Five Must-Have Sewing Tools
by Barbara Emodi
from Threads #92, pp. 20 and 22
Good tools are an extension of your sewing machine and basic for any sewing room. They make most tasks easier, improve results, and certainly add to sewing enjoyment. But there are so many great gadgets available today, how do you choose tools that are really effective and useful and won't just clutter your toolbox? For me, a good tool is one with a simple design that easily accomplishes the task it was meant to do, and it's one that I reach for over and over.
Shown below are the five tools that I absolutely could not live without. They're all inexpensive items that you can find in most notions departments, or see "Tools by Mail." I know there may be other similar products available, as well as several additional items tha are equally useful depending on the type of sewing your do, but these are my favorites.
1) Bamboo point turner/creaser forms crisp corners and seams
This little, unassuming tool costs around $2 and is probably the simplest on my list. Its pointed end is used to poke the corner right side out when turning corners, and its rounded, beveled end smoothes out curves and seams.
The tool's soft, bamboo wood minimally stresses the fabric and stitching, yet gently helps form a nice, crisp corner, curve, or seam. You can even use it as a pressing tool, inserting it into a point or curve, to shape the fabric as you press over it.
2) Buttonhole gauge simplifies positioning buttonholes
This exotic device, which costs around $15, looks complex but actually simplifies positioning and measuring buttonholes, pleats, tucks, or anything else needing to be evenly spaced. It's a great time-saver, because it eliminates the need for calculating and carefully measuring intervals. It's easy to use--simply mark the position of the top buttonhole or first pleat, for example, and stretch the gauge to fit.
3) Loop turner turns tubes right inside out
This inexpensive (around $3) and delicate-looking tool is the best there is for turning narrow tubes of fabric right side out. A loop turner is basically a long wire with a tiny latch hook at the end used for making spaghetti straps, button loops, and fabric tubes for things like frogs and knot buttons (see the photo below). The tool is also perfect for retrieving elastic or cording that has gotten "lost" while being fed through a casing.
To use a loop turner, insert the long wire through a narrow fabric tube; hook the end, close the latch, and pull the hooked-end to the right side.
|Loop turner||To use a loop turner, insert the long wire through a narrow fabric tube; hook the end, close the latch, and pull the hooked-end to the right side.|