Tools / Video

Video: Five of my favorite sewing tools

Having good sewing tools is truly one of the keys to successful sewing and I think we all have those aha-moments when we make the switch from a sub-par version to a great one. And I love hearing from others what there top tools are, and I’ve made many happy purchases that way. So I thought I should share five of my favorite sewing tools with you. This is by no means a definite best-of list, I just thought of five good sewing tools that I really like and use frequently. Plus they also happen to come in all sort of price ranges. Good sewing tools doesn’t always have to cost a ton!

Now I would love to hear what your favorite tools are! Tell me in the comment section, I plan to then compile your tips into a shopping list to share on the blog, since that would be super useful, and I think we all have room for a few more sewing tools 🙂


  • PsychicSewerKathleen
    October 23, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    What a fun post Johanna! I have all the ones you mention except the fabric covered button maker which I’ll look for – GREAT idea. I have the same scissors and could honestly wax poetic about them! I confess that I have 3 pairs! I have the larger ones, the slightly smaller ones and my latest addition was the huge, professional serrated ones that are absolutely AMAZING 🙂 I have so many favourite tools 🙂 my favourites are the magnetic seam guides that you attach to your scissors when cutting so you can add a seam allowance or fit insurance WHILE cutting. Huge time saver. I love the seam guides by Nancy Zieman (Clover) as well, and I have this funny extended sort of fence thing that helps for marking where you want your button placement for even distribution.

    • Johanna
      October 24, 2016 at 7:27 am

      I had never heard of either seam guide, but now that I’ve checked them out all I can say is wow! These are definitely things I will be looking to purchase. The Zieman guide is genius, so simple yet versatile. Thank you for sharing!

  • Jane
    October 24, 2016 at 5:30 am

    Thanks for sharing! I would like to know more about how you use the awl. It sounds really useful, especially for marking pieces that are cut on the fold, e.g. marking left and right bust darts at the same time. Does it make marks that will stay there through the construction process? I haven’t used one and I can’t quite imagine how it can make a visible hole that is not permanent!
    Personally one of my favourite tools is a good pair of sharp embroidery scissors. I use them for snipping threads at the machine, sometimes for a little bit of unpicking, for snipping notches, when hand-sewing and just all those little detailed bits of cutting. I have a few pairs so I can always find one!

    • Johanna
      October 24, 2016 at 7:38 am

      Absolutely! I’ve done at least four tutorials on the blog where I use an awl Four ways to use a tailor’s awl (links to all posts) . And a video too Sewing darts without tracing
      As for the holes, they will be visible while sewing (with the exception of some knits). And on many fabrics the tiny holes will pretty much disappear when the fabric is washed and even if the don’t they are meant to be inside the seam, so for a dart you sew the stitch just outside the little holes. The same goes for pleats and such. And thank you for recommending sharp embroidery scissors, I need to get those, everyone who haves them seem to love them and I suspect they are much more precise than the big clunky scissors that I use for snipping!

  • Donna
    October 24, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    I enjoy your videos, Johanna. I’m going to search out that covered button maker. Kari scissors are on my wish list. I find my iron and tailor’s clapper to be indispensable. As I get more into pattern drafting, I use a curved ruler that I bought from Kathy Ruddy at the Mississauga CreativFestval one year. It acts as a French curve, has a straight side and is lined with 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, and 5/8″ lines so you can draw in the seam allows you like. I find a use for it every time I work with patterns.

    • Johanna
      October 25, 2016 at 2:37 pm

      That seam allowance ruler seems so great! I have something similar, but it’s more complicated and the print on the ruler has begun to fade which makes it less useful. I will definitely consider buying the Kathy Ruddy version

  • Jessica
    January 28, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Always nice to hear what other people like to use. I will look into the button maker. So thank you for your video. My favorite tool is my rotary cutter. And since I use iron rings to keep the patterns in place and a good ruler, cutting fabric is done so much quicker.

  • alison
    March 1, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Hi Johanna, I really like frixion pens (disappear with the heat of an iron), chaco chalk marker, magnetic seam guide that attaches to base of (non-computerised) sewing machine, and I love elmers school glue for seam basting. x

    • Johanna
      March 2, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      Thank you for the tips, I don’t have any of these. The Frixon pens seems awesome, I’m always on the lookout for pens that doesn’t set with heat (a common problem with the ones available in Sweden)


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