15 “non-sewing” Sewing Studio Must-haves

non sewing items

  1. Painter’s tape – I use this for lots of things! I put it on my machine as my quarter inch guide, I tape the backing down to my cutting table or the floor to keep it nice and flat while a spray baste with Sulky KK 2000™ Temporary Spray Adhesive for quilting and I put a little piece around the top of a needle like a flag and will write what kind of needle it is.
  2. Glue stick – My glue stick is probably my favorite non-sewing sewing supply! I use glue stick to hold my first piece of fabric when I am paper piecing, I turn my raw edges under with glue stick when I am doing real applique, I will glue stick the binding down especially at the corners so it will stay in place until I can stitch, and I have even used glue stick as a temporary hem in a skirt or pair of pants. Most glue sticks are acid-free, not too sticky and I haven’t had an issue with it gumming up my needle when sewing.
  3. Spit – How else do you separate fabric, thread a needle, or line up the edges of two fabrics perfectly?
  4. Vodka – Although it is often my drink of choice, when it comes to sewing, I am very specific about my vodka! It must be potato vodka and I use it to make my own starch. The best I have ever used, I might add! I learned this recipe from Edyta Sitar and here it is: 1 cup of Potato Vodka, 4 cups of water, 15 drops of organic lavender oil. Mix and put in a good spray bottle. Best starch I have ever used, and if you start to get frustrated with your sewing project, you can always take a swig!
  5. Stubby – Stubby is what I have named my little screwdriver! I hate the little “tool” that came with my machine, I must use stubby instead. He is just the right size and he doesn’t slip when I am trying to change a foot or throat plate. I have a flathead stubby, but I am on the hunt for a Philips head too.
  6. IPod/iPhone dock – I like to listen to music when I am sewing so when I walk into my studio, the first thing I do is put my phone into the docking station, put on my Pandora station of choice and get to work.
  7. Q-tips – Or as I call them, the Solvy releasers! Whether I a used a piece of Solvy as a topper on a towel, to free-motion quilt or used Paper-Solvy for paper piecing, dipping a Q-tip in water and running it along the stitch line is usually all I need to easily  lift the excess out without pulling on my brand new stitching!
  8. Small baby food jar with lid – besides being the perfect size, having a spill-proof lid and the fact that I love to upcycle things, little baby food jars are cute! I use mine for water to dip the above talked about Q-tip in or to hold liquid starch when preparing applique pieces.
  9. Paint brush – a cheap child’s paintbrush is the best tool I and found for cleaning the lint out of my machine, especially around the bobbin.
  10. Canned air – The most common use of canned air is to spray the lint out of your machine (Be sure to spray away from the inner-workings though, you wouldn’t want to push that lint even further into a place where it doesn’t belong). When used along with my little paint brush, you can get a good cleaning in very short order. I also use my trusty can of air to clean my computer keyboard (this may be the actual reason canned air was invented), clean the little bits of fiber stuck in my cutting mat and my design wall. Truth be told, I am not a clean freak but when I do catch the bug to clean, I need tools that make it quick. That cleaning bug never lasts very long for me.
  11. Post card – I mostly use this for paper piecing to fold back the paper cleanly in order to cut off the extra fabric. I have yet to find a better tool than a nice thick post card.
  12. Double-sided tape – I put this on the back of my rulers so they stay in place while I am cutting
  13. White Foam Core – Most often I am using it as the background for a picture I am taking but it also comes in handy when I am doing color matching. Nothing shows the truest colors of fabrics and threads than a nice white background and a full spectrum light
  14. Small Sticky Notes – I can’t live without my sticky notes! I use them to label a set of strips, to mark which side I need to sew first; as a marker for my place in a pattern; or I will grab a small stack of them and stick them on my machine as a seam guide for fabric.
  15. Fuzzy Socks – I just can’t seem to sew with shoes on but my sewing studio is in the basement of my house, which can get a little chilly, even in the summer. My orange fuzzy socks are the perfect solution.

What are your non-sewing sewing must haves?

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  • Becky (central Or.)

    To your list I would add audio book player, non spill water bottle, timer with alarm( not that I ever lose track of time you understand)

  • TerryBB

    I like the fuzzy socks idea not for warmth but the might just catch the thread and other little things that find their way onto my floor. Thank you for your list

  • Vickie

    You didn’t mention that spit is the only thing to use to get the drop of blood off your fabric after you’ve pricked yourself!

  • Two Sisters and a Quilt

    I used the little wooden sticks made for pushing back nail cuticles for guiding seams under the presser foot, for opening seams to press them open and as a mini pressing stick when I paper piece. They are inexpensive and if you hit one while you are sewing you will not break your needle.

  • Suzanne Beech

    I agree with the music…..soothes the savage sewer! But you didn’t say what brand of spit you buy. Would it be the domestic brand. … or its there another? Do they really package it? HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

  • Elsie Bulva

    Love your ideas and many I use already. Will definitely try the starch recipe as I try and starch everything. Fabrics are match easier to work with and the corners match up better making everything more accurate- time consuming but worth it. Need a cup holder in sewing room so as not to spill coffee or vodka??? on fabrics

  • Whiskers

    I would suggest an Ott light. I have the corkscrew bulb in my swinging arm lamp, and I have to giggle sometimes. Someone needs to take a picture of me with the lamp (like the one on the Pixar movies), the sewing machine and me–all with our heads together concentrating on a project (we’re all near-sighted!). I’ve used other light bulbs, but the Ott light is the most pleasant for my eyes.

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