So yesterday we started our long list of sewing tools that will get you ready to sew. Today we’re on to part 2.
Always keep a good pair of thread snips handy. You’ll most often use them for trimming your thread at the end of the project.
You should get a pair of good quality fabric shears that you ONLY use for FABRIC. Cutting paper with your fabric scissors will dull the blade. But if your scissors do dull, bring them in to a pro for sharpening. Sharp scissors make a world of difference.
Try to buy the best quality that you can afford – good scissors are an investment. Look for a pair that feels comfortable in your hand and cuts smoothly.
A rotary cutter is an optional tool, but a very useful one. With a little practice, you can cut through multiple layers of fabric with ease. But be careful – the blades are extremely sharp. Of course you should use the rotary cutter ONLY for fabric and change the blades when they become dull.
You’ll use a self-healing cutting mat primarily with your rotary cutter, but it also protects your table top and has markings that help you measure things. Ideally, you want one that is about the size of your cutting table, but they can get pretty pricey. We suggest you get the biggest one that you can afford. And just a tip from personal experience: When you’re taking your cutting mat home, make sure it is lying completely flat. Don’t leave it in your car on a hot day. Any amount of heat will warp the mat and you’ll never get it back in shape.
As much as it hurts, sometimes you have to undo a row of stitches. When this happens a seam ripper can be your best friend. It has a sharpened hook with one pointy end and one with a protective ball. You can also use this tool to cut buttonholes, and stitches. But for Pete’s sake use it away from your body – the pointed end is very sharp.
A point turner is usually made of plastic or bamboo and comes in a two basic shapes, but its main purpose is the same – to help you turn things right side out without damaging your fabric. Because of their different shapes, point turners can do double duty. Some include a button gauge while others can be used to crease seams open before pressing.
Safety pins are always helpful to have on hand when sewing. You can use them to thread elastics through casings or temporarily hold a hem while doing alterations. They are also invaluable when quilting.
So that brings us to the end of part two! Come back tomorrow for the final part of this lesson.