Sewing Tools

You will need tools to measure, mark, cut, press and sew. Storing your  tools is important too.

You may want to use a basket, box or drawer to store just sewing tools so you can find them when you need them.


Measuring Tools:

It's important to measure accurately when pinning your pattern pieces and sewing. You want measurements to be correct so your projects will fit properly


  • A Tape Measure can be used for many things during sewing, but mainly they are used to measure fabric length or width, and for measuring fabric grainline.

  • Rulers, especially a 6" (15 cm) ruler, is used often. 6" rulers are great to use for smaller measuring such as for hems and cuffs. 

  • A Sewing Gauge with Sliding Marker makes it easy to make even measurements. You can slide the marker on the gauge and it will stay in place for repeated marking.


Marking Tools:

It's important to transfer marks to your fabric so you know where to piece together the parts. They provide guides for assembling. You'll find these markings on your paper pattern pieces. 


Keep in mind you should transfer markings to the wrong side of the fabric. They should be easy to see and easy to remove. There are many different types of marking tools on the market, and you'll find that not all marking tools work on all fabrics.


Remember to try out the marking tool on a scrap of the fabric you're going to use, before using it on your project. Don's use pens or pencils as the markings will be difficult to remove.


  • Chalk Pencils, Wheels and Triangles are available in several colors to contrast well with fabric shades. You can find chalk pencils, a powdered chalk in a special container and triangles made of solid chalk.

  • Marking Pens use inks that can be removed with cold water or have inks that fade over time. 

  • Tracing Paper used with a tracing wheel or stylus. 

    1. You place the tracing paper on your working surface, colored side up

    2. The wrong side of the fabric down onto the tracing paper

    3. Then the pattern piece. 


Run the tracing wheel or stylus along the pattern markings. You can use a ruler to help with straight lines. 


Use a piece of scrap fabric to test how hard you need to press to transfer the markings. Tracing paper markings can be difficult to remove. You may also want to place a piece of cardboard, or a cutting board, on your work surface as the cutting wheel can damage a table surface.


Cutting Tools:

You'll be using scissors and shears of different types to cut fabric, clip threads, trim seams and cut paper. Right handed or left handed you can find scissors/shears for both. Keep in mind that you should keep your fabric scissors and shears separate from general use scissors/shears. It's frustrating to use dull scissors on fabric, believe me, so don't use your fabric scissors on anything else, not even paper!


  • Scissors have handles that are both the same size. They are mainly used for trimming and clipping seams and threads.

  • Multipurpose Scissors are scissors that I call my "junk scissors". They are set aside for using on paper.

  • Snips generally snips art scissors with short blades used for snipping. The can be used for cutting off a small amount of fabric, for cutting your threads or snipping into fabric. 

  • Shears have one handle larger than the other. You would use shears mainly for cutting fabric. 

  • Bent Handle Shears are shaped to help keep the fabric flat while cutting. 

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