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Episode 106

Do You Have These 20 Essential Sewing Tools? (Part 1)

When it comes to sewing tools, are you a specialist or a generalist? Sarai and Haley share the 20 most essential sewing tools in this two-episode series. In part one, they discuss the 10 most essential tools to have.

You might stock your sewing room with only the bare minimum or you might collect as many helpful tools and notions as you can find.

This week, we are sharing the 10 most essential tools to have for your everyday sewing. And next week, we’ll share the top 10 nice-to-have sewing tools.

Podcast Transcript

Sarai
Welcome back to Seamwork Radio, where we share practical ideas for building a creative process so you can sew with intention and joy.

Today we’re talking about 20 sewing tools that you may or may not have. And we’re going to cover ten essential sewing tools and ten nice to have sewing tools. We’re also going to talk about our favorite variations on these tools. So even if you have the basics already, you might learn about an upgrade that you haven’t thought about using yet. All right, let’s dive into it.

So we have an icebreaker today from Leslie, and Leslie asks, what’s the most difficult garment you have ever made? All right, Haley, what’s the most difficult garment you’ve ever made?

Haley
Well, I’m not sure if I talked about this garment on the podcast or not yet, but back in the day, I used to make wedding dresses, and this one client had me and my friend Rachel. She wanted us to construct a wedding dress out of her prom dress and her mother’s wedding dress, both which were made from the same fabric. It was this really beautiful embroidered silk eyelet. And the thing that was challenging was that both dresses had, like, tons of stains on them. I don’t even know what was on them. They were not stored well. I think that they may have spilled food on them, and there was tons of stains. Both the garments were incredibly small, and we had to, like, tetris our pattern pieces into these garments and sit there and painstakingly seam rep every single seam to figure out how it all works. And it had a very prominent floral embroidery pattern and getting the pattern placement right, so there was, like, no flower nipples going on, no stains. And then that on top of the general stress of making someone’s wedding dress for them. It was a fairly simple, kind of tea length, fitted halter dress.

But she really wanted it, like, painted on her body. She wanted it to fit incredibly snugly and perfectly. And it was so hard. I definitely sat at the sewing machine and sobbed, like, on a couple of occasions with that dress, but it was totally worth it because she looked, like, absolutely stunning in it in the end.

Sarai
Wow. How many fittings did you have to do?

Haley
I think that we did a total of four or five. There was a lot of fittings, too, because the model was she had just had a baby, and she had her heart set on losing weight, which I was like, you look amazing, don’t bother. Also, like, at the cost of your dress not fitting.

Sarai
Yeah.

Haley
But that’s a whole other conversation about body stuff. But yeah, it was a lot of fittings. And even on that last fitting, I think I brought my sewing machine over to her house and did on the spot alterations to get it just right.

Sarai
Wow, that sounds really challenging. The extra challenge of making it for somebody else, I think, makes it so.

Haley
Much more stressful and someone who doesn’t, so they don’t quite totally understand the limitations.

Sarai
Right. Wow, that sounds very difficult. I think my most challenging have just mostly been not necessarily difficult in that way, but more just very time consuming. I think I would say probably my most challenging sewing projects, they’ve all been more tailored outerwear or jackets because those have all of the internal construction that you need to do, you don’t need to do. But that if you want to make a tailor jacket. So I think my most challenging I have this short tailored coat that I made quite a few years ago. It’s really lovely. It’s in a Pendleton wool, and then it has a silk lining, and the actual shape of the garment is very simple. It’s not super fitted, so there’s not a lot that needed to be done there. But I went all out with all the internal construction and really making it very structured and beautiful.

So there’s a lot of hand sewing, doing bag, blinding, adding all of the shoulder pads and the correct interfacing, and just very time consuming. But I really enjoy those kinds of projects because you learn so much as you go through them. And I don’t know, it’s just really, to me, very soothing and relaxing to take your time with a project like that and make it the way it’s supposed to be made.

So it’s challenging in a very different way. It’s not stressful to me, but it’s more the time-consuming aspect of it. I think that can sometimes be a little bit daunting when you go into a project, but then very satisfying when you’re done with the project. That’s really how I feel about tailored garments. Well, that was a really great question. Thank you, Leslie. And if you have an ice breaker for us that you want us to ask in a future episode, if you’re a Seamwork member, you can go to Seamwork.com/go/icebreakers, which will take you to a place on our community where you can ask your question, and we’ll probably use it on a future episode. So thanks again, Leslie.

All right. So today we’re talking about tools, which is one of my favorite subjects. I love talking about tools. It’s so fun. But the thing is, when you start a new hobby, so if you’re new to sewing, even if you’re not new to sewing, but especially when you’re new to sewing, when you start acquiring, all the stuff that you need can be just really overwhelming. So if you’ve ever picked up a new hobby other than sewing, it’s the same for other things, for knitting, for many, many other hobbies, for painting, whatever it is, you’ve been doing it for a while, you start to realize that there are tons of tools and then there are variations on those tools.

So even if you’ve been doing it for a while, it’s hard to know what’s worth using, what’s worth spending money on, what’s worth collecting. It’s not just the cost, but it’s also the clutter it can create. So whether you’re new to sewing or whether you’re more experienced, you kind of have this issue and then no one wants to spend a ton of money if they don’t need to and nobody wants to have their space taken over by a bunch of stuff that they never use. So that’s kind of the issue.

But the thing is that when you have trouble with something, when you can’t do something in sewing, it’s usually almost always either the tool or it’s your technique. So tools actually play a really, really big role in what you’re able to do with your sewing. So that’s what we’re going to be talking about today and hopefully guiding you on either starting your collection of tools and making sure that you have the essentials you need or maybe upgrading the tools that you already have.

So Haley, do you own a lot of specialized sewing tools or do you think you’re more of a generalist when it comes to tools?

Haley
I think I’m generally more of a generalist, but there are a few specialized tools that I really enjoy. Like, I love a bias tape maker. I have those in a few different sizes. This is something we’ve talked about before, is that I love finding a pain point in my sewing, something that is like challenging or annoys me, and then finding a tool that makes it more a little easier, a little more bearable, but generally not all of my tools. But I have this little box that’s about the size of a small shoe box and that’s what I can fit my most loved sewing tools in there. And then I only have another little small box for my very specific things that I only take out once in a while.

Sarai
Well, for me, I also think I’m pretty much a generalist. It’s the same thing with kitchen tools. I was thinking about this in the kitchen the other day. Generally I don’t like single purpose appliances. I like to have things that can do a lot of different jobs. But there are a few very specialized tools that I have that I just love. I love using them. They’re made for the job. They just do what they do perfectly well. And I think a long time ago I even wrote a blog post about this like years and years and years ago. And there’s one that I mentioned in the blog post as an analog and I feel like I still use it and I still love it, which is an Apple core. I have this tool that’s just like I bought it at Sur la Table, like years and years and years ago and all it does is core apples. You can use it on pears too, but that’s all it does. And I love it. Every time I need to core an apple, I’m just happy to use it. I feel like it’s the same way with sewing tools.

Like, you have your general tools that you use for most things that every once in a while you pull out this special one that you use just for this one thing. And it does that so well that it’s a joy to use.

Haley
The difference with cooking tools for me is that my friends and my family know that I love they know I love sewing, but they also know I love cooking. But cooking is like a more accessible thing to people. More people do it. So people buy me kitchen gadgets all the time. So I have all of these specialized tools and really, I don’t think that I bought like I’ve bought hardly any of them. My ice cream maker, I did buy that on ebay.

Sarai
That’s funny. People don’t really give me that many kitchen gadgets. I don’t know why my grandmother did. She volunteers at a thrift store and she sometimes comes across things and she once gave me one of those. It’s like for chopping onions. Like you put carrots or onions or whatever inside of it, like a little tube, and then you press down on it over and over and it chops it for you. She gave me that. I used it a couple of times, but this is too specialized for me.

Haley
Does it appeal to me because I love cutting, but I also like cutting things very uniform. No surprise there. That’s too chaotic for me. I can’t deal with it well. Moving back to sewing tools, do you think there’s any kinds of tools that people tend to overlook?

Sarai
I think when you’re a beginner, I think the most common thing to overlook is one, you’re cutting tools, and two, your pressing tools. I think people focus a lot on the sewing part of it when they’re first starting out and maybe don’t realize that there are all these tools you can use for both cutting and pressing that make your sewing a lot nicer and just it feels better to use it or to use these special tools that make your garment look great. So I think that’s an area that people overlook. Do you think that’s true, or are there other ones you think people overlook?

Haley
Yeah, I definitely agree with you. I think that people just want to get sewing in their head. Maybe they’re just picturing themselves behind the machine, one with the fabric sewing away, and they’re not necessarily thinking of the hours of cutting that goes into it. And every single seam that you have to press a number of times after every single seam is constructed. So I think that those are definitely true and adequate cutting tools for sure. I think a lot of beginners I’ve had so many people in so many classes bring kitchen shears, and I’m like, I totally understand where they’re coming from, but people don’t realize how tough fabric is to cut through, and you definitely need a specialized pair of scissors to do the job.

Sarai
Yeah. You know, another tool, if we’re getting into more specifics, I think another tool that doesn’t get as much attention as it should. Or pinking shears. I think pinking shears are such a cool, old fashioned tool that does a great job, and a lot of people don’t own a pair of pinking shears, and they’re not appropriate for every fabric. You can’t use them to finish seams on every single fabric, but when it is appropriate to use them, they’re really fast, really efficient, really sturdy way to finish your woven fabric. So I really like pinking shears.

Haley
I actually do not own a pair of pinking shears for two reasons. I have a pinking rotary blade, and also I’ve always worked somewhere that has good pinking shears, so if I’ve ever needed to do something, I’m just like, I’ll just bring it to work. So I’m a little spoiled.

Sarai
Yeah. I think also, once you get a serger, you just kind of use that for finishing almost every seam, so it kind of takes over. But if you don’t have a serger yet, or if you want to do a different finish, it’s a really nice way to finish. And it’s really one thing I like about it is an added bulk to your seams so you don’t have surgeries, can add it could be just because there’s thread there, it can add a little bit of bulk, and pinking shares don’t do that. So I’m a fan.

Haley
That is a good overlooked tool. I like that one. Is there a tool in your toolbox that you rarely use?

Sarai
This might spark an argument. Haley, he said that you love biased tape makers. And that’s one that I think we might have talked about this on our previous episode recently. Or maybe we talked about it off recording. But I just think that bias tape makers. I have a whole bunch of them in different sizes. And I used to use them all the time and love them. And I still think they’re really great tools. But I’ve found myself using them less and less just because. I don’t know. They can be a little bit fiddly and I don’t know. You can just use a pen.

Haley
Yeah.

Sarai
Or your fingers, if you’re very careful. So that’s kind of what I do now.

Haley
Yeah, I was just going to say, I think the reason that it’s like a tolerable specialized tool to me is that they’re so tiny. They’re so small. I have a really small one. I have like a quarter inch or three eight inch one. And I would probably never mess around with making bias tape, like, quite that small on my own. And like a half inch one and I just I love it. I love it so much. So easy. Burn my hands less. I’m, like, notorious for always burning my hands. So I like that it helps me not do that.

Sarai
Yes, that is a real advantage. I burn my fingers making bias tape sometimes too. But what I like to do now is this might be a little hard to explain on a podcast, but I take a pin and I kind of weave it in and out of the ironing board cover so it’s pinned at the front of the pin and pinned at the back of the pin. And then there’s a gap in the middle, which is the final width of your bias tape of your folds. And then you feed it through underneath that gap, and it kind of automatically folds it for you as you pull it through, just like a bias maker does. And then you don’t have to have your fingers close to the iron as you press. And what I like about that is just something I already have on hand. And you can make it whatever width you want as long as your pen is long enough. So that’s kind of what I do now. But it might be just more out of laziness than anything, like wanting to find the right bias tape maker in my toolbox or whatever.

Haley
Totally. I’ve done that before, and you did a very good job describing it verbally. I’m impressed. I think that my least frequently used tool is probably the duck bill scissors for trimming and grading. I like them, but I just have a small pair of scissors that I prefer a little bit. They’re just the ones that I use the most often, so they feel almost like an extension of my hand. But I recommend duck bill scissors to people all the time who, like, really struggle with grading. It’s just something that I like a little better. So that’s probably my least used tool.

Sarai
Yeah. I don’t even own a pair of duck bill scissors.

Haley
I recommended them so many times, and I was like, I should probably own a pair because I’ll recommend them to people. It’s like a real pain point for someone. And then I was like, Why did I get this? I didn’t really have a need for it. But what’s, like, one person’s, like, Holy Grail tool isn’t necessarily going to be yours? And that kind of goes to prove it.

Sarai
Yeah.

Haley
So that leads me to my next question, which is, what is your number one favorite sewing tool?

Sarai
My number one favorite sewing tool? I think if I’m thinking about the one I feel most emotional attachment to, I would say probably my fabric shears. I’ve had them for so long, and I think there’s something about the process of having a tool for so long, like having a high quality tool for so long and really taking care of it, getting them sharpened regularly, making sure that they’re in good shape, making sure I don’t use them on paper, anything like that. Something about taking care of them just, I don’t know, gives you a sense of attachment to them, I think. What about you?

Haley
That’s a really good one. I feel the same about my scissors as well. I even have, like, a little leather holster. Not like a holster that I drop onto my body. That would be very cool. I’m not quite that cool, but I have, like, a little leather sleeve. I keep them in so they don’t get dinged up. And I am very attached. I have, like, a special hook I hang them on. But I think to do something different than you, I’ll say a point turner. I use them not just for turning points, but also in place of my fingers for fingerpressing things before I press them. I feel like they do a really great job with that. And I prefer a bamboo one. That’s one of my favorite sewing tools that I feel like my sewing turns out better when I have that at my side.

Sarai
Yeah, they’re great for pushing out edges, too. If you’re, you know, turning an edge right side out and you kind of push out that seam before you press it, they’re great for that.

Haley
Yes. I feel like it makes the difference. It makes things look so much more crisp, like a neckline. If you sew a facing, you clip you grade before you press it. Use your point turner to kind of encourage that fold, and it’s going to turn out so beautifully. Can’t live without.

Sarai
All right, well, that brings us to our top 20 list. So we’re going to go through this. We spent a long time chatting about tools, and we’re going to talk more about some of these tools and give you some ideas for maybe variations you haven’t tried before. So even if you have your basic tools already, even if you’re far beyond a beginner and you’ve got everything already that you feel like you need, this might be a chance to think about some upgrades. So there may be things you haven’t used before or maybe something that would be just a nicer version of what you already have.

So we’re going to start with our top ten essentials and talk about what we like there, and then we’re going to go into our top ten nice to have.

So the first essential that you absolutely have to have are fabric shears. And we’ve already talked about fabric shears a little bit before, and they are, like I said, probably my most prized sewing tool. I have a pair of Gingher fabric shears. I believe they are the nine inch dressmaking shears, if you want to look those up.

Sarai
And I absolutely adore these fabric shares. I think Gingher makes tools for this purpose. Absolutely love them. What do you use Haley?

Haley
I use the same ones, but another pair that I really like that. I think it can be a little bit more budget friendly for people. Starting out is Fiskers makes a pair of either nine or seven inch spring action shears and they are really great. They’re really comfortable to cut with. The Ginghers have metal handles, which I know it makes them a little bit heavier. Some people, if you have problems with your wrist, that can be a little bit difficult. The fiscal are really ergonomic and the handles are plastic, so they’re a lot lighter weight. And the spring action helps as well, but they don’t really sacrifice the quality of the actual blade. So that’s another one that I just really recommend to people. It’s also more in the $25 price range, so a lot more pocket book friendly.

Sarai
Yeah, that’s a great alternative. So either the Ginghers, if you want to have something really high quality, it’s going to last you a really long time and you don’t mind the extra weight or the Fiskers if you want something that’s a little bit lighter and easier on your hand at rest. So that’s fabric shears.

And the next thing which is sort of related is paper scissors. So you have your shears for your fabric that are made for cutting fabric, and then you have paper scissors, which are only used to cut paper. So for these, for paper scissors, I just use your standard cheapo paper scissors that you can get anywhere. There’s like nothing fancy about my paper scissors. Do you have any anything in particular about yours?

Haley
Yeah, I’m kind of the same, like, price point isn’t really going to make a huge difference here. I just say buy what is comfortable for you to hold. And I also prefer something with an offset handle so the handle isn’t centered on the blade. Just because when you’re cutting on a flat surface, that makes it easier.

Sarai
Yeah, that’s a good point. So paper scissors and you want to have those be separate from your fabric shears. Never use your fabric shears to cut paper. I want to keep those separate. Never the twain shall meet.

Number three are pins and pincushion. Might seem obvious. You need pins. You need a pin cushion to sew. What kind of pins do you prefer, Hailey? Or do you have a favorite pin cushion?

Haley
I always use glass head pins because I want to be able to press over them. Also, if they get caught in between layers, you can just hammer the head and they’ll shatters and you can pull the pin out. I am a magnetic pincushion girl. I’m not a tomato girl.

Sarai
I am a tomato girl through and through. I love my classic tomato pin cushion. You guys probably already know what we’re talking about. It’s your regular tomato pincushion that has a little strawberry dangling off of it that they’ve been selling for decades and decades. And I like it. It’s classic. And also, some people don’t know this, some people know this. Some people don’t know. The little dangling strawberry thing has Emory sand in it, so you can push the pins in and out of it, and it helps to sharpen the pins. So if you don’t know what that little guy is for, you can use it also to grab the pin cushion without touching the pins, obviously. But that’s my favorite. It’s a tried and true classic. And I also always use glass head pins. I’ve used cheapo pins with plastic heads. Not they’re all cheap, but the ones I used were and melted them into my fabric and never again. So that’s what I like. I also like to keep silk pins on hand, which are finer. So if you’re using a really fine fabric, you can use those and not put big old holes in your fabric.

So that’s another thing I like to keep on hand. All right, the next one is a seam ripper. So what kind of seam ripper do you like, Haley?

Haley
The only thing I look for in a seam ripper is that the tip is nice and small. Sometimes you see ones that are really chunky, and I just don’t find that to be incredibly helpful. A seam ripper is also one that I like to replace every four or five years because they get kind of dull, and that also is unhelpful. But I’ll just go with whatever. I think mine’s like a Clover seam ripper with the brown handle. What about you?

Sarai
Okay, so this is interesting because I’ve always used just, like, the regular seam ripper, like you talked about. Clover brand. Clover makes great tools, by the way. I love all my Clover notions, so I’ve always used that. But then when I moved and I set up a new sewing space and I needed some new tools because I’ve probably mentioned this, but I used to just use the studio to do all my sewing when I lived close by, and now I don’t, so I have to have my own stuff. And I got one of those. I don’t know if there’s a name for them. They’re like the knife style seam rippers. So it’s basically just like a long handle, and then it has sort of a curved blade on the top instead of the pronged blade that you see on most seam rippers. And I hate it. I don’t like it at all. Maybe it’s just not what I’m used to, but I’m always afraid that I’m going to cut my fabric with it. I just find it really, like, fiddly to use compared to the regular pronged style. So I’m going to go back to the prong style.

Next time I go to the fabric store, I’m going to pick up the classic. That’s my favorite. I know some people really like the knife style ones, and it is very sharp, and it is very effective. I’m just always a little scared.

Haley
Imagining you, timidly, like, picking away at a seam with it.

Sarai
Number five is a clear ruler. So. I love clear rulers. My personal favorite that I use is a quilting ruler. And what I like about the quilting ruler is it’s wide, so it’s really great for measuring in multiple directions as you sew. And it’s also very heavy and thick, which makes it have a certain weight on your fabric so you don’t have to hold it in position quite as much. It just kind of like it can rest there. Makes it really easy to cut with a rotary cutter. I’ve had thinner rulers where you just end up cutting into the ruler into the plastic, which is obviously not great for the ruler. It’s not great for the blade either. So I really like a thick, heavy quilting ruler. Now, what about you?

Haley
I have both because I love my clear ruler. So I have a big kind of like heavy I think it’s omnipresent as the brand and then like two by 18 inch clear ruler. I tend to use the smaller one more often because I like that’s flexible, so when I’m making pattern adjustments and things, I can measure around curves a little bit more easily. But I love a clear ruler. My husband’s always stealing mine to measure things, especially the quilting one. He’s like a fan for some reason. That’s the one he’d recommend, I guess, for hanging curtains and things where you have to measure in two dimensions.

Sarai
Yeah, I should mention that I have a regular one like that as well. I just don’t reach for it quite as often. We used to have a second one down in the kitchen that we would use so that Kenn could use it too. We had it laying on its side in the kitchen drawer and we were always losing it because you couldn’t see it sitting there constantly fighting about where that ruler is and it would be in the drawer the whole time.

Haley
Yeah, I used to cut on the floor. I cut on the floor for years. And usually most apartments I have had hardwood floors and I always had the red ruler and I could never find it against the hardwood. And so one day I was at the fabric store and I saw one with a blue grid and I was like, this is worth the money. I’m never going to lose this thing again.

Sarai
That’s funny. Alright, so that was number five. Number six is a measuring tape. So for measuring tape, I just have your standard. I have actually several of them. I like to have several of them in my sewing room so that there’s always one with an easy reach because there’s a reversible tool. So I have them in a bunch of colors. They’re all over the place. They’re just your regular, flexible, regular measuring tape. What about you? Anything special about yours?

Haley
Yeah, I like to make sure that it’s a nice and long one, because I want to be able to measure back length on something full length. Not that that comes up very often, but it’s definitely nice to have a nice long one in your sewing stash. The other thing is to kind of watch out for is that sometimes measuring tapes can stretch out. Depending on the material that they’re made out of, the plastic ones will stretch out over time. So two things you can either just keep an eye on it and measure against a ruler once in a while to make sure that it’s accurate. The other thing you can do is that they make fiberglass tape measures. They look and feel just like plastic ones, but they will not stretch out over time. I believe clover makes one, so those are kind of just, like, two things with tape measures that I always watch out for.

Sarai
Yeah, that’s a really good point. Okay, so the next one, number seven on our list of ten essentials is chalk. So what do you use for chalk, Haley?

Haley
My favorite marking tool is the water soluble marker or the chocolate pens, but I keep chalk triangles around. It kind of depends on the job. I like to have some options.

Sarai
Yeah, I’m the same way. I like the chocolate pell pens. I also like just the regular Clover pencils. I think those are great. They have usually two different colors, so there’s one color on one end and another color on the other end. And they come in a pack of three, I believe. And they have a little cap that has a little brush on it to help you remove the marks when you’re done. And I like those. I just think they work really well, and they show up on most fabrics because they’re coming different colors is always one that will work on no matter what color you’re working with. So those are my most reached for marking tool.

All right. Number eight is needles. So needles can include your hand sewing needles and also your machine needles. We actually just filmed a YouTube video all about using the correct sewing machine needle. So I’m not sure if we’ll be out by the time this podcast out. Maybe not. Probably not. But look out for that on our YouTube channel, because we had a really fun video about what happens if you don’t use the right needle and how to choose the correct one for your project.

So anything to say about needles?

Haley
I just like to make sure I have an abundance of them, because I like to work with a fresh one. I think that’s what’s most important is to remember needles are disposable, and you should change them every one to two projects.

Sarai
Yes. I like to buy them in the multi packs so that I always have a bunch of different sizes close at hand. So I like to buy just to have the specialty needles on hand as well for certain projects. But because the universal needles are the ones I use the most often, I like to make sure that I have those in a variety of sizes. So I really like those big multi packs that they sell them in that go from I don’t know what size of 70 to 100 or something like that. And then for hand sewing needles, I also buy them in those packs that just have a bunch of different sizes. So there’s always something because you want to use a thinner, smaller needle with a small eye if you’re using a fine fabric, and you want to use probably a thicker one with a bigger eye to accommodate maybe accommodate a larger thread when you’re doing a really heavy fabric, like denim, if you need to do any kind of basting or hand sewing or anything like that. So I always like to have a variety of all different sizes on hand.

Sarai
All right, number nine. Now, another one that might seem a little bit obvious to you is thread, and we also just did a YouTube video about thread. So that’s another one that I think people sometimes, especially beginners, don’t necessarily know that there are different types of thread that you would use for different purposes. So it’s good to have a variety of thread on hand as well. How do you store your thread, Haley?

Haley
Chaotically. It’s all in a shoe box, and there’s no organization to it. Every time I pull it out, I’m like, I got to do something about this. I have to do something about this. It’s such chaos. Do you have any thread storage tips for me?

Sarai
Yeah, well, I use the same thing that we use at work, which is the thread caddy, which is a big plastic square caddy that has little prongs for your thread, and you can fit, I don’t know, probably how many do you think fit in there? Like 50, 70, something like that?

Haley
Maybe like that.

Sarai
And I organize them by color so I can always grab one at work. We have a separate one that’s for specialty threads like cotton thread or silk thread or top stitching thread. And then we have a separate one for all purpose threads so that way they don’t get mixed up. But here at home, I just have one caddy that has everything organized by color. So if you don’t know very much about thread or which threads to use for which project, again, we got a YouTube video about that coming out. So we’ll show you the video. Obviously, we can show it to you visually, so look out for that pretty soon, too.

All right, number ten on this list is an iron and an ironing board. So an iron I almost said this as my favorite tool, an iron, because as long time listeners know, we love ironing. We love pressing our we do our garments. So an iron is something that is probably going to make a big difference in how much you enjoy the final look of your clothing. I’ve used all kinds of irons. We’ve gone through a bunch of irons at work, too, trying to find one that works for us and doesn’t spit and doesn’t die.

Sarai
And there’s irons can be a little bit of a challenge. But I have an iron that I love now. It’s a Rowta wait, is it Rowenta? Is that the brand? Or is it Rowena? How do you say it? Now I’m second guessing myself. Rowena.

Haley
Rowenta.

Sarai
Anyway, you can look it up. You’ll find the iron, but that’s what I use.

Haley
It’s a real something.

Sarai
Yeah. It’s a nice, high quality iron, and it has a very pointy tip. That’s what I like about it. It’s got the very, very pointy tip. It also has an auto shut off feature, which I very much appreciate, just in case I accidentally leave it on, which you shouldn’t do. But I want to have that extra safety precaution, especially with two young cats running around, and they have knocked it over many times. In fact, just the other day, I have some picture frames stacked up against the wall, and I found that one of them was broken. And I think it’s because one of my cats, Rusty, jumped on the ironing board and surfed it down. Like, landed right on the glass picture of Rames. Yeah. Luckily, the iron was off.

Haley
Thanks a lot.

Sarai
Shut off. Yeah. Thank you. Rusty, what about you? What kind of iron do you use?

Haley
I have, like, this cheapo Shark iron that I bought when I was broke and fresh out of college. And I always say that I’m going to replace it when it dies, but it just won’t die. It does the job, though, I think. Upgraded my ironing board recently, and I really like that something that comes up to a really high height so that I can I don’t have to hinge at the waist to bend over and really see what I’m doing. I have kind of cruddy eyes, but, yeah, I think that I used to iron on, like, a towel on a table. And I definitely think that if that’s your pressing set-up, that an ironing board really helps. It gives you a little sturdier surface to press on.

Sarai
Yeah. One of the upgrades that I want to make is to add a sleeve board to my ironing tool kit. You can get either, like, a sleeve ironing boards, like a mini ironing board that you put on top of your ironing board that you can use for smaller pieces or tubes, like a sleeve, but you can also use your clapper for that as well. All right, so that’s all of our essentials. This one has been kind of long. I’m wondering if we should maybe make a part two. What do you think, Haley? Should we do a part two and talk about our nice to haves in the next episode.

Haley
Let’s do it.

Sarai
All right, well, let’s recap what we’ve talked about today and then we’ll go over the nice to haves in our part too.

Haley
Alright, so I’m just going to run us through our essentials real quick. We talked about the most essential sewing tools that you need to start sewing, or if you’ve been sewing for a while, maybe they’re the ones you want to upgrade. So number one, fabric shears. Two, paper scissors. Three, pins and pin cushion. Four, seam ripper. Five, clear ruler. Six, a measuring tape. Seven, chalk. Eight, needles. Nine, thread and ten, iron and ironing board. And these are the tools that you need to I love this list because it makes it feel really manageable and it’s what you need to pretty much sell anything. So if you’re starting out, definitely take notes. I think that my big takeaway from this episode is that my needs when it comes to sewing are fairly simple. I can get the job done with just a handful of tools, and then it can be kind of tempting when you’re walking through the tools aisle at a fabric store to get all the shiny new things that are going to solve all your sewing problems. So when it comes down to it, you just kind of need the basics.

Sarai
That’s so true. I think it can be fun to have those extra tools, and some of them are definitely worth it. We talked about the apple core in the kitchen. I think it can definitely be worth it to get those more specialized tools. And we’re going to talk about more of those in the next episode that you might want to invest in. But I agree. If you really just want to get selling, you don’t need that much stuff. You can do it with a pretty small kit. I think my big takeaway is I got to replace that same ripper. Just talking about why do I have this thing if I hate it so much? This caused me to reflect. So I’m going to get a new Seam ripper next time I go to the fabric store I’m put on my list.

Haley
Big weekend plans.

Sarai
Yeah. Another excuse to go to the fabric store.

Haley
Yeah, I’ll take it. Well, if you want to learn more about this, you can check out a podcast episode we did in the past called six Sewing Tools We Wish We Bought Sooner, where we talk about, very predictably, the six sewing Tools We Wish We Bought Sooner. We also have a great YouTube video called Seamworks Favorite Sewing Tools, where the Seamwork team shows you our favorite sewing tools and that’s a really fun one to watch. And coming out very soon, we have a brand new guide to sewing tools and sewing equipment and we get all into the nitty gritty, much like what we did today, but we also get into things like sewing machines and all of that stuff. Right now, we’re still working on creating this free guide, but if you subscribe to our newsletter, you’ll definitely see that pop up. So if you don’t already, definitely subscribe to our newsletter.

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