Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March of the Tools: Sewing Gadgets

March of the Tools - no, it's not a parade of some of the people who irk me, bwahahaha. It's a little thing run by Heather Bailey wherein the participants highlight some of their favorite tools, be it for crafts, sewing, cooking, or...fixing stuff. Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows that I dig crafty gadgetry. I can be such an impatient crafter and sewist that any little thing that makes my life easier makes me happy.

Today I'm going to share with you my three favorite sewing gadgets.

First up: my tailor's awl. I ordered this from a shop in Australia because I was having no luck finding anything closer to home (the ones in Home Depot were manly with a big billiard ball size knob thingee to hold on to). There was also a purse kit in the shop I was looking for an excuse to get, and since I needed to meet an order minimum for international shipping I really just HAD to get this...

 Photo from here.  More information here.

I use it specifically for two things--holding something in place under my presser foot when I've had to remove the pins but whatever I'm sewing still wants to be squiggly; and helping me keep a little distance between my finger tips and the steaming edge of my iron when I'm pressing seam allowances open. Worth much more than the few dollars I paid for it.

Next up is something I know you've all seen but I'm going to sing its praises: the humble bobbin holder:

Click here for photo and more info.

Wanna know why I love this so much? I was using those little plastic containers that had a hollow dug out for each bobbin. The bobbins didn't fit too snug in there and would rattle around annoyingly while I was sewing (I use a folding table for my sewing table and it lends itself well to rattling bobbins). The main reason I love this is that when I would pick up the container to get a new bobbin, the lid would invariably slip off, my bobbins would make a break for it, and I'd be crawling around like a doofus and cursing while I hunted for my rollaway bobbins. This little guy holds them nice and snug in a rainbow formation (that part is optional). I can even hold it upside down and it's all good!

The final thing is something that I got in my stocking for Christmas: a needle-sharpening mat.

Photo and more info here.

I'll be honest--I was a bit skeptical of this at first. I am now a believer. I changed my needle ONCE in the past few weeks. I sharpened it every few small projects, and halfway through larger projects, and that baby held on! I sewed almost eighteen dresses with the same needle, just by sharpening it. Of course it eventually gave up the ghost, but that is some heavy mileage from a needle, where I was changing them much more frequently before. Good needles can get pricey if you do a lot of sewing, so anything that extends their life is a welcome addition to my sewing box.

So that's that. Maybe $20 for all 3 but they certainly eliminate much aggravation.

What are your favorite sewing tools/gadgets?


  1. Oh my goodness...what a fun post for me! I am inspector gadget!! For cooking AND sewing! I. Love. Gadgets!!!! I do not have that bobbin keeper, or needle sharpener. Must. Get! I do have something I LOVE for my sewing awl. You will flip out. It is a nut cracking tool. I will do a post soon. Loved this!

  2. I never heard of the needle sharpening thingy. Thanks for the tip!

  3. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a needle sharpener. Sounds like a must have gadget.

  4. They are many fashionable clothing design you could seeing the internet for free.

  5. Where does one find a needle sharpening mat?

  6. *gasp!* Needle sharpener! I am so looking for one when I got out today.

    Also, I shall now say in my head "What we have here is a March of the Tools" when I see jerks walking around at the mall or somewhere else. Haha!



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