As someone who makes most of my work with embroidery, I have accumulated a lot of weird sewing tools. Rummage sales, thrift stores, and the occasional box in the mail from someone's Grandmother's closet clean out have left me with lots of pin cushions, rusty needles, ragged (but beautiful!) measuring tapes and dented old thimbles. Lots of that stuff was left with excited art students in Chicago, but the cream of the crop came east with me. I thought I'd share my favorites with you today. I hope you'll share your favorites with me in the comments!
At the top of my list of favorite sewing notions is this piece of beeswax. Would you believe that it's my great grandmother's? While I do often use beeswax to condition my thread (particularly rayon and metallics) I don't very often use this piece. I love imagining all the threads she pulled through it.
My second favorite is this ring. Have you ever seen anything like it? It's both terrifying and glamorous. The inner part of the blade is sharp, so the wearer can cut threads with it. Worn on the finger it's impossible to cut yourself, but man does it make the wearer look like a bad ass. One of these days I'm going to get this thing sharpened so I can take it with me to workshops. I found it in the bottom of a tin full of thread at a thrift shop in Chicago, and it fits my finger perfectly.
Lastly are the two things that I never embroider without. I made the switch to sewing with a thimble a while ago and it's hard to imagine ever being without one (or two or four). My calluses have definitely suffered (ie: disappeared) but my fingers don't hurt anymore and I can embroider SO MUCH FASTER! First I used an old fashioned metal thimble, then I switched to silicon, and now my thimbles of choice are these rubber mail sorters, purchased by the dozen at the office supply store in downtown Brooklyn. Of course, they are probably available at the office supply in your downtown too. I use two, one on my pointer and one on my middle finger, and sometimes I use them on both hands so I can really get going fast. They are my favorite sewing tools.
What are your favorite obscure sewing notions? What's the one thing that you can't sew without?