Ten Sewing Must Have Accessories

I get emails from time to time asking me exactly what must have items I have in my sewing box.   Here is a short list of items I’ve collected over the years that I simply could. not. live. without!

1.   Sharp Scissors: 

Gingher Shears I have a nice pair of Gingher Shears.  They were a bit expensive, but they can be sharpened over and over so they should last for a lifetime of sewing.  Before I bought these, I had a series of cheap scissors that worked great when they were sharp, were miserable when they got dull, and really couldn’t be sharpened.  Sewing is no fun with dull scissors. 

2.  Seam Ripper:

Seam RipperThis item probably should be #1 on my list!  Thank goodness these are cheap because I’ve gone through a bunch of these in my lifetime.  I’ve even dropped them down the heater vent, only to have them roll somewhere deep into the inaccessible reaches of the duct work under my house.  Of course, you won’t need one of these if you’re a  perfect seamstress.   The rest of us however, use these all the time.

3.  Magnetic Pin Cushion:

Grabbit Pin CushionI started using my Magnetic Pin Cushion when my kids were crawling babies.   Just drop the pins over the magnetic surface, and they jump right on.  If you drop pins on the floor or any other surface, just wave this little baby over the top of them and it picks up all the stray pins.  This is so much easier to use than a regular pin cushion.

4.  Good Light:

Ott Lite Task Lamp

I love my OTT-LITE Task Lamp.  It’s portable and really makes working on detailed projects easier.  It also doesn’t get hot, so it’s easy to work with.   I got mine at Michael’s with a 40% off coupon.

5.  Rotary Cutter, Mat and Clear Ruler:

DSC_0120_thumb%5B2%5D[1]I love these tools!  I use them to cut both fabric and paper.   They are indispensible if you want to make straight even cuts.  I upgraded to an OLFA Self Healing Mat last year.  I  use it all the time for so many different types of crafts.

6.  Seam Gauge:

DSC_0123_thumb%5B3%5D[1]A seam gauge is basically a ruler. It features a special slider which can be used to mark a desired measurement. When using a seam gauge, you can set the marker to a specific measurement and use it as a quick visual point of reference while pressing, pinning, or sewing a seam.   Definitely a time saver.

7.  Fabric Markers or Tailor’s Chalk:

DSC_0141I use a number of different items to mark with depending on my project.  If my fabric’s dark, I usually use white tailor’s chalk.  It’s easy to use, easy to see, and easy to remove.  On light colored fabrics, I use a Mark-B-Gone pen.  I always test first to make sure the ink will come out of the fabric I’m using.  If I’m marking long lines or darts, I use a tracing wheel and tracing paper. 

8.  Iron and Ironing Board:

_crop_ironing-board-3[1]When I first started sewing, I neglected this important step.  It really makes a difference in your finished project if you press between steps!   Now, I iron every single project that has anything to do with fabric. 

9.  Tape Measure:

312vyu0Qr9L._SS500_[1] You need one of these soft, flexible tapes designed to wrap around yourself, your kids or anything else you measure that’s not flat and straight.

10.  Muslin:

Large_AT-609[1] I always have several yards of muslin, or other inexpensive, clearance fabric around.  It’s a cheap way to test out your ideas and patterns before you commit your nice fabric.  You can buy muslin wherever they sell fabric. 

That’s my top ten.  What’s on your list?

4 thoughts on “Ten Sewing Must Have Accessories

  1. Wait, you forgot to add sewing *talent* to the list of sewing must haves! LOL I envy your skills … would love to be able to sew, but, alas, not working for me. Sooo, safety pins and a hot glue gun are on my *sewing* list! *Becca*

  2. Great list! I am with you on all of it! There is one extra that I add, especially if you have an overlock and serge your seams. It is a type of seam ripper that is exceptionally sharp, sharp enough that I have cut myself a couple of times, but it is great for cutting through lots of threads at once, like serged seams. I don't remember who makes it, but you can get it wherever Husqavarna Viking sewing machine's are sold. If you like Ginger's , but don't like the price, I found a cheaper alternative that is just as nice if not better! Henckle, which makes kitchen and chef's knives, also makes what they call seamstress sheers, as well as tailor's scissors. The sheers are about 10 inches long, and they cut multiple layers of fabric like it is butter. The Tailor's scissors are smaller, about 6 inches long, and they are great for snipping threads or cutting out intricate patterns. They are about $15 and the sheers are about $35. The cheapest place to get them is online at Rocky Mountain Knife factory, or if you are going through Tennessee anytime soon, you can stop in!
    By the way, I love all your sewing tips! Even for a veteran sewer they are helpful!

  3. Great list Carolyn! I completely agree with you about Gingher. I've had a pair for 10 years or so and they are a prized possestion – nothing compares to a pair of Ginghers. They are the best!

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