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Thread: Tailor's awl... Worthwhile?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Tailor's awl... Worthwhile?

    I have been looking at the clover bias makers, and in one of their product photos it shows an awl being used, but I am not really sure what it is doing.

    http://www.clover-usa.com/product/26...as_Tape_Makers

    Anyways, that got me wondering if an awl is worthwhile and what the heck they are used for in the first place. I assume they are just for doing stuff like flipping seams and anything you need a pointy tool for, but I just grab whatever is handy for that stuff... the ends of some scissors, or a pin, or whatever will work.

  2. #2
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    It's actually just pushing the fabric through the narrow mouth so that you can get hold of it coming out to start the process.

  3. #3
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    ​I make very little bias anymore but I imagine and awl or stiletto would be for advancing the fabric through the bias maker without toasting your fingers.

  4. #4
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    The actual purpose of an awl is to punch holes in leather...belts, reins, girths, etc. I'm assuming some people might use them as a stiletto, the same way some people use metal nut picks or lobster picks.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  5. #5
    Senior Member cindi's Avatar
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    Naw, don't bother. Just use a bamboo kebob stick. You can buy 100 at the dollar store for a buck. They're multi-taskers!

  6. #6
    Super Member Luv Quilts and Cats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindi View Post
    Naw, don't bother. Just use a bamboo kebob stick. You can buy 100 at the dollar store for a buck. They're multi-taskers!
    This is a great idea! I am going to have to get me some!
    Luv Quilts and Cats
    Never underestimate the healing effects of beauty. - Florence Nightingale

  7. #7
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    I use a pin to pull the fabric through the bias maker to give a long tongue.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  8. #8
    Super Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    I have a Clover awl and have it at the machine with my scissors and seam ripper. I use it all the time. Currently I'm doing top stitched turned applique. I use the awl like a needle to turn the fabric like when doing needle turned applique. Due to the sharp poing it can be used similar to pinning the fabric in place. The sharp narrow point can slide under the pressor foot where a pin would get in the way. And since it doesn't pierce the fabric, it doesn't distort the lay of the fabric.

  9. #9
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Skewer or chop stick would work just a well.

  10. #10
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindi View Post
    Naw, don't bother. Just use a bamboo kebob stick. You can buy 100 at the dollar store for a buck. They're multi-taskers!
    Yep! For a long time I used a thin wooden dowel that I'd found somewhere in my house, no idea what it's original purpose was. Stuck it in the pencil sharpener to get a point on one end. Worked great!

  11. #11
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I will say that I eventually treated myself to Alex Anderson's 4-in-1 tool. I needed a new seam ripper, and it also has a metal stiletto. The metal ones are great for when you're working with appliqué and starched edges. The wood stilettos tend to get soggy after a while, soaking up the starch. If you don't do a lot of appliqué, then the wood ones would work just fine.

    The best thing about that 4-in-1 tool? It has square edges, so it never rolls off the table.

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