Your favourite sewing tools

Oh lovely sewing gadgets, how happy you make me! Time savers, problem solvers, workhorses, making tricky jobs simple – they are the things I wouldn’t be without in my sewing room. Do you have a favourite sewing tool that you love? Something a bit out of the ordinary that you want to tell you fellow sewists about? Or maybe a certain brand of gadget that you think blows all the others out of the water (for example my current favourite, Tulip extra-fine pins)?

As you might know if you are a regular round here, I have a series going on where I single out those little sewing tools that make all the difference, but that don’t feature heavily on lists of ‘sewing essentials’. It’s called Sewing Tools of Note

I have a couple of items all ready to be featured, but after that I am feeling a bit short of inspiration, so I’m turning to you guys. Please do make your suggestions! As a little added incentive, everyone who leaves a response will be in with a chance of winning a lovely big scrap bag of Liberty Lawn fabrics like these:


I will make the draw tomorrow evening (Monday 6 March) around 7p.m. so don’t delay… Happy to post worldwide, so don’t let that stop you entering. I’m running the same competition over on my Facebook page – feel free to enter over there too. There are two prizes up for grabs.

38 thoughts on “Your favourite sewing tools

  1. I always have a small spray bottle by the iron to help dampen my press cloth or to spray directly on to cotton to get out those stubborn wrinkles. Also, a color wheel is always on my table to help with picking out just the right color to pop or blend in…

  2. Hopefully I am still on time Ali. My favourite tool is my thimble. I use for almost everything. For your next project, what about a nice embroidery kit? Tks for the giveaway Ali.

  3. My most recent purchase that I’m over the moon about is my Sweepa. It’s a rubber push broom with a squeegee edge on the flip side. I bought it because of our Labrador’s massive shedding and it works great for that purpose. But it’s also fabulous in my work room for getting all of the threads and snips of fabric and the lint and fabric “dust” into a pile without sending any of it airborne! This thing is a wonder!

  4. Thank you for all of your creative posts. I enjoy reading and dreaming, and sometimes putting your post into a new project!

    What a wonderful give-away! It would be such a blessing to be gifted with this wonderful gift bag.

    My favorite tool is the Clover Finger Presser. My fingers get sore and this little gem makes a great (non-ironed) little press. It’s reasonably priced. I don’t know how I lived without it so long!

  5. A little while ago someone gave me a voucher to a sewing shop so I treated myself to a tapered awl. I thought it would be useful for getting lots of layers through the sewing machine and that I’d use it from time to time. I turned out to be tremendously useful and I use it almost every time I sew. Its great for guided thick layers and little pieces through the machine so your fingers don’t get too close to the needle, I use it to poke holes to insert saftey eyes into softies, lifting out corners to get them nice and straight.

    I also couldn’t do without those little round needle grabbers for when you’re hand sewing through thick layers. They really save your fingers. 🙂

  6. My favourite sewing tool is the Truecut Grip Rings which I have put on the bottoms of my rulers to stop them sliding on fabric. Those little rings have saved a mountain of fabric from being wasted!

  7. Hi Ali, I cannot live without my Fiskars Easy Action Softouch scissors! For someone who easily gets painful joints these scissors are a dream to cut fabric with. One of my other favourite tools is my Corner and Edge Shaper from Prym. I use this for pushing corners out, getting seams to sit flat and even to catch the occasional pin before I accidentally sew over it with my machine. Thanks! Barbara

  8. My favourites are: 1. ceramic soap dish with ridges in (I tip whatever pins I’m using for a project in it and they are easy to access and it stays still wherever put) 2. Nancy Zimmerman 5 in 1 sliding gauge, so useful for easy consistent measuring and making circles 3. tailors ham (for pressing curves) 4. a walking foot for those tricky fabrics and 5. masking tape for holding hard to pin or clip things in place whilst I sew such as buttons (clipping a hole in the middle first) or to ‘pin’ oilcloth where pins would make holes. I love sewing tools and really enjoyed the Sewing Tools of Note series thanks.

  9. I love my stiletto. It makes such a difference when machine sewing. It keeps the fabric together and stops it going off line at the end of the seam. I bought it from a bead shop and it has a lovely tactile wooden handle.

  10. Hi Ali, The tool I’d be lost without is my pattern master, a brilliant tool for both garment making, pattern alterations and craft; it has curves for neck/armhole shapes, seam allowance increments and diagonal markings for marking/cutting bias tape etc and more.
    Jane x

  11. I love my Karen Kay Buckley applique scissors. They are not cheap, but they are very well at doing their job so I love them anyway 🙂

  12. I have quite a few – recently I was given a seam ripper with a rubber ‘bulb’ on the cap – it is fantastic for pulling all those little threads out of the fabric – especially useful on fine fabrics. My best seam ripper though is the white handled clover one – if anybody ever borrows it, they end up planning to buy one. My small wooden ‘iron’ is brilliant – better than finger pressing. And finally my small pair of snips – they weren’t very expensive but are great at cutting threads, trimming loose the threads and the odd tiny bit of fabric.

  13. I have received toy acquired two items which I should have had for years. The first is my magnetic pincushion and the second is 11 pattern weights from an Etsy shop which are very heavy, whilst being small. I have used all sorts of items to weigh down my patterns for many years, but they always got in the way so the weights were a birthday present from my husband. They even have little sewing machines printed in them. I love them.

  14. Hi Ali. I love my Clover black gold needles for all my hand sewing. They are beautifully fine, glide through fabric and are a dream to sew with.

  15. My essential tool is my lint roller, we got two kittens last year and any fabric left lying around is a kitty magnet!

  16. When I sew/chain piece at the machine, I sit in a swivel chair with the ironing board to my left at a low height. That way I can sew, iron, sew again – all without leaping up and down to the ironing board.

  17. Hello Ali
    I love my iron and especially my ironing board as it is at the right height for jobs like doing applique or making my own bias binding or cutting out small pieces – it saves my back from aching quite so much! I hope it is regarded as a sewing tool!
    Still loving your posts
    June x

  18. I love my Hemline seam ripper and thread remover. The rubber end is perfect for rubbing away threads after you’ve cut them. It’s also comfortable to hold. The only thing I don’t like is the cap doesn’t fit on the end …but I can put up with that ! Looking forward to seeing some other goodies I ‘need’ …….

  19. Needle holder, mine is a little crochet bee that hangs from my tool case but a fabric friend would be a cute idea to keep those pins and needles safe

  20. I love my brown handled Clover seam ripper. It’s also great for easing flipped seams under the pressed foot.

  21. Chopsticks and wooden skewers are my must haves. When it comes to turning corners right side out they work wonderfully and as my kitchen is always well stocked with both I never run out.

  22. My binding clips – not just for binding but they hold my paper pieced hexagons together too.

  23. I love my really useful box with a lift out tray with lots of compartments. I keep threads in the lower layer – also compartmentalised, and all my quilting and sewing bits in the upper layer, including my sewing machine feet. I can see everything at a glance and it keeps everything tidy.
    Then I have matching ones to keep my stash in. Just keep having to buy more. Cannot imagine why! And they stack too.

  24. Hello from Seattle. A couple tools that make sewing easier for me are Wonder Clips, and I love the Ruler Grip that attaches to my long cutting ruler. The first thing I do when I go to a fabric store is cruise the gadget isle and there’s always something new and fun. Thank you for the opportunity to win a Liberty fabric grab bag. It’s always such cheerful patterns.

  25. I can’t remember what it is called but it is a long skinny thing that attaches to your finger — I use it ALL the time at my sewing machine.

  26. I love my Prym ergonomic thimble. It’s great when doing epp. It has soft sides so mounds to your finger. It’s available in small, medium and large too. It also has great memories of Tromso, in Norway as that is where I bought it, although it is now available in the U.K.

  27. I keep a roll of blue painter’s tape in my sewing room. I use it to tape patterns to my window for tracing embroideries, applying it to my sewing machine bed to mark seam widths, and directly onto my quilts to mark quilting lines.

  28. Ali, have really missed seeing your Liberty cré about some nice sewing organisers, something to keep all,those special tools in. Also be nice to see some modern style appliqué bright colours, purples reds and greens on. Something like a wall hanging.You are doing a great job.

  29. Hello Ali lovely post as always. I do have a very favourite tool – my appliqué scissors which make cutting all those tiny pieces for appliqué so easy. They are a dream to use on Liberty fabrics – my lovely eldest son saw them on Amazon about 4 years ago and bought them for Mother’s Day – beats flowers every time, lovely though blooms are. Have a fabulous week Ali and all your readers.
    Dorothy xxxx

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