What Are Sewing Notions?- Comprehensive Answers From Experts

What are sewing notions? This is one question that every novice tailor or seamstress encounters. But anyone with any level of experience with sewing knows what they are.

It is common knowledge that apart from the sewing machine and the fabric being sewn, there are other accessories that make the dress come out well. There are also tools that enable the sewer bring out a fabric as a complete apparel. No clothing will be complete without notions. It is not possible for an apparel to have that professional designer touch without the use of notions in the sewing process.

what are sewing notions?
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We will therefore look at the definitions of what sewing notions are and go ahead to specifically look at what constitutes the sewing notions we are looking at. By the time we are through with this article, we expect the answer to this topical question to be at your fingertips.

Let’s first begin with the answering the question, “what are sewing notions?’.

Defining Sewing Notions

When we talk of sewing notions, we are generally referring to those small tools used in the course of rounding off the sewing process. Accessories used in embellishing or designing the material being sewn are also known as sewing notions.

Sewing notions are in different categories ranging from the basic supplies like the pins, needles and threads. Some sewing notions are mainly for decoration of the sewn fabric hence they are used at the finishing stage or last lap of the sewing project.

There are also other categories of sewing notions which fall under tools for various purposes such as measuring, marking, cutting and pressing. Notions are basically grouped into four categories according to their functions although they are generally categorized as embellishments and helps.

We shall now consider the sewing notions categorized as sewing tools. These are cutting tools, measuring tools, marking tools and pressing tools.

Cutting Tools

In the course of sewing, you must have need to either cut some fabric sheets, or snipe wayward threads of severe rough fabric ends. To have any of these acts accomplished, you require the assistance of certain sharp tools. Such tools have various shapes, styles and sizes. The particular tool you will require depends on what you want to achieve. We shall now consider some of these cutting tools:-

Scissors -A scissors is a multipurpose tool that has two sharp blades. It is operated by grasping the two openings in the handle of the scissors which comes as a pair.

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Shears – Shears is a tool that looks like the scissors. The major differences are that the two shears handles are not of the same size so they don’t take the same number of fingers on each side. They are also customized for particular types of fabric materials and function.

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Thread Clipper– A thread clipper is a tool normally used in removing or severing extra thread by pinching or snipping it. It usually comes with two blades with a hole where the thumb is inserted.

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Pinking Shears – Pinking shears is a kind of scissors having blade with a V shaped indention like a saw with teeth pointing to the apex of the tool. They are used in making a zig-zag cut in fabrics to prevent the fabric material from ruffling.

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Embroidery Scissors– This is a small pair of scissors that has two finger handles with circular shape and edges that are pointed towards the scissors’ blades.

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Seam Ripper- A seam ripper is a long lean tool with a pronged end used in ripping stitches. It is usually held with one hand.

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Rotary Cutter with the Mat- A Rotary cutter is a piercingly sharp flat circular disk which has a handle attached to it.  It has a fabric as well as a mat for cutting consecutive lines in clothing materials.

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Marking Tools

Marking tools are special sewing tools that help you identify where you want to sew, cut or retain as you sew your fabric. Because these tools are meant to be easily cleaned off or erased, their function is just to show you the point for any activity and are temporary.

Such action may range from where to place your button hole to the location of a pocket on your sewing pattern. These tools include the following:

Tailor’s Chalk -A tailor’s chalk is a chalk that can be erased by washing after use and is meant for marking fabric.

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Tracing Wheel – A tracing wheel has a V shaped blade with indention like a saw with teeth pointing towards the apex of the tool. This blade, which has a handle it is connected to, does the basic function of transferring the patterns already marked, to the fabric.

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Liquid Pen Marker – This marking pen uses ink which is easily washable hence you do your marking on the sewing material and wash off the marking later.

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Measuring Tools

The measuring tools are very vital in your sewing project. This is because you will need the actual point to do one stuff or the other as you sew. You must know at what point your fabric needs to be cut and when to fix a particular embellishment. Tools under this head enable you determine the exact measurement of the fabric you are sewing. These tools include:

Tape Measure– A tape measure is a slender, flexible measuring instrument with markings indicating measurement numbers on it.

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Sewing Gauge – A sewing gauge is a little ruler of 6 inches and has an attached marking device that is moveable.

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Ruler– A ruler is a measuring tool that comes with very strong strips of material marked with measurements.

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Pressing Tools

These tools are meant to assist you remove unwanted texture on the fabric you are sewing with the use of heat. The pressing tool helps you open the seam of the fabric or to work out the wrinkles from your fabric. Straight and well ironed fabrics give you accurate measurement of your sewing material.

Iron -This instrument for ironing is manufactured of steel material.  It is usually connected to an energy source which heats the electric element that collects and conducts heat. It is the transmitted heat on the surface of the iron that eliminates wrinkles and rumples on your fabric.The iron usually referred to as the pressing iron is a handheld tool having a flat bottom which is heated to the required degree. Its function is to remove wrinkles from the fabric.

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Ironing Board – An ironing board is a plane surface or board upon which your fabric is laid and the hot iron applied.  This board is designed and covered in such a manner as to protect it from heat damage.

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Pressing Cloth – A pressing cloth is clothing material piece which is placed on the pressing board where your sewn fabric is ironed. It is meant to protect your fabric from any mark or burn on your fabric. 

Seam Roll– A seam roll is a tool with a circular surface and enables you press the joint areas of your fabric material while doing your ironing.

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Tailor’s Ham – A tailor’s ham is a polygon shaped pillow which is used in ironing materials that are not plain but contoured and uneven.

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There are notions that can be categorized as embellishments. They perform specific functions as well as add aesthetics to your sewing design. This category of notions include:

Trims and Tapes

Trims are decorations or adornments on a fabric while tapes are long pieces of cloth or paper used in fabric sewing. They take care of the borders of the fabric you are sewing and make sure the fabric has neat and elegant finishing. They are manufactured in complementary decorative designs that add a lot of flair to the fabric you are sewing. Trims and tapes include:

Ric-rac – A ricrac is a narrow, flat and mostly zig-zagged ribbon used as braided trim for finishing the borders of a sewn fabric.

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Bias Tape -A bias tape is a piece of sewing material mostly used when adding trim in the course of sewing an apparel or clothing.

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Hem Tape– A hem tape is a tape material used in neatly folding over the edge of a fabric that is being sewn.   

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Elastic -Elastic is a fabric made of yarn which contains elastic material. It is sewn together with the sewn fabric and enables the gathered material stretch beyond what it would naturally do. It is used mainly in the waist region of the body for clothing requiring waistbands.

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Cording -This is a plain line of twisted or braided thread material that looks like piping thread. This one is just an added embellishment to the design of your sewn fabric.

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Ribbon-A ribbon is a narrow strip of covered twisted fabric used regularly both for decorations as well as other ceremonial activities.

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Fasteners and Closures

For any clothing that makes provision for a portion that opens and closes, a distinct accessory is required for that purpose. Fasteners and closures enhance the fitting of your sewing. Whether the sewn cloth is a dress,shirt, skirt or pair of trousers, you will need these accessories. In the category of fasteners and closures are the following:

Buttons -Buttons are small and flat circular plate-like disks that are sewn on a piece of sewn material. This will be inserted into little holes on a counterpart piece of the same sewn material. 

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Zippers-A zipper is another fastening tool that comes in double row of metal parts that are interlocking. It works like the foot chain of the train when on track as the double rows of metal parts that are interlocking come together forming a compact bond.

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Snaps -Snaps are metallic pieces usually affixed on two separate parts of a clothing material. They are firmly fastened to each other by pushing one button into the second one.

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D-hooks -A D-hook is a metal ring that is curved. It is used for holding or suspending other metal pieces.

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Swivel Hooks -A swivel hooks are metallic holders with a mechanism that enables opening and shutting in the same way a mini-lever works.

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Basic Sewing Tools

The sewing notions we are about considering now are basic to the completion of any sewing project even by a beginner in the sewing vocation. These sewing notion are a must for every sewer even while travelling.

Needle – A needle is a little slim, sharp piece of metallic object having a small opening at one end. This tool is used in pulling the thread through a sewn fabric.

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Thread– A thread is a fine, long, thin cord of twisted fibers such as cotton, silk or wool. It is used alongside the needle in stitching materials or garments together permanently.

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Pins -Pins are small and very sharp long and slender metallic objects with a small bulb-like head attached to the blunt side. The main function of the pin is to hold cut fabrics together pending when they will be permanently stitched together.

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Stabilizer -A Stabilizer is used when you are sewing with fabrics that are slippery and delicate. The spray stabilizer functions in a similar manner as the spray starch used in the process of ironing clothes. The stabilizer gives the fabric a stiff and papery texture when it is dry.  In this way, it is easy working with the fabric. You can easily wash out the stabilizer as soon as you are through with sewing the fabric.

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Safety Pins -Safety pins are very useful when you want to thread elastic cords through casings. As soon as you fix this pin on one side of the elastic, you can conveniently thread through it without it loosening.

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Collar Stays -These are little cuttings of either plastic or metal material usually inserted into the collar of sewn shirts to make the collars stand firm and sharp.

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Snap Pliers -A plastic snap is an essential tool for sewing personal cloth diapers. You will however need a special kind of plier to make them. This is where the snap plier becomes important.  Whether you are sewing for adults or children, the snap plier helps you make eyelets to pass a cord, hook or line.

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Pincushions– These are very small pillows made for the purpose of holding pins that would ordinarily be lying idle as you do you sewing. Such pins are stuck to the pincushion so that they don’t injure people due to improper storage.

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Thimbles -A thimble is a plastic or metallic sewing tool which is worn over one of the fingers to prevent injury in the course of stitching.  Its main function is to shield your fingertips from being pricked by the needle as you stitch through a thick fabric.

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Basic Statistics About Sewing Notions

Since notions encompass a vast array of items having distinctive categories, we cannot afford to box them all together. They come in different sizes, shapes, textures and colors.

Its true most of the accessories we have examined are manufactured by big factories and companies.  There should be no inhibitions in your attempting to craft some of these notions particularly the decorative accessories. One can take advantage of the many natural and artificial materials available to design notions of diverse kinds.

Conclusion

We have so far discussed what sewing notions are in details and seen the various types and categories of notions there. We can therefore take it for granted that the question of what sewing notions are has been adequately answered.

From our discussion on the subject you would have no doubt about what constitutes sewing notions and their specific functions. We also have additional information for you on our previous post on how to use a sewing machine.

Whether they are in the category of tools or decorative embellishments, you can confidently talk about them and know when, where and how to use them. Feel quite free to explore these sewing notions in your sewing experience as they would enhance the quality and efficiency of your job. Enjoy your sewing!

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