Whether you’re brand new to needlework or whether you’re already a keen sewer and just want to check that you have everything you need to maximize your enjoyment of your sewing projects, there are some sewing tools and notions that every keen needleworker should invest in.
The term “sewing notions” may be alien to you, however it only means sewing equipment – bits and pieces that go with your sewing kit that make life easier and more convenient when you’re embarking on a new sewing project.
Of course, it goes without saying that the first essential tool that you need in your sewing room is going to be your sewing machine unless you’re planning on doing everything by hand which could take a huge amount of time. However, a sewing machine isn’t the only piece of key equipment you’re going to require. As you develop a greater breadth of different sewing skills, you’re bound to want to add more sewing notions and tools to your own collection.
Best Sewing Notions & Tools
Using standard kitchen scissors to cut your fabric isn’t going to produce very good results so you should really consider buying a pair of good quality fabric shears. Having been designed especially to cut through fabric easily and quickly, they are the best choice for anyone who is planning on doing even a small amount of needlework. Buy some good quality shears and always take excellent care of them. This involves never using them to cut anything except fabric – not even paper as this will cause them to be damaged in the long term. Some people even have to keep them under lock and key to prevent others from using them! Get the sharpened whenever they need it so they stay sharp to produce professional results. If you’re left handed you might be tempted to buy a pair of left hand scissors however they aren’t really worth it.
Cutting out pattern pieces isn’t easy at the best of times but it certainly won’t be easy if you’re trying to use a pair of scissors from your kitchen drawer! A rotary cutter is the best option for cutting out patterns but remember to keep it sharp. When using a rotary cutter, another key tool is a self-healing cutting mat since using the cutter on any regular surface will end up destroying it. One further sewing tool that you could benefit from is a clear plastic ruler which will allow you to see more clearly to straighten the edges of the fabric.
These special scissors cut a zig zag shaped edge to your fabric and represent a brilliant way of finishing seams. They’re also especially useful if you’re working with a material which can unravel easily since pinking its edges cuts down on frustration massively.
It may seem like a pointless addition to your sewing tool collection however small craft scissors can prove invaluable when it comes to clipping loose threads. If you’re also very careful they can even serve double duty as a small seam-ripper if you misplace yours.
Seam rippers are a brilliant tool to add to your collection. Every sewer will find from time to time that they need a way to correct the mistakes that they’ve made and the seam ripper is the best way to do it quickly and hassle free.
Pins & Pincushion
The most useful sewing notions of them all has to be a box of pins with a matching pincushion. They might sound old fashioned, but you’ll be using pins all the time, especially if you’re making clothing, and putting them back into a pin cushion is much easier than trying to fit them back into a box. Not only that, but pincushions can also be a really cute decoration for your sewing room!
Sewing Machine Needles
There’s nothing more frustrating than being half way through sewing an item and then discovering that your last sewing machine needle has snapped in two. Having a few spares at all times is pretty important if you want to save time, effort and frustration. Even if the needles supplied with your sewing machine don’t break, over time they become full anyway, so it’s definitely worth investing in some spares. Buy a few that suit different weights of fabric so you’re well equipped to tackle any project and remember that if you’re going to be working with knit fabrics you’ll need ballpoint needles too. While you’re buying sewing machine needles, it’s also worthwhile investing in a couple of packs of standard hand sewing needles too since most projects will require some hand-finishing, even if it’s just sewing buttons on.
If you’re going to be making clothing, one key item you’re going to need is a good quality measuring tape. While it may be tempting to buy one of the rigid ones that slides back into its housing that’s not going to be the best option if you’re measuring someone’s body, so buy one of the soft and flexible ones so your measurements can be more accurate.
You’ll need to mark lines, notches and make other marks on fabric that you’re planning to sew so having a tool on hand to achieve this is essential. Tailor’s chalk works brilliantly on dark fabrics, however consider investing in a water soluble pen too so you can draw on light fabrics just as easily.
Turning up hems isn’t always easy, but one way of making sure that you’re getting the measurements right is to use a seam gauge. Not only are they useful for this purpose but they also serve double duty as a ruler if you’re required to measure a smaller amount.
These are just some of the key sewing tools and notions you need to get the most out of your sewing projects. Happy sewing! For more expert reviews, recommendations, and advice, head to our homepage.