Back to: Jss1 Home Economics (PVS)
Topic: The Sewing Tools
WEEK: 6 & 7
The Sewing Tools
Sewing tools are essential items that every sewing enthusiast must have in their toolbox. These tools are designed to help make sewing easier, faster, and more efficient. There are a wide variety of sewing tools available, and each one has its unique purpose.
The sewing tools refer to the equipment and instruments used in sewing and dressmaking. These tools can range from basic hand tools to more complex electronic devices
Classification of different groups of sewing tools and equipment.
Sewing tools and equipment can be broadly categorized into the following groups:
Sewing machines are a type of sewing tool or equipment that is used to stitch fabric and other materials together. They consist of a needle that moves up and down, a thread that is looped through the needle, and a mechanism that moves the fabric under the needle to create stitches.
Sewing machines have greatly increased the speed and efficiency of sewing, making it possible to create high-quality garments and other sewn items more quickly and with greater precision than is possible by hand. There are many different types of sewing machines available, ranging from basic mechanical models to more advanced computerized machines that can be programmed to create intricate designs.
In addition to traditional sewing machines, there are also specialized machines for specific types of sewing, such as sergers for finishing seams, embroidery machines for creating intricate designs on fabric, and quilting machines for piecing together and quilting large projects. Examples of sewing machines are;
- Mechanical sewing machines
- Computerized sewing machines
- Serger/Overlocker machines
- Embroidery machines
Measuring tools are essential in sewing as they ensure accuracy and precision in the creation of garments and other sewing projects. The following are some common measuring tools used in sewing:
- Tape Measure: A tape measure is a flexible strip of material, usually made of cloth or plastic, with inches and centimeters marked on it. It is used to take body measurements, measure fabric, and determine the length and width of pattern pieces.
- Ruler: A ruler is a straight edge with measurements marked on it. It is used to measure and mark straight lines and distances on fabric and pattern pieces.
- Yardstick: A yardstick is a longer version of a ruler, typically 36 inches long, and is useful for measuring longer distances in sewing.
- French Curve: A French curve is a curved ruler used to create smooth, flowing lines when cutting or adjusting patterns.
- Seam Gauge: A seam gauge is a small ruler with a sliding marker used to measure seam allowances and hems.
- Hem Gauge: A hem gauge is a metal ruler with a sliding marker that is used to measure and mark hems.
- Dressmaker’s Tracing Paper: Dressmaker’s tracing paper is a thin paper coated with wax on one side that is used to transfer markings from a pattern to fabric.
Measuring tools in sewing help ensure that the finished garment fits properly and looks professional. They are essential for accurate pattern drafting, cutting, and garment construction.
Cutting tools in sewing refer to the tools used to cut fabrics and other materials into desired shapes and sizes. These tools include:
- Scissors: Scissors are the most commonly used cutting tools in sewing. They come in various sizes and designs, such as dressmaking shears, embroidery scissors, and pinking shears. They are used to cut fabrics, threads, and other materials.
- Rotary cutters: Rotary cutters are a type of cutting tool used to cut fabrics in straight lines. They are used with a cutting mat and a ruler to ensure accurate cuts.
- Cutting mats: Cutting mats are used in conjunction with rotary cutters to protect surfaces from being cut and to provide a surface for making straight cuts.
- Seam rippers: Seam rippers are used to remove stitches and seams from fabrics. They have a sharp blade that allows for the precise cutting of threads without damaging the fabric.
- Fabric scissors: Fabric scissors are specialized scissors designed for cutting fabrics. They have a longer blade and a sharper edge than regular scissors, making them ideal for cutting through multiple layers of fabric.
All of these tools are essential in sewing projects and help to ensure accurate and precise cuts. Proper care and maintenance of cutting tools are important to ensure their longevity and effectiveness in sewing projects.
Marking tools in sewing refer to tools that are used to transfer pattern markings onto fabric or to make lines and markings directly on the fabric. These markings help in the accurate cutting, stitching, and shaping of the fabric. Some common marking tools used in sewing include:
- Chalk: Chalk is a soft marking tool that can be easily brushed off the fabric. It is available in various colours and is commonly used to mark fabric that may be sensitive to permanent marks.
- Tailor’s chalk: This type of chalk is harder than regular chalk and is often used to mark heavier fabrics such as wool.
- Water-soluble pens: These pens come in various colours and are used to mark the fabric. The markings disappear when the fabric is washed with water.
- Tracing wheel: A tracing wheel is used with tracing paper to transfer pattern markings onto the fabric. The wheel is rolled over the tracing paper, leaving a dotted line on the fabric.
- Fabric markers: These markers come in various colours and are used to make direct markings on the fabric. They are often used for embroidery and quilting.
Marking tools are essential for accurate sewing and are used throughout the sewing process, from marking pattern pieces to transferring construction markings onto the fabric.
A pressing tool is a tool used in sewing to press and shape fabric pieces during the construction process. Pressing is an essential step in achieving professional-looking seams and finished garments.
There are various types of pressing tools that can be used in sewing, including:
- Iron – The most common pressing tool used in sewing is iron. It is used to press fabric pieces to remove wrinkles, flatten seams, and shape fabric.
- Ironing board – An ironing board provides a flat, stable surface to press fabric pieces.
- Pressing ham – A pressing ham is a tightly packed, round cushion that is used to shape and press curved seams, such as armholes or darts.
- Sleeve board – A sleeve board is a narrow, padded board that is used to press sleeves, pant legs or other small areas of clothing.
- Tailor’s clapper – A tailor’s clapper is a flat wooden tool that is used to set a seam by pressing it flat against the fabric with heat and pressure.
- Point presser – A point presser is a tool with a pointed end that is used to press and shape points and corners of the fabric, such as collar points or corners of pockets.
Using the appropriate pressing tool can help achieve a professional finish to sewing projects, making them look neat and well-constructed.
Sewing notions refer to the small tools and accessories used in sewing projects that are not the primary equipment such as sewing machines, fabric, and thread. These notions can include items like pins, needles, scissors, measuring tape, buttons, zippers, and threaders.
Sewing notions are an essential part of a sewing kit as they are necessary to make precise cuts, measurements, and finishing touches to a project. They are used to secure fabrics in place, create buttonholes, and add decorative elements to a finished garment or item.
Having a variety of sewing notions on hand can help make sewing projects easier and more efficient. It is essential to choose high-quality notions that are durable and designed specifically for the task at hand. With the right sewing notions, even complex sewing projects can be completed with ease and accuracy. Here are some examples of common sewing notions:
- Pins – used to hold the fabric in place during sewing
- Needles – used for hand sewing and machine sewing
- Scissors – used for cutting fabric and thread
- Measuring tape – used to take measurements and ensure accuracy in sewing
- Seam ripper – used to remove stitches
- Thread – used to sew fabric together
- Thimble – used to protect the finger when hand sewing
- Iron – used to press and flatten fabric
- Bias tape – used to finish edges and create a neat and clean finish
- Elastic – used to create stretchy waistbands or cuffs in clothing
- Zippers – used to create closures in clothing and bags
- Buttons – used as closures or decorative elements in clothing and accessories.
Storage and Organization
Storage and organization refer to the methods and systems used to keep sewing tools and equipment neatly arranged and easily accessible.
Storage involves the physical placement of sewing tools and equipment in a designated area or container. This can include storage containers such as sewing baskets, cabinets, or drawers, as well as wall-mounted storage racks or pegboards. Proper storage can help to protect sewing tools and equipment from damage and prevent loss or misplacement.
Organization involves arranging sewing tools and equipment in a logical and orderly manner within the storage area or container. This can include sorting tools and equipment by type or function, using labels or tags to identify items, and creating designated spaces for each item. Proper organization can help to save time and reduce frustration when searching for specific tools and equipment.
Effective storage and organization of sewing tools and equipment can help to maximize workspace efficiency, reduce clutter, and increase productivity. Here are some examples of storage and organization methods for sewing tools and equipment:
- Sewing basket: A sewing basket is a traditional storage container for sewing tools and equipment. It typically has a lid and compartments to organize small items like needles, pins, and thread.
- Wall-mounted storage: A wall-mounted storage rack or pegboard is a space-saving option that allows for easy access to frequently used tools. Hooks and shelves can be used to store scissors, rulers, and other tools.
- Drawer organizers: Drawer organizers can be used to keep sewing tools and equipment neatly arranged within a drawer. Small compartments can be used to store items like bobbins, needles, and thread.
- Labelling: Labeling tools and storage containers can help to quickly identify items and reduce time spent searching for them. Labels can be attached using stickers, tags, or markers.
- Colour coding: Color coding can be used to quickly identify different types of thread or fabric. For example, all blue threads could be stored in one container or labelled with a blue tag.
- Zipper bags: Zipper bags can be used to store sets of tools or specific projects. This can help to keep everything together and prevent loss or misplacement.
Speciality Pressing Tools
Speciality pressing tools are specialized tools used in sewing to help create professional and polished finished garments. These tools are used to press fabrics and seams, helping to flatten and shape them to achieve the desired effect.
Some examples of speciality pressing tools include tailor’s ham, pressing ham, seam roll, sleeve board, and point presser. Each of these tools is designed to work on specific areas of a garment, such as sleeves or curved seams, to ensure that the fabric is pressed evenly and shaped properly.
Using speciality pressing tools can help improve the overall quality of a garment, and they are essential for achieving a professional look. In addition, they can make sewing easier and more efficient by helping to shape and mould fabric without damaging it. As a result, investing in good quality pressing tools is a wise decision for anyone who wants to improve their sewing skills and produce high-quality garments. Here are some examples of speciality pressing tools used in sewing:
- Tailor’s Ham: A tailor’s ham is a firm, rounded cushion made of wool or cotton. It is used to press curved seams, such as those found in sleeves or darts, to help shape them and prevent any puckering or distortion.
- Pressing Ham: A pressing ham is a similar tool to a tailor’s ham, but it is shaped differently. It is used to press seams on garments that are curved in a different direction than what a tailor’s ham can accommodate.
- Seam Roll: A seam roll is a cylindrical tool that is used to press seams open without creating a visible crease. It is particularly useful for pressing seams in narrow areas, such as cuffs or collars.
- Sleeve Board: A sleeve board is a small, narrow board that is used to press sleeves and other small areas of a garment. Its shape allows for easy pressing of curved areas, such as the armscye of a shirt.
- Point Presser: A point presser is a tool used to press and shape points, such as collar points or corners, to create a sharp and crisp edge. It is particularly useful for working with heavy or stiff fabrics.
Pattern Making Tools
Pattern-making tools are tools used to create paper or cardboard templates that represent the shape and dimensions of a garment or sewing project. These templates, also known as patterns, serve as guides for cutting fabric pieces and are essential in creating professional-looking garments.
There is a variety of pattern making tools available, including:
- Pattern paper: This is a special type of paper that is used to create the initial draft of a pattern. It’s typically semi-transparent, making it easy to see through when tracing or making adjustments.
- Tracing wheel: A tracing wheel is a small, toothed wheel that is used to transfer markings from the pattern paper to the fabric. It’s rolled over the pattern paper, leaving a dotted line on the fabric.
- Seam gauge: This is a small ruler that is used to measure seam allowances and hem depths accurately.
- French curve: A French curve is a curved ruler that is used to create smooth, flowing lines when drafting patterns.
- Pattern weights: These are small weights that are used to hold the pattern paper in place while tracing or cutting.
- Rotary cutter: A rotary cutter is a sharp, circular blade that is used to cut fabric precisely.
- Cutting mat: A cutting mat is a self-healing mat that is used with a rotary cutter to protect the surface underneath and prevent the blade from dulling.
Finishing tools in relation to sewing refer to the tools and equipment used to add final touches to a sewing project. These tools are used to create professional-looking finishes and to ensure that the sewing project is durable and long-lasting. Some common finishing tools include:
- Scissors: Scissors are used to trim excess fabric and to cut threads.
- Seam ripper: A seam ripper is used to remove stitches if a mistake is made.
- Pinking shears: Pinking shears are scissors with serrated blades that create a zigzag edge on fabric to prevent fraying.
- Iron: An iron is used to press seams and create crisp edges in the fabric.
- Sewing machine needles: Different types of sewing machine needles are used for different fabrics and projects.
- Thread snips: Thread snips are small scissors used to cut thread when sewing.
- Hemming tools: Hemming tools include hem gauges, hemming tapes, and hemming feet for a sewing machine, which are used to create even and precise hems.
- Bias tape maker: A bias tape maker is used to create bias tape, which is used to finish edges and seams.
Using finishing tools and equipment can make a big difference in the final outcome of a sewing project, resulting in a professional-looking and well-made finished product.
Upholstery and Leatherworking Tools
Upholstery and leatherworking tools are specialized tools used in the construction and repair of furniture, car interiors, and other items made from upholstery fabrics and leather. These tools differ from traditional sewing tools and equipment in terms of their size, strength, and specific functions.
Some common upholstery tools include:
- Staple gun: A staple gun is used to fasten fabric to a wooden frame or other support structure. This tool is essential for creating tight, even upholstery.
- Tack hammer: A tack hammer is a small hammer used to drive tacks and nails into wood. This tool is necessary for attaching fabric to the furniture frame.
- Upholstery needles: Upholstery needles are heavy-duty needles designed to penetrate through thick layers of fabric and batting. These needles are used to sew upholstery pieces together or to create decorative stitching.
- Webbing stretcher: A webbing stretcher is a specialized tool used to tighten webbing that supports the seating area of furniture.
- Upholstery foam cutter: An upholstery foam cutter is a tool used to cut foam padding to fit the shape of a furniture piece.
Leatherworking tools, on the other hand, are used specifically for working with leather materials. Some common leatherworking tools include:
- Leather punch: A leather punch is used to create holes in leather for sewing or attaching hardware.
- Leather stitching awl: A leather stitching awl is used to create holes in leather for stitching.
- Leather skiver: A leather skiver is used to thin leather for more delicate leatherworking projects.
- Leather edge beveler: A leather edge beveler is used to round and smooth the edges of leather pieces.
Upholstery and leatherworking tools are specialized tools that are essential for working with upholstery fabrics and leather materials. While some sewing tools may overlap, they are not specifically designed for these types of materials and tasks.
Quilting tools refer to a specific set of tools and equipment used in the craft of quilting, which involves sewing together layers of fabric and batting to create a quilt. While quilting tools are similar to sewing tools, there are some specific tools that are commonly used in quilting that may not be used in general sewing.
Some of the most common quilting tools include:
- Rotary Cutter: A rotary cutter is a tool that is used to cut the fabric into precise shapes and sizes. It is typically used to cut strips of fabric for quilting.
- Cutting Mat: A cutting mat is a self-healing mat that is used with a rotary cutter to protect the surface underneath and provide a safe cutting surface.
- Ruler: A ruler is used with a rotary cutter to ensure accurate and precise cuts. Quilters often use a clear plastic ruler with grid lines to make measuring and cutting easier.
- Quilting Pins: Quilting pins are long, thin pins that are used to hold layers of fabric and batting together while quilting. They are designed to be easy to remove and leave minimal marks on the fabric.
- Quilting Needles: Quilting needles are longer and thinner than regular sewing needles. They are designed to easily pass through multiple layers of fabric and batting.
- Quilting Thread: Quilting thread is a heavier weight thread that is designed to withstand the stress of quilting. It is typically made from cotton or polyester.
- Quilting Machine: A quilting machine is a specialized sewing machine that is designed for quilting. It often has a larger throat space and a longer arm to accommodate the bulk of a quilt.
Quilting tools are designed to make the process of quilting easier and more efficient. While some of these tools may be used in general sewing, they are essential for quilting and help ensure that the finished product is both beautiful and functional.
Embellishment tools are sewing tools and equipment that are used to add decorative elements to fabric or clothing. These tools can be used to enhance the look of a garment or to add individuality and personality to a sewing project.
Some common embellishment tools include:
- Embroidery needles and thread: used to create intricate designs and patterns on fabric.
- Beads and sequins: used to add sparkle and shine to clothing and accessories.
- Fabric paints and markers: used to add color and designs to fabric.
- Lace and trim: used to add texture and dimension to clothing.
- Appliqué tools: used to attach fabric shapes and designs to a garment.
- Ribbon and bows: used to add a finishing touch to clothing and accessories.
- Hot fix rhinestone tools: used to attach rhinestones to fabric.
Overall, embellishment tools are an important part of the sewing toolkit, allowing individuals to add their own personal touches and creativity to their sewing projects.
Identification of sewing tools
Identification sewing tools are tools that are designed for specific sewing tasks. They are essential for achieving professional results and make sewing much easier and efficient. Here are some of the most common identification or specific sewing tools:
- Seam ripper: This is a small tool used to remove stitches when a mistake has been made. It has a sharp blade and a pointed end for unpicking stitches.
- Thread snips: These are small scissors used to cut threads. They are especially handy for trimming threads close to the fabric, and are often designed with a pointed tip for precision cutting.
- Sewing machine needles: These needles are designed specifically for use with a sewing machine. They come in different sizes and types, such as universal, denim, or leather, and should be changed regularly to prevent damage to the fabric or machine.
- Pins: These are used to hold fabric pieces together during sewing. They come in different sizes and types, such as ballpoint or quilting pins.
- Pincushion: This is a small cushion used to store pins while sewing. It can be a traditional cushion or a magnetic pad.
- Tailor’s chalk: This is a chalk-like substance used to mark the fabric. It can be easily wiped away or brushed off after sewing.
- Tape measure: This is used to measure fabric and other sewing components. It can be a retractable metal or plastic tape or a flexible cloth tape.
- Iron: This is an essential tool for pressing and flattening fabric during sewing. It is important to use a dry iron with adjustable temperature settings to prevent damage to the fabric.
- Bobbins: These are small spools used to hold the thread in the sewing machine. They need to be filled with thread and inserted into the machine in the correct orientation.
- Thimble: This is a small, protective cap that is worn on the finger to protect it while pushing a needle through thick fabrics or multiple layers.
- Bias tape maker: This tool helps to create bias tape, which is a strip of fabric cut on the diagonal and used for finishing raw edges or creating decorative accents. The bias tape maker folds the fabric into a bias tape shape, making it easier to work with.
- Bodkin: This is a small, pointed tool used to thread elastic or drawstrings through a casing or channel.
- Fabric marker: This is a tool used to mark fabric with lines or patterns for cutting, sewing, or embroidery. Fabric markers can be temporary or permanent and come in various colours.
- Hem gauge: This is a ruler-like tool used to measure and mark hems evenly. It can be adjusted to the desired hem depth and helps to create professional-looking hems.
- Magnetic pin cushion: This is a pin cushion that uses a magnet to hold the pins in place, making it easier to pick up and put down pins during sewing.
- Needle threader: This is a small tool used to help thread a needle, especially for those with poor eyesight or shaky hands.
- Rotary cutter: This is a cutting tool that looks like a pizza cutter and is used to cut fabric quickly and accurately. It is especially useful for cutting through multiple layers of fabric.
- Seam gauge: This is a small ruler used to measure seam allowances, hems, and other small measurements. It is a handy tool for ensuring accuracy in sewing.
- Sewing gauge: This is a tool that has multiple uses, including measuring, marking, and creating even buttonholes or pleats.
- Fray check: This is a liquid solution that prevents the the fabric from fraying or unravelling. It can be applied to the edges of fabric or seams to ensure a clean and finished look.