What's with All the Sewing Gadgets?

Walk into any sewing shop and you will see walls of sewing notions and accessories. And every year, more and more gadgets hit the market.

Expand this simple metallic gauge to
get perfectly spaced buttonholes.
It takes up so little room!
Buttons right where you want them–
not where the pattern dictates.

Over the years I have accumulated more than my share of them. Which ones are truly worth investing in?

Here at Stitch magazine, we value good quality scissors, obviously. I also insist on marvelous pins and top-of-the-line handsewing needles.

After that, your projects will begin to dictate what sewing accessories will make your stitching experience more pleasant and/or less frustrating.

Here's a notion that I don't use every day, but when I am marking buttonholes on the front of a blouse or want to evenly space some pleats on a skirt, this is the tool I turn to: the Simflex expanding sewing gauge. This gauge really only does one thing–it measures equal distances accurately. That's it. But it does it so well, so quickly, and as a bonus, it's fun to use. Double Bonus: It doesn't take up much space when not being used.

Once I had this gauge, I no longer had to rely on the pattern's recommended buttonhole placement. I could set one of the gauge's points where I wanted my middle button, then easily expand or contract the gauge so that the top buttonhole was in the perfect place and–without any math at all–every buttonhole was spaced precisely. Delightful!

A lot of sewing notions have been around for centuries. To discover beautiful stitching tools and techniques from the past, check out Piecework magazine.

At workshops and classes, I always love to see what people pull out of their sewing kits. So, after the basics, what's one of your must-have notions?

Happy stitching!


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Sewing Tools & Notions

6 thoughts on “What's with All the Sewing Gadgets?

  1. The Clover Desk Needle Threader has come in handy. I used it today. A friend who quilts told me about it.
    A simple gadget the The Purple Thang, has proven far more useful than I thought it would. I’ve given away several.

  2. I used to have a Purple Thang–but I’m not sure I could locate it right now. I rely pretty heavily on my bamboo point turner these days.