What is the funny looking thing with all the points? It's a Simflex gauge. This accordion looking device is great for adjusting buttonhole markings and other repetitive measurements. It's available through Nancy's Notions, Clotilde, Hancocks of Paducah, Vogue Fabrics and others. Prices vary a lot, so shop around before you buy.
Every sewer has her favorite notions and tools, and I'm no different. A few years ago, I bought a Rowenta steam iron that has become my pride and joy. This big brother to a regular iron takes an honored spot in my sewing room. It opens the most stubborn seams and sets pleats with no effort at all. I bought my iron at JoAnn fabrics during a sale. They're pricy, but worth it if you do much sewing.
Patterns weights? They look like dinner knives, and yes, my friend that's what they are. The point is, look around the house and see what you can come up with. Sometimes pinning pattern pieces just isn't necessary. Other items that can be scooted around quickly might work just as well. I have a friend who weights down large pattern pieces with VHS tapes! My mom used knives, and so do I.
Yes, I have a serger, but sometimes it isn't worth the trouble to use when all I want is to finish a seam edge quickly. Pinking shears work best on light and medium weight tightly woven fabrics. Pinking quickly finishes off a seam allowance without any fuss. The pinked edge is less likely to show through after the seam has been pressed open.