Sewing Blog

6 (More!) Household Items Every Sewer Should Be Using

Getting creative with your sewing can apply to more than just projects. Somewhere along the way, every sewer discovers an everyday item that eventually turns into a sewing-room staple. But why keep it to yourself? Recently, we published a blog post with some unexpected household items that double as stellar sewing tools. Not soon after, our members responded with a slew of items to add to our list. Below, you’ll find the top six must-haves sewers say should be in your craft room. Pressing a seam Pressing a seam from the Craftsy class Sew Confident: Essential Techniques for Beginners  If there’s something that we missed, we’re sure your fellow sewers would love to know! Check out these top answers and share your own innovative household item in the comments section. Then, use the buttons at the top of the post to share all this handy knowledge far and wide!

Here are six must-haves for your sewing room...

A hammer

Use a hammer to flatten the side seams of the jeans you’re hemming. From Craftsy Facebook member Cynthia

Binder clips

You might find binder clips to be a little more user-friendly than clothes pins. We recommend bright, fun colors. From Craftsy Facebook member Sue

Pointed tweezers

Make these your go-to for plucking tangled bunches of thread from the bobbin area of your machine. You can also use them for picking out fuzz, lint and tiny bits of thread left over by your seam ripper. From Craftsy Facebook member Jennifer

A pair of long forceps

Is there a fisherman in the house? Chances are they have a long pair of forceps you can use to pull lint out of tight places and turn narrow straps. From Craftsy Facebook member Romlia 

An old mascara wand

Get it clean, then use it to swab out the bottom area of your machine. It’s usually better than the brush provided by the manufacturer! From Craftsy Facebook member Susan

Dental floss

Make a loop with it and use it in place of those wire needle threaders that always seem to break. You can also use dental floss for sewing buttons on! From Craftsy Facebook member Bernice And remember, don’t keep those great ideas to yourself — share your own items below in the comments section!

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29 Comments

barb

i use the foam finger nail separators most people use when painting there nails to store my bobbins that way it keeps the thread from unwinding and keeps it organized.

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Kathi

Brilliant!!!!

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jill

Agreed! Brilliant!

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Mary Grady

Best source for pointed tweezers? Suture removal kit and while you’re at it, grab the little scissors. Absolute BEST small scissors I’ve ever had for any sort of hand-stitching (embroidery, applique, hand sewing). I’m still using the first pair of scissors and the tweezers that my doctor gave me 14 years ago after removing a few stitches. (Alcohol cleans them beautifully.) Now I have 2-3 more sets in case the first ever wear out.

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JulieCC

I have a suture removal kit from a nasty gash on my face. The RN gave me a sterilized one to use at home. I didn’t need it for my stitches on my face…but yes, for sewing the scissors and tweezers are awesome! I bet my health insurance company doesn’t know what I am using them for since they paid! 😉

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Lisa

That’s how I got my set. I got three hemostats (forceps) with my set; regular, mini (my fave!) and bent. Love the stitch tweezers too. The interlocking teeth are great for grabbing thread or fabric with.

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Daryl

I use a plastic sectional party tray that as a round center (usually for dip) and the other sections (usually for chips and veggies) to keep a pincushion in the center, and various tools in the other sections like my Clover Wonder Clips, safety pins, presser feet, etc. I place the tray on a Lazy Susan so I can grab what I need while I am sewing. Sometimes I use it while I am knitting and place my knitting items like stitch markers, scissors, etc. in the sections. You can go here to see the photos from my blog posting:
http://patchouli-moon-studio.blogspot.com/2014/01/tip-of-morning-tuesdaydiy-crafters-tool.html

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Joanne

At a sewing expo I bought a “surgical seam ripper” which turns out to be a suture cutter for removing stitches. They’re $89 for 100 count box at the surgical supply house. But, as I haven’t broken or worn one out yet, I haven’t bought the lifetime supply!

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Dakota Gail

You should also buy a short handled straight slot screw driver. I find the little metal one that came with my sewing machine too hard to use. I prefer a real screw driver to use to change needles or to open my throat plate to clean my machine.

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Darla Zimmer

During axhospital stay my husband was furnished a “grabber” with magnets attached. So handy for gathering spilled pins, pick ups of almost anything, reaching higher shelves, and much more.

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R Thraves

Keep bobby pins in your sewing box for a super easy way to turn spaghetti straps. Directions are on line.

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Kay Landreth

Laura Nelkin taught me in my first Craftsy class how to use dental floss for stringing beads on my lace knitting. A great tip, much used……….

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Margaret Lowe

Totally agree I have had a small screwdriver for many years now.

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JulieCC

Along the same lines as locking pliers are locking hemostats. I got a really long, stainless steel, pair on Amazon for around $6. It not only helps with turning tubes and such, but also can act as a “third hand” when doing fine motor things like pinning zippers, holding seams open, etc.

I used binder clips but they leave marks and are hard to get off. I much prefer Clover Wonder Clips, which have the best price on Amazon and sometimes they are on Massdrop.

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Linda Rodgers

I agree with you. I rarely sit down to sew that I don’t use my hemostats ! I wouldn’t be without them. They are also great for grabbing threads stuck in the bobbin area.

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Charlotte Vaughan

Hemostats were our hospital week gifts a couple years ago. Knowing my love for sewing the manager said, “All of the nurses will carry theirs in their pockets, Charlotte will figure out ways to use it with her sewing.” She was so right. I also have a stubby screw driver set that gets used a lot. And snap style hair clips are binding holders at my house.

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Jennie

I agree that the binder clips leave marks on some fabrics and shouldn’t be used on leather at all. They are also cumbersome while sewing and hard to get off. The clover clips are ridiculously expensive, but Amazon does carry off brand clips that work fine.

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Catherine Eddy

I bought loads of clips like clovers both small and large for a very small amount of Canadian dollars on E Bay . The shipping was free.I shared with a friend. They are as strong as any on the market.I bought needles for my sewing machine , 100 at a time for around a dime each. I have broken needles but these bent and didn,t break. I bought plastic bobbins in a case 25 bobbins for less than four dollars , also free shipping. It would be good to take a look and the American dollar can buy more items than my Canadian dollar.

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JulieCC

I do not purchase spray starch. I make my own from corn starch, water, and essential oils. If you follow tutorials online, be sure to do one that cooks the starch, or it will go moldy very quickly. I cook mine in the microwave and a batch lasts for months.

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Mary Helen in OR

Wrap an oil free rolling pin in a towel to use for a sleeve roll. Press over a #2 yellow pencil to keep seam edges from marking delicate fabrics. Use a tackle box to store notions. Wooden meat skewers make a good stiletto. Machine sew a button over a round toothpick to leave enough space to wrap the thread around to make a shank for thick fabrics.

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Jennie

I love the rolling pin idea!

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THERESA AKIN

I have a telescopic mirror with a magnet on the end. It’s great for getting broken needles out of those tiny crevices. Mine telescopes to 24 inches.

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Household Items for Every Sewing Kit

[…] A good hammer can help flatten side seams of jeans you’re hemming. Binder clips from the office can be more effective than the usual clothes’ pins. Lastly, dental floss can be used to sew on buttons and replace those easy-to-break needle threaders. For more household items you should stock in your sewing kit, click here:: 6 (More!) Household Items Every Sewer Should Be Using […]

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caroline

great ideas

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Barbara

Round chop sticks – I use them to push out corners and curves.

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Susan

Q-tips: My mother taught me the trick of using a q-tip to clean out the bottom of the machine. It works better than any brush. It is cheap, easily accessible, fits in small crevices, and the lint sticks to it better than a tongue on a flagpole in January.

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Patti

I purchased 4 magnetic trays from Harbor Freight Tools for my sewing room. Deeper than magnetic trays from the fabric store and they stick to my ironing board. No more spilled pin Trays.

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Sheila

When cleaning my sewing machine I use a pipe cleaner to get the lint the brush doesn’t.

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Jennie

I use metal spice containers for each type of pins. They magnet to a sheet of metal behind my machine on the wall. If you don’t want to buy spice tin set, Altoid tins can have magnets epoxied on the bottom and a piece of sheet metal screwed to the wall

I use baby sized pony tail holders on my thread to keep it from unraveling in the tub box I keep them in.

I have a suction cup soap holders hooked to the side of my sewing machine it holds a few pairs of scissors, my thread snips are attached to the soap holder with a badge holder that is on a retractable string. I haven’t wandered with them since.

I use pant hangers for my larger pieces in my fabric stash, smaller (like a yard size) pieces are organized in a filling cabinet across the files. IKEA drawer organizers work perfectly for FQs and Fat Halves. I makes me use my stash.

I put a piece of glass over my sewing table. It’s larger than the table and allows fabric to slide easily. Use cabinet shelf foam under the machine so it doesn’t slide too.

The wasted space on the back of your craft room door is perfect to hang rulers, templates, rotary cutters, rotary mats, stencils, etc. I hung them all with command hooks

While piecing I hated getting up and down to walk to the next room to iron seams, so I bought a wooden TV tray at a thrift store and covered it with batting and cotton fabric, stapled it underneath, I use a travel iron on it and it sits next to my machine.

Ice cube trays hole sewing feet, needle packages, buttons, etc I store them in the drawers in my sewing table.

That’s just a few, I’m handicapped so getting creative with my space is important.

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