This post contains affiliate links to products I own, use and love.
I think it’s pretty safe to say that we often pick up standard sewing tools while fabric shopping at our favorite sewing stores but what about the nonconventional sewing tools? These out of the box tools are inexpensive to pick up and will work magic on your next sewing project.
Nonconventional Sewing Tools
Okay so before we dig in, I want to warn you, this post might want to make you run and raid hubbies tool chest! Be sure to PIN IT for later and share with all your sewing buddies. They will thank you!
This little Do It Yourself project is perfect for cleaning out your machines. Learn how to make your own here.
2. Washi Tape-
This low tack, decorative tape has SO many uses in the workroom. Just check out this list and let me know which one is your favorite.
Need a hand in the workroom? This little piece of wood might do the trick. It is perfect for pressing down seams between stitching sessions.
When my local shop offered me a pair for my work space I was kinda puzzled but I have quickly realized just how useful they can be when turning out projects through small openings. The tweezer like ends and clamping method make this the perfect nonconventional tool to keep in my sewing basket!
5. Wooden Spoon-
Who would have though that a common household utensil could help when pressing. Just slip the handle through your fabric case and press away. This will help avoid marks on the other side of your loop.
Not only can be helpful threading your machines but they also are perfect for grabbing little threads on your project after you use your seam ripper.
Yes, a standard pencil eraser can help you clean off all the cracks and crevices in your cutting mat.
Just brilliant if you ask me! I love that you can put your scissors, glasses, seam ripper or whatever there.
9. Dental Floss–
Who would have thought that this everyday hyigene product could help you in sewing. Learn how to make the perfect gathers every time with this item tucked inside your bathroom drawer.
Strap a few of these together with ribbon or yarn for instant pattern weights. Click here for the DIY.
11. Laser Beam-
For those of you with older machines that LOVE to make Half Square Triangles this is for you! Head out to dear hubbies workspace to raid his or order your own here.
Remember, many of these nonconventional tools are DIY and so inexpensive to pick up. This makes me feel much better when I’m debating on whether or not to pick up an extra yard of the latest fabric on my list.
What about you? Do you use any nonconventional sewing tools? Be sure to leave me a note in the comments and I’ll check it out. Who knows, it might just be my next tool!
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Comments & Reviews
How is the laser marker mounted on your machine? Is it really able to be put on with just a suction cup?
Good Morning Linda,
I’ve never had great luck with suction cups so, I would actually use heavy duty hook & loop tape. Then I could remove it when I did not use it and just attach when working on my HST’s.
Heather – Have you tried using glycerine on suction cups? It helps them adhere.
No, I have not and need to try this!!
Thanks so much for letting me know.
Doesn’t it vibrate badly when you’re sewing if you use hook/loop? Seems like it would fall off.
Love the ideas. On the laser beam, can it be used to make the perfect 1/4″ or 5/8″ seam? I am teaching granddaughter to sew and and I also can use help with the 1/4″ seam. 🙂
That laser marker would be perfect for darts!!
Some of these I already use but thanks for the new ideas!!
Happy to share!
A note about using dental floss for anything sewing/crafty – be sure you use plain, non-scented/flavoured floss. It is great for sewing on teddy bear eyes.
Fab tip Kai’. Thanks so much for sharing!
I use table knives for pattern weights.
Great idea to use what you have!
linda gillian says
I use old mascara brushes (washed out very well of course) to clean out lint and threads from my machine. They work like a charm!
Linda Hayes says
I use artist paint brushes, the longer handle allows me to reach deep inside. I have 2 or 3 different sizes.
Also use perm. markers to number the threading sequence and to mark different widths for sewing.
I did this to remember my custom stitches on my serger and they helpfully cleaned them off for me when I had it serviced: :facepalm:
Joanne dean says
Masking tape is my new best friend when sewing. I use it to label the wrong side of my pattern pieces before I remove the tissue pattern, so I don’t sew the wrong pieces / sides together. It can be used to create a temporary seam guide on your sewing machine. I reinforce tissue pattern edges with it, or even use it to hold the pattern to the material instead of pins.
Great idea Joanne. Thanks so much for sharing.
I love using an icing knife for pressing edges and little corners. you can iron right over it and it leave crisp perfect creases!
I use locking tweezers for threading, and pulling those tiny threads after ripping.
I also use a double ended knitting needle as a stiletto and turning corners.
Oooh, I want a laser for my sewing machine! Just so I can say I have a laser on my sewing machine. Ha! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for tomorrow evening that features your post: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/?p=87813 –Anne
I know right Anne! Beam me up Scottie! Thanks for the <3!
Fran Leiter says
A less expensive approach is to use masking or painters tape. Line one edge up with your needle on the stitch plate and extend it all the way to the edge toward you. You can line your fabric up with the edge of the tape and sew perfectly straight lines! Can be positioned to sew whatever seam allowance you need also.
A chopstick makes a nice stiletto, to keep pressure on your fabric right up to the needle and not stitch your fingertip. I like the nicer painted ones.
A bamboo skewer also works, glue a large bead on one end for safety.
Floss Threaders work to thread hard to reach eyes on the loopers on your serger.
I have a magnetic cup/bowl I bought at Harbor Freight a couple of years ago…. It’s wonderful for picking up loose pins and I can attach it to my metal table.
I use a telescoping magnet to pick up dropped pins and get the pieces of a broken needle out of my machine.
kris lee says
I use double stick tape on the far side of my sewing machine acrylic table/arm so that I can stick my threads there before I begin to sew. This helps keep them from balling up at the beginning of a seam. It does have to be replaced frequently but works for me. I also use curly phone cords to tame the unruly cords underneath my machines as well as I have 1 seam rippers w/silicone ends on them to use like an eraser when you have to pick out those mis-sewn seams. they grab all the tiny little threads like magic. Best purchase ever.
Thanks so much for sharing Kris. Such a great tip.
I use heavy work bench type clamps to hold my quilt back taunt on the table when laying out my quilts. They make placing and pinning the batting and quilt top easy.
Lois Gutierrez says
I use a transmission fluid funnel when stuffing the arms, legs & tails on my sock monkeys. LOL my husband’s idea.
Such a great idea for getting the stuffing deep inside those little arms & legs. Thanks so much for sharing Lois!
Use a small crochet hook (#1) to push out small corners. Also works nicely to slide between the machine needle and plate to catch threads.
Great tip. Thanks for sharing Karen.
Connie Wheeler says
I love the suction cup soap holder and the dental floss tips!
Wow have to print out all these ideas. Double sided tape especially great will stop that $&#@ language. Thanks so much to all for sharing
brenda king says
I bought a laser for my sewing machine, since I always need help maintaining 1/4″ seams. My laser would not stay attached to my machine. I’d have it stuck on perfectly, then, when I left and came back, the laser
has either fallen off, or hangs crookedly on the machine. I tried putting tape over it, but it still moved out of position. What can I do? I’d given up! Thanks! Brenda King, Bend, Oregon
I’m sorry to hear that you are having trouble Brenda. I wonder if a construction grade hook and loop tape would work better. Attach one piece directly to your machine and the other on the laser. This way you can still remove the laser from your machine from time to time.
Christy Dringenberg says
I use a chopstick as a turning tool. My husband rounded the tip with his belt sander. Works great for getting those square corners.
Janet H says
My “stiletto” is a dental pick I found at a flea market. A teacher in a piecing class gave us the tip to keep one half of a wooden spring-type clothespin handy to use as a “mini-iron” in pressing small seams without going to the ironing board.
Brenda King says
Heather- Thank you so much for the solution for the sagging laser! Brenda King
I found the laser marking tool at Harbor Freight for $5.99 compared Amazon $14.99. This is a great idea. I willfigure a way to attach it to my cutting table to use the lase line asa cutting guide. Thank you so much for this tip.
I use a wall paper seam roller in my FPP and mascara wands to clean my machine
#12 disposable scalpels for seam ripping. I was paying $8-10 as a sewing tool. A pack of 10 cost me less than $10.