Articles, Blog

8 Sewing Essentials You Can’t Live Without

October 24, 2019

(Music Plays) Hello! So you guys have been requesting, for a long
time, some videos that go through sewing basics and tips for beginners – so today I’m
going to go through 8 sewing items that, not to be too dramatic about it – have changed
my sewing LIFE. These are 8 items that I wish I had been told
about and invested in right from the start – because honestly, without these items
everything takes about 5 times longer, and if someone suddenly took them all away from
me – I probably wouldn’t even bother sewing anymore. They’re just that useful. So, these are the 8 sewing items that I can’t
live without. I hate cutting out fabric. It’s the most boring and tedious part of
sewing for me. However, this rotary cutter and cutting mat
lets me do it super FAST. So, instead of having to pin your pattern
down onto your fabric and then use a pair of scissors to cut around it, which can lead
to lots of inaccuracies in cutting and also, just takes a lot of time, you can, instead,
zoom around the edges of your pattern in like a minute to cut out your fabric using a rotary
cutter. The rotary cutter basically just looks like
a pizza cutter – except that this blade is titanium and it is super dooper sharp – seriously,
be careful using this because I’ve sliced my finger open far too many times just being
careless. And you’ll also need a good quality, self-healing
mat, like this one, because you’ll ruin anything else that you try and use the rotary
cutter on. Guys, it’s very sharp. Did I mention that it’s very sharp? Now, you don’t need to get a mat that is
as big as this one to start off with – I actually started off with a mat which was
half this size, which worked basically just as well – the only reason I got a larger
one is because it looks better on camera when I’m filming larger projects, and it does
make cutting out larger projects like pants slightly easier, but I’ve still been able
cut out pants patterns using a smaller one that was half this size and it was just fine. Something that I don’t yet have, which I
think would also help a lot with cutting out patterns, using a rotary cutter and a mat,
is pattern weights – they’re basically weights that you place on top of your pattern to hold
it down flat on your fabric, so you don’t have to pin the pattern onto the fabric. However, this can basically be replicated
using a couple of heavy items that you find around your house so I don’t think that
they’re totally essential. Still, maybe I’ll change my mind once I
get some. Now this is an item that I only just started
using in the past couple of weeks, and OH MY GOSH has it changed my life. It saves SO much time and it makes things
so much easier. I’ve wasted way too many hours turning fabric
loops and trying to get elastic through casings that – I just can’t get back. But anyway, now I have this. This is a bodkin, you could also use a loop
turner – they’re slightly different items, but this bodkin here can be used for both
functions – um, they allow you to turn out loops of fabric – so like, you might make
a loop of fabric for a waistband for instance, or for straps, and first you’ll sew it right-sides
together like this. Now because you want the seam on the inside,
and the nice side of the fabric on the outside, you need to turn the loop inside out. It’s possible to do this by hand, but it’s
one thousand times easier and faster if you use a bodkin or a loop-turner. This is how I use mine, I put this end through
the loop of fabric, bunching it up around the bodkin, and then attach this end through
the fabric, and then I pull it back out to turn the loop around. It is SUCH a time saver. The walking foot is such a good item if you
want to start sewing with stretchy or slippery fabrics. These little bumpy things on your machine,
under your needle, are called feed dogs. Not sure how they got the name dog, as they
don’t look anything like a puppy dog – but anyway – the walking foot also has feed dogs
on the bottom of the foot here. And when you use the foot on stretchy fabrics,
it helps to pull it through evenly, by kind of walking along the fabric. Now this is really useful when working with
fabrics that are either stretchy, or slippery, because it stops weird ruffling from happening
when sewing two stretch fabrics to each other, or when you’re hemming a stretchy fabric. Okay, so I only started using this about 3
weeks ago but I am NEVER GOING BACK, baby. I don’t like hemming things, because even
when using a walking foot, sometimes everything just goes horribly wrong and a hemline ends
up all wobbly anyway. Even if you’ve done your best. And as hemming is often the thing you do last
on a project, it can ruin that whole project and… yeah. I don’t like hemming stretchy fabrics. ENTER FUSIBLE HEMMING TAPE. Basically, you place the hemming tape down
on your hemline, fold your fabric back over it, and then iron it down. This fuses the fabric together, and your hem
is done and also super neat. Now, you can also sew over the top to give
it some extra hold, but it will usually hold up in the wash if you just use the hemming
tape – depending on the quality of the fabric that you’ve used – but if you do then
take this to your sewing machine to finish it off, it totally gets rid of the wibbly-wobbly-hem,
because it stabilises the fabric and stops the fabric from stretching weirdly under your
sewing foot. The zipper foot is another essential sewing
foot, and if one doesn’t already come with your machine, then you should definitely invest
in one if you ever plan on installing zippers. Now unlike your regular sewing foot that allows
the needle to go down through the center, a zipper foot has a metal bar in the center
and the needle must come down either side of this. This lets you sew along a zipper with a clear
path, without accidentally shifting the zipper with your sewing foot. This tool gives you much cleaner-looking zippers,
and it also makes it easier to sew them onto your fabric! So I used to draw all of my marks onto fabrics
with pen or a felt-tip marker, and the problem with that is that those marks are permanent. Even if I didn’t make any mistakes on the
right side of the fabric, I’d often end up with pen lines all over the inside of the
garments that I made, which is thoroughly unprofessional-looking. So washable markers and also dressmaking pencils
are great because, as it says in the name, they wash off. I think that the pencils are made of chalk,
so this either brushes or washes off, and with the markers, I think that the ink dissolves
in water – so you gotta make sure you only use it on washable fabrics. But they are so good. Another item that makes sewing a lot easier
is this wrist pin cushion. It’s such a useful item because it gives
you quick and easy access to something you use all the time while you are sewing – pins. I used to just have all my pins just sitting
in a plastic container, and I’d constantly be forgetting to bring it along with me to
my machine, from my fabrics, and then I’d have to get up and find where I’d put them
all the time, I’d always lose it, and because I’m clumsy as heck, I was also constantly
knocking the container over, and having pins all over the floor is somewhat dangerous – so
yeah. This wrist pin cushion has saved me from myself. Now, I did just buy this one from a craft
store, but it’d also be pretty easy to make one for yourself with a cute scrap of fabric
– and I’m sure you can find plenty of tutorials on the interwebs teaching you how
to make one. Now this last one might seem really obvious,
and you probably already own one, but an IRON and an ironing board are both really important
items when you’re sewing. I actually didn’t used to pre-iron my fabrics
or iron at any point in the clothing making process for a couple of years when I started
sewing – and I know, if you’ve been sewing for a while then you are cringing as much
as I am right now – but I’m here to tell all of you beginners who think “why bother
ironing” that using an iron REALLY makes a difference to your projects. Things will fit better, they’ll look nicer,
they’ll cut out more easily, and they’re just higher quality when you use an iron. So please, please, please, if you’re a beginner,
use an iron. Even if you think you don’t have to. Use one. Okay so you can probably pick up all of these
items from your local craft stores, or if you’re really struggling to find them, you
can DEFINITELY find them online – for example, I had to go to Ebay for my cutting mat, because
I couldn’t find any cutting mats that were this BIG in any of the craft stores in Sydney. And as always, I love learning from you guys
and I would like to know – what are some essential sewing items, that I haven’t mentioned
here, that YOU can’t live without? I’m always looking to make my sewing life
a little bit more easy! So thank you for watching, I hope this video
was helpful, and I’ll see you all in my next video. Bye!! HEY – do you like the stickers on my sewing
machine? Then you should totally jazz up your own plain,
boring, sticker-less, pun-less sewing machine with some sewing-pun stickers from my merchandise
store! I designed these stickers, and all of the
funds raised go back into my youtube channel, and to improving my videos! Pick up a pack today from – the
link is in the description, and all the stickers are printed in North America! Another way you can support my channel is
by becoming a monthly Patreon supporter. To find out more go to!


  • Reply blondechi February 18, 2017 at 12:47 am

    SEAM RIPPER!! this has been used more times than my sewing machine
    Also, pinking shears, tape measure, curved needle, needle threaders and a place for my cat to sit/lie down that ISNT my current project

  • Reply Annemarie Brandsen May 6, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    You can get cheap weights at the hardware store like spacers, or curtains weights

  • Reply Tiffany Boncek May 7, 2019 at 6:27 am

    I like to use crayola markers because they don't stain and they are much cheaper than fabric markers

  • Reply Sandi Ludwig May 13, 2019 at 3:37 am

    I tried hemming tape but it never fused the fabrics well. I did not have a bodkin so I used bamboo skewers or also chopstick or knitting needle😀

  • Reply Mr Beans Fan May 15, 2019 at 7:36 am

    she said… "hellur!"

  • Reply Octosquishii May 21, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    One thing that has made life easier when sewing for me is a ruler, curved ruler and yard/meter stick. Perfect for when measuring out and making patterns.

  • Reply SienaAmelie May 22, 2019 at 11:38 am

    Does hemming tape stretch? Or rip on the inside of the hem?

  • Reply Chandra Richards May 26, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    Definitely have all of those things except for the wrist pin cushion. I've known how to sew since I was a kid but I'm only really just getting serious about it.. I do use a magnetic dish/container for my pins tho. And speaking of pins, I have arthritis and it's such a struggle messing with the small dressmaker type pins. I use long, thin pearl tipped pins for just about everything. I've recently started making cloth diapers for my 3 babies and I use the metal barrettes with the PUL fabric required for making cloth diapers. Those are great too. Easy to put on, easy to take off and NO FINGER PRICKS. LOL

  • Reply Nadeem Ahmad June 2, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    Good tool very sexy .girl wow

  • Reply Carol Thomas June 3, 2019 at 4:38 am

    Laser scissors; never knew existed (until now).

  • Reply Spiffy Kitty June 8, 2019 at 5:36 am

    I'm just getting started, and I don't have an Iron, but I borrow my friends hair straightener, and that works for now. 😛

  • Reply Zenna Donna June 10, 2019 at 10:43 am

    Great video, so funny and helpful!

  • Reply Sewing From Scratch June 20, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    Yes! Rotary cutters. I have a really small one that I use for curves. It makes things even easier

  • Reply Lori Greene June 27, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    I made a wrist pin cushion using a dollar store cushion and an elastic pony tail holder!

  • Reply Alexis Robinson July 1, 2019 at 12:02 am

    Adjustable Dress form and seam ripper!!

  • Reply Caleria Sand July 7, 2019 at 5:06 am

    Seam ripper😒 pinking shears

  • Reply marlene cabada July 8, 2019 at 4:56 am

    A narrow hem foot seems indispensible to me.It lets me sew very thin hems.

  • Reply Rose Hale July 9, 2019 at 6:56 am

    My top Five – don’t want to live without them
    1. I LOVE my #10 edge/stitch in the ditch foot – if I could only have one extra foot it would be that one!
    2. “Duckbill” scissors for grading & trimming seams
    3. Pressing ham & pressing ham holder (lived without the holder for 1 year before I bought it & I will never go back! Get the ham holder!)
    4. Double sided water soluble Wonder tape – there is nothing that makes setting an invisible or other zipper more fool proof!
    5. Sara Alm Craftsy sewing videos!!

  • Reply Mellon Walker Movies July 10, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    a sewing machine lol

  • Reply Em July 15, 2019 at 11:48 pm

    Not an item but pre washing the fabric! I used to ruin so many projects by not doing it. And now that I’m buying more 2nd hand fabric it helps with that too

  • Reply Don Mega July 16, 2019 at 10:55 am

    that size self-healing mat must've cost a fortune! even A3 already start from $50 and yours is like 6 times bigger. or more likely yours isn't self-healing, but plastic, and around $40.

  • Reply Justyna Wylaź August 1, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    A pincusshion can be made yourself. I used a little dishwashing sponge as a filling, sewn a little elastic jeans casing for it , and attached to a wristband. It saved me money for 3x threads of a good brand.

  • Reply Justyna Wylaź August 2, 2019 at 4:18 am

    could you please give a link to that big self healing mat ?

  • Reply Eric Epperson August 5, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    This lady called my wife a bed wench and my that my children were ugly cuz she Is a racist mayonaise sandwich.

  • Reply Cheryl Oldford August 10, 2019 at 12:00 am

    A Magnet to go over the floor or table top, picks up pins that have escaped your vision.

  • Reply Mikayla Marsh August 14, 2019 at 2:51 am

    I was literally using the same rotary cutter as I started your video lol

  • Reply Fragmented Mind August 19, 2019 at 7:57 am

    Quality scissors and a good pinking shear

  • Reply Curly 4 Life August 20, 2019 at 3:01 am

    The rotary cutter is definitely clutch! I’m so glad I finally have one, cutting fabric is so time consuming without it

  • Reply Tina August 20, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    I have found that stitching over fusible hem tape can gum up my machine. I recommend hand (or machine) stitching on the edge just outside of the fusible hem tape itself. This has worked well for me.

  • Reply Marcia Highsmith August 22, 2019 at 2:18 am

    I made my own triangle weights using some of my still usable small scraps. Good news is that you can use woven or stretch fabrics. I filled mine with rice.

  • Reply Rigan 000 August 26, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    Hello from Canada very nice video keep it up

  • Reply Concetto Rametta August 27, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    A pressing cloth &fabric sizing or spray starch😊 Save your iron, protect your fabric,and your ironing board cover … No matter how careful you are , eventual mishap with iron on interfacing, or iron “spits” onto light fabric seems to happen . I use a white or beige cotton woven fabric ( light medium weight ) about the size of a dinner napkin… After prewashing fabrics esp , using a fabric sizing or spray starch will renew the body and give a nice professional look to finished items pressing is also much easier … careful with dark fabric – use very little $ and only on wrong side … ♥️ Happy sewing ! Well done video !

  • Reply Future Hobo King August 29, 2019 at 10:19 am

    And most important thing to have is determination
    Cause good damn ya need to be able to keep going past the mistakes

  • Reply I did it September 1, 2019 at 12:09 am


  • Reply CindysReviews September 12, 2019 at 6:10 am

    New subscriber, please show us from start to finish how to make a long, polyester and spandex material skirt, its so i can wear to my church. Please like so she can see

  • Reply littlecicero September 14, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    She's actually really hot. And the video is very useful.

  • Reply Housing Arts September 14, 2019 at 3:12 pm

    Thank you

  • Reply Mona Finlayson October 4, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    Seam ripper I cannot see without it or else I will get frustrated and give up

  • Reply Josie Pipitone October 9, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    i found some fabric markers that fade after a day with out washing so if u just need to mark something super fast and don’t need it throughout you whole project they work great! just don’t iron it otherwise it will stay on you fabric

  • Reply Sonja Wright October 17, 2019 at 9:45 am

    Years ago I bought my mom a bumper sticker for her car that said “she who does with the most fabric wins” I think she has really taken it to heart because she has enough fabric in her hoard that she could make a new clothing item every single day for an entire year before running out of fabric.

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