A round-up of some really useful stuff for sewists. If you love to sew, then this post will provide you with some of those lesser-known quirky gadgets that will make your life just that little bit easier when in front of your sewing machine.
Sewing Machine Bobbin Buddies / Match Mates
Honestly, before discovering these little beauties I spent a depressing amount of time loading up a bobbin for my latest sewing project, only to have to unravel it all when I needed the bobbin for something different. Now I can be super organised, and use these little gadgets to keep my pre-loaded bobbins attached to the very spool of cotton they came from. No more holding those very-similar-but-not-quite-the-same-shade spools of cotton up to the light to see which one belongs to the thread on the bobbin. Simple but effective.
You can buy one, you can make one, but having a pin cushion on you at all times is one of those things that saves you much faffing around and to-ing and fro-ing while you work on your latest make. Need a pin? It’s right there. Need to take out a pin? You have somewhere safe to put it straight away. In a perfect world I’d wear it all the time.
How on earth did I manage without one of these? A super-simple and effective tool for making sure your hems are accurate and even.
Vanishing Fabric Marker (air-drying)
I do love these pens. A lot of my sewing education was of the more austere ‘we do things properly’ end of the spectrum, so for a long time I thought drawing guidelines of any kind was a big no-no. Turns out, at the right time and for the right reason, these cheap and cheerful products make life a whole lot easier. Make your mark, do your sewing, 24 hours later the pen line had disappeared and no one ever needs to know! Go on, make life easier on yourself from time to time (just do make sure you do a test-run on a scrap of fabric first, just to make sure your mark will definitely disappear in time).
If you love to sew, why not sign up to my Creative Sewing Challenge? You’ll receive a new prompt each month to inspire your sewing. Sign up below, or find out more here.
Your fabric scissors are a special thing, something for you and you alone to decide what make, price-range and size to buy. So there is no specific link here, but just a note to say you DO MOST DEFINITELY need scissors devoted to fabric cutting and nothing else. Keep them stashed away, at a secret location only known to you, with some kind of Indiana Jones style boobie-traps to keep others at bay. These scissors must not be used for anything other than fabric.
Sewing Loop Turner
Sooner or later you are going to be required to sew something long and thin that is an absolute pig to then turn inside out. Used properly, these little tools can save much time and frustration (and make a near impossible task really rather fun).
Corner and Edge Shaper
Now, you are often told to use a knitting needle for the job of getting a nice sharp point when turning out anything with a corner. But I always found that came with a real risk of the needle poking through between the stitches if I wasn’t careful. So I do like this little gadget, created specifically for the job and so has just the right amount of point without risk of poking. If you have a tried and tested approach that works for you, then I totally respect you may see no need to purchase something to do the same job. But, as I am often making little toys I really found this one well worth buying, it gets a lot of use.
Magnet and Magnetic Pin Cushion
Face it, sooner or later you are going to drop a pin. Or, on a particularly bad day when nothing seems to be going your way (we all have them), you are going to drop all your pins. Get yourself a magnet, and the job of picking them up becomes a whole lot easier and safer (and quicker – if you have ever spent a stupid amount of time tracking down that one lost pin before your partner or child or pet treads on it, you will know what I mean). Complimentary to this there is also the option of a magnetic pin cushion. I’ll be honest, I’ve never got into using these, but I know other people do swear by them. For me, something fabric and pretty to keep my pins in will always be preferable.
There you have it, a few useful items that I wished I’d known about from the start, and couldn’t live without now. If you’ve found this helpful, please do share my pin on Pinterest…
Happy sewing everyone,