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July 20, 2011

Once again, it’s confessional time.  I’ve never owned a thimble, save for the cheap sort found in children’s or travel sewing kits. I never really had much use for one, and didn’t quite get the, er, point.  I knew what the tool was used for, but it just seemed silly and awkward.  Hey, I’m a sewing badass!  Well, with all the hand stitching I’ve been doing lately, apparently I’m more delicate than imagined.  The middle fingertip of my right hand developed a little hole in it.  While blind hemming my most recent dress, the needle eye would pop right into the puncture every time I pushed through the fabric.  Ouch!

Anyway, if you’re like me and think you’re all Seamstress from the Block, only to find an Achilles’ fingertip with nary a remedy, have no fear: check your medicine chest.  You know that self-adhesive gauze?  It works wonders, and provides grip on the needle.

I bet these office staples would work wonders, too. (threadsquare does not condone pilfering!)

How is this for uber-geekery?  We love to watch films over at the threadsquare headquarters, and they typically receive my full attention.  I’m that person who hates chatter, ringing, buzzing, lit screens other than the big one up in front, at the theatre.  But if R is watching a household classic that I can recite, I’ve been known to slip on my head lamp and cozy up on the sofa, stitching away.  Sewing is usually pretty solitary for me, but this is a nice way to at least be in the same room together, and I’m not interrupting the movie.

Wow! I could still find an image of my old-school head lamp. The new sort look cooler than this, if a head lamp can look cool.

In keeping with the hand stitching theme, let’s talk thread.  I only discovered the beeswax trick last year, and that’s probably what allowed me to begin enjoying hand sewing.  Running the thread through beeswax, then ironing (with a press cloth), truly does help keep the thread from tangling.  But I’ve moved on and up… silk thread!  I have so much left over from my wedding dress, so I started using it first for basting.  Now it’s what I turn to for hand-picked zippers, slip stitching, hemming, you name it.  It’s also pretty dreamy in the machine, though Ricky has yet to come around.  It glides wonderfully, is barely visible, delicate and quite strong.

Oh, and here’s one more practical and therapeutic thought.  Sewing can be pretty demanding on the back, with all the bending over pattern and fabric while cutting, followed by long stretches at the machine.  Sarai over at Colette recently brought this up.  I offered a snippet of advice, and wanted to repeat it here.  Frequent breaks are key, and I love to take mine on a foam roller.  I started using it after an auto accident a few years ago, and now it’s part of my daily exercise regimen.  Poor man’s massage, folks!

So tell me, what other tips, tricks and sewing geekery do you have to offer?

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