My Favorite Sewing Tools (and Why!) | Mint Green Sewing Machine: My Favorite Sewing Tools (and Why!)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Favorite Sewing Tools (and Why!)

Do you have any tools that you reach for over and over again when you sew? Something that, once you tried it, you knew you were a convert? Today I'm going to share with you some of my favorite sewing tools and let you know why I prefer them. Of course, these aren't the only sewing tools I use, but I picked these out to share because I've tried alternatives but these are the ones I've ended up loving!


 Oh my lord this thing is so useful! I use it on pretty much every project I work on. The fact that it's clear makes it super easy to add a seam allowance, tack on or remove a few inches from a hem, or cut out a perfect purse strap. I'm sure most people who sew already have one of these, but if you somehow don't, RUN, don't walk, to your nearest craft store and pick one up! 

Not to be confused with Fray Check, this stuff also stops fabric and trims from fraying and is actually pliable when dry (not hard and scratchy), and it's cheaper than Fray Check!

Vintage Iron
I used to have a modern iron, and I bought this one as a back up to keep at Phillip's house before we moved in together (I have a lot of clothes that need to be ironed). Now, this is the only one I use! It gets hot really fast and is heavier than my old (modern) one, so it presses really nicely. I also love how it doesn't have the auto shut-off of modern irons, so I don't have to keep turning it back on as I work. Just remember to turn it off when you're done! The best part: I bought it at a thrift store for a whopping $5! When (and if) it dies someday, I'm going to try to find another just like it.

Plastic Point Turner
It seems a little silly to buy a tool just for pushing out points, but for me it really is worth the $3.50. I used to use whatever I had handy to turn points for collars, pillows, and the like (a pencil, a chopstick,  etc.), until I tried one of these one day in a sewing class. It seriously works so much better! There's no chance of pencil marks or poked-out holes in your collar, and it's flat so it's easy to get it all the way down to the end.

Ultra-Fine Pins
I bought these for a special project where I didn't want pin holes, and I have been using them constantly ever since. They are for fine fabrics but I find they work great with everything-they go into the fabric very easily, are easy to pull out, and are less likely to break a needle if sewn over. They're always the first pins I reach for now!

Magnetic Pin Plate
I made this one (tutorial coming soon!), but you can buy these magnetic pin plates at any sewing shop. They are vastly superior to pincushions and make it super easy to pull out pins as you sew. Just throw 'em on the plate and they'll stay put!

This Seam Ripper
This Clover seam ripper is the best one I've tried (and I've had a lot in my day). It's nice and sharp, has an easy-to hold handle and a fine point which is easy to use. This is actually my second one of these seam rippers: I had one that went missing (stolen?) during a class and I HAD to go out and buy another one!

Disappearing Ink/Mark-B-Gone Marker
I've tried lots of marking tools (chalk, pencils, etc) and this is by far my favorite. I would always struggle with chalk and pencils breaking or leaving a very faint line. The marker always leaves a crisp, clear line (except when it's time to get a new one) and you don't have to press hard like you have to with some other marking tools. I use it for everything except black fabric, (when I have to resort to chalk again). The purple side has water-sensitive ink ink which gradually disappears (faster if the humidity is high) and the blue side is another type of water-sensitive ink which stays on until you put water on it. I have heard that the marks can become permanent if ironed over, but I've never had that happen to me, even after ironing over them many times.

I hope you found this at least somewhat useful. Please keep in mind that this is all completely based on my opinion/experience and I'm sure there are those who heartily disagree with me. That's perfectly ok!

I'd love to know what some of your favorite sewing/crafting tools are...please share in the comments! Maybe we'll all discover some great new tools for our sewing arsenals!

23 comments:

  1. If you ever need a replacement for that iron, I've been eyeing this one! http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-F67E-Soleplate-Steam-surge/dp/B001RJTQ8U

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    1. Thanks for the tip! I had no idea they still manufactured these!

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  2. Love that you made your own magnetic pin plate - brilliant! I look forward to the tutorial!

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    1. Thanks- it's coming as soon as I can get some good pictures :)

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  3. We have a lot of similar "likes" but it was also cool to see somethings you use that I hadn't heard/thought of! Awesome list!

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  4. I discovered the magic of the clover seam ripper and I think it's amazing! I've been using the singer one, and it's a world of difference. I'm glad I made the switch. It's horrible that someone took yours! I love your magnetic plate! Genius! I can't wait for the tutorial!

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    1. I agree! I don't know why, but the Clover one is so much better than others I've used. That's probably why someone lifted it, ha ha! I promise the pin plate tutorial is coming soon!

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  5. Great post! I attempted to make my own magnetic plate but I couldn't find the right magnets :( And I'm super jealous of your iron! Is it weird that I want to ask for an old iron for my birthday? lol!

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    1. Thanks! I'll put up my little tutorial soon. I know that the magnet isn't as strong on the homemade ones as the ones you buy in the store, but they still work. I think an old iron is a great thing to ask for your birthday! And apparently they sell new (old) models on Amazon (see the first comment!).

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  6. anxiously awaiting your pin dish tutorial! I have a fairly ugly looking pin cushion thing but am envious of your pretty one!

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    1. Thanks! It'll be up soon, I promise!

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  7. I'm well acquainted with my seam ripper... o_0

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  8. Oh, that magnetic pin plate is much nicer than my plastic one!

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    1. Thanks Tanya! I'll be putting up a tutorial soon- it's seriously the simplest thing ever to make and so handy!

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  9. Thanks for this, will certainly help this beginner! Love the fray block recommendation, just bought another brand to use for a craft project.

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    1. Thanks Van, I'm glad you found it helpful :) I get so much information and inspiration from your blog, so I'm glad I can give some back!

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  10. Thank you for the tips! I'm a beginner so these are great tools I should invest in.

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    1. I'm glad you found them helpful! I'm sure you'll find other tools that you love as you progress in your sewing, but these just are some of my favorites!

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  11. What's the deal with people and those old irons? So many sewists seem to love them, but I don't get it. We have one at work, and the couple times a year we need to use it we usually end up cursing it, and someone winds up running home for their modern iron.

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    1. Ha ha, all I know is that I love mine! Maybe the one at your work is a dud? I think there's definitely a risk of running into a lemon with old appliances. I must have just gotten lucky!

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