Sometimes the best tool for the job isn't actually a sewing tool, rather a completely random item that just performs the task at hand better than anything else. Here are my eight favorite non-sewing tools that help me out everyday in my studio!
Tool 1: Computer Brush
Above is a newer addition to my collection, and was a gift from an awesome student and friend. This tool is meant to be used to dust off your computer and other electronics, but it is ideal for brushing off the dust and fluff from your sewing machines too. It is so awesome and come on, it's hot pink! This was purchased locally at Daiso, but if you check office supply stores near you, you might find something similar.
Tool 2: Jelly Jars
I love jam, so it's natural that I have a small army of jelly jars in the house. Truth be told, I only keep these cute Bonne Maman jars because of the adorable gingham lids, but of course, any similar jar would be helpful. I do like these though because of the wide mouth openings and jars with narrower openings wouldn't be as useful. I use these for my spare machine feet, pins, needles, hooks & eyes, and more. And because of their wide lids they stack nicely too!
Tool 3: Metal Knitting Needle
I love a good point turner and use them all the time for poking out corners and angles, but sometimes the shape of a point turner is far too wide to get into the item. Think about a narrow strap, belt loop, or anything narrower than the width of a point turner. This is when the knitting needle comes to help! I prefer the narrow and long metal needles since they are sturdy I can just pop them into my tool drawers along with all my other tools without fear of them getting damaged.
Tool 4: Small Containers
I like having all my tools, pens, and scissors nearby to grab when I need them, but I really don't care for the cold feeling of most organizational systems. When I wanted to organize my tools for my desk I just turned to my kitchen and found a small vintage creamer, metal tea tins, and other similar ceramic and metal containers. They are much more personal, they vary in size for my needs, and of course they are way cuter than anything I could get at the office supply store.
Tool 5: Pliers and Screwdriver
Every time I need to take my sewing machine needle out of my conventional machine, I need to grab my screwdriver, so it's something I'm using nearly every day. I like this little short and squat screwdriver as it allows me to get close to the screw without the typical long shape of most screwdrivers. And pliers are perfect for removing teeth from metal zippers and grabbing items just out of reach, like when threading my serger. Even if you don't have a whole tool box of stuff, these are good ones to have on hand.
Tool 6: Tape Dispenser
If you put together PDF patterns, I don't have to tell you that tape is something you use in excess. But taking it to the next level and getting a weighted tape dispenser is so insanely helpful as it stays in place each time you grab for a piece of tape!
Tool 7: Washi Tape
Okay, so we all know that washi tape is cute and great for decorating things, sealing up envelopes, and sticking on everything. But in addition to being decorative, washi tape is also really helpful for marking seam allowances on your machine, labeling tools, and loads more. Think beyond just decorative uses for your pretty collection of tape!
Tool 8: Water Sprayer
The water in my apartment here in Los Angeles is the hardest water I've ever had to endure. It is so full of minerals and just jams up my iron like crazy. And yet I just cannot justify buying purified water for my iron because I use it so much that it'd cost me a small fortune. (And I've tried using a filter, but that doesn't help either by the way!) So instead of filling my iron with water, I instead bought a simple water sprayer at the grocery store to use when I'm ironing. The water isn't ever heated, but if I need to press something with steam, I just dampen it with the sprayer (a light mist or a soaking, depending on what I need) and then press with my dry iron. Saves the day every time!