Sewing Tools

If you don’t know your way around a sewing machine or can’t tell a tailor’s ham from a bodkin, the sewing world can seem a little frightening. There are numerous sewing-related instruments, and while some of them depend on the sort of sewing that you are interested in, others are necessary for all types of sewing. There are a number of other crucial pieces of sewing gear that you should keep on hand in addition to a reliable sewing machine and spools because you’ll occasionally need to use them.

Sewing Tape Measures

A tape measure is a necessary sewing tool. You might even need more than one, perhaps even a portable retractable measuring tape. Inches are typically marked on one side of sewing tape measures and centimetres or millimetres on the other. A tape measure can be used for any measuring purpose, although it is most frequently used to obtain body measurements.

It may stand on its edge and measure the distance around an object, such as a circle, because it is hard but flexible.

Sewing Scissors

Sewing shears that are sharp help you maintain precision cutting while reducing hand fatigue. In general, it pays off to start out by investing a little extra money in a good pair of scissors. Fabric scissors will become dull if they are used for anything other than cutting fabric, which will result in uneven cutting, torn fabric, and hand fatigue.

It’s a good idea to store them with sewing supplies and to instruct family members not to use them.

Sewing Gauges

Hand tools called sewing gauges are used to measure small areas as you sew. There are many different types of gauges. A 6-inch aluminium ruler with a slider is the most popular. To check seam allowances, hems, or other small measurements, small, oddly shaped gauges are available.

While gauges are not a required tool, they are inexpensive and useful for all hand stitching, marking modifications, hemming, determining the width of your seam allowances, and other tasks.

Seam Ripper

Unwanted stitches are removed by seam rippers when mistakes are made. The rounded tip of a seam ripper helps you remove stitches along an entire seam without damaging the cloth, while the fine tip allows you to pull out individual threads.

Pins and Pincushion

Straight pins and needles are kept in a pincushion while you work. There are numerous choices in addition to the traditional tomato pincushion. Additionally, there are numerous designs of pins, each with a distinct function. A set of pins with big, obvious heads will work for the majority of your sewing needs, though you might wish to purchase different kinds as you require them.

Sawdust and wool roving are frequently used as fillers in good pincushions. The lanolin in the wool roving keeps the pins from rusting.

Pinking Shears

Pinking shears feature ragged blades that mesh together to give your fabric a saw-tooth edge. Many tightly woven or non-fraying textiles can be finished with a pinked edge without further stitching. When working with light-weight materials, this is especially useful because a sewn seam finish will add too much thread or weight to the seam.

On non-fraying fabrics like fleece, using pinking shears gives the fabric a polished appearance and prevents a blunt edge from showing through when pressing a seam.

Hand Sewing Needles

Hand sewing needles come in a variety of sizes and point configurations. Sharps are the type of hand sewing needles that are most frequently used.

Sharps are ideal for practically any cloth. They have a medium length (in comparison to all other needles) and a rounded thread eye. Use the best needle for the project when selecting one to avoid frustration. On thick or difficult-to-sew fabrics, use hefty needles. On fine or delicate textiles, use finer needles. Embroidery needles, upholstery needles, quilting needles, doll needles, and more are examples of specialty hand sewing needles.

Sewing Needle Threader

Threading a sewing needle can be challenging if your eyesight is failing or you’re simply exhausted. It’s not necessary to be. The solution is to use a needle threader. A needle threader’s wire slides smoothly into a needle’s eye before opening up to make a big space for the thread to enter. The wire and thread can then be reinserted via the needle’s eye.

To avoid forcing the thread and needle threader through the needle’s eye, use your needle threader with a needle that has a large enough eye for the thread you are using.

Fabric Pens

To designate notch and line locations on cloth, fabric markers should be included in every sewing tool set. One can also utilise conventional items like ceramic lead pens, tracing paper, carbon paper, and tailor's chalk.

Pressing Tools

It’s crucial to press your work with the necessary pressing tools while you stitch. You should at the very least have an iron and ironing board. With a pressing cloth, you may use a higher heat than you would if you were only ironing away creases without worrying about your fabric scorching.

They come in various weights, including transparent press cloths. Muslin will do if you don’t have one, but it’s something you should get for your sewing supplies. For pressing curves and seams in tube areas without creasing other parts of the garment, hams and sleeve rolls are fantastic.

Tailor’s Ham

A tightly stuffed pillow known as a "tailor's ham" or "dressmaker's ham" is used as a curved mould when pressing curved clothing elements like darts, sleeves, cuffs, collars, or waistlines. A garment can suit the curves of the body better by being pressed on a curved form.

It generally resembles a ham in shape and may fit tapered or loose clothing of various sizes. A thick cloth, like cotton canvas, can be used to create a tailor’s ham, which can then be filled with sawdust or leftover fabric.


Bodkins are useful tools to have, but they are not necessities. Drawstrings, elastic, and other components that are contained in a casing can be threaded or replaced using this tool. Bodkins are available in a variety of designs and textures to make the process simpler. The most basic form resembles an enlarged needle. This type threads and doubles the object you are drawing through a casing, much like a needle.

In tight enclosures, a tweezer-style bodkin can grasp the object without having to be doubled.

Rotary Rulers

Rotary rulers are a useful tool for ensuring that your squares and angles are accurate.

Most cutting rulers have lines from 1/8 to 1/4 inch as well as angles of 30, 45, and 60 degrees, but some have even more markings.

They can be used both independently and in conjunction with rotary mats and rotary cutters for measuring.

Rotary Fabric Cutter

Straight lines are swiftly and precisely cut on fabric using rotary cutters. A cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter should always be used. It’s crucial to understand how to use a rotary cutter properly because it is an extremely sharp tool. When not in use, the cover should always be over the blade.

Use a fabric rotary blade on paper in the same way that you wouldn’t use fabric scissors on paper.


Sewing has largely turned into a mass-production industry in today’s culture, yet there is still a unique style of sewing that is alive and well in our culture. You must examine a fundamental classification of sewing tools and equipment and their purposes in order to pinpoint exactly what a sewer does. It is crucial to define the sewing equipment on two different levels. In addition to helping you determine how much money you’ll need to start your business, studying how sewing machines and tools work will enable you to pinpoint the precise tasks that workers in this field are expected to complete.

Updated on: 13-Feb-2023


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