Monday, August 16, 2010

More pincushions please

Once upon a time I got a magnetic pincushion, and it changed my sewing life.  I think it is the single best sewing accessory or tool I have.   Because I am all about speed.  Impatience is my middle name.   Recently while teaching I realized I may be a bit obsessed with this.  But sewing is a long distance sport,  so anything that saves a few minutes is great.  

Once I had my little red magnetic pincushion (ok, it is not really a cushion, but that is what I call it)  I moved it to and fro,  from the sewing machine, to the table, to the ironing board.  And then the little light bulb went on.  After all, in the kitchen you don't have one solitary spoon, one orphaned pan, or just one lonely bowl.  You probably have multiple of all the cooking tools, and so should you for your sewing as well.

So now, here is an assortment of my favorite tools which have multiplied and are happily living together in my sewing space.     I would love to hear from any readers what sewing tools you can't live without.
mag pincushions
the beautiful magnetic pincushions
Rulers, tape measures, seam gauges, there is always something to measure.  The cardboard
strip is cut from a manila folder, and marked with various widths,  useful for turning over
edges quickly, and can be ironed over.


My second favorite item is the snippy scissors.  They are like a small garden shears, with a spring action.  Just squeeze and snip.  So I have several.    And an assortment of other scissors.  
Plus a nifty little sharpening thing, 
the small orange circle, from Fiskars, 
scissorshard to find, I ordered from Amazon.  It has 2 ceramic bars in it and you draw the 2 scissor blades across them.  Not like a new scissors but works quite well for my many old scissors dulled by cutting interfacing, etc.
I cannot resist marking chalks, but the Chalkoner is the best. 
the black heart shaped marker - makes a crisp line, and it is refillable !


I did have plenty of bobbins, but when I got my Singer Rocketeer, along with that came 2 more bobbin boxes, and they were arranged so nicely I am trying very hard to keep it going.


Lastly,  I thrill to find old sewing supplies at garage and estate sales.  This summer I struck lucky with elastics, thread and zippers, so here is a sampling of some of the great vintage elastics that were included in my haul.    I especially enjoy when they have the vintage price tags, 20 cents and packaged with that nice foil wrapping which allowed you to cut a piece and then re-wrap it.  Now packaged items are kind of annoying with too much packaging but it is completely non-utilitarian.   So the vintage items are really more eco-packaged than anyone knew.  

And today's SunnyGal Garden photo,  one of my favorite plants in my garden.

Gardenia, which lives in a big (4ft x 6 ft) planter by my front door.  From May to September it is covered with these beautifully perfumed white flowers.



  1. You've got some nice things in your sewing kit. I really must think about getting a magnetic pin cushion - it sounds like a good idea, although I am rather fond of my old fashioned tomato one!

  2. Oh my, I was dedicated to my magnetic pin holders until I couldn't stand everything, scissors and all, becoming magnetized. I sold and gave away all my pins and these holders just a few months ago when I closed my studio and put the building up for sale. My scissors are still magnetized, much to my dismay.

  3. I have three magnetic pin cushions. Two rotate between the sewing machine and the cutting table and one is dedicated to glass head pins (just because I don't like mixing them up) My other "can't do withouts" are the seam gauge and thread snippers. So much so I have bought an extra set of them also. I have just found your blog from the PR Vintage Contest. Your blue dress is beautiful.