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Do You Really Need This Sewing Tool? Here’s How to Decide.

If you’re ready to upgrade your sewing toolbox—or play with some specialty notions—use this framework to justify the expense.

Sewing Lab

Do You Really Need This Sewing Tool? Here’s How to Decide.

If you’re ready to upgrade your sewing toolbox—or play with some specialty notions—use this framework to justify the expense.

Posted in: Sewing Lab • February 28, 2022

Some sewing gadgets are worth the hype—and many aren’t. So when investing in specialty tools, how do you know what should go into your shopping cart?

We made a quick checklist for evaluating sewing tools designed to serve a single purpose and tried it out on a few specialty notions. These tools aren’t essential for sewing, but they are really nice to get if you have some extra room in your budget.





Our Discoveries



Tool 1: A Notcher





What is it? This tool will clip all of the notches on your paper sewing pattern, making it easy for you to snip notches on your fabric.





Conclusion: This is a tool you will use frequently, and if you are looking to make your pattern marking quicker and more accurate, it is worth the cost.


Tool 2: A Needle Point Tracing Wheel





What is it? This tracing wheel—also called a stiletto wheel—has long spikes that will poke small holes in your pattern paper or fabric. You can use this to true seams and quickly trace alterations on paper patterns or transfer alterations from your muslin to your pattern paper. You can also use it to easily trace a ready-to-wear garment onto paper to make your own pattern.






Conclusion: If you have the use for this tool, it’s definitely worth it. But you might not need it at all!


Tool 3: A Screw Punch





What is it? This tool, also called a paper drill or push drill, will punch small holes in your pattern paper, like dart points and pocket circles, so that you can easily transfer the marking to your fabric. Many of them have different bits to punch smaller or bigger holes.






Conclusion: This is a tool you will use frequently, and if you are looking to make your pattern marking quicker and more accurate, it is worth the cost.


Tool 4: A Seam Allowance Tracing Wheel





What is it? A double tracing wheel helps you quickly add seam allowance to patterns. You place one wheel along the pattern’s line, and the second wheel will add your seam allowance. The wheels are usually adjustable for different seam allowance widths depending on the tool.



Conclusion: This tool is more similar to the stiletto wheel. It might be beneficial for the kinds of sewing projects you make, but you might not have a use for it.

The next time you are undecided about buying a new sewing gadget, use this framework to see if it’s worth dipping into your sewing budget. You can rank your tools by the ones that will reduce your stress the most! This will help you decide when to invest in them.



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