Investing in a good pair of shears will make a world of difference in your sewing life. Really, I have no idea how I used plain ol' scissors for so many years. My Ginghers were part of my graduation present from my parents, & they are kind of my best friend now. Twelve layers of corduroy to cut through using only the very tip? No problem! <3
2. Wrist Pin Cushion
Such a simple thing--but it makes sewing so much easier! I made my own using fabric scraps. Tany gave the hint of using a bit of steel wool for the stuffing, to keep your pins sharp. Brilliance! Never will I hold pins in my mouth again! Just make sure you don't try to stick pins in your wrist if you forget you're not wearing it... it's happened to me before! The Long Thread has a cute tutorial.
3. Razor Blade
It will make seam ripping more fun, I promise! Just be careful to not catch your garment fabric at all. Faster & cleaner than a seam ripper!
4. Clear Lightweight Ruler
Mine is 2x18, flexible, and SO useful. It's nice that it's bendy so that you can measure curves, it's good for cutting bias strips, and it's just generally useful to have around. Grid rulers are wonderful, but flexy, 3$ rulers kind of rule. ;)
5. Chalk Roller
This may just be personal preference, but it is so much easier to mark things, particularly straight, defined lines, with a chalk roller. Plus, they're refillable, don't need to be sharpened, & wash out easily.
6. Basting Tape
Use it to put in zippers. It will make you want to hug puppies. Enough said.
7. Tube Turner
Amazing tool. I use it to mostly pull serger tails back into the seam, but of course, it's great at doing what it is named for as well!
8. Rotary Cutter
Not just for quilters anymore! If you have bias tape to cut, layers of fabric, or anything without sharp curves, it's super fun & way quicker and very precise. Use it with a...
9. Self Healing Mat
I don't really know what these are made out of to cause them to work so well, but work they do. You don't get deep gashes or fraying plastic or anything with these boards, which also helps with precision. &, precision is everything. If you can't cut straight, your garment won't hang straight! (I guess that has more to do with grain, but still.)
So these are my favorite tools to get the job done! Do these work for you? What are your own Must Have tools?