Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Tools of the Trade

As I continue my massive studio overhaul/reorganization I got to thinking about the tools that I use in doing what I do. What are the tools I can't live without? What are some of the tools that may not be an absolute necessity, but that I have become so attached to that I believe I can't live without them? What are some tools that I use that I just think are the bees knees?

Well, in the can't live without category, you will find the usual suspects:

Good quality, regularly sharpened fabric shears
Paper cutting shears
Sharp little snips
Seam Ripper! So vital that I have 4 of them
Rotary Cutter
Pin Cushion
Measuring Tape
Marking tool/s - I have all sorts, the one pictured is my latest acquisition
Clear plastic quilting ruler - not pictured

I have a group of tools here, that I find indispensable, but are not on everyone's list of essentials:

Seam Gauge - it's uses are too numerous to list - again I have 4 of these babies
Turning tool (also called a bone folder) - used to make crisp corners when turning something right side out
Beeswax Thread Waxer - this one belonged to my grandmother and still sees quite a lot of use
Bodkin - For threading elastic or ties through casings
Buttonhole Cutter - This is a sharp beveled edge tool for cutting the center of buttonholes - love!
Fray Check - again it's uses are many, but it's a must for my buttonholes
Bias Binding Folding tools - for making your own bias binding
Many Sewing Machine Needles - In my opinion these should be on the can't live without list! It makes a huge difference to change your needles often - every 12 hours of basic sewing at least

Of course I could not live without my steam iron and ironing board. As cheesy as it sounds, pressing equals success. I can easily spend half of my sewing time on pressing.

Accordingly, I have some very useful pressing tools:

Ham and Sleeve Roll - Yes, it's actually called a Ham - due to it's shape
Point Presser/Clapper - Gets those seams looking sharp - these were made by my talented Engineer

This is by no means a complete list. I know I have left out some other important items, yet these are tools that help me do what I love to do.

Now, I'm so curious to know what is your favorite tool/s that you use in your projects? Do tell!


Flaming Nora said...

Very good, though I don't allow seam rippers in my workroom! The very thought of them makes me wince. Also have at least 3 different types of pins, no magnetic pin cushions either. Another no no. In fact no pin cushions, just little pots. But the things I couldn't live with out are an awl and a hammer.

Miss Merry said...

When I was a 4-H leader, I always preached that you should use a new needle in your sewing machine for each new project (and use the correct needle for the project)!

Jennifer said...

I like my seam ripper and my tape measures, my yarn needles and my rotary cutter!

Frances said...

You've a fine collection there! My sewing has been sidelined by knitting, so I must say my current favorite tools are my knitting needles, crochet hooks and tape measure.

However, back in the sewing department, I have yet to try a rotary cutter, but have seen them in action and like the look of what they can accomplish.