Are you a rising sewist who is full of passion for sewing? Then, beyond any doubt, you’re to be a master of the essential tools for sewing. You must have confidence enough to operate the sewing tools with the height of appropriateness.
But, at the outset, you must have a sound knowledge of these. The more knowledge you gain, the more confidence you will have. Eventually, you will be able to expect something bombastic, something brilliant out of you.
This is why, today, this article presents you with all the pros and cons of those sewing tools. We strongly recommend you not to miss this grand opportunity of jumping into such a grand sea of knowledge.
Essential Sewing Tools: The tools to be learnt about
The sewing tools that you will be encountering below are: scissors, rotary cutter, thread nipper, seam ripper, pattern tracing wheel, hand sewing needles, sewing machine needles, marker pen, pin, pin cushion, chalk, measuring tools, awl, papers, pattern master, thread, dress forms, toiles iron and ironing board and thimble.To make your sewing project more relevant, make sure to keep these basic essential sewing tools in your hand. So before start sewing get started to learn deeper about sewing tools. (Find the informative video at the end of the article)
- Seam ripper
- Pattern tracing wheel
- Hand sewing needles
- Sewing machine needles
- Sewing machines
- Tailor’s chalk
- Marking tools
- Measuring tools
- Pattern awl
- Pattern master
- Dress forms
- Iron and ironing board
Sewing scissors can be of different types with the different capability of cutting layers of fabric. The scissors that we’re going to present for you in this section are dressmaker’s fabric shears, pinking shears, paper scissors, serrated scissors, embroidery/needlework scissors and spring action.
Dressmaker’s fabric shears
The blades of the scissors are long, straight and super sharp. If you want to your fabric cutting to be smooth and quick, then, we fear if there is any better alternative to this one. Another vital point of this cutter is that it’s handles are set with angle. This gives the blades a parallel sitting position over the fabric surface. As a result, your fabric remains flat and you feel literally no obstruction while cutting.
Pinking shears basically features saw-tooth blades. With the blades you can cut the woven fabric’s edge following a zigzag pattern to overcome the fraying problem. So, if there is no overlock or serger machine in your collection, pinking shears can be your savior.
Do you need to cut any of the fine fabrics like satin or silk? Then, serrated fabric scissors must be your only consideration. Basically, the scissors are developed with blades that’re serrated. And so the blades can keep holding soft, delicate and lightweight fabric steadily.
This scissors type comes with a pair of short and thin blades, which have sharp points. Therefore, if you are working on any intricate part, you should choose needlework scissors to have great control. Moreover, to trim seam allowance, clip curves and snip notches, there is hardly any substitution for it.
Have you been suffering from arthritis or carpal tunnel? Then, you must be uncomfortable with regular fabric scissors as these require force to be opened. In such a case, we recommend you to have spring action scissors. Its special spring mechanism requires very little effort to open the blades.
With a different name, a rotary cutter is another type of scissors with a unique construction. The cutter basically features a circular blade that is fixed to the handle. Using the cutter you can have a superior outcome while dealing with silk.
Here, you must keep in mind that a smaller blade is perfect for cutting garment pieces. On the other hand, a larger blade is simply cool in cutting straight edges.
Although paper scissors has no direct connection to sewing yet we recommend you to keep one in your collection. Whenever you’re to cut anything that is rough-and-tough like paper, you must use this one. Avoid using your sewing scissors to cut paper because the scissors blades will be blunt.
By the name you must already have understood what the use of this scissors-type might be. In case, you couldn’t get it, then remember that a thread nipper is a small version of scissors. And you should use it to nip the loose thread ends after all the sewing jobs are done.
02- Seam ripper
Some time you may discover that you have made mistakes like stitching the left sleeve to the right sleeve opening. Or, you may stitch the fabric with the wrong sides facing each other.
In any of the cases, what you need to do is rip the seam where the fault is. To rip that seam, you will be in need of a seam ripper. A ripper is specially designed to go between the fabric layers to snip the thread precisely.
03- Pattern tracing wheel
Pattern tracing wheel, also known as dressmaker’s tracing paper is a transfer sewing tool. When you need to transfer the line markings to both sides of your fabric at a time, there comes this tool for your assistance. But, if you are dealing with heavy fabrics, you will not have any benefit from it.
04- Hand sewing needles
Hand sewing needles are available in different sizes and eyes. Before you finalize any hand sewing needle, you must consider the project, fabric and thread.
For example, if your fabric is silky then a finest needle should be your priority. Otherwise, there will be unwanted holes over the fabric that will be repelling.
Again, if your thread is thick then you should choose a needle with a large eye. Otherwise, you will end up wasting your valuable time on threading the needle.
05- Sewing machine needles
There are different types of sewing machine needles such as universal, ballpoint, stretch, denim and leather. Let’s introduce you to each of these in detail:
Universal needle: The most apparent and important feature of a universal needle is its slight ballpoint. To sew thick knit or woven fabrics, this needle type is mostly recommended.
Ballpoint needle: Do you need to sew knits like a jersey? Then, to overcome the snagging, a ballpoint needle is simply mind-blowing. This sewing machine needle can slip between the fibers without causing damage to them.
Stretch needle: Sew the elastic knits including spandex, swimsuit fabric and synthetic suede to have the best output.
Denim needle: Denim needle is considered one of the most popular sewing machine needles because of smashing performance against heavily woven fabrics. The needle has got a medium ballpoint with a reinforced blade. Therefore, this needle type is highly capable of passing through thick layer fabrics.
Leather needle: It doesn’t matter whether you are sewing original or imitation leather, you must use a leather needle with that. Its chiseled point cuts through leather quite easily and damage-freely.
Thread is one of the most significant essential tools for sewing as it has a vital role to the final finishing of your product. The most vital thread types are silk, hand embroidery silk, machine embroidery floss, metallic, topstitch, wooly nylon and bobbin fill.
Silk: Silk thread is very easy to handle as it is soft and gentle and doesn’t tend to tangle. You can use this thread type to sew not only silk but also wool fabric.
Hand embroidery silk: This silk type is very thick and so cannot be passed through the eye of a machine needle. But, you can use this silk for rolled hemming and decorative flatlocking.
Machine embroidery floss: Want a matt finish? Then, machine embroidery floss can be an ideal choice for you. Made from rayon or polyester or cotton or wool, this thread reflects light
Metallic: You can use this thread for both hand sewing and sewing machine. But, for machine sewing, you must make sure that the eye of the needle is large. Otherwise, you will get the thread broken or shredded.
Topstitch: If you expect a bolder finishing then topstitch thread should be your priority. The thread is strong and thick enough to meet your demand. Just like the metallic thread, topstitch also requires a large-eyed needle.
Wooly nylon: Another ideal thread for hemming and flatlocking that is simultaneously soft, thick and strong.
Bobbin fill: Bobbin thread – a fine thread in white or black color decreases the bulk in an embroidered design.
07- Sewing machines
Undoubtedly, this is going to be the heart of your entire sewing task. In our opinion whatever sewing machines you purchase and whatever the purpose is, the machine should have great speed with strong built. Rather than this, we have no more specific recommendation because the purchasing depends on your needs. But, yes, before finalizing any sewing machine, make sure that it has all those features that you’ll be in need for your type of sewing. Must follow the beginners’ guideline if you would like to purchase one.
Must Read: How to Use a Sewing Machine for Beginners
08- Tailor’s chalk
Tailor’s chalk is a type of triangular chalk piece that comes in a variety of colors and sharp edges. Use the sharp edges to create measurement marks all over the fabrics. Don’t worry about the marks because you can wash-away that afterwards. But, the thing about what you must be careful of is – color. The chalk color must be visible on the color of the fabric.
09- Marking tools
Marking pens or tools can be of two types – wash-away and fade-away.
Wash-away: Wash-away marker pen is basically used for transferring pattern marks to the fabric’s surface. Once your purpose is accomplished, you can wash away the ink either by sponging or direct water-wash. However, while working on washing away of the ink, be sure that the fabric is okay.
Fade-away: Fade away marker pen serves you the same purpose of the wash-away pen and tailor’s chalk. But, the specialty is that you don’t need to wash-away the ink because within 48-hours it will fade away automatically. This is why the marker is also called air-soluble or evaporating pen.
You can use pins to stabilize the fabric pieces together either for the purpose of precise measurement or sewing. But, the unfortunate fact is that you should use pins with medium-weight fabrics. In case you use pins with silk, you must make sure that you’re using the finest type of pins. Otherwise, there will be permanent holes all over the fabric.
Among all the sewing tools, pin is one of the tiniest often found nowhere when needed the most. A pin-cushion that is essentially a tiny size pillow stuffed with medium-hard foam shelters pins in a cool way. You can keep the pins pierced into the cushion when the use of pins is over. This will help you get all the pins together and organized whenever you’re in need.
12- Measuring tools
Undoubtedly, measurement tools hold a significant place in the list of the essential tools for sewing. You cannot even commence the initial process of sewing without these sewing tools. The most vital measurement tools are tape measure, clear ruler, french curve, button guide and hem guide.
Tape measure: Measuring tape helps you take measurement of lengthy fabric pieces far easily. Remember that it must be accurate with centimeter and inch marks. In addition, it must be of good quality enough not to stretch and tangled.
Clear ruler: Although, a measuring tape is much helpful in measuring lengthy fabrics yet its performance mightn’t be satisfactory all the time. For example, when you will be adding seam allowances or drafting any pattern, you won’t find it that much handy. So, for these, you must use a clear ruler. It will ease your seam adding and pattern drafting to a great extent.
French curve: Do you need to shorten or lengthen any pattern? Then, it’s obligatory for you to blend-in the lines. And, for this, a french curve can be a great assistance to you. It enables you to draw a precisely smooth curve.
Button guide: A button guide isn’t basically any of the mandatory sewing tools that you’re to have in your collection unless you sew many pieces using buttons. However, so what does it do for you? It actually helps you find out the button size far easily. Eventually, your addition of the buttons appears to be precise and nice.
Hem guide: This is a sewing machine tool with square shape and curved edge that measures the depth and curve of hem on the fabric.
13- Pattern awl
Although the awl has a little use yet its importance cannot be looked down. It can help you a lot to place gathered edges under the sewing machine’s presser foot. Although, it sounds like you can do this small task with hands yet that’s going to be super tough. Therefore, to reduce labour and add precision, an awl has no substitution.
Paper has become one of the vital everyday used tools of modern life. Day by day, it’s extension of use is growing gradually and see today it’s in the list of the essential tools for sewing. However, in sewing, you will be in need of the two following papers – tracing and pattern.
Tracing paper: The marks created by a tracing wheel might not be easily visible to you. This is time killing as you are to find out the marks repeatedly. To overcome the hassle, you should place a piece of tracing paper under the fabric piece just where you’ll run the wheel. Now, run the wheel and you will be able to see the marks instantly and clearly.
Pattern paper: Don’t know how to draw patterns or feel awkward while creating it directly on the fabric? Then, you must seek assistance from a pattern paper. This is actually a piece of paper with the pattern you need engraved over it.
15- Pattern master
Also known as skirt curves, pattern master can be of various shapes and materials made. This helps you to create a curve on a paper pattern.
16- Toiles/Plain cotton fabric
Toiles is a cheap version of a garments product that is made with cheap or unnecessary materials. You may do it to make sure what you’re going to do is going to be ace. Keep editing and adjusting the toiles until you get the pattern you have been expecting. Until knowing how to sew clothes continue your practice with toiles to get perfection.
17- Dress forms
Before you go in for the final sewing, it is always wise to adjust the measurement of the patterns. To do so, simply put the patterns together on the dress forms. Look carefully all over the patterns to find out the unfit parts.
18- Iron and ironing board
There will be no argument to the fact that fitness of garments largely depends on the appropriateness of the cut. So, it is wise to iron the fabric before you cut the pattern pieces.
To get the fabric properly ironed, at first place it over an ironing board. Then, heat the iron moderately and run smoothly over the fabric. Keep in mind that excessive heated iron may leave a black mark on the fabric surface.
Unlike the other essential tools for sewing a thimble doesn’t have a close connection to sewing and very much importance at all. But, for working with safety along with perfection it obviously has a great value. We strongly recommend you to wear thimbles on your fingers while doing risky tasks. Interestingly, it is one of those fewest sewing tools whose job is to take care of you.
Surprised seeing screwdriver in the list of essential tools for sewing? Although it doesn’t have a direct relation to design making and sewing yet it does play a crucial role in solving minor sewing issues instantly. Using it you can open the machine parts either to clean or oil or simple repairing and continue sewing without major interval.
Don’t forget to read: Easy Sewing Projects For Beginners
01-What are the tools used in sewing?
Ans. The sewing tools those you simply cannot avoid are scissors, rippers, pattern tracing wheel, needles, tape measure and thread.
02-How do you use different sewing tools and equipment?
Ans. To use different sewing tools and equipment in an effective way, we recommend you to watch tutorial videos on YouTube.
03-What is the importance of sewing tools and equipment?
Ans. What if you have got vegetables but no spice and oil? Can you cook vegetables? Obviously you can’t. Similarly, without sewing tools and equipment, you can’t turn your imagination into reality through sewing.
In the end, we hope that the list of the essential tools for sewing has been able to give you a clear view of sewing. We strongly recommend you not to jump to sewing projects having a bird’s eye view of the list. This may result in a disastrous experience making you dishearten. So, take time, go through each of the sewing tools carefully and make informal experiments repeatedly to get out of awkward feelings.