My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Tools March 24, 2012

Filed under: Sewing lessons — blankenmom @ 11:57 pm
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Ah – I see you’re back and I didn’t scare you off by my last post about sewing.  Good – you’ll be rewarded!

Sewing, like many other hobbies, can be as inexpensive or as expensive as you like.  You can own all the toys that your local store or web store can offer, or you can own a sewing needles and a spool of thread.  This week I’ll show you a few items that you’re going to need as an average sewist and maybe a few that are just nice to have. 

We’ll talk about machines in a post all their own later on.  First-things-first.

If you were to walk into my sewing room, you’d see a vast amount of sewing items that you would probably never use.  If I walked into another sewers room, I would see items that I would never use.  There are just some things that work better for a few people than others and then there are items that every sewing kit must have.  

Just in case you haven’t heard the term – these items are known as Notions.

Below are the very basics:

This was laid out beautifully by this website on the most basic items you’ll need.  Although a few items could be updated or slightly altered, these are basically what you’ll have to have.  You can even go to Joanns and buy a kit with all these items already put together.

A few other “must haves” would include:

Yes - you're going to have to iron... a lot!

You’ll need some form of marking tool, but there are several options to choose from and you can have several and use what works for what you’re working with.

Great for transferring patterns. Great for curves. I prefer the non-serrated (non-bumpy) myself.

These come in triangles, squares and sometimes novelty shapes. These are great for marking notches and transferring marks.

I tend to prefer these. Easy to hold and can be sharpened like a pencil. Also comes in a larger amount of colors.


As strange as it sounds, you’ll need a hammer.  You don’t need a massive one, a little hammer will do.  This is the one I have in my sewing room and I use all the pieces.

This is a great little tool to have for various reasons. Stubborn jeans hems are #1.

You’ve got your measuring tape, but what if you’re not measuring a body? 

Ruler and a yard stick - Are they a must? Maybe not - but if you need to mark a straight line, these will be the perfect tools!

Sewing gauge - such a simple little thing that does so much. I love mine so much, I actually have two! Making a straight hem just got easier!

There are a few other items that I really prefer to have that make life a little easier.

I showed a stitch ripper above, but I really prefer this style. Sharper, more precise and easier on the hands. You're going to ripping a lot, you might as well make it comfortable!

Magnetic pin cushion - a must? No, but you can just fling the pins towards it and it will "catch" them. You can also wave this across the floor to catch dropped pins.

Hemostats - I don't know how I lived without these little beauties! I use them almost everyday in my sewing room and everywhere else in my house. Great for random stuck items - usually toys.

Mallet - you can use your hammer for most things, but a rubber mallet works on items that you don't want to damage. Snaps and wires for instance.

Ham and seam roll - these will make your ironing SO much easier!


I could honestly go on all night about items that are very useful, but these are definitely on the top of my list.  So when you head out to the store what should you absolutely bring home?  The items pictured at the top – the must haves.  After you decide you love sewing and can’t get enough – then you start down the rest of the list. 

Now quick – go shop!



“I’m Bored!”

How many times have I heard this from my boys – and then offered them a few chores to do as they bolt for the door. 

What do I tell myself when that rattles through my head?  Yeah, yeah, I’ve got chores I could be doing.  The clothes pile is getting a bit deep, the floor in the kitchen could use a bit of a scrubbing and there’s a strange smell coming from that corner over there?  But once I get those taken care of… then what?  I 100% enjoy being a wife, homeschooling mom and occasional seamstress.  I couldn’t imaging a better way to spend my time!  But let’s face it, the boys are getting older and starting to do their own things, the hubby is gone on the ship most of the time and there’s no sewing business to be had here.  So where does that leave me?

Also, in spite of being told over and over how “old” I’m getting at a mere 36, I really don’t feel like it and it’s not exactly time for me to pull out my rocking chair and retire.  I’ll have a great many years between the boys moving out and death (I hope) and I still have yet to accomplish something outside the family!

So where does that leave me?  Hmmm –

For a little extra excitement (and to save on gas) I asked for a moped for my birthday.  A scooter maintains a certain amount of safety (it only goes 30 mph), having already been told no to a Harley until the boys move out. 

*Shrug* – I was told no.









So instead I checked out some classes at the college and it’s a bit out of our budget at this point in time.  But boy would I love to learn a few new things!  I wonder if I can find someone willing to teach an eager student?

Welding – I would love to learn some general welding and especially pipe sweating.  That would come in very handy as a homeowner!  I’m pretty good at plumbing already; this would be a great extra to really do things right.



Electrical – I would LOVE to learn more about electrical work.  I’m not bad at it now, but you really can’t know too much about it. 



Kayaking – Surfing is out at our current location.  *Bummer*  However, there IS ample water to learn to kayak.  Besides, any sport where majority of the gear is orange, can only be awesome!



Engine repair – Ok, I’ve only been able to do a few things on the car.  I do rather enjoy it though.  I’ve put a battery in and I know how to check the fluids.  I’m an expert at putting the lights in, but that’s about the extent of my knowledge when it comes to my van.  It would be great to actually know what I’m looking at under the hood!



Shooting range – *Don’t look at me like that* I’ve been thinking about taking some gun lessons.  I grew up with guns in the house; knew how to shoot with great accuracy, but’s it’s been a while.  I wouldn’t keep any in the house – keep your knickers on.  But I’d have a great time shooting again!



I could however stay the course and look into some summer classes on fashion?  Not exactly exciting, but boy would it be useful!



Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been stuck in the house for months or it could have something to do with being called old before I’ve gotten to do something exciting?  All I know is that I’m itching to do something…. itch, itch.

I could start knocking walls out or tearing up grass for a garden.  Putting in fences, sinks, lights, shelves or cabinets, but since this isn’t my house – that would probably be frowned on. 


So let’s see where this goes!