10 of our least used sewing tools

Hi there, sewing friends!

Recently we posted about our most oft-used sewing tools. Today let’s talk about the purchases that seemed so exciting when we bought them but then have rarely or never been used. 


Sandra's list of (mostly) abandoned sewing room bits:

  1. Elastic guides: If your elastic is about the same width as your casing, they're absolutely useless. Even if you can manage to shove the elastic in the guide, and the guide fits in your garment, nothing beats a pair of good safety pins.
  2. Cheap fabric clips: Fabric clips are great, especially for sewing thick layers or material that can't be pinned. But I bought a super cheap assortment last year, and found that most of them can't hold anything together! Maybe I got a dud batch, but I'm not spending money to try it again. A deal that seems too good to be true probably is. 
  3. Snap and eyelet setters: Useful if you set snaps and sew clothing that needs lacing! But I obviously don't, because they just sit sadly in the drawer.
  4. Cute sewing basket: Ah, the sewing basket. Super cute, but so tiny. I always needed more space for sewing tools, yet I could never find anything in the tiny crevasse under the tray. I keep my sewing supplies organized in several small drawers, and pack a separate take-along bag with just the essentials if I need to sew away from home. 
  5. Conductive thread: This one is super specialized, so it's not surprising that I never use it anymore. Wearables are awesome, but they take a lot of planning, and apart from one small project which now collects dust on a shelf, I've kept tech and textiles separate.

Ping's list of abandoned sewing room bobs:

  1. Elastic thread: I think I bought this wanting to try smocking fabric. For some reason I never figured out the whole tension issue and ended up with an extremely over-sized, not-very-well smocked dress and never tried it again.
  2. Bias tape from Joann's: It's just so.. crunchy. Also once I figured out how to make my own, I've just grown accustomed to having bias tape that matches whatever I'm making.
  3. Fabric strip maker thing: What are these even?? I bought them for $0.50 at a rummage sale because I thought they were for making bias tape, and after the striped monstrosity I made last year, I figured that was a thing I should own. Upon further investigation (re: actually looking at the drawing on the back of the package), I realized it's for making strips of fabric to braid together? Someone please explain. 
  4. Curved embroidery tool thing: I remember being so excited when this was included with my sewing machine. But then a year went by and I realized I'd never touched it. I think I like the idea of machine embroidery but never really use it, so the idea of embroidering in a circle is just even more obscure and useless to me.
  5. Curved rulers: Ok, to be fair, I have used the tiny one in the middle. In my flat pattern class that one was super helpful for drawing curves on half and quarter scale patterns. In real life, though, not so much. The curves are just not the right size for body parts. And the whole set included like 5 of these in various shapes. I much prefer the design curve I mentioned in the other post

    What's gathering dust in your sewing room? And what's keeping you from getting rid of it?