Beginning sewers often spend a lot of time and money finding the perfect sewing machine. They research all the bells and whistles and try to find one that does everything they want and isn’t too far above budget.
But there are a few other tools that can make your life a lot easier.
Along with the fancy machine, the endless patterns, and the growing stacks of fabric – here are a few tools that experienced sewers recommend.
This handy tool allows you to make markings on your fabric as you’re working on a project. But the ink then washes away completely with water. It’s good to have fabric chalk, also, in case you’re using material that is dry clean only and you don’t want to have to use water to wipe away the marks. If you’re on a budget, some sewers suggest using white soap as an alternative.
Straight Pins with Colored Heads
When you first start sewing you might think that any straight pin will do to hold your fabric together. But the first time your machine tries to sew over one of these pens you’ll realize the importance of having the colored heads. It allows you to see the pins easier. You’ll need a pin cushion, too, to keep the pins from getting spread all over.
Many sewers recommend a wrist pin cushion so your pins are always handy.
Another option is a good magnet for picking up loose pins when you’re done for the day.
Sadly, not every seam you sew will be perfect, especially in the beginning. You’ll need one of these to rip the seam out and try again. Keep it close by.
As your eyes start to age you’ll realize the need for this. There’s no reason to spend minutes stressing over threading a needle when this tool is so easy to use and inexpensive.
When you’re working on a project you’ll find it often gets covered with small pieces of thread. This tool is handy to just run over fabric and pick off any extra threads. You’ll probably want to use it on yourself when you’re done.
These can be makeup brushes or paint brushes. Use them often to clean out your sewing machine. This can save you money by avoiding future repairs.
If you’ve ever tried to hem stretchy material you know what a hassle it can be. By using this tape you simply place it between the fabric pieces and then iron. The tape binds the material together and it will hold up even after washing. However, if you choose to, you can still sew the hem but the tape will hold the fabric in place making it a lot simpler to sew.
18 Inch See Through Straight Edge Ruler
This allows you to measure and mark your fabric. Plus, you can see marks you’ve already made since you can see through the ruler.
This is a clever device that can save you a lot of time and aggravation. It is simply a metal rod with a ring on the end and a latch and hook on the other end. After you sew a loop, for a spaghetti strap or waistband, you need to reverse it so the stitching is on the inside. This makes doing so much easier.
This handy tool looks like a pizza cutter and saves you from cutting out material with a pair of scissors. You’ll need a heavy mat to place underneath the fabric as you cut it. You can use pattern weights and you won’t even need to pin the paper pattern to the fabric. A triangle weight works well in corners.
NOTE: The blade is very sharp so be careful.
Iron and Ironing Board
In a world of wrinkle free clothing this piece of equipment is quickly becoming obsolete. But when you’re sewing fabric you want it to be as wrinkle free as possible and some fabric needs a good ironing before you start. A mini ironing board can also be useful when you’re ironing small finished projects.
The iron is also needed when you use hemming tape.
Scissors (three pair)
Every sewer knows the pain of seeing their sewing scissors used on a child’s school project. ARGH! That’s why you need to keep your extra sharp scissors safely stored in your sewing room or sewing kit where no one else can use them. Buy an extra set for cutting out your paper patterns and anything other than fabric. A tiny pair of scissors can also be handy for when you need to cut thread in a small space.
Though all of these tools are not essential, they are all very helpful and will make any sewers life at lot easier.