January 23

Sewing By Hand – What Accessories Are Needed?


Hand sewing is at least a small part of sewing, and you are going to either love it or hate it.

Either way, it is necessary, and you will need most of the items below in order to take on this task on a regular basis. Or at the very least, they will make it easier for you:

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Pin Cushion – A pin cushion that has an emery is the best route to go. You remember the old fashioned tomato pin cushion? If it has an emery it will work even better, and you can even make your own. The cushion will store pins and needles, and to sharpen them you use the emery. The more popular emery looks like a strawberry.

Sewing SetNeedles – It’s good to have various sizes and types of handsewing needles. Typically you can purchase a pack of these that come in a pouch or folder.

Dressmaking scissors of good quality – There are a variety of brands available. Fiskars and Gingher are well designed and built to fit the hand better. Remember to get the one that fits your dominant hand since they have left and right handed scissors. But even a lesser costing pair will work fine.

Threads – buying thread seems simple enough, but all thread isn’t the same. Make sure that it’s of decent quality for strength and once you find a brand that works well for you stick with it. Thread comes in a variety of fibers from cotton to silk. Most hand sewing will be ok to use if it’s polyester-cotton threads.

Needle threader – Especially if you are older these are extremely helpful. Makes for quick threading of a needle. A good trick is to add a drop of glue where the fine wire connects to the handle. Let it dry completely. It will help with strength on the weakest part of the threader.

Thread snips – Generally U Shaped, and have sharp blades at the upper point of the U. A quick snip with them and the threads are trimmed.

Straight Pins – As a tip, glass head pins can be ironed over and the plastic head won’t melt into the fabric. But if you are careful with your ironing, then about any color ball pins will work for general sewing. Bright colors are easier to see when ironing.

Sewing tape – the tape measure can be cheap as long as the measurements are accurate. There are retractable tapes for sewing that are different than the builder’s tapes. These will be more flexible. Whichever one you go with make sure the tape doesn’t stretch. This will mess up the accuracy of the measurements very quickly.

Beeswax – If you have a little container of this, you can slide the thread through the container’s slots to coat it with the wax. It will be stronger and prevent tangles and knots.

Hemming Gauge – They are six inch rulers and have a sliding piece that are handy for hems and more. Don’t bend it because it will distort the shape and size of the ruler.

Thimbles – Not popular with seamstresses and tailors anymore, but the newer leather thimbles make these easy to wear and are helpful when sewing by hand.

Seam Rippers – Even the most experience seamstress will need this. If your seam doesn’t look correct, or the stitching is crooked, the seam ripper will save the day.

Small button container – Over time your buttons will accumulate. So a handy little box for them is essential.

Once again, even if you don’t appreciate sewing by hand or handling this task, any seamstress or tailor will have to learn how to at least do some simple sewing by hand. Hopefully this list of tools will help you with this technique.


hand sewing accessories

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