Seamingly Badass

Learn to Sew: Additional Sewing Tools

So, the bare minimum you need to get by with for sewing is:

  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Machine Needles
  • Thread
  • Seam Ripper

With the optional

  • Hand needle, and
  • Tape Measure

But, you must know that there are many more tools out there that can make your sewing life just that much easier.

Some of these are super inexpensive, some cost a little bit more.

But if you have the basics, based on what I sew, and how I sew, these are the next 5 things I’d recommend investing in:

Wrist Pin Cushion

If you notice, I did not list a pin cushion in my list of essentials. That’s because it isn’t essential. You can store your pins in the container that they came in.

However, when you start to sew more and more, you’ll want your pins at the ready to be used.

And, since it’s poor form to sew over your pins (or attempt to sew through them as I have done so many many times), you’ll want to remove the pins as you sew.

The most convenient method of pin storage for this is a little wrist pin cushion. It sits on your wrist and goes where you go.

I love mine.

A word of caution, if you ever sew a garment, you will want to take this off your wrist before shoving your wrist into a sleeve or pant leg to turn it right side (or inside) out. heh.

Point Turner

A point turner is a great tool for turning sharp corners right-side out.

It’s pointy enough to poke the corner out sharp, without poking through the fabric or the corner.

Sure, you can use your scissors, but you risk harming your creation.

Tube Turner

A tube turner is similar to a point turner, but it is made for turning longer tubes of fabric.

Essentially, there’s two pieces. One that goes inside the tube and one that stays outside. You essentially turn the tube of fabric from one to the other piece of the tube turner.

I was convinced that I’d need it. I was so skeptical.

But, OMG, I use this tool on SO MANY Projects!

Rotary Cutter

Rotary cutters make short work of cutting out pattern pieces most of the time.

They do have their limitations. But, honestly, I don’t think I could live without mine.

They come in sizes. The small ones work better for insider corners and sharp curves.

I don’t know if quilters would ever go back to using scissors to cut all those fabric squares and triangles out.

Personally, I don’t quilt, but this is DEFINITELY something to think about if you are considering quilting.

Rotary Cutter Mat

Honestly, you really can’t use a rotary cutter without a mat. I mean, you can.

But two things: 1) You’ll likely destroy whatever is under your fabric. So, your counter, the dining table, your cutting table. IF it’s not cut-resistant.

And 2) you may not get a decent cut. The cutting mats are made so that the blade will dig slightly into them ensuring that they will go all the way through fabric layers.

An optional addition to the above would be pattern weights. These eliminate the need to pin your pattern to your fabric when cutting. But they aren’t necessary even if you use a rotary cutter. They just make things faster. But not necessarily more accurate.

And you can substitute heavy things for them. Just make sure they won’t destroy your fabric. So, plate weights for big pattern pieces, food cans, bolts, or washers can work.