Whether you are still new to sewing and dressmaking or have been building up your handmade wardrobe for a while now, it’s always fun to learn about new tools and gadgets that can make life a bit easier!
In the shop we stock over 300 haberdashery tools and notions so once every so often the g&g team get together to review and test out some of the products we sell. It’s really good fun as it helps the staff know more about the things we sell and it means we can share our newly found tips and tricks with you too!
In this post I’m featuring the Needle Fairy, magnetic seam gauge, cartridge pencil, aluminium seam gauge and the elastic and tape threader.
Check out my latest Youtube video to see them in action!
Also known as the needle wizard this little tool threads your hand sewing needles for you! It comes on a little stand which has a spindle for a reel of thread to sit. Simply put your hand sewing needle into the needle supporter (it works on any needle 0.5mm to 0.9mm thick) and thread reel on the spindle.
Use your thumb and index finger to hold the thread over the little groove and press the white lever down with the other hand. A very small spoke pushes the thread through the eye of the needle, leaving a little loop that you can pull on to thread the needle - magic! place the the thread through the groove. Press the little while lever down and inside a very small spring pokes through the eye of the needle and pushes the thread through as well to thread the needle - magic!
It also has a little blade at the back of the red stand for cutting your thread too!
Keeping an accurate and consistent seam allowance when sewing seams is crucial, especially for dressmaking projects. This magnetic seam gauge will stick onto the metal plate of your machine where you can position it wherever you need too, for whatever seam allowance your pattern includes. It acts as an easy visual aid for lining up the raw edge of your fabric. We use these all the time in the sewing workshop they teach and beginners especially love them!
We used to include the plastic version of this in the tool boxes for students attending our workshop and truth be told, the used to get melted and deformed a lot from the iron! This new aluminium version is much better as it can withstand the heat and steam and firmly holds it shape. The mm/cm markings go up to 5cm and there are common distances you might want to measure or mark for seam allowances or hems. You can use it alongside a chalk pencil or simply use it to measure when you are pressing a hem.
This pencil is great for marking precise lines and pattern symbols onto your fabric. It works like a traditional cartridge pencil where you just click the top to get more of the lead to come out. This Prym Love version comes with 2 white leads and you can buy replacement cartridges in white, pink and grey. The rubber at the end will remove the markings, just always check on a scrap piece first as the friction of that might fluff up the fabric.
If you’ve ever found the safety pin method of feeding elastic through a bit frustrating (i’ve had them open up, break, bend and all sorts!) then these threaders will make it much easier! They come in a pack of three and can take elastic 6mm, 12mm and 18mm wide. Thread the elastic though the serrated slots and then use the rounded tip to feed the elastic (or cord) through the channel and reduce the chance of the elastic twisting.