Basic Sewing Tools and How to Use Them

Sewing ToolDescription
Chalk Wedge or PencilWith these tools, it is simple to accurately copy design line and construction markings.
Chalk rubs off easily, so mark the fabric just before you start to sew.
Dress ModelA dress model allows you to create your own patterns. They also allow you to tailor and fit garments to specific measurements.
Fabric Marking PensWater-soluble ink pens usually have blue ink that you can remove from the fabric with a damp sponge when you no longer need the markings.
(Do not use water-soluble pens on very light-weight fabrics or on fabrics that need to be dry-cleaned.)
air-soluble ink simply dissappears on its own within 48 hours.
Sewing MachineThe most important piece of equipment in a sewing room.
It is very important to have the machine set up correctly for your use,
on a firm base and at an ergonomic height.
NeedlesFor dressmaking; size 8. For bead embroidery and fine fabrics
(silks or chiffons) size 9.
PinsMinimum 1 inch long dressmaking pins. Steel pins are
recommended as others can bend easily.
Pinking ShearsPinking shears have zigzag blades that vut a “pinked” edge.
Pinking is one way to finish seam allowances to keep them from raveling.
Seam RipperWith this precise tool, you can remove unwanted stitches without ripping the fabric.
You can also cut open stitched buttonholes.
Sewing ScissorsYou need Scissors to trim, grade and clip seams.
Most sewing scissors are 6″ (15.2cm) long with one sharp point and one blunt, rounded point.
Sewing ShearsShears are usually 7″ to 8″ (17.7 to 20.3cm) long.
They have bent handles and a small hole for the thumb.
The bottom blade rests on the work surface so the fabric lies flat, which makes it easier to cut long lengths of fabric accurately.
Embroidery Scissors or SnipsThese small scissors are for precision cutting (trimming seams,
cutting corners, and snipping thread ends, for example). They are about 3″ to 4″ 7.6 to 10.2cm) long with two sharp points.
Some sewers wear them around their necks on a ribbon or string to keep them handy.
Seam gaugeGreat for small measurements, especially seam allowances
Tailor’s chalkAt least two pieces are recommended, one white and one blue
Tape measureA good tape measure shouldn’t stretch
Tracing wheelA round cutting blade with a cerated edge. This enables you to
mark patterns onto the fabric without cutting the pattern out
Transparent ruler2″ (5.1cm) wide transparent ruler with horizontal and
vertical measurement markings for easy measuring and marking
ThimbleYour thimble should fit comfortably on your middle finger.
TriangleYour thimble should fit comfortably on your middle finger.
RulerIt is easier to measure hems with a firm, straight ruler, and connecting points for straight seams.
Iron and Ironing BoardA medium weight with thermostat control and steam option. The board should be firm and smooth.
YardstickHelpful when you are laying out pattern and fabric, locating grainline and marking hems