10 Must have Sewing Tools that Make Sewing Easier and More Fun

10 Must have Sewing Tools for Easy Sewing - Go beyond the basics to make Sewing more enjoyable

If you know me at all you know I'm a basics girl. I don't need all the extra in any area of my life. I'm usually not one to go out and try all the new things and rely on just the right gadgets to do the job. BUT, I have found that going beyond the basics and having the right sewing tools for the job really does make sewing so much easier and less frustrating. Less frustration means more sewing satisfaction and keeps me coming back for more. So here is a round up of the 'beyond the basic' sewing tools I keep at my fingertips to make my sewing life easier and fun.  

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10 Must Have Sewing Tools that Make Sewing Easier and More Fun

1. Rotary Cutter and Self healing Mat 

A Rotary Cutter is circular blade a handle that is used to press down and cut fabric on a Self Healing mat. These are hands down my most used sewing tools. You can get by with out them if you only do occasional household sewing and mending but if you make quilts, or sew a lot, they are a necessity. I have been through a variety of brands through the years and I don't really have a favorite.

Rotary cutters come in different sizes and handle shapes. I find that the 28 mm size cutter works best for cutting around curves and the 45mm size is great to use with an acrylic ruler for cutting though fabric stacks when making a quilt. 

Different brands of Self Healing Mats vary in the amount of softness or self healing property they have. I have found that the harder the surface of the mat is the longer it will last. I'm using a Fiskars brand mat right now and I like it. Check out my tips on How to Clean a Self Healing cutting mat in this post.

Rotary cutter and mat - 10 Must have Sewing Tools for Easy Sewing

2. Acrylic Rulers

An acrylic ruler is used with a cutting mat for cutting straight lines. It gets it's own spot on this list  because it has so many extra uses. I use this for making precise cuts for quilting or making tote bags and zipper pouches. But I also use this for around house DIY projects like tiling, laying laminate flooring. and hanging pictures. It is a very versatile tool to have on hand. There are a variety of ruler sizes to choose from. A 24'' x 6'' typically comes with a large rotary cutter and mat set but your ruler will outlast the mat for sure. I am using this 24 inch Acrylic Ruler by Fiskars currently. It is nice when they come with little nonslip  pads imbedded in them but if they don't you can add your own. Check out how in this post. 

Acrylic Ruler - 10 Must have Sewing Tools for Easy Sewing

3. A Walking Foot

A walking foot is a sewing machine attachment that grabs and pulls the fabric from the top as the feed dogs grab it from the bottom and allows the fabric to feed evenly through the sewing machine. This little attachment is so helpful that I leave it on for all of the sewing that I do.  Read more about my walking foot and how it works in this post!
What is a walking foot - 10 Must have Sewing Tools for Easy Sewing

4. Sharp pointed scissors

Small scissor by your machine for trimming threads are a MUST. There are a lot of options to choose from. I currently have a pair of  Fiskar Micro Tip scissors by my machine and I love them. These Gingher scissors are nice and sharp too!

Fiskars Micro Tip Scissors - 10 Must have Sewing Tools for Easy Sewing
Image from my DIY Reusable Cotton Round Tutorial

5. A Seam Ripper

An inevitable part of sewing is making mistakes and pulling out stitches and a seam ripper is your best friend for this.  I have been sewing since I was 8 and I still have to unpick stitches on almost every project. I can never think of the right name for a seam ripper on the fly and always call it an "unpicker". I also use mine for cutting through button holes and making the holes for a magnetic snap to go through. 

These slippery little gadgets are hard to keep track of though. I saw once that you can use sticky velcro or a magnet to stick it to your machine to make sure you never lose it. I'm going to have to try this because at the moment I cannot even find mine. Maybe the answer is owning 5. :)

another use for a Seam Ripper - 10 Must have Sewing Tools for Easy Sewing
Image from my Quilty Penelope Handbag PDF Pattern

6. A Bodkin

What is a bodkin? Check out this post! I use mine to thread elastic through a casing when making pajama pants, capes, or to string a drawstring through a bag opening. It is way easier than using a safety pin. 

This is a bodkin- 10 Must have Sewing Tools for Easy Sewing

7. Pattern Weights

Pattern weights are useful in holding a paper pattern down as you cut out your fabric. Using them instead of pins makes cutting a pattern go faster. Pattern weights can be anything from a set of large washers, little bags full of sand, or any heavy object you can grab. Before I had a set, I always used table knives. Read more about pattern weights here. 

8. Tube Turners

Tube turners are useful for turning small projects right side out. I use this tool when I make tie scrunchies, fabric handbag handles, or turning these mini bats right side out. They speed up turning time and save my fingers a little effort. They come as Tube Turner set by Dritz but I've only  ever used the largest one. The smaller ones may come in handy for making your own drawstring. 

Tube turner sewing gadget - 10 Must have Sewing Tools for Easy Sewing

9. A Hera Marker

Ok this is really a tool I wish I had. A Hera marker is used for marking lines in fabric instead of using a marking pencil. This comes in really handy if you are doing any machine quilting like in my Soft Sunglasses Case Tutorial. Instead of using an actual Hera marker I grab a table knife and use the top blunt side of the knife to drag across the fabric instead. It works, but I still want a real Hera marker. You can also press seams open with it as you would using a seam roller like you would use a bone folder for paper. 

Hera Marker10 Must have Sewing Tools for Easy Sewing
Image from Amazon 

10. A Stiletto

A sewing Stiletto is a pointy metal tool similar to a small awl that you can use instead of your fingers to hold your fabric in place as it gets close to the sewing machine needle. If you are sewing binding on quilts or your project involves small pieces and Stiletto can be extremely useful.  I often use my sharp pointed scissors or the metal stick from my Tube Turner set for this because this is another sewing tool I don't actually have. 

Stiletto sewing tool: 10 Must have Sewing Tools for Easy Sewing
Image from Amazon.com

I hope this is helpful. Did any of these surprise you? Do you have a sewing tool YOU can't live with out? Tell me in the comments below.

Happy Sewing!

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