Sewing Notions from Everyday Objects

Sewing Notions from Everyday Objects
In a recycle, reimagine, make-do, make-over nod to eco-consciousness and sustainability attentions in a world of challenged resources, consider those nice-to-have sewing notions that may be found by repurposing everyday objects currently in use in the kitchen, garage workshop, children’s school supplies and more surprising places.

Pattern weights – out of heavy large flat metal washers – large diameter stainless washers are corrosion resistant however any type of flat metal washer is usually inexpensive and easy to locate at any hardware store. Cover with colorful Washi tape or make a fabric pouch for each although not necessary but does cover the rather utilitarian look of the plain metal washer. Heavy flat metal washers are useful to keep pattern and fabric flat instead of pinning the tissue pattern to fabric, especially within the seam line, that may produce an unwanted fabric pucker and possibly distort the fabric edge measurement.

Wooden chopsticks – as sewing aid for help in turning out sewn corners. The tapered point of the chopstick is blunt enough so it wont poke through the fabric and easily aids in pushing out the corners when a point turner notion is not available. A chopstick-like wooden stick is often included in polyfill batting to help push the fluffy batting into small corners.

Pool noodles – that summertime water-play colorful staple lends itself to a variety of sewing processes. Cut off a small section to use as a pincushion, wrap long yardage lengths of fusible and non-fusible interfacing around a section of pool noodle to avoid fold lines, long lengths of quilt binding strips can be wrapped around the noodle to keep the binding neat and tangle free as it is sewn onto quilt edges, quilts can be wrapped around a noodle for crease-free storage or for shipping. A favorite use is to place a cut pool noodle section over a hanger’s bottom edge to hang folded fabric yardage over for crease-free organizing storage. Just slash through the pool noodle section so it easily slides onto the hanger bottom edge.

Clear vinyl over-the-door shoe organizers have many individual pockets useful for organizing a myriad of sewing notions. Small fabric scraps, thread spools, ribbon spools, fabric marking pens, and more keeps small items visible and off the sewing area.

Wooden school ruler – this common 12-inch rigid ruler has always been a staple school supply. Keep one near the base of the sewing machine to quickly measure small lengths of ribbon or elastic. A plus if the wooden ruler has a beveled metal edge great for marking darts on fabric using a fine-tip fabric pen or chalk pencil.

Wooden yardstick – perfect for checking long straight pattern lines like grain lines or measuring hem lengths from floor to hem bottom.

Carpenter’s square – also known as a framing square or speed square and a favorite of woodworkers, it is used to mark precise angled dimensions. Sewers can appreciate this tool especially when working with large swaths of fabric and the crosswise and lengthwise grain need to be checked for any distortion.

Mason jar – besides the hundreds of uses for this endearing kitchen staple, the Mason jar finds its way easily into the sewing room. The top lid and rim can become a pin cushion and the glass jar bottom will hold sewing notions – mini size scissors, spools of threads, packaged needles and pins for a fanciful sewing kit. Nice to fill as well with buttons or beads, spooled threads, a collection of thimbles or as a container for lengths of colorful ribbon. A sewing room’s visual feast of notions. Note: there are many websites to view with great ideas on how to make the Mason Jar into a sewing kit.

Flower frog – a vintage flower frog (great antique find) with its metal cross grids or holes for holding flower stems upright in a vase or bowl, can hold several pairs of small scissors upright too.

Everyday objects currently promoted as storage or organizing solutions or for some decidedly non-sewing use can be commandeered to keep our sewing supplies corralled, easy to reach and nicely organized, often providing a spark of sewing inspiration when visually on display.

Sew happy, sew inspired.

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