The Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl… My Favorite Tool

sewing awlThe Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl is my new favorite tool.  I have been using one for quite some time, and have decided to share some interesting things about this useful tool.

The speedy stitcher sewing awl is an American invention that dates back to the beginning of the 1900's.  The sewing awl was invented by Francis Steward, who won the patent for it in 1909. He introduced the speedy stitcher to the world and it has been in circulation ever since.  It is still used today and remains a family-owned business based in the state of New York.

The sewing awl is used with: sails, canvas, outdoor furniture, sewing bags, thick leather, and shoes.  If that is not reason enough to own one, I can tell you it gives you the fulfillment of hand-sewing along with the convenience of an efficient tool.


As it turns out my sewing awl is made by Tandy Leather, another American company based in Texas that has been in business since 1919.  Today it is no longer a family business, but a corporation managing 100 stores spread throughout the UK, Spain, and Australia.

The speedy stitcher sewing awl answers my need to work with my hands and allows me to explore different kinds of material for special projects.  Plus it fits well in a suitcase, making sewing a traveling hobby as well.

Do you remember the bucket bag or the small backpack?  Both projects have given my machine a run for their money.  In the small backpack project, I could not add a handle to the bag, the sewing machine was not strong enough, but using the sewing awl I could punch right through the tough layers.

The same bag, I just varied the sizes.

I really do recommend the speedy stitcher, it is both fulfilling and convenient.  Not only do I get the satisfaction of handcrafting, but I am able to do things that I couldn't with only the use of a normal machine.  Plus it's great for traveling, making sure that I can stay creative on-the-go.

Funny how that is, a small gadget that I actually found in an outdoor market for just two dollars, and all the happiness that has brought me.

If you'd like to try your own Speedy Stitcher, here's a good place to get one:

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92 Responses to The Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl… My Favorite Tool

  1. Pingback: Tool tips - budget or quality? The Bodkin - So Sew Easy

  2. Cheryl Wical says:

    I found my speedy stitcher (Quick Stitch Sewing Awl by SHIPtoSHORE, # 91812) at Harbor Freight for $5.99. It looks just like the Swift Quick Hand Sewing Awl above, with a hardwood handle, 4 steel needles and 180 yards of upholstery thread on a spool. The bobbin is inside the handle.

  3. Adrian Miller says:

    Thank you for this article, I too have had one of these tools for many years and didn’t know how to use it. Having found it in my father’s workshop after he passed away, he probably used it for fixing sails and it was one of the very few tools he never showed me how to use. I have been starting leather work projects and i’m excited to try using it soon. Thank you again.

  4. R says:

    There is a YouTube video put out by Tandy Leather using this awl.

  5. Deni says:

    OMG!!!! I’ve owned one for years (inherited it along with a bunch of sewing tools) and never knew how to use it! I’m so excited to try it now that I know what it’s for. Thank you, it’ll make my projects not just easier but doable.

  6. Karen says:

    After my mom passed away I was faced with the daunting, but interesting task of cleaning out her massive sewing room. Lo and behold I found this tool but never really knew what it was used on or how to use it… so thank you for your helpful post and showing me a new(old) way to sew 🙂

  7. Velvet Bliss says:

    These advertised on Amazon don’t look like the one in your picture (no bobbin holder). Do they still make the one you have pictured? Cool tool!!

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      The suppliers sometimes end up selling all the stock, which happened when I posted this lick. Try Tandy Leather direct, the one in the picture is from them. I am told there are easier to use, so don’t disregard the comments. I find mine hard to keep the thread in the bobbin from coming off, but that may be because I have not mastered the tool or a keep watching a movie while sewing. The latter might be the reason…:(

  8. Lezlie says:

    I have scrolled all the way down and don’t see a link for your video.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      yes it is not a video at this moment just a GIF. The video I am editing. When I am done. I will publish. Stay tuned, please 🙂

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