Sewing tools

What’s in my Sewing Kit? My Favourite Sewing Tools & Gadgets

Sewing tools

I’ve been thinking of doing a little ‘What’s in my Sewing Kit’ series for a while. Given that I’ve got something of a reputation over on Instagram as ‘Inspector Gadget Smith’ (because I regularly post whatever the latest thing to make me go “Squeeee!” is), I thought I’d kick off with my favourite sewing gadgets. Some may be obvious, others perhaps less so but, happily, most are fairly inexpensive (I’m not covering sewing machine feet here as my favourite feet deserve a post all of their own!)

Now, don’t get me wrong, these gadgets are not necessarily the essential basic ‘must haves’ in your kit or mine; I’m not talking seam rippers here! They are however my absolute favourite tools that I routinely reach for and thank my lucky stars I possess; I would shed real tears if you were to wrestle them out of my hands and run off with them! (So, y’know, don’t) haha!

In no particular order:-

Clover Hot Hemmer

Favourite sewing tools

I owe Clueless Leigh major thanks for this one, as she mentioned it in one of her Vlogs; a basic concept, simply fold your fabric to your desired marking and press for perfectly even hems/seam allowances. I use it constantly. I think I got mine from Amazon and probably paid over the odds for it. I don’t care, it’s worth every penny.

Clover Fork Pins


For matching seams these little fork Pins can’t be beat! I leave them in place as I sew, slowly, by turning the hand wheel. They come in a little plastic treasure chest type box, which I mention because these little fork pins are my kind of treasure! Again, I think these were an Amazon purchase.

Hemline Bobbin Match Mates


These things are genius! Genius I tell you!! Keep your bobbin threads together with your main spool (they hold up to two bobbins). Your spool and bobbin thread ends wrap neatly together to stop them becoming a jumbled mess. I got mine from Minerva here.

A Bit of Folded Card

Favourite sewing tools

Yeah don’t adjust your glasses; I’m serious. I use this all the time! In case you’re wondering, I slide it under the back of my sewing machine foot to level the foot out when negotiating thick seams etc. I’ve had this particular bit of folded cardboard for over a year!

Hemline Sewing / Quilting Measuring Gauge

What's in my sewing kit

A nifty double-sided little tool which has 14 different measurements on front and back (from 1/8″ to 1 3/4″). I think it’s fair to say mine has seen better days, having nearly come to a sticky end under the iron! This is just brilliant for marking out your stitching lines prior to sewing something where accuracy is key, like the shirt collar here. I really ought to order another but I’m curiously attached to its wonkiness!

Masking Tape

Beginners sewing kit

Oh slightly sticky paper how I love thee. Great for marking the right side / wrong side as well as numbering your pieces; marking stitching lines and as a guideline on your sewing machine. It peels off easily leaving little to no residue. I loves it!

Wrist Pincushion

What's in my sewing kit

Oh there are flashier sexier wrist pincushions out there but this little sunflower is priceless. It was bought for me by my then 5 yr old daughter out of her own piggy bank pocket money. It makes me smile every time I use it. Using it has also meant the percentage rate at which I hold pins in between my teeth and, therefore, the rate at which I routinely stab myself in the mouth, has dropped significantly!

Clover Wonder Clips

What's in my sewing kit tools gadgetssewing tools gadgets kit

I say Clover, but I’m sure there are loads of generic brands out there. These little clamps are so quick and easy to use; they don’t leave pin holes and are supposedly designed so you can sew past them…although I haven’t tried that last bit so don’t take my word for it!

Simflex ‘Buttonhole’ Gauge

What's in my sewing kit

Not an accurate depiction of how you’d use this thing admittedly but y’know artistic license an’ all that! I haven’t used this a great deal to be fair but I can see it’s going to be seriously priceless when I come to sewing up some summer shirtdresses* soon. Great for evenly marking out pleats or anything else for that matter too. I got mine from Jaycotts; they have a tendency to get them in and then they sell out for a while before restocking.

Makeup Brush

What's in my sewing kit

No, not for re-powdering my nose when things go wrong and I get all hot and bothered; if you’re anything like me a brush barely meets my hair on sewing days never mind putting makeup on haha! But repurposing a brush from from your makeup kit is a good idea if you haven’t already. Thorough yet gentle when used for cleaning out the fabric dust from your overlocker or sewing machine and so much better than the itty bitty thing your machine probably came with. It tells you something about my priorities when I can say my overlocker is kept cleaner than my oven haha *feelsguiltyandrunstocleanoven*

Bias Binder Makers

Sewing gadgets

I love my little rainbow of binders and they work brilliantly; the set came in sizes 6, 12, 18 and 25 mm. I love making my own bias strips from left over fabric pieces. I tend to buy block colour bias but if I want something a bit more individual or particular, I make my own. I can’t remember where I got my little bias making kit from but a quick Google search reveals you can get them practically anywhere!


What's in my sewing kit

Great for when threading your overlocker or for pulling your threads out from under your sewing machine foot as well as a multitude of other little fiddly jobs. Especially good for pulling out nests of thread that have got tangled up in the feed dogs. Ask me how I know.

Chaco Chalk Liner

What's in my sewing kit

Does ‘exactly what it says on the tin’. The chalk is dispersed over the super fine drawing wheel so you can achieve sharp lines; great for marking darts etc. Comes in lots of colours and is refillable.

Any here you have or want? What’s your favourite tool(s),  I’d love to know…

Until next time,

Sew Sarah smith


Instagram *an exciting announcement will be made soon*


26 thoughts on “What’s in my Sewing Kit? My Favourite Sewing Tools & Gadgets”

  1. Oh goodness, most of those are on my list (along with various pressing tools). I have recently purchased three of those little sewing gauges (gifted 2 kept 1) and it is my favorite sewing goodie! I use it constantly. What a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh I just check out the Merchants & Mills threaded and the trick marker, thanks! I had no idea the Jean-a-majig thing existed before yesterday!! (By the way, I find it hard to comment on your posts, I don’t know what I’m doing wrong!?!) xx


  3. You’ve some amazing tools in your sewing kit. Some of them are in mine as well (like the Clover wonder clips and chalk). My sewing machine came with a jean-a-ma-jig, but I use sometimes a small credit for less thicker materials. I love my Prymm trick marker and I use a geo triangle as a measuring guide. Last but not least I love my Merchant&Mills pins and Needle threader.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Whaaaaat, that sounds magnificent!! I’ve just fine a quick online search and all I can find is the seam magnet that attaches to your threat plate (I’ve got one of those too!) what other search term could I use? Who makes them? I’m so intrigued!! 😂😉


  5. I laughed reading your blog because I have every single one of the things you mention (and more of course like you!) and I couldn’t agree more…some of these things are indespensible. I have another for you that you would LOVE 🙂 (I don’t have any reason at all to promote this item other than I think it’s ingenius – it’s called the Seam Allowance Guide and the package comes with 2 small buttons that are magetized on one end that you attach to your scissors while cutting out a pattern that doesn’t have a seam allowance included OR you want a larger seam allowance cut for fit insurance. I use these little things ALL the time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The hot hemmer is genius– I must have one! I love wonder clips, the Chaco liner and my bias tape makers too. I’d say my favourite sewing gadget is my Omnigrid quilting ruler (6″x24″)– I end up using it all the time when cutting out fabric.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lol I have WAY too many threads to match bobbins permanently to them [and I have THREE bobbin boxes.] I would replace your wonky measuring gauge though, how can you measure when it’s all bent out of shape? hmmm? I would add the absolutely totally indispensible Clover desktop needle threader. I could not survive without mine!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this post by our own dear Inspector Gadget Smith. How sensible is your Pixie Princess buying a wrist pincushion and preventing you from swallowing your best glass headed pins!…where does she get it from? I´m inspired and have just started a new wish list, I can see the button gauge being so useful this spring. Right now? I´m off to find a piece of old cardboard. Thank you. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ok so just added the hot hemmer and bobbin match mates to my list of i need these so much right now. My jaw dropped at the picture of the bobbin match mate, so you can imagine what a state my threads are in at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

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