I must confess, I am no seamstress. In fact, I rather despise the deed altogether. But, as a wife and mother there's no getting away from the occasional popped button, torn hem, and ripped seam.
Over the years I have picked up a few tips and tricks to make the job at least bearable, if not easier. Or maybe, If nothing else, I've definitely learned how to store sewing items.
First, you have to choose the right container to call your "sewing box". Just something to keep all of your tools together for easy access. I recommend a cheap tackle box. They are usually multi-tiered with lots of little compartments, and a big space in the bottom for larger items.
My sewing box is a makeup organizer from the late 80s, early 90s era. Do they even still sell these thingies anymore? This one was an upgrade from the cheap tackle box that I used to store my makeup in. When I grew up a bit, and began wearing much less makeup, I needed much less storage space, so this box was re-purposed. It has been used for sewing tools for fifteen years now, and still going strong.
Now you have to fill it with all the little accessories you'll eventually need for simple sewing jobs. Here is my recommended list, plus a few little tips:
- A small magnet for picking up spilled pins and needles with ease.
- A pin cushion. Mine is a little piece of foam. But one of those floral "frogs" would work wonderfully (if you know what a floral frog is). Or use a little motel sized soap bar. Not only does it hold your sharps securely, it lubricates them for a smoother slide through fabric. You can also use that soap to lubricate a sticky zipper.
- Large spools of black and white thread, because you'll probably use them the most. Then you'll only need a small kit of other common colors (blue, pink, green, beige, etc).
- A needle threader, because there's no need to waste time messing with this tedious task, especially if your eyesight isn't so great. Or if you've had one (or three) too many cups of coffee and can't keep your hands still.
- Various sizes of sewing needles. Larger needles for thicker fabrics, smaller needles for thinner fabrics (and small button holes).
- Straight pins: If you use a sewing machine, steer clear of pretty colored bubble headed pins, they break sewing machines! If you need to hold a hem in place, while you sew it down, try using bobby pins, they don't draw blood!
- A cloth, or paper, measuring tape.
- An assortment of fasteners: buttons, snaps, hooks and eyes, Velcro, etc. You just never know when they'll be useful. Keep the buttons from an old shirt before you throw it out, or "rag" it. You'll build up a nice supply, and you'll never have to buy them!
- Another great fastener to take out of the desk drawer and put in the sewing kit is double stick tape! This is a fantastic way to quickly fix (although temporary) a loose hemline. It also works wonders, for women who are a little larger on the top, to hold the fabric of a shirt together... you know, between the buttons, where it pulls apart and reveals the "valley of the twins".
Here is my finished product. You can see how those compartments are perfect for dividing up your accessories. Storage containers like these are also great for little crafting supplies! Happy sewing!