November 3, 2013

Sometimes a Great Notion

Anyone with a calling to do something, and that is what my sewing is, has a penchant for acquiring all the paraphernalia to go along with their pursuits. And there are always those inventive entrepreneurial types willing to invent and purvey these items. 

Yes, I had to look up the spelling of two of those words.

This week I came upon a number of new sewing notions to make my life perfect! Do others call the stuff of their pursuits NOTIONS or do they just call them tools? Fishermen have TACKLE but that is only a small part of the stuff they use. My brother makes his own tackle, so I guess the tools to make the tackle would be his NOTIONS.
Okay, enough of that. On to the stuff. One of the challenges of sewing is organization of all of those notions and one of the most frustrating for me has been the bobbin. This is somewhat organized but it is still a tangle of unwinding threads. A casual browsing of Pinterest turned up THIS! Eureka! I couldn't get my order in fast enough (NANCY"S NOTIONS plug, plug )

Isn't it adorable? It even fits into the same drawer of my sewing table.

Its six layers all come apart and can be put back any way your little heart desires. One set holds 30 bobbins in flexible little "jaws" that prevents the thread from unwinding.

Up close its like a little Christmas tree.

Here is another great find. I have been constantly chasing the sewing machine pedal around. Every time I sit down to stitch I have to drag it back to a comfortable position. 


The pedal sits on a mat that is like a miniature chair mat with a carpeted square. Velcro strips on the back of the pedal keep it right where I want it. I guess if I spent enough time on the machine it also would protect my carpet from heel dents. This would work great on hard flooring as well (which I wish I had).

Then there are these favorites that most of you have that are truly indispensable.
Pointy pokers for corners and a turner for tubes. I always used scissors and large safety pins for these jobs. Scissors sometimes proved disastrous. The safety pin as a turner was fine if you didn't make anything really narrow to turn.

Pattern weights for cutting are great and really essential with the rotary cutter. Why did it take so long for THAT to be invented? Like luggage with wheels, duh! 
The seam ripper is not really a "favorite" because only comes out when disaster strikes, but in this pretty green the job is less of a drag. I suppose I didn't really need these weights either. Many of you use other items around the house, but they are so cute and colorful.
 The FRIXION pen is another great product that probably isn't exactly in the notion realm. It was purchased at an office supply store. It can mark fabric and then erase completely with a bit of heat.
There are those with caps and also "clickable" ones. The "clickable" completely baffled me when I first tried to use it. The clip moves up and down to move the pen point in and out. I kept trying to pouch the top end of the pen to my complete frustration. 

Just holding the iron close to the surface and not touching the fabric will accomplish the erase.

                     ALL GONE!

And then there are those Notions that don't work out as expected.
All of these were to help me create fabulous bias bound edges. The three different sized ones with handles are for making your own bias tape. I didn't find them to work all that well and as long as I keep my fingers back from the iron's steam, I do better without these. 
The top one is the foot that is supposed to allow you to sew both sides of the bias tape onto the edge with one line of stitching. I have failed to master it and have found numerous tutorials and videos that didn't do it for me. Two of them even have you loading the fabric two completely different ways!

What are your favorite notions/tools that you cannot sew without? 
Or what have you found to be a complete waste?
Please comment and let us know.


  1. To me, this stuff is 'kit': sewing kit. Is that a particularly UK term? I adore kit. My fave bobbin holder is a thing like a hollow doughnut sliced in half horizontally, made out of rubber. The bobbins nest in a circle, thread facing up for easy colour spotting.

  2. I could not live without my heat resistant finger glove. I burned my fingers so many times with steam until I found it! My second favorite tool is the "Purple Thang". en I was a new quilter, I purchased a 1/4" seam tool that was useless. All I really needed was a quarter inch foot!