8 Sewing Tools You Need to Have
Every seamstress needs the right tools to get the job done. Whether you’re cutting fabric, putting together patterns, or adding snaps, you’ll need at least a few tools to help you complete your projects. I’ve compiled a list of 8 sewing tools you need to have.
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1. Scissors: you can’t sew without scissors. From cutting fabric to snipping threads, the right scissors are important! I reach for my Gingher shears most often. So often, in fact, that I have two pairs on my cutting table. You also need a pair of sharp scissors for snipping threads close to the fabric. Embroidery scissors work great for this. There are lots of other scissors I use, but these are definitely the must-haves. Sidenote: don’t let anyone cut paper with your sewing scissors! They will dull very quickly.
2. Rotary cutters: If you want to cut your fabric out quickly or you’re cutting many pieces at once, a rotary cutter will help immensely! I have three different sizes of rotary cutters: 18mm, 28mm, and 45mm. I use my large rotary cutter most often, but the smaller ones are great for curves and notches, especially in kids’ clothing. I have the blue one because it’s blue… and pretty. Priorities. ;) If you’re using a rotary cutter, you’ll also need a cutting mat to cut on, so you don’t slice up your table. A clear ruler is also super helpful for making straight cuts.
3. Magnetic pin holder: now some might argue with me about this one, but for me a magnetic pin holder is a must. It’s super easy to grab pins and also drop them while you’re sewing. Mine is made by a local artisan, but there are many different kinds available. I use a pincushion as well, but I keep this right by my sewing machine so that as I pull pins out, I can toss them on here and know they won’t end up on the floor for little feet to find.
4. Seam rippers: As you sew, so shall you rip. Every seamstress makes mistakes or needs to re-fit a garment and a seam ripper is essential to taking out your seams without destroying your fabric. My seam ripper and I are good… friends ;) … so I have three with a comfy handle. I somehow always seem to misplace mine when I need it, so having multiples keeps me sane.
5. Wonder Clips: some fabrics shouldn’t be pinned (like leather) and many layers of fabric can be bulky. Wonder Clips are wonderful (see what I did there?? ;) for holding fabric together when pinning isn’t a good option.
6. Glue sticks: They’re more than just school supplies! Glue sticks are perfect for assembling patterns and even keeping hems or seams in place in a pinch. If you’re going to use it often for fabric and sewing over it, however, I’d get a glue that’s specifically designed for sewing. But regular glue stick is perfect for pattern piecing!
7. Kam Snaps and Pliers: Buttonholes can be scary and time-consuming to a beginning seamstress, so snaps are a fantastic alternative! Kam Snaps are super easy to install and can be used for SO many things. Kids’ clothing, diapers, accessories, etc. Even experienced seamstresses know how useful a tool snaps can be!
8. Sewing machines: The last tool (or tools) that a seamstress needs, obviously, is a sewing machine. You can, of course, sew by hand. But if you want to sew garments and bags, you’ll need a good machine. My main sewing machine is a Juki HZL-F400. I’ve had it for less than a year, but I couldn’t be happier with it. The knee pedal alone is a game-changer! This baby has sewn through multiple layers of thick fabric, handles denim no problem, and has even sewn through thick jute rope! Along with my main machine, I have a serger and a coverstitch machine. If you want to sew clothing, these are a great investment – especially if you want to sew knits! Not sure what they do? Look at the inside of a T-shirt you bought at the store: those seams and the hem are done with a serger and a coverstitch. If you don’t have either, start with a serger.
There are so many tools you can use as a seamstress – and trust me, I have many more ;) – but these are definitely tools that you need to have in your sewing room! What are your favorite sewing tools??