Creative Tools in Sewing: An Alternative to the Bodkin

It’s always fun to discover a new sewing tools. But, when it’s a tool one would never expect to find in a sewing or craft room, it makes the discovery all the more enjoyable. I’m talking about a hemostat. A medical implement used primarily in surgery as a clamping device, a hemostat is a surprisingly handy instrument with many useful purposes for sewing.


How to use this unexpected sewing tool

Hemostat on Lined Paper


Hemostat Locked


Turning a tube of fabric

The hemostat is a particularly great as an alternative to a bodkin for turning a tube of fabric, such as when making straps and belts.

Turning Fabric with a Hemostat

Simply slide the hemostat through one of the openings of the fabric tube or belt strap. When it reaches the opposing end, pinch the corner with the device and lock it in place. The hemostat will hold it very strongly until the handles are unlocked. Then, direct the fabric tube over the hemostat until the entire tube has been turned right side out. Unlock the hemostat, remove and press the tube as usual. The hemostat clamps down on just a pinch of fabric much easier and firmer than a bodkin and the device is easier to grab a hold of while the fabric slides over it.

Note: Its only failing is the fabric tube must be at least an inch wide for the device to clamp easily.

Turning collar points

This creative sewing tool also works great for turning collar points.

Snipping a Collar Point with a Hemostat

Once the collar point has been stitched, pinch the point (and, no more than the point) with the hemostat and lock it in place. Then simply turn the collar over the hemostat. Once totally turned right side out, give the point a gentle push to expose the point. Then, unlock the hemostat and repeat for the corresponding collar point.

Turning a Collar with a Hemostat

One would think an instrument used for medical purposes would be difficult to obtain and rather expensive. On both points that is not the case. You can find hemostats manufactured for non-medical uses in a variety of lengths and styles online. And, they are surprisingly inexpensive. They function in the same way as true medical devices, but are designed for non-medical uses like sewing and crafting. They come in handy anytime a firm grip in a tight space is needed, and can be used in place of tweezers or pliers.

Learn more sewing tips and tricks in the Craftsy class 40 Techniques Every Sewer Should Know with Gail Yellen.

You might also enjoy our post on other unexpected sewing tools.

What unexpected sewing tools do you use in your sewing room?

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