Informational, sewing 101, tutorial

sewing notions

I just thought it would be fun today to do a little round up of sewing notions.  And before I get too far, this isn’t a complete list or a review of anything, just more of a casual type thing I thought might be fun to talk about.  And I’d love to hear any interesting tips or tricks you’ve picked up along the way.  I love hearing things like “my grandma taught me how to use ___ and it works really great”.  I had posted about the Zipper Ease product on Instagram the other day and there were a bunch of you that told me other tricks to use on sticky zippers.  How awesome is that?

Might as well start off with this product called Zipper-Ease.  I was excited that it’s made in Michigan.  It’s to help zippers that are sticky.  I find that sometimes certain brands of zippers are stickier than others.  I’ve used it on a few zippers just to try it and I think it’ll be really great when that perfect color zipper I need just needs a little help.

Sewline Glue Pen.  I just found this in my drawer of goodies.  I think I had purchased it when I was doing more paper piecing.  I’d love to know what you use it for.  Seems like a really great product.

Marking Tools. [Clockwise from top] My Hera Marker gets used fairly infrequently because I don’t do a ton of quilting.  I’ve used it a lot recently with my Cargo Duffles.  It’s great because it just leaves a crease for you to sew on.  Nothing to wipe of afterwards and for me it’s pretty easy to see where the marking is.  Next up is Clover Tailors Chalk, this one is new to me.  I’ve needed a light colored marking tool for a long time now and I think it’ll be perfect.  I purchased a Sewline Styla water soluble pen a few months ago.  I like the smaller point and how smooth it rolls.  I don’t think the color is quite dark enough sometimes, but other than that it’s been working great.  Last up for my marking tools is my Mark-B-Gone.  This one is my favorite.  It has lasted forever (I think 2 or 3 years?) and I use it almost every time I sew.  It’s felt tip is pretty wide after a lot of use, but it’s quick and leave a nice line.

Clover Fork Pins.  I just picked these up, too!  I’ve been curious about them for quite a while.  Perfect for quilting and patchwork or when you need to line up seams with a great deal of accuracy.  Hoping to give these a try more in the coming months.

Workhorses.  Yep, these ones really do their duty.  [From Top] My hem gauge gets toted along everywhere.  It’s a great little size for anywhere. I suppose it’s mainly for measuring hems, but useful for any kind of measuring.  There’s a little slider that you can use to make it easier to know where you need to measure.  Handy and cheap,  it’s one of my faves. Next is my bent and well loved chop stick.  This thing gets put through the ringer.  I use it for turning projects, it’s really great for pouches and poking out zipper ends.  I’ve also used it for random craft projects, such as mixing up glue.  Great,  huh?  🙂  My favorite scissors are these little Olfa snips I had gotten in the goodie bag at Sewing Summit.  They’re a great size and perfectly sharp!  These are one of the scissors in my house that is definitely off limits to everyone but me.  I’m greedy like that.  Oh, and I can’t ever seem to find them at any local stores.  If you know where to find them online leave a comment below! Lastly is a new seam ripper, again by Clover.  I actually love the one that came with my sewing machine, but a good seam ripper seems kind of hard to find.  I had a white Clover seam ripper but found it to be too dull, maybe I got a reject.  Anyway, I wasn’t terribly sad when I left it behind at a sewing meet up.  I’m hoping this brown one makes a good back up.  

Last up are my notions that hold things.  I couldn’t be without my Clover Wonder Clips.  They’re great for holding many thick layers together as well as being awesome when it comes to binding a quilt.  They’re pricey, but I think the value for outweighs the cost.  I also had my husband pick up some gigantic washers a while back.  I’ve been intending to make pattern weights like Jess did, but haven’t gotten around to it.  I just use them as is to weigh things down.  I also found that these make a really great marking tool to trace around for pocket corners.

Anyway, some of these are new to me and some I’ve used a long time.  I know there are lots and lots of other sewing goodies  out there, and I’m sure I forgot to include some of the ones I use.  I’d love to hear anything you love or don’t love about your notions, these notions, some other persons notions.  I’ve got a notion.  You know, spill it, I want to hear it!

Happy Friday!!!!

37 thoughts on “sewing notions

  1. I love my sewline glue pen. I do a lot of EPP and I’ve started basting with it. I also use to to stick down applique and hold zippers in place.

  2. Ooooh, love those fork pins. I’ll have to pick some of those up. My favorite scissors are my little Gingher snips. I love how they fit in my hand and they’re so sharp.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I bought my mom a seam ripper for Christmas that has a rubbery grip thing on the end of the handle for swiping away all the little bits of thread that get everywhere when you’re taking out a seam. It has a nice big handle for comfort, too. I forget the brand but I got it at a local quilt store.

  4. Svetlana says:

    I have that same clover seam ripper and it’s amazing. It works so much better than tons of other seam rippers I’ve already tried.

  5. knottygnome says:

    i really love clover gold eye needles. I’ve broken quite a few needles of other brands and these hold up nicely. i especially like the ones for hand-quilting.

  6. Lori says:

    You need to try Pilot FriXion ball erasable gel pens. They are amazing – a wonderful crisp thin line, that disappears like magic when you hit it with the iron. I used to use the mark-b-gone but was always frustrated at how thick the marker was and having to wait around for it to “disappear” if I made a mistake. Haven’t touched those markers since I got the Pilot pens, they are amazing!!

    1. Patti says:

      Lori, where did you get this pen? I’m interested!
      Thanks for the tip!

    2. Anonymous says:

      I love those pen’s also. I have them in 3 different colors I like them so much! I buy them at my local quilt shop. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen them anywhere else, i.e, Joann’s etc.

    3. melonkelli says:

      You can get them at the office supply stores: Staples, Office Depot, etc.

    4. elbarnes says:

      I bought mine in a 3-pack at Staples (black, red, blue). Between those three colors, they show up on most things and disappear with the iron — I use them to mark measurements, arrows for lining up, etc. The ink goes on smoothly, much better than the marking pencils I’ve used.

  7. DKB says:

    i use the sewline glue pen for my EPP hexies- quicker than basting I think. I also recently bought the FriXion erasable pen at staples, but havent tried it yet.

  8. I have to get some of those fork pins. Those are great!

  9. Katy Cameron says:

    I love the sewline pencils, and Frixion pens for marking

  10. wenhkc says:

    I love practically any Clover sewing notion, but especially the marking pencils. My cat loves being my pattern weight, but sometimes that doesn’t work out so well…

  11. I use glue (although I just use my kids’ left over glue sticks from school) to glue in zippers before I top stitch them in place. Works really well and keeps them better aligned with the fabric that pins do – and then washes right out. 🙂

  12. Love those wonder clips! And I agree that following a crease is great for quilting and the cleanup time (zero) can’t be beat!

  13. Tamie says:

    Beware of the Frixion pen. The ink will reappear if it gets cold again. This isn’t a problem where I live- the deep south- but I’ve heard stories of the line reappearing up north with quilts left in a car or even being shipped to a show. I love Bohn marking pencil. It is a mechanical pencil and different color leads are available. I use the white a lot.

  14. Marta S. says:

    Holy. Fork pin. Revelation. THANK YOU 🙂

  15. Patti says:

    I’ve been using the Frixion pen for awhile now and haven’t had any trouble but haven’t really frozen anything either! I will mention that I also use it to mark a printed pattern (knit and crochet especially) . I check off rows or sections as I complete them and then when all is finished I tap the paper lightly with my iron and I’m ready to make the project again.

  16. Marsha L says:

    I love my Hera marker. In addition to using it to mark lines to sew on, it’s great to mark and crease lines that you want to fold over — like on applique or any edge that needs turning. It makes the turning so much easier. I also wouldn’t be without a stiletto to help hold and guide things through the sewing machine. My favorite stiletto is a porcupine quill.

  17. Don’t use that glue pen for holding paper to fabric. We use plain old glue sticks, grammar school style, for paper piecing projects such as Judy Niemeyer quilts. The pink glue pens are great instead of pinning lots of things, like zippers and pillowcases. Every day I find a new sewing use for my glue pen, but don’t use it with paper piecing. It’s just too permanent.

  18. Whit says:

    I use the sew line glue pen for hemming knit fabrics 🙂

  19. I couldn’t live without my “Kwik Klip”. It for pin basting quilts. It’s made right here in CA. Seam rippers get dull just like rotary cutters. They need to be replaced about once a year! My seam ripper and I are best friends!

  20. I love my gadgets and one of my favorites are Pin Moors. Love not getting stuck with pins when sewing or quilting and they’re great on the end of my seam ripper and sewing needle.

  21. I just got one of those glue pens. I used it today to put a back pocket onto some jeans. I couldn’t use pins because the fabric was too thick. The glue pen was awesome! I stuck the SAs to the pocket than stuck the pocket in place! My new favourite tool!

  22. Charo says:

    Pilot Frixion erasable pen is great! I’ve been using it for two years and I didn’t have any problem, but it’s quite hot here (Spain).

  23. Very Shannon says:

    Oh my gosh I need those Clover Fork Pins!!!!!!! Must try those!

  24. Love the washers (I use several pairs of scissors to weight patterns and full cups of coffee – that has ended very badly, let me tell you) and I’m going to get some of those Clover fork pins too. Very cool.

  25. bobbingirl says:

    I totally agree about Wonder Clips, you wouldn’t think a little clip could be so useful and strong ! They are by far my most couldn’t do without notion !

  26. Most of your notions are the same ones I use, and share with beginner quiltmakers when I’m teaching. The only item I’d add to your list, as a must-have, is a white Chalk-o-liner. It nicely leaves a very fine chalk line on dark fabrics. I would steer clear of yellow, blue, and pink Chalk-o-liners though. If those colors aren’t thoroughly brushed out, and the piece is washed, the color can set in places.

  27. Martha says:

    Oh I still haven’t tried the hera marker and those fork pins. But I been curious about them. Thank you for sharing.

  28. Farm Quilter says:

    I think you can find your scissors here: http://www.zorotools.com/g/Scissors/00124988/

    Be careful with the Frixion pens – they leave a ghost line that will return if the quilt gets cold. Even if you can’t see the color, you can see the ghost line so I would not recommend it to be used to mark quilting lines.

    I like MarkBeGon air erasable pens – very thin line that just disappears – really works for me for marking on customers’ quilts when they may not have prewashed their fabric. I also really like long, blunt tweezers for frogging quilting – easy to get under the stitches without hurting the fabric. I could not live without my self-threading needles for burying knots when I tie off my quilting threads.

    Great post – thanks for getting a great conversation going.

  29. Becky says:

    I got some Dritz extra fine glass head pins recently. I sometimes find my regular sewing pins do leave a little hole/mark in some fabrics. Plus, the glass heads do not melt under the iron so that’s great too. 1/4inch double-sided, water-soluble t ape is another great helper to make fabric behave. I recently used it to attach piping before sewing it and did not have to use pins.

  30. Amazon sells the box of Wonder Clips for a great price—it’s where I got mine!

  31. GrandmaJim says:

    My favorite scissors for all uses are Karen Kay Buckley’s micro serrated edge scissors. The finger holes are also big enough to comfortably fit my chubby fingers!

  32. Wonder tape is my savior when putting in Zippers!

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