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Sewing Rooms Simplified

A perfectly supplied sewing room is surely the dream of every sewist, but there is no need to sacrifice form or function due to lack of funds or the latest gadget in the sewing market. Everyday items often find their way into our sewing and craft studios. For instance, a pill box makes a secure and handy place for bobbins or fasteners such as snaps or hooks and eyes. Knee-high nylon hosiery is often sold in round plastic containers that are ideal for keeping beads contained.

Toy and sporting goods departments are a treasure trove of storage items. Plastic boxes that normally house small toy cars are perfect for spools of thread. Tackle boxes come in all shapes and sizes and often have repositionable dividers so the spaces can be segmented and customized for notions such as packs of needles, thimbles, chalks, etc.

A revolving multi-level utensil caddy — normally used in the kitchen provides more than ample areas for pens, pencils, scissors, tools or whatever needs to be at your fingertips. The long handle of a wooden spoon works well for turning a fabric tube that isn’t too small. Resting the spoon part against your tummy will anchor it as the fabric is worked into place. A dowel that fits easily into a length of PVC pipe is another very inexpensive tube turner.  Mug trees take up very little space while offering several spindles for hanging items. While perusing the kitchen don’t overlook the paper and plastic products drawer. Zip-type plastic baggies keep opened and used patterns neat and organized as well as wet pressing cloths contained and ready to use. Cutlery trays can separate rulers, paint brushes, makers, etc., and are available in expandable styles.

For those who dabble in fabric painting and dyeing, wooden or vinyl embroidery hoops are perfect for stretching pieces of fabrics for test samples. Keep brushes clean by using cotton swabs to test colors instead. A toothbrush holder makes a convenient place to rest paintbrushes, especially once they are rinsed clean.

Proper pressing equipment is a must for a perfectly finished project but can be costly. Quickly assemble a seam roll by covering a sturdy cardboard or PVC tube with a layer or two of thin batting and cotton or wool fabric. Securely tuck in and stitch the ends or just secure the ends tightly with rubber bands. Brown craft paper or strips of paper bags work well between the garment and seams when pressing them open.
Medical examination paper doubles nicely as pattern paper and can be easily accessible on a drapery or shower rod mounted on or near the cutting table. On-the-roll notions such as stabilizers can also be added for convenience. Basic metal shower rings or S hooks work well when hanging tools or other items from rods.

Use binder clips or large paper clips from office suppliers to hold fabrics that are difficult to pin, such as vinyl, leather or suede. Marine grade toilet tissue also helps difficult fabrics feed under the presser foot more evenly when stitching.  The tissue tears off cleaner and dissolves quicker.

A laser leveler, normally used in construction, is the perfect tool for extending lines. Just position it where necessary and draw along the lighted area. The laser light even goes around corners which could be very useful in home decorating. Magnetic bowls are also available at hardware or auto stores and hold considerably more pins than a conventional magnetic pin “cushion” and attach a basic magnet to a dowel for quick and easy pin clean-up.

by Marcella Joswick
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