There are many kinds of special sewing tools available to help make it easier for the seamstress. Some of these one can do without, while others are essential to creating a professional look. Everyone has their own preference; so what works for one may not work for others. As you develop your sewing skills, you will learn which ones you prefer.
A cutting board is used for various reasons and is essential to have. It not only protects the table from the shears and pins, but it also helps to secure fabric and prevents it from slipping during cutting. And the great thing is that you can even pin the fabric directly to the board. Cutting boards come with marked lines that you can use as measurements and to square off fabric.
Weights are used to hold the pattern in place while cutting. They are great for use on fabrics that are permanently marked by needles such as satin. Weights also help to save time by not having to use pins.
Magnetic Pin Catcher
A magnetic pin catcher can be attached to the machine to conveniently collect the pins as you pull them out of the fabric when you sew. I’ve never worked with one, but it sounds nifty to have.
A pin cushion is simply a cushion to stick your needles into when not in use. You can get one to sit on your sewing table, and you can also get a wrist pin cushion that you can wear around your wrist. Pincushions are easy to make and you can sew or crochet them up in no time at all.
Basting tape is a double-faced adhesive tape. It is a great substitute for pinning and thread basting, especially when it comes to tough material like leather and vinyl. It is excellent for matching stripes, applying zippers, and for positioning pockets, trims and appliques. The only thing is that you need to be careful when you use basting tape that you do not machine stitch through it because it will ruin your needle.
Glue is another substitute for pinning or thread basting, and can be used with fabric, leather and vinyl. Use it to hold zippers, pockets, trims and appliques in place while sewing.
Liguid Ravel Preventer
A liquid ravel preventer is a plastic liquid that prevents fabric edges from fraying. It is a permanent finish that will withstand laundering and dry cleaning. It’s a brilliant idea!
A needle threader is supposed to help thread needles easier and faster. It has a thin wire loop which is placed through the eye of the needle. The thread is then inserted into the wire loop and pulled through the eye of the needle. Honestly I don’t get the point of this because I find that getting the thread through the loop is almost as difficult as getting it through the needle. But I guess we all have our preferences. :)
A needle gripper locks tight unto the needle and helps to pull it through tough fabrics. A must have if you regularly sew with tough fabric in order to protect your fingers.
A thimble is worn on the thumb or middle finger for protection against the needle when pushing it through tough material. It can be purchased in different sizes to ensure a proper fit. Again, a must have if you frequently sew tough fabrics by hand.
A loop turner has a latch hook device at one end to grasp tubing and turn it to the right side. It is suitable for fine tubings.
A bodkin is used to thread ribbon, elastic and cording through a casing without twisting it. It can also be used to turn a tube to the right side. Some bodkins have a tweezer or safety pin closure, while others have an eye through which the ribbon, elastic or cording is threaded.
A point turner is made of wood or plastic and has a sharp point at one end. It is used to safely poke out the points in collars, lapels, and pockets to give it a sharp professional look. A must have if you sew a lot of shirts with collars.