No, not machines, but these small, more modest items that personally I couldn’t be without. We all have our favourite gadgets and these are certainly not all the items that sit in the plastic box on my sewing table, but these are the ones that are always in use.

tools of the trade 011

Not surprisingly, the item I use most of all this is little item;tools of the trade 011 (2)

My ‘un-picker’ or seam ripper as it is really called. There are some days I use this little item more than my sewing machine! For me, strangely, it takes any fear I might have about sewing. With a little care any stitches in the wrong place can easily be rectified and you can go on to get the finish you really want. It really pays to get as skilled with this little tool as it does your machine I think.

Next up, a seam gauge, an item I didn’t have for a number of of the trade 012

Why I have no idea because plenty of folk have said on their blogs how useful they are and they are not just for hems! This little guide makes sure that my seams are straight [the nightmare of my early teens in stockings, where sadly it wouldn’t have helped] and that all my seams and darts meet in the right places. I have even been known to use it for hems too.

One of my pet hates in sewing is the tailor tack- for a number of reasons, and not just laziness. One is that having gone to the bother of sewing them all in you then have to carefully take off the tissue pattern without tearing it and then you have to separate the fabric pieces without losing the tack in one half. Not easily done in my sewing room.

tools of the trade 013

That is why I value my chalk pencil. I prefer this to ‘proper’ French chalk as it is more easily brushed off. This particular one is a propelling pencil and comes with different coloured sticks.

Every sewer needs scissors, and these are really embroidery scissors bought from the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court [there’s name dropping for you] but they are exquisitely handy for those really tight little places where precision is vital. Shown here with my favourite silver thimble, never far from my hands when I’m sewing [yes,really!],

tools of the trade 014

Lastly a handy rigid metal 12 inch ruler,tools of the trade 016 useful for drawing straight lines of course and measuring larger spaces than my little seam ripper can reach. I also have the conventional fabric tape measures but they can stretch. As I said, not all the things in my plastic box, but those I wouldn’t want to lose. What are yours?


I love all things creative and an eternal enthusiast. I am enduringly interested in absolutely everything remotely creative and never happier than when being shown 'how to'.
This entry was posted in dressmaking, handmade, Life a Work In Progress, Sewing. Bookmark the permalink.

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