Monday, 12 September 2011

MY top 5 crafty sewing tools. Before the initial sewing stage that is....

This is my list of crafty tools. I must emphasize the MY as you might read this and think 'Oh no....she has it all wrong'. Well that is fine by me as we are all unique and individual.

I did think about listing ALL of the tools I use within a day of crafting and sewing activities. But where do you end? So MY list comprises of the tools I use the most.......before I get down to sewing and assembling- as simple as that!

Here are my 5 things I cannot live without, the tools I actually keep by my side and sometimes travel with them!!! They are in no order by the way.


Of course! A bit obvious really! This is my trusted army of scissors. The red handled pair are my paper scissors- for cutting out patterns, labels, trimming gift wrap. I cannot live without my lovely big pair of Fiskars, I have had these for years and they have never let me down. They cut fine fabric beautifully and are great for chomping through a huge wedge of fabric. I do look after these and I keep them sharp. My other black handled pair are my spare pair but I do like to use these for cutting through felt and for trimming seams. My little pair are used for trimming loose threads, snipping off buttons and occasionally ripping through mistakes. It is important to keep your fabric scissors sharp and never use them to cut paper!!!! GRRR!  IRON

YEP! An iron. I cannot live without an iron during a days sewing. Can you? How can we cut out accurate patterns with creases and ripples in our fabric? I also use an iron on vylene for many of my patchwork projects. I always iron my cut fabric in half and use the crease to achieve symmetry, this line creates the Centre Front and Centre Back when making my bags and big cushions. They just make everything easier and are an imperative guide. I also use the iron for ironing out my seams- my mum drummed this into me.

 TAPE MEASURES and similar.

I have acquired many tape measures because I am always losing them. I actually only own one of these measuring aids from this motley collection! Tut! Tut! In fact when I was gathering this lot together I realized that I have lost my metal ruler. Please go and invest in a metal ruler- you will achieve the most perfect straight lines and I did use it for making my patterns. The green measuring mat, which my mum give me, also does this job very well. I always use this mat when I am drawing free- hand curves onto my bag patterns. The one tape measure I use the most of is MY white one (when I can find it), the only measure here that is mine, everything else here belongs to my family. But it just goes to show you how much a crafter relies on this tool to enable you to measure and therefore cut out your fabric accurately, there is something to be said for the motto 'measure twice, cut once'. I also occasionally use a protractor for measuring degrees when I am adding darts to my bag patterns.

Next we have- PINS

Pins, pins, pins. What can we say about pins? They are of course very important to keep your patterns and fabric intact as you are cutting out. I used to tack everything together but now, because I have a lot of confidence in my sewing ability, I don't bother tacking and I just pin everything together. This saves a lot of time and, you know, if you have ironed your fabric and measured it properly before cutting out then there shouldn't be much need to tack your work before sewing. I have to add here that I do tack if I am sewing anything delicate or fiddly. I use pins of various thickness and sizes- I use my sweet heart head ones for pinning together thick fabric or a number of pieces. I always use them when I am making my lavender cushions because this involves sewing in a plush wadding. I do not use them for pinning fine fabrics or any type of delicate work, they just tend to punch big holes into your lovely fabric, I save this job for the smaller and thinner pins.


Let's face it if we didn't have this basic equipment we wouldn't be able to sketch our ideas and this is something I do frequently. We also wouldn't be able to draw our patterns and then mark them perfectly on our fabric. Short and sweet!

I have in no way intended to be patronising in my obvious list- this idea happened to come about because I spent the weekend trying to create a bit of space for my growing craft enterprise. I started thinking 'just how much space and storage do I need' and I have come to conclusion- as much as I can!

I would love to here about the tools you can't live without. I'm thinking that I might draw up a 'followers list'. I also plan on a part 2.......this will include my best friend 'The Stitch Ripper'.

Over and out!

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