I love gadgets and gizmos that make life easier. When it comes to pattern cutting, or sewing, I want to have every tool on hand, and I want ones that work.
Over the 15+ years that I’ve been sewing, there’s an ever growing list of supplies that I can’t do without. So today, let me introduce you to a few of my favourite things*:
*I've included links so you can quickly obtain more information about each product. I do not necessarily endorse any of these retailers.
Clover Seam Ripper
This seam ripper is sharp! I’ve purchased a few of these over my lifetime and I’m not sure if I’ve ever broken or replaced one as I still have a few in my stash. The handle is comfortable to hold and overall works incredibly well.
Gutermann Mara 120 Polyester Thread (1,000m)
Sewing with quality thread will make your life much easier, and improve the look of your garment. The Mara thread is industrial quality and has superior strength and is extremely lint free reducing the amount of lint and fluff that will build up in your machine. Be careful not to overbuy your thread. As thread ages it can become dry and brittle and become prone to breaking.
Self-Healing Cutting Mat (Various Sizes)
It’s best to have a look at mats before ordering one online. They come in a variety of sizes, and you’ll want to make sure that you get the size suitable for your needs. I’m a bit of a hoarder and have a variety of sizes depending on the workspace I have available, and the project that I’m working on. Prices range wildly, so again, shop around online and at the local hobby store with prices ranging based on size, and likely quality.
Clover Chaco Liner & Refills
If you’re ever doing fittings or alterations to garments – I can’t recommend these chaco liners from Clover enough. They create a fine line of chalk on the garment and washes clean. They also come in a variety of colours – white, blue, yellow and pink. They do hold up quite well over time, and are great because they’re refillable. Look for the round ones, as the chalk refills are round in shape. I have a few older ones that are flat and just a bit trickier to refill.
Olfa Rotary Cutter
Hands down, this is the item that I just can’t live without. My rotary cutter.
The precision for cutting both paper and fabric just can’t be beat for home sewing purposes. I have three sizes – an 18mm, 28mm and 45mm.
In all fairness, I hardly ever use my 18mm. It just seems too small for most of the projects I do.
The 28mm size is perfect for all things lingerie and most fashion and the one which I use the most.
The 45mm is nice when I’m cutting really bulky or heavy fashion fabrics, like denim.
Using a rotary blade isn’t scary – but they are sharp and they absolutely must be used on a cutting mat, and should always be closed or covered for safety when not in use.
Dafa Replacement Blades
The Dafa blades are a cheaper alternative to the Olfa blades. By cutting both my paper and fabric patterns with the same blade – I do find that I have to replace these fairly often.
Clover Silk Pins
Ahhhh! Sewing lingerie with dodgy pins is no fun! These fantastically sharp silk pins have a glass head so that they will not melt when pressed, and work so well with the delicate and lightweight fabrics that I often use.
I can’t say that I have many projects where I need an awl – mostly corsetry projects, but I do find it comes in handy to poke a variety of things. I will use it to line up paper patterns, or to puncture a hole in a paper pattern, and whatever else might need a sharp poke!
Since moving to the UK, tape has been a sticky issue. I’ve tried a few different cheap and cheerful brands of tape, and there’s nothing better than Scotch Tape. I’m constantly taping bits and pieces together, especially pattern pieces that are oversized – fitting on more than one sheet of paper. It’s an absolute must in my sewing kit.
These flexible plastic rulers are very handy when taking measurements of garments. Due to the flexible nature you can easily measure around an underwire, or a leg or arm opening with precision.
Many other students and lecturers have commented on my cute little pink pattern weights. I love them! They’re great for keeping patterns in place while I’m cutting fabric, or even keeping hold of fabric on the cutting surface.
Schmetz 75 Stretch Needles
These are the needles that I pretty much use for all of my lingerie sewing; it’s my version of a ‘universal’ needle. If I’m sewing something extremely delicate, I’ll switch to a Microtex in a smaller gauge, but the stretch 75’s are my daily-use needles based on the types of things I sew. I try to also buy my needles in larger quantities for better pricing, as they're an item you're always going to need and won't take up too much space.
It's a bit of a long list - but I hope that it gives you a sneak peek of some of the best tools of the trade. What's in your kit that you can't live without?
Educating women on the benefits of proper fitting bras is important to Kim. Designing lingerie that complements the fuller figure, and is comfortable, on-trend and beautifully constructed is her mission.
We are in charge of our bodies, and we make the decisions that are right for us, with no judgement. Kimtimates supports those who make their own choices about their own bodies. #yourbodyyourchoice #mybodymychoice