How do you know what is a wise sewing investment and what will be a waste of money? Trial and error. Don’t even talk to me about marking pencils or loop turners. But there are some items I am grateful for every single time I use them, and they’ve improved my sewing. They may not have been cheap, but they’ve been worth every penny. Here are my top three!
When I bought a piece of wood for the best part of £30, I wondered if I’d finally lost my marbles. Now, I use this on a weekly basis and quietly send a prayer of thanks to the Sewing Gods. This makes such a difference on pressing open seams, finishing and turning ties or other tube items, turning up hems… You name it. Pressing fabric isn’t just about applying an iron. It’s the science of steam, and this baby will turn you from a fresher to a graduated doctor of sewing. Nurse, pass me my clapper!
I could have winced when I ordered this baby. Scratch that, I did wince. Over £30 for a sewing machine foot? Are you insane? As it turned out, no. This baby really does make the difference between Will Do to Can’t Beat when it comes to inserting an invisible zip. It also saves you a lot of swearing. It’s one of my most oft-used and oft-thanked items. Worth every penny that no longer goes into the swear box.
Once upon a time, I used cardboard as my interfacing. Joking – just. Then I discovered that there was a whole range of interfacing that was of an altogether different standard. True, it was more expensive than some of the fabrics I bought on Walthamstow market, but it meant I no longer had collars that stuck out like saucers, or button bands that creaked when I moved. It also meant my interfacing wouldn’t disintegrate the first time it went through the washing machine.
In fact, once you discover the range of interfacings out there, it’s easy to become a bit obsessed. If you want a full run down, I suggest a visit to MacCulloch & Wallis. (Though am I the only person whose heart sinks at their new premises? So clinical, so modern, so lacking in personality. Where’s the visiting parrot and the ancient lino? I miss those things! I know, I know, progress, rent rises and new train lines. Still…)
These are the three items that immediately leapt out at me. Do you have any recommendations for sewing items that might be a bit pricey but are really great investments?