>It really is remarkable what a simple little tool can do. These gadgets can save time or simply make sewing a joy! In no particular order, here’s some of my favorites:
1- Invisible Zipper Foot. This little darling is one of the most useful pieces of plastic I have ever run across. It saves an amazing amount of time. Especially if, like me, your previous encounters with invisible zippers included several attempts at insertion and having a war between the fabric and seam ripper. Speaking of which- the best advice I have for invisible zippers is to put them in before you finish the side seam. No joke. It makes it SO much easier. Here’s a great blog post about putting in invisible zippers
2- Piping foot. While we’re on the subject of feet I might as well list a few more. I am SO sad I misplaced this foot. I think I will go buy a replacement one right now, because the piping and I have been having wars since it was lost. I’m in the middle of making my husband a western shirt and it looks so homemade- and I know it’s mostly because of my total dependence on my piping foot for nice seams. *Sighs* So yes, if you love piping, piping feet are awesome. And making your own piping is really a fun way to add an extra finishing touch to your project. I use Peaches and Cream cotton yarn that’s been prewashed, then sandwiched between bias fold. More on that here.
3- Pintuck Foot. I swear I’ll resist the urge to list more fancy sewing machine feet after this. But really, if you’re interested in making dainty underthings or lingerie style blouses, this is such an amazing time saver. Just remember to cut your pieces a little bigger to accommodate the tuck width (don’t want your blouse too small after all that work) and use a twin needle with two top threads. I like all my sewing feet to be clear plastic, if I can help it, or a combination of plastic and metal. I love the ability to see what the fabric’s doing all the way until it hits the needle, but metal vs plastic is just a matter of personal preference.
4- Cotton Basting Thread. I was completely unaware of the pure and utter joy I was missing before the tailor I worked under at the opera opened my eyes to the glory of cotton basting thread. If sewing is a sensory experience for you (as it is for me) this stuff is so soft and so lovely, and it holds things SO WELL because it’s not made of slippery synthetic fibres like most modern threads. It’s a must for working with wools. It’s really hard to find, especially since tailoring is such a lost art, but I bought mine here.
6- Loop Turner. I know this is pretty standard, but I do NOT miss the days of turning my loops or running my elastic through a casing with a safety pin. This thing is cheap. There’s really no reason why any sewing kit wouldn’t have one. I hear they have a flexible one, too, that can go into curves. That’s on my wish list.
7- Magnetic Pin Cushion. I’ve used these my whole life, since my mom taught me early about the joy of sewing gadgetry. If you’re a klutz like me, this is a great way to gather up those pins you’ve dropped on the table/floor/chair/lap, without having to pick up each individual one. Only two cons- when I forget and stick my hand sewing needles in there and have to dig for them (why do those things always go missing?) or if you drop it… it’s like a pin bomb and they fly everywhere. But other than that, they’re great.
8- Silk Pins. It took me a long time to warm up to the idea of different pins, but I can seriously vouch for the fabulousness of shiny, new, pointy, thin, pins when working with delicate fabrics. Words to the wise- use a microtex fine machine needle and change it often when working with delicates, make sure your machine is oiled, and use silk pins to prevent snags. Nothing like snagging your fabric simply by pinning it before you sew it. Seriously, pins are so cheap, you should be throwing out your bent and dull ones anyways. Really. Not snagging nice fabric is worth throwing away the old and dull pins.
9– Seam Ripper– the Clover brand one with the white handle. Simply the best seam ripper I’ve found to date, and funnily enough, it’s usually in the quilting section of fabric chains. I strongly dislike those standard seam rippers with the blue handles. Their points are just too thick to get into tiny stitches. This one is super pointy, very narrow, and can get into those teensy stitches- but just make sure you don’t put a hole in your fabric. Since we were on the subject of dull things- I don’t know why it took me so long to realize that just because I HAD a seam ripper, didn’t mean it didn’t need replacing. Ripping seams is such a pain anyways, you might as well get a sharp ripper to cut down on the time it takes to take out the seams and the frustration of using a dull ripper.
10- Sleeve Board. These are great! They fold up for easy storage, and they are narrow enough to get into sleeves to press underarm seams open without leaving those pesky press lines on either side of the sleeve. Fabulous tool. I need another one since mine finally bit the dust.
Well, I suppose I could go on, but we’ll leave it at ten today! What about you? What sewing tools can you not live without?
These images were borrowed from the internet and are the property of their prospective owners. This post is simply to share the joy of gadgets and is not for profit.