Sewing, Sewing, Sewing which I do on a daily basis to keep items available for my Etsy shop – www.etsy.com/shop/ToteworthyDesigns – as well as for my personal designs and treasures!! I “LOVE” to sew and have many unconventional type tools that I use on a day-to-day basis to help make my projects easier and look their best.
Looking at the above picture – I will give you a brief idea of what I use some of these household items for to aid me in my sewing endeavors:
- Flour Sack T-Towels – These are probably my all time favorite item to have on hand. Not only are they a perfect item for your kitchen or bathroom but these towels make a wonderful pressing cloth. They are big (26″ x 26″), lint free and you can lightly see through them when you are pressing your project. The cloth can handle a hot iron and protects your fabric too. I get them in white so I can bleach them, if need be.
- Soap Scraps – I collect all those small soap remnants and use them for marking registration lines, sewing lines, notches, etc. These soap pieces don’t clearly show up on white fabric so then I pull out a quilting type pencil. All you have to do is steam them and the lines will disappear, however, if you can still see your soap marks, give a spritz of water to the mark and iron it out.
- Wooden Spoon – These are great to help with turning items to the right side. The long handle works good on narrow tubes and the rounded spoon side gives good smooth edges for pressing. Should you get a rough spot on the wooden spoon, you can always smooth it out with an emery board (nail file) or some fine sandpaper.
- Magnifying Glass – I use this when I sometimes have to verify my sewing needle information or checking out sewing stitches especially black fabric with black thread.
- Envelope / Letter Opener – This makes for a great stiletto substitute or creating your own bias tape and need to be pressing very close to the edges of fabric and don’t want to burn your finger tips. Mine is a metal style letter opener and I just have to watch that is doesn’t get too hot when using with my iron.
- Painter’s Tape – Great tape to use if you are working with clear vinyl. You can tape your vinyl to your cutting mat to insure getting a nice straight cut line. I also will stack several layers together on my machine to have a good edge for my fabric to follow for a straight stitching line especially if it is a really wide seam.
- Magnet – Need something to help out on those occasions when you drop pins or needles on the rug. I know they make expandable magnetic pointers too for those tight or out of reach spots that a pin always lands.
- Cotton Swabs – These little gems work great to get in those small places to remove lint and dust from your machine. You can always drop a little sewing machine oil on the cotton tip and oil those hard to reach places on your machine.
- Small Mallet – I use this guy when I need to insert magnetic clasps. This saves my fingers and nails when you have to push down the tab sides of your clasp.
- Wire Cutter – This makes fast work of removing a shank on a button.
- Small Can – I enjoy my Republic of Tea and the tea bags come in these very nice cans, which have a wide variety of uses – pencil holders, scissor keepers, cut Velcro, cotton twill tape, elastic, etc.
- Old Medicine Bottle – Perfect to hold all my broken needles, bent pins, pins that the heads have come off – I just have punched a hole in the child proof bottle cap and drop those discarded pins into the bottle. Doing this also saves your fingers when you are rummaging through your sewing trash can looking for scrap fabric to test your stitching.
- Binder Clips / Paper Clips – Alternate method to hold several fabric layers together when pinning just isn’t the answer.
- Calculator – Measure twice or three times but cut once. I use this to double-check my math.
- Small Flashlight – I keep this by my iron as the cover that houses the water is difficult to see through so I just light it up with my handy-dandy flashlight to see my water level. I also keep a lint roller on my ironing board to “lint off” those cotton threads that always seem to be on everything.
I know that there are lots of things you can recycle too for helping to stay organized and making your sewing / craft rooms more usable – canning jars for buttons, makeup holders for scissors or rotary cutters, etc. Please share if you have an “unconventional” sewing tool or idea that is unique to keep those “creative” juices flowing.