With so many helpful sewing tools out there, which are the best sewing tools out there?
As the daughter of an engineer, a good gadget wins a lot of appreciation for me.
And I’ll be the first to admit that I probably have too many sewing (and kitchen) tools.
But if a tool actually makes my life easier, I get practically evangelical about it.
Which sewing tools are of the deserted island variety?
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Sewing tools for cutting
There’s plenty of different types of helpful sewing tools, and cutting tools are some of my favorites. Fabric that’s cut well will give you a much nicer project in the end.
1. Small embroidery scissors
A lot of people would say “seam ripper” as their #1 sewing tool. And why not?. We all make mistakes and need that faithful friend to help fix them.
But I’m going to go out on a limb and say that small embroidery scissors are even more useful.
These Gingher Stork scissors are my absolute favorite. I hang these little embroidery scissors on a ribbon around my neck when I’m sewing.
They’re great for clipping threads and trimming small corners. And because they’re my necklace of choice, I’m never having to fish around for scissors when I’m sewing. When I’m going for lightning fast sewing efficiency, these are my BFF.
Also, they double as a seam ripper. The fine blades fit right inside a stitch, so you can pull out errant stitches really easily with about 0% chance of damaging your fabric.
If you’ve ever put a hole in your fabric with an eager seam ripper, give small embroidery scissors a chance.
2. Awesome scissors
Rotary cutters are wonderful gadgets. But you need a cutting mat making them less portable.
You know what cutting tool will never let you down, and you can carry anywhere? An excellent pair of scissors.
The best sewing scissors are the ones that fit your hands and you keep wicked sharp. I love these serrated Kai 7250-SE Serrated Scissors.
They’re lightweight which is huge for my small hands.
True: I actually once took a pair of heavier Gingher shears back to JoAnn for a refund because they hurt my hands. The cashier thought I was bananas.
It’s hard for me not to sound like a commercial with these guys. But seriously, the first time you cut with them it’ll feel like every other pair of scissors you’ve owned up until this point might as well be rusty garden shears.
Win-win: sharp scissors save you time. When you save a little time, that’s one more way you can make time to sew.
Sewing tools for the construction process
Let’s talk gizmos that can make your actual sewing process more fun.
3. Turn it all tubes
I think one of the first projects I did as a kid was to make an elastic hair scrunchie. After sewing the whole thing, I used my fingers to try and turn the tube to the right side. I got there eventually, but I was frustrated and annoyed with the process.
Oh, but I wish I had these Turn it all tubes. They’re a lot like drinking straws, but they’re more sturdy. Basically the idea is that you take a tube you need to turn to the right side. Put your chosen diameter straw inside.
Then push the dowel or metal stick from the wrong side through the hole in the straw. The tube will go through the inside of the straw turned perfectly pretty much instantly.
If you make belts, spaghetti straps, or any kind of tie, these work unbelievably fast. They’re so speedy that they earn a well-deserved spot among the most helpful sewing tools.
See how this one works in action on the video below plus some of the other tools in this article.
4. Glass head pins
To be totally transparent, I don’t use that many pins. In fact, you can read here about why I think you should give sewing without pins a good try.
That being said, people love them some pins. And they do have a place in a sewing arsenal.
If you do use pins, get some really fine glass head pins. They have a small diameter so they won’t poke big old holes in you or your fabric.
Plus, you can iron right over them. Plastic head pins, not so much.
I love using these for fitting and especially for holding pleats in place when they need to be pressed.
And once you have a good set of pins, keep them handy with a DIY magnetic pincushion.
Make a DIY magnetic pincushion
Keep those pins away from your feet!
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.