Designer: Marcia Spencer
Choosing the right tools for your craft is important. It can make the difference in the quality and efficiency of your work. So as a garment maker there are a few tools that I believe are essential for sewing and that I use regularly when I sew.
Not all cutting tools are created equal so when reaching for the correct cutting tool there are a few things I like to keep in mind; What type of fabric am I cutting? How thick is the fabric? How big are the pieces that I am cutting?
My Favorite Sewing Essential OLFA Cutting Tools:
- OLFA 45mm RTY-2/DX Ergonomic Rotary Cutter
- OLFA 28mm RTY-1/C Quick-Change Rotary Cutter
- OLFA 18mm RTY Quick-Change Rotary Cutter
- OLFA 7-Inch SCS-2 Serrated-Edge Stainless Steel Scissors
- OLFA 5-Inch SCS-4 Precision Appliqué Scissors
I love to switch between my OLFA 45mm and my OLFA 28mmm Rotary cutter for cutting large pieces of fabric and for pattern cutting. I find the OLFA 45mm rotary cutter gives me a little more control and comfort and the 28mm is convenient and quick. When cutting smaller pieces I reach for the 18mm Rotary cutter. This Rotary cutter is also great for trimming edges quickly.
When sewing, having a quality pair of scissors is important. I love OLFA's 7-inch Serrated-Edge Stainless Steel Scissors for clipping corners, edges and cutting small pieces. I use the smaller scissors OLFA 5-inch Precision Scissors, which gives a little more control, for cutting notches, loose threads and clipping close to tight corners. One of my favorite tools is the OLFA Art knife which is great for cutting button holes.
Other Essential Must-haves:
- OLFA AK-4 Cushion Grip Art Knife
- Loop Turner
- Corner Turner/Seam Creaser
- Seam Reaper
- Wonder Clips
Once you are set with your cutting tools you are half way there. So lets get into some of my favs. OLFA AK-4 Art knife is great for cutting button holes. It has become one of my favorite tools when cutting precise small areas and I create a lot of button holes with the garments I sew.
The loop turner is also one of my favorite tools. I reach for it almost every other project. If you plan to turn ties or straps this tool can save you some headache. It has definitely been a god send for me for Spring and Summer makes. And I love tie accents! The Corner Turner is also a very helpful tool. I haven’t had this tool long but I don’t know how I managed with out it. Its such a great tool for creating nice neat collars, cuffs and any corners that need to be turned. It also doubles as a seam creaser, that surprisingly almost gives a good a press as the iron. Its quick and you don’t have to pick up your iron to press every seam and corner, but you can double up and use both which I have done sometimes. It is definitely a quick and easy tool that is effective and multipurpose.
My number one must-have has got to be my ceramic seam reaper. If you are sewing and you don’t have a seam reaper, then you need to get you one! I'm not sure I know a sewist that doesn’t have at least one seam ripper in their tool box. Seam rippers help you remove stitches quickly and efficiently. Even the most seasoned sewist makes mistakes. I enjoy the ceramic seam ripper because I can’t tell you how many times I have poked myself with a seam ripper, broken a tip or found the seam ripper dull. The ceramic seam ripper is strong and durable, it stays sharp yet its safe and retractable. I use this tool every single time I sew.
A couple other tools I find handy are some sort of clip or pins to keep your patterns and pieces under control. Honestly, pins are not my favorite, and I hate to admit it but I have even skipped the pinning step when I'm in a crunch. However, I do not suggest it if you are just starting out. Even the advanced sewist need to pin there garments when they sew. However, I do find that wonderclips are much more useful and you can use them with different types of fabrics from leathers and vinyls to satins and I can’t say that for your average straight pins.
Now that you have just about everything you need to get started on your sewing project, you are ready to sew!
Until Next time!