I get asked about sewing tools a lot. I used to answer all these things individually, but this year I'm trying to automate a bit, so I decided to create a list of all my favorite sewing tools. After trying many brands, these are the best sewing tools on the market in my opinion.
Basic Sewing Tools
Ask any seamstress on the planet and they will all have a different opinion on this subject, but I really like Brother Machines. I've owned an entry level Singer which gave me nothing but headaches, and an entry level Brother embroidery combo machine (meaning it did embroidery and sewing in one machine) and I loved it so much that I upgraded to the Brother 1250D (which is also a embroidery combo machine. Now the 1250D comes with a hefty price tag and is not meant for the occasional seamstress. If you are looking to getting a basic entry level machine, the Brother is nice. I bought one of these for each of my nieces last year and they have really enjoyed them. If you re looking to get into embroidery as well, I would recommend the Brother 425 instead. It has a 4x4 hoop and is a great price for an embroidery machine. If you decide to upgrade to a larger hoop size later, you can always use it as a backup.
My Brother came with Orgon sewing needles. Ever since I first sewed with one, I was hooked! I love them and you can buy them in bulk on Amazon for a great price. That way I don't feel so guilty that I have to change them out so often.
Fabric for your project:
There are a million places to buy fabric, but here are a few of my favorites:
- Fabric.com - Not the best customer service, but they have a large selection. They often have things I have trouble finding elsewhere
- Girl Charlee - great knits!
- Hawthrone Threads - Super fast shipping!
- Sewing supply for interfacing - seriously the best quality interfacings with equally amazing customer service.
I used to be a Fiskars girl. They were inexpensive and easily found in the store. And they do the job for beginners. Then I was gifted a pair of Ginghers for Christmas from my amazing husband. I don't think Ic an ever go back to Fiskars. I have their 6" dressmaking shears and they are amazing! He also gave me the appliqué scissors which I absolutely love. You won't be disappointed with the quality!
This arguably is the most important sewing tool you have. While I've always known that ironing was an important part of the sewing process, I never put much thought into this tool. I used to have the cheapest iron from Walmart. I think it was a Black& Decker. Either way I only spent maybe $10 on it. It leaked a lot and everything under the sun got stuck to the plate. I admittedly didn't take much care of it either. Then when I went to my mother-in-law's house and used her iron, I was hooked. I saw what I had been missing. And surprisingly, the iron wasn't that expensive. Soon I was the proud owner of a XXXX. I see a lot of people raving about the Rowenta's on the sewing boards. I have never used one so I can't attest to the quality, but either way, make sure you don't ignore what type of iron to choose. A good iron provides much better results than one that leaks water all over your project.
I put off buying these for forever because in stores they are so pricey. Finally I looked them up on Amazon and they were available for over half off, so I snatched them up. They are so much easier to use than pins and I don't have to worry about sticking myself. Also if one of my kids gets ahold of them they are less liable to hurt themselves. They also come in a really nice little plastic box that you can store them in.
Believe it or not I get asked about these a lot. I've never really had much trouble finding one I liked, but maybe I just got lucky or maybe the rest of the sewing community is more picky. Either way, I thought I would link to my favorite one here. Its water or air soluble so its perfect for someone like me that hates to go back and try to remember where all my markings were to take them off. I have never once had it not come off a garment, but its always good to test your fabric first just in case.
Rotary Cutter & Mat:
I recommend getting the largest mat that your space will allow. I have a pretty good size one but I always wish it were bigger. As far as the rotary cutter goes, I have used both Fiskars and Olfa and don't see much difference between the two. Some people swear that Olfa is better. Again, i haven't noticed a difference. I have both. I would recommend getting both a 45mm and a 28mm. The 45mm is great for every day while the 28mm is great for small details.
Even cooler than a rotary cutter is my ruler with the rotary attached to it. This thing is great especially when you are cutting out squares. You can measure and cut at the same time and it is much easier to use than just a plain rotary cutter. The only downside is it will obviously only cut a straight line whereas a rotary cutter will cut curves.
Other Sewing Tools I Also Recommend
Specialty Presser Feet for you Machine (especially handy when sewing buttons, zippers, or knits)
My testers sometimes complain when I recommend specialty feet in my patterns, but I have to admit I am addicted to them. I noticed a huge
difference in the quality of my sewing after I got several. Plus if you have a low shank machine (which most modern day machines are), you can find a lot of great special feet from after market distributors. Some of my favorite specialty feet that don't typically already come with your machine are the ruffler foot, concealed zipper foot, walking foot, and the narrow hem foot. Or you can treat yourself and buy a kit with all kinds of different feet in it. The only one that's missing from there is the ruffler foot which you could pick up separately.
I just got a professional women's dress form this past year and it has helped me so much with fitting. When you re sewing for yourself, it is often hard to fit yourself without help. And when your help is your automotive technician husband, often even the help you get is not much good (I love you honey!). A dress form helps with that. In addition to the dress form, I also bought the fabulous fit system. This thing is so cool! In just 5 minutes I was able to make my mannequin look just like me with my exact proportions.
I used to think these were dumb. Why did I need yet another pair of scissors. Then one day I impulsively bought a pair to see what all the fuss what about. Man this speaks up my sewing time. Funny how a little thing like a pair of shears that stays open all the time can speed up your process, but it does. While not a necessity per say, I do really love mine.
When my great aunt first gave me her pressing ham, I had no clue what it was or why I needed it. Then when I used it the first time on a bodice with princess seams, I understood. The tailors ham is hard and rounded making it really easy to press anything with a curved seam without completely flattening out the garment.
Sewing Books I Recommend
I'm addicted to books. I loved to read as a child and that has certainly carried on into adulthood. Below are a few sewing books that I own and highly recommend.