Hi everyone, Kelly on the blog today! I’ve been sewing for the last 7 years or so, but I’ve really ramped things up the past few years though doing a lot of testing and sewing for my family. I’m going to admit it, I like to collect sewing tools and gadgets almost as much as I do patterns and fabrics! Over the years I have tried so many different tools to help make my sewing game top notch. Here are my favorite tools and gadgets that I use (some with every single sew!) and love.
- Slanted tweezers
- Chaco liner pen
- Measuring gauge
- Fabric glue & hem tape
- Loop turner
- Expanding gauge
- Duckbill scissors
- Makeup tool & mini vacuum
Want to see the sewing tools and gadgets in action? You can check them out in the video below:
I’m not getting any younger, and it’s not always easy for me to thread my machines anymore with a snap of my fingers. In come a pair of slanted tweezers and it’s easy peazy to get your needles threaded. You get great control of your thread with them and they’re easy to use in smaller tricky spaces of a serger or coverstitch.
They also work really well to turn out corners if you don’t have a Purple Thang (which I don’t) or if you’ve lost your chopsticks again (which I have).
I’m sure by now that most of you have seen plastic clips for holding fabrics together. I love to use my clips in place of pins on fabrics that otherwise may snag with a dull pin. They are also great for holding hems in place.
The chaco liner pen has quickly become a favorite tool of mine while I’m marking all of my notches and pleats and darts onto my fabric. The Clover brand comes in a handful of colors to work with any fabric color that you may be using. The end of the “pen” is a little wheel that dispenses the chalk into a very thin and precise line. When you’re done sewing, it just brushes off of your fabric.
The measuring gauge is useful for so many purposes. I use it to quickly find out measurements on my serger, such as 3/8”, since it’s not already noted. I use it anytime I am marking a hem.
It has so many measurements on it that I always find the one I need.
I have always kept hem tape on hand for a little extra help in hemming rounded curves or keeping pockets in place while I’m sewing them on. Hem tape is a double-sided tape that is safe for your machine’s needle to go through. I always make sure to get wash away not the permanent type.
Along the same lines as the hem tape is a fabric glue that can be used as well. I recently picked up a Sewline fabric glue pen and it’s very easy to use. It just glides onto your fabric and your needle again is good to go through it.
The bodkin is something that I hadn’t considered before for inserting elastic into channels or straps. I have always just used a safety pin and just put up with any time that my safety pin came undone halfway through and stabbed my finger. With the bodkin, you close the elastic into the teeth and secure it in place, and then you’ve got a 3” piece to hold and push through the fabric channel – so much easier to maneuver and no fingers stabbed!
The loop turner is very easy to use as well. You just insert it into the piece that needs turning, get the hook caught on the end in the fabric, and then pull it through. The loop turner, along with my hem gauge, is probably my most used tool in my sewing gadgets arsenal.
Not only is it great for turning out loops and straps, I also use it to secure my serger tails. Insert the hook into the edge of your serged seam until it comes out of the end where the tail is at. Place the tail into the hook and pull it back through the seam. You can either pull it through fully if you start far enough back, or you can just snip off any extra. I love this technique to hide serger tails when you’ve serged together two pieces that are already hemmed, and therefore the serged tail would not be hidden otherwise.
The expanding gauge is a very handy tool to have around anytime that you’re going to be sewing buttonholes and buttons. I recently made my daughter a Clueless Cardigan, and unlike me, she insists on having buttons on her cardigans (just wait until she sews for herself, maybe she’ll change her tune then!) To make the job of marking your buttonhole and button placements a little bit easier, the expanding gauge can be used. I really don’t like trying to figure out the math of spacing everything *just so* so the gauge does that for me. You just expand the gauge to where you want the markings to be and they’re evenly spaced for you.
Duckbill scissors are invaluable when it comes to working with lace or trimming back fabric edges. You place the curved edge against the lace/fabric that you do not want to cut, and there is no chance of a point getting snagged and accidentally cutting that lace/fabric. The fun rainbow colors of this Tula Pink pair are also fun to use!
Cleanup is made easy with a mascara wand and mini vacuum. I grabbed a pack of mascara wands in various shapes from the dollar store, and they have been the perfect tool for grabbing all of the lint that my mini vacuum can’t quite reach inside of my serger. It’s great because it’s soft, but the little bristles pick up so much lint that’s out of eyesight. The mini vacuum does a quick job of picking up all of the lint and fibers and smaller pieces of fabric that may be left behind after using my machines.
I hope I’ve introduced you to a few sewing tools that you may not have already known about or use in your own arsenal. Are there any tools that you use on a regular basis that you couldn’t sew without? Let me know in the comments!
Kelly is an avid pattern tester and fabric hoarder. She loves to post about her makes and what works for her curvy body on her Instagram at kellygonthierart.
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