Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sher's Sewing Essentials

I've compiled a list of things I wouldn't want to be without in my sewing studio. Most of these you might be familiar with, but you might even find something new too. Obviously there are the basics such as pins, needles, scissors, marking pens, etc., but these, I wouldn't want to be without!

1.  Tube turners. I actually bought this set when Elyse was a baby so they might look different today. When it comes to turning tubes right side out, it's a breeze! Even tubes as thin as spaghetti straps.

2.  Exacto knife. I don't use this on fabric but I find it very handy for making general templates from card stock. I'll use these templates when I'm centering appliques on things such as mug rugs, baby bibs, quilt blocks etc. My appliques are perfectly centered and stay within their allowed space. Easy peasy!

3.  Sewing gauge. You could probably pick one of these little babies up for around a buck with a half price JoAnn's coupon. So inexpensive, yet so valuable! I use this for turning under all my hems and edges. The little slide allows you to get an accurate measurement.

4.  Loop turner. This is another inexpensive item that is so handy. This has rescued me numerous times. How many times has the drawstring in a pair of pants slip inside? This will pull that right out!

5.  Chopsticks. Yes, these are from a Chinese restaurant we got take out from when I was visiting my daughter in Delaware. I always eat my food with a fork, so these found their way to my sewing studio. They are great for pushing out corners.

6.  Seam ripper. No explanation is necessary here. As much as I hate to use it, I'm so glad I have it. We've all been rescued by one of these little lifesavers.

7.  Chalk wheel. I love this thing! I have several of them and use them all the time. I have one that I keep the dark chalk color in, and this one with the white. I like this way better than a marking pencil.

8.  Walking foot. If you like to do machine quilting, or even for attaching your binding, this is indispensable! It has little feet that move with your feed dogs so that your top layer feeds even with your bottom layer. Almost no shifting of fabric!

9.  Giant safety pin. Can you believe that I've had this very same safety pin for over 30 years? When I'm threading ribbon or cording through a casing, this is what I always use. It works the best.

10 . Wonder clips by Clover. I just recently discovered these little gems. They are a replacement for pins in many of my projects, but excellent for holding bindings in place before stitching. No more pricked finger tips that can bleed on my fabric!

11. Tablet/reader. This is so handy for so many things. I have apps downloaded that keep me organized as well as reading my sewing mags, patterns, and books. I also like to download inspirational photos and color palettes to it. It's also great for watching all those Craftsy classes while I'm on the elliptical. When I'm following someone's PDF pattern (yes, I buy patterns from other designers too), I like to print the pattern pieces and use this to read the instructions. I never realized how much I depend on this until mine broke a couple days ago and I found myself at the electronics's department purchasing another one!

12. Last, but not least, my plastic rulers, cutting mats, and rotary cutters. I use these more than I use scissors!

I'm going to leave you with a reminder. If you have pets that like to hang out in your sewing space, keep them safe. Not only are pins and needles dangerous, but lengths of thread and floss are too. Many people are unaware of the thread, just as I was until I started working at an animal clinic. If your pet ingests a long piece of thread, there is a good chance they won't survive.


  1. I don't sew, so a lot of these I'm absolutely clueless about - but I love that you found a good use for chopsticks in the sewing room. =0)

  2. Great collection! I need to check out the Clover wonder clips. And a tablet/reader is on my wish list.

  3. Thank you for sharing your tools here.....I think I'm clueless about most of them:)

  4. I could use some of those tube turners.

  5. Fantastic collection! I agree with you about the seam ripper. It's a MUST. I don't know how I used to do without it!


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