I have my favourite tools which make sewing much easier but it is possible to start with very little – especially if sewing is a new hobby. I have built up my collection over several years and there are still things I would like! The important thing is to start sewing and enjoy it, you can acquire tools and accessories as you go along!
Rotary Cutter – this is a wonderful tool. I spent years only cutting with scissors and really wish I had bought myself one much earlier! I own two, a 60mm blade and a 45mm blade. The ultimate collection would be to have a small 25mm one as well but it’s not vital! Never use metal rulers with your rotary cutter, only plastic ones, or you will blunt the blade.
Seam Ripper – sadly my most used tool – but absolutely necessary. One is usually included with a new sewing machine but I have bought extras from ebay as they are very easy to misplace amongst your fabric cut offs and pattern pieces! I have one on the cutting table and one on my sewing machine mat, one in a little tool basket on my sewing desk and one in my hand sewing box!
Good Quality Scissors – the important point here is to buy 4 pairs! One large pair for cutting fabric (never ever use them for other mediums), one small sharp pair for cutting into curved seams and trimming bulk at corners, one medium pair for cutting patterns or templates and one smallish pair for your hand sewing box. My ‘paper’ scissors are a different colour from my sewing scissors so I don’t confuse the two!
Ruler – a 24inch by 6inch plastic ruler is extremely useful. Many fabrics are 44 inches wide so folding them in half means you can cut strips the length of the fabric using your ruler and rotary cutter.
Clover Wonder Clips
These small little plastic clips have revolutionised my sewing! They are ingenious alternatives to pins meaning you don’t hurt yourself nearly as much (or is that just me!) They clip on to fabric to hold hems in place, keep binding folded over, or just as temporary holders anywhere just like pins! Being flat on the bottom allows them to keep fabric secure and not distort the lines too. Here they are holding the corners in place on the Cathedral Windows before I hand sew them!
A sewing mat/caddy –
this you can make yourself to stand your machine on . If you sew pockets on the front and add a pin cushion to one side it becomes a very useful part of your sewing practice. I made myself a padded one and it’s wonderful!
Knitting and Crochet Tools
Soft touch crochet hooks – these have additional moulded plastic on the handles and are more comfortable to use than the thin straight metal or wooden hooks. I love using clover Armour or Knit Pro Waves.
Stitch Markers – these little plastic circles are very useful for marking the beginning of circular rows or for noting the place when a pattern says to only crochet up to a certain place then skip a number of stitches. You could just thread a contrasting bit of wool through your work but these little rings make it much easier.
Finishing Needles – these little plastic needles are open in the middle and make sewing in your ends very easy. You can use a darning needle but then you are restricted by the length of the needle when you get to the end of the thread you are sewing in. Using these plastic open ones from Susan Bates you can sew in right up to the last bit of your ends as the thread can be moved from top to bottom of the needle as many times as needed.