Hey y’all – today I’m sharing some of my favorite sewing notions. For years I was resistant to getting extra gadgets to help with my sewing – I didn’t even own a seam ripper, but used scissors or a razor blade. And while you certainly don’t NEED any of these (a safety pin will replace the functions of two of these) they are nice to have. Just like a seam ripper works better than a razor, these are designed for specific sewing tasks and do each of them easier and faster than the basic multipurpose tools.
So I made a video of how to use each of these, which you can watch below or on YouTube here.
You can buy these notions using the links below. Note: these are affiliate links, so I get a small percentage of any sales made through them at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of this site by using them!
The first tool is this Simflex Gauge. This is used to easily space buttons, buttonholes, pleats, etc without math! You just pull on the ends of the gauge to length and then mark at the points. Super easy!
While a safety pin can be used to turn a tube right side out, this quick turn tube turner does it even faster. You put the plastic tube inside the wrong side out fabric tube, then use the wood dowel to push the end of the turn inside the plastic tube and out comes a right side out strap!
The Curve Runner tool above was gifted to me when it was in prototype form. It’s handy to measure curved seams (think necklines when you’re trying to determine neckband length) – you just run the wheel along the curve. I have the 8 inch version, but there is also a 12 inch version that you can get.
The tool below is called a bodkin. While a safety pin can be used to pull elastic, drawstrings, etc through a casing, the bodkin is easier in my opinion. It clamps on and has a longer piece to hold onto than a safety pin does. Also, if the elastic escapes in the casing, you can unclamp and re-clamp within the casing without having to pull all the elastic back out. That’s almost impossible to do with a safety pin.
Finally there’s the bias tape tip. This is used to fold bias tape or quilt binding as you iron it. You can also see how I use it and make my bias tape in this post.
I hope at least one of these notions makes it into your sewing room!
Thank you so much for sharing these. Love the gauge and have had, what l now know is, a bodkin floating around for years and had no idea what it was for or how to use it.
OMG these are so handy! I’ve never seen a few of these tools and thought I was “experienced” lol. Thank you so much for sharing. I’ll be buying a few of these for myself this Christmas.
The method you use to make bias tape is FANTASTIC! AND i will be getting a few of these tools asap
Great tips! I’ve never seen several of these and will be ordering a couple of them. Thanks for sharing!
I have most of these…I’ve been longing for the simflex for YEARS! I need to just buy it. I’ve loved the bodkin since I first used it to make a scrunchies when I was 10 years old in a learn to sew class!!!
I have four or five bias tape makers and I love them. I don’t pull them out often, but when I need them, they make the process possible. No more burned finger tips, and it is so quick and accurate that the end result really looks professional. I’ve heard about the button gauge and other tools; maybe I’ll treat myself to those, now that I have a room dedicated to sewing.
The only one I have is the tube turner – and in several sizes – it is incredible! I have never seen the other notions — but I’m thinking they’re going on my list! Thank you!
I have a tube turner but this one is much better. I also have a bodkin. I certainly will be getting the others. Thank you!
Thank you for sharing. I am a beginer and those tools are awesome.
Well, now I know how to use a bodkin correctly! I bought a set of tools that included 2 of these, but I had no idea what they were called or how to use them. By the way, a bodkin is also very useful for lacing up a corset type closing that has rather small holes. That’s the only thing I’ve used mine for so far, but this is about to change now that I’ve seen your video!
Never seen the first three, but really like the idea of the tube and dowel to turn small pieces of tube inside out! I always wanted to get a bodkin and a few of the bias tape makers but didn’t because I figured what I had was already working!! I believe I will be buying most of these notions to make my sewing much easier and faster!! Thank you so much for the quick intro to these products! Greatly appreciated!
I’ve never heard of a Simplex gauge or curve runner. My bodkin and bias tape tools are quite handy. I made a tube turner out of a chopstick and pen barrel LOL. I didn’t know you could buy them :).
This is great! I’ve been sewing for over 30 years but not taken many lessons, and always figured these things out myself. What time-savers. All clever but the bias tape gadget would have saved me the most hassle over time. On the list!