Video: How to use a tailor’s awl for sewing

January 28, 2018 8 Comments

Video: How to use a tailor’s awl for sewing

January 28, 2018 8 Comments

Are you using a tailor’s awl for sewing? I think it’s an excellent (and budget-friendly) tool that is perfect for marking everything from buttonholes to pleats and darts. And if we can get over the fear of punching holes in the fabric we will be rewarded with a really quick way to mark all sorts of things without having to fiddle with marking tools that either rub off to easy or won’t come off at all.

Also, it is a common tool in the sewing industry, and since they know all about efficient sewing, why not learn a trick or two from them. In this video, I show five ways that I use this tool for sewing. And of course there are plenty more ways to use it, so I would love to hear your suggestions!

The small one I’m using in the video is very similar to the tailor’s awl from Clover (Amazon affiliate link) and the larger awl is from a hardware store.

Want to see more in detail how I do the techniques I show in the video? Then check out my blog post Four ways to use an awl for sewing where I have collected my all awl tutorials!

Johanna Lundström

All posts


  • Carol January 29, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    Thank you for your tips on uses for awls. I only used mine for punching holes for rivets 🙂 I’m sure it will get much more use now. Also, I purchased your book and I love
    all the methods to get professional looking reaults.

    • Johanna January 30, 2018 at 3:59 pm

      Thank you so much! Nothing makes me happier than to hear that my sewing tips has been useful, it’s so great that we can learn from each other! And thank you for buying my book 🙂

  • Jane January 30, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Thanks for all your helpful tips! I am still a little confused about the punching holes bit though. Does this damage the fabric? I’m thinking that since you are marking just to the inside of dart ends, etc, that yes it probably does damage the fabric a little. But this doesn’t matter because you’re marking on parts that will be inside darts, pleats etc, i.e. the excess fabric that doesn’t show from the outside. Is this correct? Thanks 🙂

    • Johanna January 30, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      Yes you are right, the holes will be hidden inside the seam and will not cause any damage. In fact many “holes” are just threads pushed aside and will disappear when the garment is washed. I’ve used this awl technique on every material from knits and silk to denim, and have not had any issues!

      • Jane February 2, 2018 at 12:33 am

        Thank you, that is great to know!

  • Wednesday Weekly #120 – Helen's Closet January 31, 2018 at 1:01 am

    […] The Last Stitch shows us how to use an awl in sewing. […]

  • Linda March 11, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    It never really came to my mind to use my awl for making marks in fabric (i only use it for kamsnaps). Thank you so much for putting this online. I think i’ve tried all the other options like using white carbon paper, chalk, colouring pencils and even carving with my nails since i was to lazy to do the real thing haha.

    • Johanna March 13, 2018 at 8:02 am

      Yes the awl is a game changer and really speeds up the often dreary process of marking on fabrics. Which I suppose is why this method is common in the garment inudstry, we can always learn a trick or two from the pros 🙂

    Leave a Reply