I finally managed another blogpost – yay! Today is Fave Friday at CoBloWriMo and the theme is Favourite Tool. When first reading the prompt list for this years challenges and seeing this theme, I immediately thougt of my seam ripper! 😀 Now two weeks later and actually writing a post, I thought again. Seam ripper seemed stupid. Because while it’s really practical to have one, if you have to unravel a seam, the whole thing of unraveling and ripping is sooo annoying! I didn’t want to blog about that.
So, the second tool that came into my mind was my thimble!
A thimble can be very useful for handsewing. And when you do historical sewing in a more accurate way, you get to do quite a lot of it, even for eras where sewing machines were already in use. In fact, I would never want to sew without one again! I first used a thimble in 2011, while on a work experience I dit at a seamstress. It didn’t really become second nature for me and I didn’t do much handsewing afterwards anyway for some time. But I will never forget the time when I had to handsew a big project and didn’t have one!
That was about a year later, when my sister was expecting her second child and planned on using the pram she also used for her first one. But it had some stains on the lining. It couldn’t be washed, so I offerd to cover it with new fabric. We chose the most beautiful fabric together, something stripey in cream and lightblue with pink roses – kind of gaudy, but: Oh so pretty!
I had to cover the pram’s hood and the carrycot. I first pinned some cheap fabric inside, to take the pattern, then cut the real fabric, and sewed it together. The carrycot lining was fastened on with snaps. I had to sew a great many snaps on the lining and the pram itself. As I hadn’t brought my thimble with me, I sewed everything without, but it was ok. But with the hood, I couldn’t take the metal parts out of it, because it was a very classic old-style pram. So I had to place the whole hood on my lap with the lining pinned inside and sew it in place with a whip stitch.
It was not only tedious, but also hard work! I first pushed the needle in with my middle finger. After some time, it was hurting so much, I used the ring finger. On the last day, I even had to use my little finger. The other two were so red and pricked all over! I swore never to sew without a thimble again!
Another year later I started my apprenticeship as a seamstress. In the first year, you get to do all the handsewing. So I was glad I had a thimble! Sadly mine was a little too big for me, so I got a new one in size 14, which is about the smallest size I’ve ever seen, and it fits well. I later got a second one in the exact same style and size, but strangely it’s too big for me… weird.
So if you don’t have a thimble yet, I would greatly advise you to get one. It may take you a while to get used to it, but you will certainly be very thankful for it. Besides metal ones, there are other styles made of silicone or leather, or thimbles in ring style. You have to try which works best for you.
Other useful tools are my big fabric shears for cutting fabric and my smaller shears, which I use for cutting threads (both made in Solingen in Germany, which is famous for it’s scissors and knifes). Then I have another pair of shears, a magnetic seam guide, my seam rippers, a classic thread count and my Marie Antoinette ruler, which was a pretty gift from a friend.