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Saturday, 1 November 2014

Make Your Own Sewing Tools!

My ubiquitous tomato pin cushion...
Imagine my surprise — especially if it was a revelation to me to discover that people "sewed" purses — when I came across sewing tools and implements that are also handcrafted! What I'm talking about are those things that help you out when you sew and create, such as...

The Essential Pin Cushion

I have a "tomato with strawberry" as my pin cushion; picked it up at a dollar store. It's sort of small and does the job of keeping my pins in one place, but interesting and unique? Certainly not. Not to mention that I've always wondered how a strawberry came to be attached to the top of a tomato...

Since I've begun sewing again, I've come across all kinds of imaginative interpretations of the humble pin cushion. But if you're looking to make your own tomato, here is a step by step tutorial by Claire (whose blah to TADA! blog about recycling/upcycling/repurposing is one of my absolute favourite places to browse):

Who wouldn't love a polka-dotted tomato??

Tomatoes not your style? How about this "dinner bun" vintage style version from Michelle at Faerie Dust? Definitely more elaborate, but the result is certainly not run of the mill.

Vintage "dinner buns", anyone??

And because I am ever so practical at heart, here is one of my fave pin cushion ideas, simply because it kills two birds with one stone. This is from Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose:

I love the "pins on top, stuff in the bottom" idea...

Some Awesome Pattern Weights

I've seen it suggested that silverware does a great job as pattern weights, but having knives all over the place may not be your thing. I saw this project early on and it caught my attention as something that was pretty and practical. This is from Jess at Craftiness is not Optional:

Don't these look beautiful?

Technically, there is no sewing involved in making these; they are done with washers, a bit of hot glue and some ribbon. I may have to make a set of these for myself, now that I've officially "graduated" to using a rotary cutter and cutting mat. ;-)

Anyone Interested in a Tailor's Ham?

As I was sewing up my first purse project, I had issues trying to press areas that were curved and three dimensional. I knew that the true experts had to have their secret tools! But what to call them in order to search them out? It wasn't until just recently that I discovered the crazy names associated with these pressing tools. A tailor's ham? Truly? And sausage too? Really?

A big ham to help you out when pressing 3D areas...
Anyway, you can of course, pay big bucks and buy these things, but hey — with a little bit of patience and ingenuity, you can make them too! Irene at SergerPepper offers up handy instructions on making your own tailor's ham and sausage.

This one is definitely on my "to do" list. (Before I make my next hat.)

P.S. Happy Anniversary to me... today's post makes this blog technically one year old! (Why "technically"? I actually backdated my first four blog posts... I believe the "real time" anniversary is December 7.) It's amazing how quickly time has flown. Not to mention I'm somewhat amazed that I've been able to stay on schedule. ;-)


  1. Happy Blog Anniversary Rochelle! Today is also my grandson's 7th birthday.

    1. Why, thank you so much, Daryl. And tell your grandson that someone in Canada that he doesn't know also wishes him a happy 7th!

  2. Happy Anniversary, Rochelle!!

    1. You're so kind, Nekane. (By the way, can you check your spam folder maybe too? I sent you an email a couple days ago...)

  3. Great ideas, I should get my sewing tools organized.


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