“What are YOUR favorite sewing notions? Which ones should I buy?” This is a question several of my new sewing students (and their mothers) have asked me lately. Sew…I decided to really survey what I grab all the time to use as I sew. Let’s put it this way – when I go to a sewing retreat in Texas with my sister in August, these are the sewing tools/notions I will FOR SURE take with me – and WHY. Each heading is a LINK – because, guess what – I sell these tools at my website. Some, I have overstock on right now – so they are ON SALE.
I tell my students – you may as well learn to UN-Sew, because it is just a necessary evil – you WILL have to rip. This one fits in my hand just right. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it for ripping. How to rip? On one side, rip through a stitch every 3/4″ or so. Then the thread on the other side should just pull off.
To remove any left-over thread pieces, grab any left-over threads, the Japanese TWEEZERS from Clover.
Side note: these are the BEST eyebrow tweezers you’ll EVER find!!! So – treat yourself to 2 of them!
To SAFELY push out corners so that they are nice and pointed – there is no better tool than this one. I know, it kinda looks like the beak sharpening thing in a bird’s cage… Try it, you’ll love it.
This tool is indispensable for getting curved seams ‘on edge’ and I even use the flat end for working out corners as well. I have about 5 of these in our ‘tools’ for making the shields for the Days for Girls feminine hygiene kits (Charity that I head up in town and that ‘has my heart’ – read about it at my March Blog Post HERE).
This gadget seems to just work quick and easy for turning any tube inside out. And inexpensive compared to the ones with the fancy tubes – which I have as well, but this one just works for me in most cases.
Though I hate to admit it, threading needles for regular hand stitching on a garment is not an easy task any longer. This tool works GREAT and is worth every penny. My favorite hand sewing needle is an Embroidery size 8 – for what it’s worth.
My young students love these as well as I do. Honestly, you can just throw your pins toward it and it just pulls them – not to mention pulling them from the scrap pile on the floor! The pins radiate out from the center, making it just so easy to grab them.
While the Zirkel magnet thing is great, I also love this LARGE, flat-bottomed wad of wool that naturally lubricates my pins with lanolin. I keep this one at my ironing station, so most pins get some lubrication along the way.
This is the best deal on quality pins I have found. Formerly known as IBC (Imported by Clotilde, the package now sometimes comes saying ‘Annie’s’. they are sharp, fine, but not too fine and work in everything from fine silks to the sweat-shirting I so often work on. I NEVER use the old ‘dressmaker silk pins’, as they are just TOO small and whimpy for my liking.
Chakoner & Refill in White – $17.95
In my book there is absolutely NO easier and more dependable and safe marker than this one that has a very fine wheel that dispenses the chalk. From Japan, it is just the BEST! The chalk lasts forever, and with the refill, most sewers will be set for several years. Though the company sells colored chalk as well, I don’t find that it removes – so I stick with the white. My top-selling item, hands-down! In my Sunroom Sewing Studio, I have one at each cutting station, each ironing station, and at my sewing station. THIS one is labeled LR for MINE at my cutting station.
I use these large large eyed blunt needle for ‘tucking tails’ of serging and for burying ends of couched yarns/threads on my sweatshirt jackets. I love that there are 3 different sizes in the package, and it comes with a nice case with cap so I can keep track of them.
This is my absolute favorite for marking, measuring when doing pattern alterations. It is just lighter weight and easier to read than the larger heavier rotary cutting rulers.
Never cringe when you have to space buttonholes when you have this tool on hand. My carpenter-in-training son-in-law will get one of these in his Christmas stocking, as I’ve had many tell me that their husbands love them for woodworking. This thing just easily divides any span evenly. INGENIOUS!
Replacing the old Beeswax, this thread lubricant makes hand sewing much easier – and I always teach my students about it.
I have 2 ironing boards in my Studio. One is my late mom’s board with her ironing board cover that REALLY needs replacing, but I just can’t make myself do it. It just seems like ‘her’ there with me. BUT – the other one, I always keep covered with this nice PLAIN duck tan colored ironing board cover. And, no, I do not successfully wash it – I just replace it. Just a luxury I give myself…but I just like a PLAIN cover.
Schmetz Sewing Needles – prices are what I sell them for, which is much less on many than ‘regular’ pricing at Jo-Ann’s.
These are the types/sizes that generally fill my needs. Though there are other, more specialized needles I also use, these are the most-often used needles for the fabrics with which I most often work:
Stretch size 75/11 ($4.99) and Twin Stretch 4.0/75 ($5.99) to sew all my knit garments.
Microtex 60/8 and 80/12 ($3.75) for anything fine, delicate. This is a sharp needle. Smaller size for lightest fabrics.
Denim/Sharp size 90/14 ($3.95) for anything heavier – like denim.