Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Simple Sewing Solutions

Yesterday I mentioned that I have recently started taking sewing lessons. I have many a project planned for this new found skill. I just need to take some more lessons and find the time to actually DO these projects. I thought I'd share some things that I've found to be really handy during my new learning experience.

Of course, I had a few basic sewing supplies already on hand that I kept stashed in a little box. But, as my notions collection grew - so did the need for a place to put them. Hence, began the search for a proper sewing box. I looked at many places, including JoAnn Fabrics, and found some beautiful sewing containers. What lovely padded and trimmed boxes I saw...They even had toile! Be still my beating heart! And then I opened them. The problem I kept running in to was that although they were beautiful to look at - they had one little tray on top and a big open area in the bottom that somehow screamed out to me, "Big, unorganized, have a hard time finding what you're looking for, mess ahead if you buy me!" This is one of those times where form needed to follow function. I needed to go to Plan B.

Do you remember Caboodles? Did you have one? The huge, multi-compartmented make-up storage containers with a travel handle and all? Geesh, am I really dating myself here, or what? I loooved my Caboodle! But, really, how much make-up can you actually wear?! I had that thing forEVUH and thought it would make a fabulous box for my sewing notions. Except, I finally got rid of it a few years back. You know when you hold on to something for way over a decade because you may find a need for it someday - and when someday never comes you break ties with the pack-rat inside of you and let it go and then one day in the not too far off future you find a need for it but have kissed it good bye and now are up a creek without a paddle, so to speak? Man, can I write a run-on sentence, or what? Well, that's what happened with me and my Caboodle. So, I thought, "No biggie. I'll just go buy a new Caboodle." Except, since I got that thing forty-hundred years ago - they don't seem to make them anymore.

Since, MW is such a brilliant man, (After all he HAS been to college. TWICE!) he recommended that I check out the tackle boxes. I wasn't really wanting something...can I say UGLY? Well, I wasn't wanting something ugly, but was beginning to exhaust my options. So we headed on over to KMart and to my delighted surprise - I found this:

Who knew that they make tackle boxes in girly colors now? Yay!

AND it has lots of compartments for all of my little, bitty sewing notions. It's like a Caboodle with a new name! I think my old Caboodle was actually pink and grey. My reformed tackle box is pink and purple. Even better. (BTW - the table runner under my sewing box used to be a shower curtain. It's one of my completed projects.)

These are a couple more things I really like using. The round, yellow circle in the clear container is beeswax. It's great if you have some hand stitching to do. You just run your thread through it and it gives the thread a little bit more strength and helps to keep it from getting tangled up. The beaded do-hickey with the thread snips on the end is my very most favorite thing. I saw my sewing instructor had something like this and so I set out and made myself one. I just wear it around my neck when I'm working on something and it solves the problem of trying to find where I laid my little snips down. Simple idea. HUGE pay-off. One more thing that I personally found to be brilliant (although I didn't come up with the idea myself) was found in the form of a simple brown paper lunch sack. I tape one to the edge of the table when I'm sewing and throw scraps of thread and fabric right into it. It saves me from finding stray threads all over the house. The bags are cheap and make clean-up a breeze. Ok. I lied. I have one more, one more thing for you. If you look at the picture of my opened up tackle/sewing box, you'll notice a stick of plain old Elmer's glue. This stuff is awesome if you have some trim that you want to sew down. When I made the Roman shades for my kitchen I knew the trim needed to be sewn on because it would hang over the sink and possibly could get wet. I didn't want to risk it coming off, so I sewed it down. But since it had delicate bead work I couldn't really get a pin in there to secure it without risking the beads getting broken. The glue stick was the perfect answer. It held the trim in place while I sewed it on without breaking the bead work. I could probably think of a bazillion other uses for it in sewing, but you're creative, so I'll leave that part up to you.

That's all I've got. I'm clean out of ideas for the day. So, I hope you found something useful that will maybe make your life a little easier in the sewing arena.

Have a great Wednesday! Pam
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