but it’s infinately useful and I wouldn’t be without one
Then I moved on to how I cut out projects. When I discovered rotary cutting, it literally changed my sewing life. I find it so much quicker and more accurate than any other method I’ve tried. Sure there’s always the risk you’ll lose a limb but I reckon it’s a fair price for such a great technique.
Admittedly the down side is that it’s an expensive technique because along with the cutter (often more than one size), you’ll have to buy the cutting mats – the larger the better. And you’ll need pattern weights. They all have to come as a group otherwise the method both gets more dangerous AND less efficient.
That’s why pattern weights were my next pick, or more specifically anything large and heavy with a flat bottom, since I used the BOX with my weights in far more often than I use my weights individually. Weird perhaps, but true.
And then I also mentioned my clear quilting rulers. Not for quilting – never done that – but for how useful they are for holding pattern pieces down as you cut them. Also for their usefulness to check the grainline on pattern pieces against the selvedge of fabric. Again I use these large perspex quilting rulers every time I cut out a project.
Sharpie markers had to feature because I also use them all the time. I used to hate marking notches – BORING! – and tbh I often skipped it, and you can imagine how well that turned out. Since I had the brainwave that maybe I could mark the edge of the fabric with pen and grabbed a sharpie to give it a try, I haven’t looked back. I can mark up a pattern in less than a minute and my sewing results have amazingly improved no end now that I can actually match the pieces together how they’re meant to go. Who knew!?
And finally, having said I couldn’t rank my choices, I decided that my last mention was definitely the one that I would keep if you forced me to chose only one. Again it’s super simple, in fact I made it myself and I have no idea how it took me decades to realise how useful a wrist pin cushion would be.
I mean! Seamstresses and tailors have been using them literally for centuries! I love mine and again it has changed my efficiency so much. I always know where my pins and needles are, I can always reach one when I want to and it’s often like an extra pair of hands when you’re grappling with fabric.
So, those are my absolute, always in use, favourite tools. I hope you enjoyed my mini-series, thanks for watching and reading! Goodbye until next time! xxxx
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