Sewing Tools for Children's Classes

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Choosing Tools for Your Classroom

Children need good tools while learning to sew. If you can afford the best, they will stay with your student or classroom for many years. It is your choice whether you buy the tools and keep them in your classroom for the students to use or if you have the students purchase their own personal set of tools from you or another store. If you think you ought not to sell tools to your students, think of the last sewing class you took. If it was at a store, didn't they expect you to buy from them? Your students (and parents) prefer to do business with you than with someone else. That's what makes you the best teacher.

These recommendations are meant to guide you to suitable choices rather than to proclaim or deny the merits of any given tool. You may also find other brands and models which are similar to those listed here. Make your choices to suit your needs and budget. If you're on a tight budget, it is better to watch for sales and discounts on the better tools than to buy a poor quality tool that will cause frustration in the learning process. Please remember that these recommendations are best for beginner's sewing. Some excellent tools for advanced students are difficult or problematic for beginners to use.

Our rating process included tests of most every suitable sewing tool we could find. We used them all in our classroom for two years, and noticed what happened. The ones rated "Poor" never got used, wore out before the full two years, performed poorly, turned into distractive toys, or were hard for little fingers to manipulate. The ones rated "Good" were in the middle. The tools rated "Better" were the ones the students reached for over and over - even to the point of arguing over who would get to use it if there was a limited supply of that tool!

Items marked "we sell these" can be purchased at thesewing tools for kids page.

Our Preferred Tools

SEWING MACHINE

Good Any machine that makes nice stitch and sounds smooth.
Better See my full recommendations
Poor Noisy. Won't hold tension. Toys.


SHEARS, 200mm (8") Bent Handle

Good Fiskars #9951 (we sell these)
Better Marks Mundial #660
Poor any shear with serrated or plastic blades, or with blunt tips


SCISSORS, 110mm or 130mm (4.5" or 5")

Good Fiskars #9481 (we sell these)
Better Marks Mundial #668
Poor any scissor with serrated blades or blunt tips


PINS

Good Ball head long pins, one example is Collins #100 or #102
Better Flower head quilter's pins, one example is Collins #135 (we sell these)
Poor Short pins with tiny heads


PIN CUSHION

Good Magnetic pin holder, one example is Dritz PinPal or Blue Feathers' Grabbit
Better Stuffed Tomato Pin Cushion, one example is Dritz #732 (we sell these)
Poor leaving pins in a box or on the table


TAPE MEASURE

Good Metal end, centimeters and inches on the same side, one example is Dritz #838
Better Metal end, centimeters on one side, cm. or inches on the other, one example is Collins #150 (we sell these)
Poor Untreated cloth, missing metal end, marked in inches only


SEAM RIPPER

Good New, Sharp short ripper, one example is Dritz #608
Better New, Sharp long ripper, one example is Dritz #638 (we sell these)
Poor Old, Dull ripper of any kind


SEAM GAUGE

Good Metal, cm and in, notched on the inches, sliding marker, one example is Dritz #620
Better Metal, cm and in, no notches, sliding marker, one example is Singer #3021 (we sell these)
Poor Inches only, missing sliding marker


FABRIC MARKING PEN

Good Pink water-soluble fabric marker, one example is Dritz #676-20
Better Blue water-soluble fabric marker, one example is Collins #48 (we sell these)
Poor Air soluble fabric marker, paper marker, permanent marker


FABRIC MARKING CHALK

Good White chalk wheel or white blackboard chalk, one example is EZ #670
Better White chalk pencil, one example is Nonce #147 (we sell these)
Poor Tailor's wax chalk


IRON

Good Non stick sole plate, less than twelve steam vents; extra features (confusing & not needed)
Better non-stick sole plate; no extra spurty-things; twelve or more steam vents
Poor fraying cord, older style soleplate, undependable heat / steam


IRONING BOARD

Good Adjustable height. Smooth cover. Heavy padding.
Better Adjustable height. Smooth cover, tight. Light to Medium padding.
Poor Non-adjustable height. Scorched cover. Wrinkled cover. No padding.
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