My Favorite Sewing Tools
Every job's easier w/ the right tools. Here are a few of my favorites...
Cutting mat... This is one thing that once I got it I wish I had sprung for it years ago! It makes the job SO much easier and QUICKER!!! If you're considering buying a mat, bigger IS better. I recently upgraded from a 12x18in to a 24x36in b/c w/ the larger one I can work with a regular 44" piece of fabric (folded in half, how it comes from the bolt) and cut it in one swipe. Having a mat saves you lots of time and effort, and having a bigger mat saves you even more. Of course, it is an investment. One thing I'd be weary of w/ getting the cheap off-brand mat though is that they can tend to dull your blades much faster, whereas sticking w/ the Ofla (or other reputable brand) will keep your blades sharp much longer.
Spring-loaded shears ROCK! If you're doing much hand cutting this saves your hands big time from wearing out and getting sore or cramped. The short spring-loaded snippers (on the bottom in this picture) I bought w/ a friend's recommendation when making a rag quilt b/c it requires LOTS of short snips and boy was I glad to have them! I liked them so much that I got a regular sized pair of spring-loaded shears too.
These little shears are handy to have closeby the sewing machine to snip spare threads.
Hem clips... My mom got me these and they are so handy when you need to fold a long piece of fabric with an even hem. They're also nice to hold stuff in place temporarily.
Soft thimble... I spotted this at Hobby Lobby for a couple bucks and it is pretty nice! It's comfortable on the finger and even has a slit for your finger nail to stick out of! I won't ever go back to a metal thimble!
Self-winding soft tape measure... A sweet client of mine gave this to me and I LOVE not having to re-wind the tape all the time. It's fabulous.
My iron is an important tool for sewing! It’s amazing the difference in how much easier fabric is to work with, cut accurately, and sew after they’re ironed. It’s also handy for turning under edges when hemming so you can skip pinning. Pinning is such a drag.
Of course I have to give props to my recent investment in a serger, which saves me tons of time by perfectly trimming the fabric as it sews, and can make decorative edge hems that show on the outside of the fabric so I don't have to turn everything inside-out. It uses four threads at once and gives a much stronger seam with minimal bulk. It's great for nearly everything, though it's not a complete replacement to a regular sewing machine. If you're considering getting a serger, it doesn't have to break the bank. They can easily run up into the thousands if you don't know what to get or where to shop, but I got a Brother 1034D 4-thread-serger on Amazon with some extras for under $200. It runs great and does everything that a normal person will ever want to do and more.