Sewing accessories – what do you actually need?
I have a new best friend – my ironing board. Here she is:
Okay, she’s not much to look at, but getting this posh John Lewis ironing board has changed my life (the sewing part of it, anyway).
Before this I was using a £15 number from the pound shop. I had to hunch over to iron, it gave me static shocks, the cover was so thin that the mesh underneath marked everything, and there was a massive hole burnt in the centre. So this is a 10000% improvement and has made my dressmaking time much more pleasant. Although I still try and avoid non-sewing-related ironing whenever possible.
It got me thinking about other sewing essentials. It’s definitely an activity where you accumulate more and more strange items as you go along – and sometimes it’s hard to know what you actually need. Some accessories make life a million times easier while others just sit in a box and never get used.
Sewing accessories I own and never use:
- A flexible curve rule. I just tend to wing it when drawing curves.
- A bias binding maker. I know everyone was drooling over these when they appeared on the Great British Sewing Bee but I don’t see the point. I hardly ever need pre-folded bias binding.
- A loop turner. Maybe it’s just my idiocy, but these seem absolutely useless. I could never get mine to work. Also, I’m a strong advocate of not turning long tubes of fabric if you can humanly avoid it.
Sewing accessories I own and couldn’t live without
- A blind hem foot. This actually came with my Bernina, and it’s brilliant, especially if you are allergic to hand-sewing like me.
- My wonder tape! I cannot sew an invisible zip, stitch in the ditch to secure a facing, or topstitch pockets without this stuff. Get the Collins stuff, not the kind that Prym make (it doesn’t wash away! Ask me how I know.)
- A rotary cutter and mat. Makes cutting out slightly less tedious.
- My overlocker - probably stretching the point a bit to call it a sewing accessory, but I love it a lot.
- Posh interfacing from the English Couture Company. I finally broke down and ordered some of this and it makes a huge difference. The stuff I was using before feels like cardboard now.
Sewing accessories I don’t own but have a sneaking suspicion that they really would make my life easier:
- A tailor’s ham. I really should get round to buying one of these. I know you can make your own but it’s such a dull project.
- A dressmaker’s dummy. So expensive, and they take up so much room.
- A seam allowance adder for Burda patterns – maybe something like this?
What about you – are there sewing essentials you couldn’t live without? Have you ever bought a sewing accessory that turned out to be totally useless?