There’s a whole world of sewing tools and gadgets out there that claim to help sewists in one way or another. In my 12+ years of sewing I’ve probably tried them all. While some have been total duds, others have stood the test of time and become part of my sewing room Must Have List!
The MUST HAVE List
- Double Sided Wonder Tape. This. stuff. is. MAGIC! This little wonderful tape will hold your zippers in place while you sew. It helps to prevent wavy zippers and unevenness. It can even be used to hold seams together while you sew to achieve that professional look. This stuff can be sewn over and won’t gum up your needle. It’s lightweight and pretty easy to work with.
2. Fray Check. Fray check really does keeps the fray away. I always use this when adding metal labels, magnetic snaps, purse locks and other hardware that requires tearing the fabric. It lasts a long time because a little bit goes a long way. Plus it only takes a few seconds to add to your bag. The little extra time is worth it to make sure your bags are going to last.
****My favorite seam ripper, the seam fix, is also pictured here!****
3. Fabri-Tac. is another great tool in the sewing room because it secures the fabric in the places you can’t sew. Adding a small dab of fabri-tac to your zipper end caps, tassel caps, purse locks, and strap ends will help to ensure it stays in place. This marvelous stuff adds more security and should be used along with any screws that come with the hardware.
4. Wonderclips are essential for bag makers and sewists. They hold your fabric in place without the need for pins, so you don’t need to worry about holes in your vinyls, leathers (or even your fingers)! I also recommend Mini Wonder clips. They are perfect for holding together small and tight spaces like zippers and corners.
5. Machine Oil Pen. Sewing machines need regular oiling but most oil bottles are messy. This little gadget is amazing! It can dispense a single drop of oil in the precise place you need it. No more oil drips all over the sewing machine and onto the fabric. Plus it comes with a nifty screw cap to ensure against leaks. I have several and keep one at each sewing machine!
6. The Cricut Easy Press makes adding interfacing a billion times easier AND faster than with a regular iron. I use it every time I interface my fabrics because it cuts my interfacing time by half! These press irons come in multiple sizes but the 10×12 is the most efficient for interfacing because it covers the largest surface area. Another plus is the quick heat up time. Spend less time interfacing and more time sewing! YAY!
7. Turning out corners can be a pain in the booty, but it is SO MUCH easier with a scoring stylus! This handy tool it meant for scoring paper when paper crafting but it makes the perfect corner turning tool in sewing and bag making. It’s long enough to get into the corners. The smooth pointed end really pokes out the corners without poking holes into your fabric!
8. Different styles of chalk are always on hand in my sewing room. Chalk is great to mark fabrics without leaving a permanent mark. I use a refillable chalk pen in white to mark most of my fabrics but sometimes the light color doesn’t show up as well as I needed or I a need a very precise marking. In those circumstances I use chalk markers. This set is great because it has a variety of colors to use on any fabric and leaves precise markings. They also come in a nifty case to keep them safe from breakage.
9. Every sewist needs pair of sharp (and pretty) Fabric Scissors and a pair of “everything else scissors“. Fabric needs to be cut with sharp scissor but paper patterns, zippers and other items will quickly dull them. Keeping separate scissors for fabric only is well worth the investment. They’ll last longer and make cutting out your fabrics a smoother process.
10. The Dritz Big Jig is a lifesaver if you have a domestic sewing machine. This little tool makes going over bulky spots a breeze! Use it behind your presser foot when you approach a bulky seam and move it to the front of your foot when when you are finishing the seam. With this simple little tool you will have less needle breakage and more professional looking seams with ease.
11. The Oliso Mini project iron is another tool that helps give me more professional results. I had originally purchased it for quilt piecing but I use it ALL THE TIME when making bags. It is perfect size for ironing out those small nooks and crannies on the inside of the bag as well as those stubborn wrinkles that appear after turning the bag out! Due to its small size it can iron out those wrinkles your domestic iron can’t.
12. Lastly I absolutely love using Sew Tites! These super strong magnetic cuties really help to hold your stuff together! I use them to hold paper pattern pieces to fabric when I’m cutting them out, especially when doing fussy cutting. They’re also great for holding pieces together when wonder clips just don’t reach. They come in different shapes and sizes but these Tula Pink ones are just too cute to pass up!
I’m sure there are dozens more tools out there (and probably in my sewing studio) but these are the ones I return to time and time again.
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