Tailor’s Awl

tailors awl made of stainless steel and birch wood

Tailor’s Awl

My beloved made me a gift of a hand-crafted tailor’s awl. He purchased a second-hand but little used wood lathe on eBay and had a busy day recently crafting new handles for all sorts of things.

This tailor’s awl has a birch wood handle that has been stained and waxed. It’s 5 and a half inches or 14 cm long. The awl as pictured is a slight modification on the awl he first presented me with. I requested a slightly shorter spike and a more gentle angle to the point, changes he was able to make for me very quickly.

I use this awl to guide fabric under the presser foot of my machine, to ease out fullness, and also to hold fabric edges together when piecing.

The other term for this type of tool is a stiletto, but I feel that doesn’t quite describe my particular tool in that I picture a stiletto as finer and more delicate. This awl has the great advantage of having a reasonably fat handle, which is comfortable to hold. It is certainly an improvement on using a hat pin or a standard quilting pin, both of which are too fine for me to get a comfortable grip on. It also has the great advantage of being made of a natural material rather than plastic. There’s not a lot to like about tools made of plastic, in my opinion.

While I sew my beloved likes to tinker in his workshop. His materials of choice are wood and metal. I much prefer the pliable nature of fabric. When we’re not crafting and creating, we occasionally go sailing or camping. I’m hoping to do less crafting and more camping while it’s springtime and the weather is perfect for outdoor activities. It will most likely be far too hot for tent camping very soon.


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