It’s hard to believe we are changing the calendar again! As 2017 rolls into 2018, I want to share a few more of my favorite sewing notions and tools. These simple tools can make sewing smaller doll clothes a little easier and you can find all of them on Amazon or in other stores where sewing notions are sold.
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1. Wooden Iron.
I bought mine at a craft fair or quilt expo a long time ago. It’s so much easier for pressing open small seams (like doll shoulder bodices in the Popsicle Top or Sunshine Dress for example) rather than getting up and going over to the iron. This link has a similar one. It really is just a piece of wood with a slanted edge, that gets smoother the more you use it. I reach for mine every time I sew.
2. Seam Gauge.
I picked this little gadget up in my local sewing store, and it was made by Bernina, which only means that I paid three times as much as this one on Amazon. This little piece of metal is easy to use, and is a quick way to check your seams and hems, as well as the back facings (before you add hook and loop tape to a doll dress for example). Any time your garment doesn’t fit just right, this is the fastest way to check to see if any of your seams were off. I also use this to check how much I serge on my edges (and have recently changed from the standard four thread to a narrow three thread for this very reason.)
3. Wonder Clips.
You will wonder how you survived so long without these!! Now available in lots of colors and three sizes, these clips are used in my sewing room for all sorts of things! I use them to clip the pieces of a single pattern together after I print and cut them. I use them to hold the pieces of fabric together after I cut them out, like pinning the small pocket pieces for Sandbox Shorts. I use them like pins on side seams and hems. I use them to hold fabric pieces together while I fit them on a doll. I use them to clip the doll’s hair out of the way or to hold her outfit closed until I add the hook and loop tape. I use them on a train, and in a box, in a tree and with a fox! Be sure to stock up on a set or two of small clips and large clips and keep them close at hand.
4. Seam Ripper.
Okay, not just any seam ripper. A super sharp, curved knife type seam ripper. Like many of you, I have about 6 different seam rippers. But I only use one. It’s long, thin, and super sharp. It also really helps when you have to remove serger threads. Go ahead, ask me how I know that one 😉
5. Washi Tape
I love washi tape. Something about the lightness, and the pretty colors just add that small element of fun. In addition to using it to brighten up my weekly paper planner, I keep a few rolls on my sewing table and grab it for all sorts of things. Sometimes, a pattern will use the same piece for a top and for a dress, or for dresses in different lengths, like Bloomer Buddies. Once I cut the lower hem off, it’s easily reattached with a little pretty, washi tape! I use it to hold buttons in place while I sew (it peels right out when you are done!) and if I need a seam guide reminder on my sewing machine. When I go to a sewing class or on a sewing retreat, I mark my tools with the same color of washi to easily identify what needs to come back home with me. My very favorite way I use washi tape is to add a little tape to any piece I want to mark either the right side (ie batiks) or to keep a front and back straight (when making a solid color bodice for example). Nowadays, you can find washi tape in so many stores (craft stores, dollar stores, office supply stores), or choose a variety set like this one.
So there’s my Favorite Five for 2018. Use these few tools to make sewing your doll clothes a little easier and a little more fun. We’re going to have a great sewing year ahead, stop by again soon! Click here to see my Favorite Five of 2017!