Patternmaking toys

Patternmaking tools | Song of the StitchOne of my favourite parts of sewing is the gadgetry. I never need an excuse to treat myself to a new tool or labour-saving implement, be it a double tracing wheel, a new ruler, or some seriously scary looking patternmaking tools. On my little sewing table I deliberately keep all my tools on show, partly because then they are in easy reach when I need to use them, but mostly because I just love to look at them and fiddle with them.

Starting my patternmaking course was the perfect excuse to add to my toy collection. I’ll write a more detailed post about my experiences in a few weeks when I’m deeper into it, but for the moment I’ve been really enjoying myself. So far we’ve covered manipulating skirt blocks, including closing darts to create fullness, and adding details like yokes and pockets. My whole motivation for starting this course was to start learning how to create patterns for my own designs, and I can’t wait to take the principles I’ve learned so far and start drafting some patterns of my own. Plus my tutor Lee Benjamin is a terrible enabler who actively encourages this kind of wanton sewing tool acquisition. So without further ado, meet the new toys in my life!


Patternmaking tools | Song of the Stitch

Patternmaking tools | Song of the StitchThis pleasingly weighty device is used to mark the notches in card and paper patterns. I love this little device so much that I now have a pile of card scraps on my desk so that I can absent-mindedly make notches in things while I’m thinking. But however sturdy this little guy has one weakness: fabric. According to tutor Lee fabric is kryptonite to notchers, rendering them un-usably blunt. Kinda like the opposite of fabric sheers.

Hole punch

Patternmaking tools | Song of the StitchKnown in the trade as a ‘magic mushroom’, for obvious reasons, this little chap is a single hole punch use for marking pivot points, again in paper and card patterns. As with the notcher, I have to keep an old magazine on the desk now so that I can make random holes in it as my mind wanders.

Super spiky tracing wheel


While this device appears to have more in common with a medieval torture implement than with my benign little green Singer tracing wheel, it is actually specially adapted for paper and card. If you need to trace construction lines from the centre of a pattern onto a piece of paper this brutal-looking baby is just the ticket as it punches holes through the card and into the paper. I took it out of it’s box on the train home, just to have a look, which I think slightly unnerved the guy sitting opposite.DSC_0584_edit

What are your weirdest dressmaking implements?

I hope you are all having a beautiful Saturday. I’m on my way to Milton Keynes for the day to hang out with my very dear friend and daily photography blogger Bioelle. There’ll be chat, maybe some banter, and definitely some fabric shopping!

What do you think?