Top 5 Sewing Must Haves

There’s something about the fresh spring air and the promise of warm weather that always seems to bring new sewists about and I just love that! There is so much to learn when it comes to sewing and there are many questions that come with the territory. Additionally, even the most seasoned of sewists look for new ideas, tips and tricks to add to their arsenal. One of my favorite questions which is often asked is “What are your sewing must haves?” Every time I see this question, I learn something new and I can’t wait to share my current top 5 list with you.

Cutting mat and Rotary cutter, these simplistic tools make the process of cutting patterns exponentially faster. I know that when I moved to a rotary cutter over scissors, I started saving hours of time cutting patterns which added hours into my day for more sewing (sewing is more fun than cutting). You can get a rotary cutter in various size as well smaller blades for more delicate projects with more turns and larger for something with straight lines more like quilting.

Pattern weights, if you have a rotary cutter or if you are using scissors it doesn’t matter but pattern weights remove the need to pin or trace your pattern onto fabric saving more time again. You can be super fancy and get fun pattern weights like these delicious cinnamon rolls (source or you can use a can of yams, or even a cell phone.

Almost as much as I hate cutting out patterns, I hate pinning. It doesn’t take long for them to lose their luster, they leave holes in fabrics, they shift or fall out, they are hit with the machine and shatter, or worst of all they are left in a project and inevitably stab the heck out of you when you try on your new make. The worst is dropping a pin on grey carpets with bare feet *shudders* Wonder clips are a great alternative. The wonder clip stays in place, doesn’t leave a hole in the fabric, and they do not stab you. Bonus kids love to play with them while you work. My boys have made me bracelets, rainbows, and necklaces.

Freezer bags have saved many of my projects with small children in the home. If for some reason (usually dinner is the culprit) I am unable to finish a project I can place an entire project in a freezer bag with the pattern pieces. This keeps all my pieces together including bands. Kids may run away with a bag but those are far easier to find then a pet or a child stealing a single armband.

My personal favorite and my number one must have is my old bread pan. My great grandmother taught me how to sew and she passed on her bread pan to me! When I am sewing, I hate to have to stop my project and get up to wander about my sewing space looking for some small tool that I cannot possibly carry on without. The bread pan is small and square and when I am finished sewing it can neatly be stored away in a drawer keeping the contents safe. But let’s be honest here the bread pan only sees the drawer when I clean my sewing room once a year when my mother comes to visit. Coincidence? In my bread pan I keep a fabric marker, elastic threader, a butter knife (helps to pull threads on the cover stitch machine), seam ripper, measuring guide, standard pen, washable marker, permanent marker. While I don’t need each of those items for every project, they seem to be the things that go missing the most and that I am always on the hunt for.

(Written by Emma Leigh Bragg)

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