Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Sewing Gear I Couldn't Live Without

As much as I'd love to be showing new tutorials & sewing up spring goodies, it's just not happening for me right now.  Man, is it hard to find down time these days!  This being my 4th newborn, this isn't a surprise, but while this little guy sleeps a lot, it's usually on me, which while super cuddly, makes doing anything else impossible.  I find I'm spending more time planning & thinking about sewing than the actual thing.  

This thoughts-only time got me to thinking about what sewing supplies are my absolute must-haves.  These are the things I use almost ever time and are so key to making things go well.  I thought I'd share the 5 items that are the Sewing Gear I Couldn't Live Without

I hate hemming, so of course 2 of my items are related to making that easier!

1. Clover Hot Ruler.  This tool is made for lazy sewers like me.  Instead of measuring slowly with a sewing gauge and pinning like crazy to get the hem just right.

You simply fold the hem up to the desired measurement line and press with an iron, since it's heat safe.  So much faster and more precise.

2. Paper Backed Fusible Tape.  This is a hemming favorite too.

Choice the desired width - I usually use the 1/2 & 1/4 inch wide varieties.  Apply it to the wrong side along the fabric edge and then peel away the paper, fold it over so the sticky side presses against the fabric (or iron it in place if it's non-adhesive), then sew.  No need to measure or pin.  LOVE how it kills two birds with one stone.

It also stabilizes the fabric so it won't pull or stretch while sewing.  I've found it to be a lifesaver with knit hems and for minimizing tunneling (when the fabric sticks up between stitch rows) with twin needles.

3. Rotary cutter.  Since I first bought one when I began sewing 9 years ago, I've never looked back.  It takes a little getting used to, but it makes cutting much quicker, easier around curves and to do perfectly straight lines (against a yard stick).

I also love being able to cut through several layers at once - even thick fleece, which is nearly impossible with shears.  The only con is you have to be VERY careful to keep fingers out of the way and get in the habit of clicking the button to retract the blade.  All it takes is one time not paying attention to give yourself a wicked bad cut.  That blade is sharp!!  

4. Walking Presser Foot This is usually an add-on accessory you buy separately from your sewing machine, but boy is it useful.  

It's handy with knits since it grips fabric from the top (instead of just the feed dogs underneath), so the even hold keeps layers from creeping or stretching while you sew.  

It's also great for quilting, heavy weight and fabrics like laminate or silky synthetics that can easily shift.  The photo below was a mix of fleece, metallic bias tape and chalkboard fabric for a chalkboard gift bag and the walking foot kept it all in place beautifully.  I use mine on nearly every project.

Heck, it even works on crazy materials like plastic feed bags. It was a lifesaver when I made this feedbag tablecloth:

5. Mini Clips.  They are key for holding fabrics together when pins won't do.  I know there are some that are sold in craft stores, but really any small clips will work.  These were bought at a hardware store and have the rubber tips.  

Like doing small, folded bits like this drawstring for a pleather duffel bag:

Perfect with laminates that would show pinholes, like this pocketed laminated wallet project:

Or loads of layers like this insulated oven mitt project:

What are your favorite sewing tools?
Share them below!



  1. Oh! I need that hem gauge! I also love my rotary cutter.

    My other favourites include my needle nosed tweezers and my needle threader - I use it on my machine as sometimes I have some trouble (especially if I use a monofilament thread) threading the needle.

  2. My favorite sewing tool is my "old style" "Jean a ma jig" I have the new style but the other is much better for me. I would buy one from anyone that still has one or knows where I can get it. It was kind of multi use as it could be used to work on various thicknesses of fabric. It was gray, and not a flat rectangle like the new one.

  3. I don't have it anymore and I think my cats got it and played with it someplace and lost it. I have a neat house but I have looked everywhere!! Silly furballs.


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