Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sewing Essentials & Surprises!

Well, since we are talking about sewing, I thought I would share a few items, some unexpected, that I couldn't live without in my sewing room! And yes, COFFEE is one of them!(with cream AND sugar of course!)

Ok, in this first picture some of the basics. 
1) Rotary Cutter - While this thing can be a bit "dangerous" at times, it makes cutting fabric and patterns such a breeze!
2) Small "Snips" or scissors. Very sharp, light weight and perfect for clipping all those threads.
3) Sewing Gauge, because 1/2" always looks bigger when I guesstimate! ;)
4) Seam Ripper, well, I'm NOT perfect ya know! (and I have dulled several and am sure to dull more...good thing they are cheap!)
5) Serger Tweezers. Oh my these things are great! Yes, for helping thread a serger, but for many other things too, from helping pull elastic through casings to cleaning the lint from around your bobbin! An essential tool!
6) The White Tool...can't remember what it's called, but it helps make the points and seams on projects more precise and neat when you turn them. Another MUST HAVE for sure!

 Diaper Pins! Now here's one maybe you haven't thought of. (or maybe you have and I'm just slow to catch on, but still.) When threading elastic through casings, the large size of the diaper pins makes the job so much easier! And they are usually super cheap since very few people pin diapers these days.

Let's hear it for STARCH! Seriously folks! Starch has been the one item that has made me, dare I say it, ENJOY ironing! It's so pleasant to slide that iron across the top of the fabric and watch the wrinkles instantly disappear into a crisp canvas! While I still rarely iron the clothes I wear, I always iron the fabric I sew with. It really makes a big difference in the finished product.

This is one of my favorites and something I'm convinced I will never sew without....magnetic pin cushion! If I knew how to make those words sparkle on your screen I'd do it! I started with the little blue that is specifically designed for sewing and still assists on my cutting table. BUT! The giant silver one was actually hijacked from my husband's tool box! It's one of those bowls made to catch bolts when working on a car, but it works so perfectly for my pins! The magnet on this sucker is so powerful I don't even have to look where I'm tossing those pins while I'm sewing....get it anywhere near it and it pulls it in! (ps....you may also find other metal objects such as the scissors and tweezers mentioned above stuck to the side occasionally too, kind of handy that way too I suppose since you don't loose them as often.

These are one of the greatest time savers, pattern weights! I got mine from Ruth over at Sew Chic and seriously can't say enough good about them! I've purchased multiple sets! I haven't pinned a pattern since getting these, and pinning was one of the things I disliked most. Not to mention, they are soooo pretty!

Here's one I never expected, canned air! Yup, and now I'll never be without it. I got a can in my stocking for Christmas this year, (cause I'm too cheap to buy it myself, lol!) and immediately went to town cleaning my keyboard. THEN. It just happened to be sitting there when I started trying to clean my serger, which in spite of vacuuming and brushing out NEVER seemed to really get clean. VOILA!!!!This stuff gets the job done! (ps. I still suggest having the vacuum handy cause it will blow dust from places you didn't know were a part of your machine!)

 Lastly, Fray Check or Thread End Glue. These items help finish off so many projects, especially those using ribbon or appliques. It's one of those things that I head to the store for when I run out. 

There you have it! Some of my favorite and can't live without sewing essentials. Please, share yours as well, I love learning new tips of the trade!


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