Sewing tips

Common Sewing Tools2

In the previous post I outlined some common sewing tools for cutting fabric. In this post I’ll outline common sewing tools to help get the sewing done.

Pins

There are two kinds of pins used in sewing: straight pins and safety pins. Both are used to hold fabric together. CreateForLess has a great post on types of sewing pins (sewing pin types & sizes). While my mom uses a combination of nickle-plated steel pins and pearl-headed pins, I only use nickle-plated steel pins. While their small heads aren’t as easy to grasp, they are easier to iron around.

Safety pin versus straight pin (Sewn By Tanya Sewing Tip - Common Sewing Tools2)
Safety pin versus straight pin

I’ve learned by trial and error that the best way to use straight pins is to pin perpendicular to the edge of the fabric. It’s much easier to remove the pins when they get near the presser foot, there is less shifting of the fabrics when the pins are removed and you are less likely to damage your sewing machine needle if you accidentally sew over a pin.

Recently I noticed that some of my straight pins are dull. I’ve heard that an emery filled pin cushion can help keep pins sharp. I’ve ordered some emery for pin cushions and will try it out.

Seam Rippers

Seam rippers are another common sewing tools. They can be used to remove stitches and seams, open button holes and make small slits in fabrics when attaching metal hardware and snaps. Common features of seam rippers include the handle, shaft and head. Usually the head consists of a curved blade. A common style of seam ripper has a cover for the head that is used to extend the handle.

Seam ripper (Sewn By Tanya Sewing Tip - Common Sewing Tools2)
Seam ripper

While they get the job done, I find then tiring for the hands on long deconstruction projects. I prefer to use an ergonomic seam ripper.

Ergonomic seam rippers are designed with handles that are easier to hold. One way to accomplish this is make the handle thicker and longer. I use this Dritz Ergonomic Seam Ripper (as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases), but other brands and other handle shapes are available.

Dritz Ergonomic seam ripper (Sewn By Tanya Sewing Tip - Common Sewing Tools2)
Dritz Ergonomic seam ripper

In this photo of my two seam rippers you can see how much larger the handle is on the Dritz ergonomic seam ripper.

Regular seam ripper (top) & Dritz Ergonomic seam ripper (bottom) (Sewn By Tanya Sewing Tip - Common Sewing Tools2)
Regular seam ripper (top) & Dritz Ergonomic seam ripper (bottom)

Sewing Gauge

Sewing gauges are 6 inch (15 cm) long metal rulers with marks for every 1/8” and1 mm. This common sewing tool is used for measuring small distances. Often they have a sliding marker to help you use the same measurement repeatedly.

Sewing gauge (Sewn By Tanya Sewing Tip - Common Sewing Tools2)
Sewing gauge

I use mine with every sewing project I sew and find them quite versatile.

Using my sewing gauge to position a label (Sewn By Tanya Sewing Tip - Common Sewing Tools2)
Using my sewing gauge to position a label

If you haven’t used one before, Sew Hayley Jane has a short article on uses for a seam gauge.

Pins, seam rippers, and sewing gauges are examples of common sewing tools. Which ones do you use?

Tanya

Sewn By Tanya Sewing Tip - Common Sewing Tools (pins, seam ripper, sewing gauge)
Sewn By Tanya Sewing Tip; Common Sewing Tools for sewing

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