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Sew Savvy: Nice Notions for Sewers

Aug 21, 2013

by Sarah Olding handmade and vintage goods

Based on the beautiful Gold Coast of Australia, where she lives with her husband and fluffy ragdoll cat, Louie, Sarah Olding is the patternmaker/designer behind Pattern Runway, a pattern boutique, sewing and sewing support blog. Garment construction and little design details are what makes her light up, and patternmaking books are what sends her off to sleep at night. Looking for sewing hints, tips and help? Join Pattern Runway on Facebook or Twitter.

I have sewn since I was a young girl, watching both my mother and grandmother masterfully whip up dresses, homewares and curtains. I fell in love with the what seemed like magic to me: turning something flat and nonfunctional into the gathers of a new party skirt, a pair of shorts, or pockets or bags to store my treasures. I remember jumping on the machine when my mother wasn’t looking and hurriedly sewing two scraps of fabric together — and I haven’t stopped sewing since. To make sewing that little bit easier on yourself, here are my picks for sewing tools to keep close at hand.


[Clockwise from top left: Tracing wheel from CKBLtdTailor’s chalk from squirlgirlThread snips from Minor DetailsTailor’s shears from SnipNCutPattern awl from porcelynneCat measuring tape from rodemaPattern notchers from porcelynne]

Few of us have the luxury of an industrial sewing machine with auto back tack and a thread cutter (like my dream machine, the Industrial Juki DDL-9000B). Instead, hang simple thread snips on a ribbon around your neck, ready to trim stray threads. Arm yourself with a selection of tailor’s chalk in a few colors, accompanied by a short metal ruler ready to mark where seams match up, measure openings and to mark pocket openings. For cutting out, I love 8” steel dressmaking shears — they cut through a few layers of fabric at a time, handle anything from fine silks to heavy wools, and last a lifetime. You’ll need a tracing wheel to make any alterations or tracing off patterns, and I like to snip my notches on the pattern with a pattern notcher. To mark dart points, I use a pattern awl and push a hole right through the pattern and fabric. (While it sounds scary to be putting a hole through the fabric, when that dart is all sewn up you’ll never see any holes.) Lastly, a good (and cute!) tape measure is essential.


[Clockwise from top: The Vogue Sewing Book from White Cat Vintage; Successful Dressmaking from allthepreciousthings; Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing from NeedANeedle]

The right know-how certainly helps when you’ve forgotten how to sew something or pattern instructions are a little vague. From charming vintage texts full of helpful quotes such as, “If you want to have success, do not stint to give a press,” to the timeless, step-by-step instructions out of Vogue Sewing or Reader’s Digest, vintage books can be a great resource for both new and experienced sewers. Besides the wonderful old-world book smell that comes with a vintage book, you might even find a message or two from the crafty lady who owned it in the past.


[Clockwise from top left: Tiny pocket tank downloadable pattern by grainline; Silvia dress downloadable pattern by Salme PatternsHazel dress PDF pattern by Victory Patterns]

Have a late-night sewing urge? You can download a PDF pattern at any time and get started whipping up a new wardrobe right away.


[Clockwise from top: Gold zag tray by upintheairsomewhereJust Start print by CharmAndGumptionBeaded hanging planter by HRUSKAA; Foil-stamped notebook by  HautePapierSpotted black and white cushion by WhitlockandCoSquare gold leaf planter by TheSwedishGypsyConfetti pocket notebook by PrintStitchAndPastePeach and gold dot dish by upintheairsomewhereChanel No. 5 Print by VivianandBeverlyNeon pink spot cushion by SeptemberDesign]

Turn your sewing spot into a welcome retreat with a few favorite gorgeous home wares. Keep clutter away with a tray or dishes to hold buttons, needles and threads. Frame a couple of inspiring prints and prop yourself up on those late night sewing marathons with a bright cushion or two.

Do you like to sew?

Shop Craft Supplies on Etsy

3 Featured Comments

  • WomanShopsWorld

    Carter Seibels Singh from WomanShopsWorld said 7 years ago Featured

    Lovely finds for a sewing studio! I too am a mess behind a sewing machine, but how I love to hoard fabrics, threads, and notions. Fun stuff, thanks for the inspiration!

  • legacylinens

    Mary Rickles from LegacyLinens said 7 years ago Featured

    Sewing is so therapeutic whether you can only sew straight seams for a pillow cover or can do more complicated tailoring. And the older sewing supplies are just so much better that what is out there now. Hooray for the home sewist!

  • winterhavendesigns

    Nicole from winterhavendesigns said 7 years ago Featured

    I am so happy to have found Etsy with so many artists that share the love and passion for creating. I learned to sew at 10 years old and never stopped! I don't have any friends that sew and I felt like it was a dying craft until I found Etsy! Sewing has been my outlet for so long and now I see my daughter taking an interest too. I am happy to pass along all that I know...who knows maybe she will be my business partner some day!


  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 7 years ago

    I love to sew! I was actually really scared at first because of the needle but my mother finally helped me out as I got older and was ready to learn. I actually took woodshop in high school because I had no interest in sewing. Go figure...I could work a bandsaw like a champ but wouldn't go near a sewing Now no one could keep me away from mine :)

  • LetterKayDesigns

    LetterKayDesigns from LetterKayDesigns said 7 years ago

    Wonderful finds! I wish I was better at sewing

  • agebo

    Ann Cosgrove from acbcDesign said 7 years ago

    what fun finds! makes me wish I could sew!

  • LanaManisDesigns

    Lana Manis from LanaManisDesigns said 7 years ago

    Before I started school, my mom kept me busy with a needle, thread, and fabric scraps. I told her I was sewing a dress for my kitty. Although I work in other mediums more often now, I still keep my sewing supplies nearby just on case kitty needs a new dress! ;)

  • Agasart

    Aga from AgasJourney said 7 years ago

    Great and inspiring selection. Thank you for sharing

  • kgpaintings

    Kirsten Gilmore from PaintingsByKEGilmore said 7 years ago

    Thank you for this article. Some day, I plan to print my paintings onto linen, then sew them into home items like tea towels and pillow cases. So, it helps to hear some ways to simplify the process. :)

  • EdelweissPost

    Patrick from EdelweissPost said 7 years ago

    Her needlework both plain and ornamental was excellent, and she might have put a sewing machine to shame. ~ James Edward Austen-Leigh, about Jane Austen

  • ohhhlulu

    Sarah Elaine from ohhhlulu said 7 years ago

    Love this post!

  • brandmojointeriors

    brandmojointeriors from brandMOJOinteriors said 7 years ago

    Fabulous blog!

  • DeEscalaArt

    BEATRIZ DE ESCALA from DeEscalaArt said 7 years ago

    Sawing is also an Art..I love it..

  • VintageMarketPlace

    VintageMarketPlace from VintageMarketPlace said 7 years ago

    I wouldn't be able to function with out a sewing machine in my life. I use it almost everyday. I watched as my grandmother ( who was the seamstress of our small town) and my mother sew as I was a little girl. I just wish my grandmother would have been around for me to grow up and teach me her secrets of dress making.

  • JulieMeyer

    Julie Meyer from JulieMeyer said 7 years ago

    Delightful finds!

  • MissingTagVintage

    Caroline from MissingTagVintage said 7 years ago

    I love to sew. So nice to see and read articles on sewing. Cute finds!

  • admspeicher

    Adam Speicher from SpeicherBowTieCo said 7 years ago

    Real men sew

  • mlezcano

    Mary Lezcano from BellaBboutique said 7 years ago

    All great advice and good tools for the trained and untrained with the needle and thread. My favorite it the "just start" motivational piece, sometimes that's all we need to do to overcome a block, just start!

  • undertheroot

    undertheroot from undertheroot said 7 years ago

    Hooray for the seamsters of the land!

  • babysnooks

    Babysnooks said 7 years ago

    i try to sew everyday by hand or machine - i feel blessed to be able to express myself thru stitching and the making of needed items - Etsy is so full of inspiration and notions - check out Alabama Chanin for sewing by entirely by hand - awe inspiring

  • lovelygifts

    Linda from lovelygifts said 7 years ago

    Great article!

  • andrewkonkle

    Andrew Konkle from Theteepeeguy said 7 years ago

    Sew away! This is great. It is amazing what you can do with a little fabric and a machine to knot it all together.

  • cinderandhoney

    Caitlin Benson from cinderandhoney said 7 years ago

    Great finds!

  • 5374dps

    5374dps said 7 years ago

    I must sew, it feeds my creativity, am in constant awe of the amazing talent I I find here on Etsy!! Plus all the items that a sewer just can not do without! Thanks to all for the constant inspiration.....

  • gingerbugz

    gingerbugz from gingerbugZ said 7 years ago

    just graduated with three degrees - Fashion Illustration, Pattern Drafting and Garment Construction; essentially the ABC's of going from imagination to reality. All the tools mentioned are indeed not only handy, but (I have found, anyway) pretty much essential to successful custom garment construction. Good luck to everyone and follow your passion ! At close to 40, I'm so glad I took the time to chase mine.

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty said 7 years ago


  • imichalova

    Ivana Mertova from imichalova said 7 years ago

    Great finds. I love the dres in pink and grey, it is fabulous.

  • GracefullyGirly

    Kimberlee from GracefullyGirly said 7 years ago

    What fun finds! I just never get enough of sewing... especially for myself and my loved ones. Once the weather cools down a bit I will be spending more time behind my sewing machines to make all sorts of things for us! I love to sew for my business but it is especially rewarding to see my daughter's face light up when I hand her a newly sewn dress. It's so fun when I overhear her brag to others that her mommy sews things for her!!!

  • AmyMeredithHutson

    Amy Meredith Hutson said 7 years ago

    All the resources are great! Perfect finds! Amy Meredith Hutson

  • sarahmoon503

    Sarah from Birchmoonrocksfibers said 7 years ago

    I love fabric, unfortunately cannot sew much beyond a great tote bag. I have found sewing garments a lot harder then one realizes! So precise! But I still buy all the lovely cotton and linen fabric I can piling up for a hand bag fest! Great idea to hang scissors around the neck, so much time is lost looking for scissors that have grown legs and walked away by themselves.

  • annegarrison

    Anne from AnneGarrisonStudio said 7 years ago

    Great article and tips! Wishing you continued success Sarah.

  • TreadleLady

    Donna Kohler from TreadleLady said 7 years ago

    Yes, I love to sew!!! Stepping in the door of my home you see gorgeous vintage machines though none have tails. (Electrical cords) These old iron ladies don't limit me, never need to be serviced and sewing on a treadle is a totally different experience. You are so right, Sarah, vintage sewing books are a great source for techniques. We can never have too many tools.

  • lizhutnick

    Liz Hutnick from LizHutnick said 7 years ago

    Great post. I've always wanted to learn sewing past the very basics that I know. I had a bad experience in junior high involving a placket and a v-neck shirt. I have been meaning to get back on that horse, at least to give my "sew-it-all " sister a good laugh at my attempts.

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 7 years ago

    My mother & grandmother could both make their own patterns for & sew just about anything you could imagine, from fitted furniture covers to historically accurate Elizabethan costumes complete with quilting, beading & lace ruffs. I was never in the least interested & only learned the basics under protest. I'm glad I can make pillows & dog beds, but I've never had any ambition of being able to do more. However, after growing up with such talented sewers, I appreciate the skill involved.

  • Aristocrafts

    Aristocrafts from Aristocrafts said 7 years ago

    The "hang simple thread snips on a ribbon around your neck, ready to trim stray threads" tip is priceless! Just love this article! Thanks for sharing, Sarah :)!

  • ShadyBeanCafe

    Vicki Morris from ShadyBeanCafe said 7 years ago

    Sewing keeps me grounded. Reminds me of what's important.

  • carriegreen4

    Carrie from MaryJanesToo said 7 years ago

    As a teenager, my mom "forced" me to take lessons from her friend, and am I glad she did!! My sewing machine became my best friend when I found myself grounded for sneaking out my window or coming home past curfew...which I guess I did pretty often, because I'm a pretty good seamstress!! I absolutely love to sew, along with all things crafty and if we really love something, we gotta go for it and eventually we will become masters of our craft.

  • fernsatthelake

    Linda Wilson from FernsAtTheLake said 7 years ago

    For me sewing is both a creative outlet and artistic expression... as well as a family tradition carried down from grandmothers, to daughters, to their daughters. Yes, I know men also sew and that's awesome, but in many ways it is part of the legacy and story of women throughout history. In some ways, even though we no longer need to sew things ourselves, when we do, we can feel the creative spirits of the women who came before us as we do it. Here's to all the women who have carried our craft before us so that we received it as an artistic gift vs. a chore!

  • recycledwares

    Nerrissa W from RecycledWares said 7 years ago

    I wish I had more time for sewing. My vintage store is a full time job.

  • ScentedSoftandSewn

    Sandra from ScentedSoftandSewn said 7 years ago

    You have an eye for the classic and tradional to the modern and new for sewing patterns, materials and advisement. Keep up the great blogging and work, Sew sista Sew

  • simpledream2

    Lisa S. from simpledream2 said 7 years ago

    Sewing has always been my "therapy" from making doll clothes as a little girl, my own clothes as a teenager, to home goods as a new wife, then on to baby/children items when I was raising my children. Thru all my years of sewing I had gained enough confidence and experience to make my daughters wedding dress a couple years ago. She was so proud. My children have been raised on custom sewing and sometimes think all women sew. All three of my children have spent time in front of my sewing machine so that they know the basics of sewing. Like my grandma Lena who helped supplement the family income with quilt making I too now do the same. It's nice to have a hobby and "therapy" that pays for itself. This article is very encouraging to keep a wonderful skill from being lost.

  • ArleenDesign

    ArleenDesign from ArleenDesign said 7 years ago

    Although i learned the basic sewing in high school i did not get a chance to pursue it.I love to do sewing though if given a time !!

  • keenpetite

    Carmen Tellez said 7 years ago

    Women on Dad's side were sewers so naturally I learned to sew at a very young age (8 yrs old) I'm now 60+ & still sewing, I'm a very small woman 4'8" & weigh all of 125 lbs. Prefer classics (never go out of style/better made, sewing affords me excellent quality,fit, unique colors very inexpensively, since my machine also embroiders I'm able to personalize whatever I sew. Many kudos to men and women that sew their own clothing, Sincerely, Carmen

  • SoozsSticks

    Susan Shapiro from SoozsSticksandStuff said 7 years ago

    I love to sew, but I am mediocre, at best! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • TheSewingGin

    TheSewingGin from TheSewingGin said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the great article on sewing. Nice to see there are alot of sewers still out there.

  • WomanShopsWorld

    Carter Seibels Singh from WomanShopsWorld said 7 years ago Featured

    Lovely finds for a sewing studio! I too am a mess behind a sewing machine, but how I love to hoard fabrics, threads, and notions. Fun stuff, thanks for the inspiration!

  • jmilliesjustforyou

    Judy from TheSewery said 7 years ago

    Wonderful articles, resources and insight about sewing

  • HeyChica

    Hey Chica from HeyChica said 7 years ago

    Lovely patterns and sewing related items. I recently made some pillowcases for a friends birthday but usually I don't have time to sew, which is funny since I have so many patterns.

  • CWali

    C. Paris from CelebrateOutOfTheBox said 7 years ago

    Sewing is inspirational to me also, love this post. I like all the "finds" from Etsy sites, great picks and tools. SEW ON!!

  • cottonbirddesigns

    Angela Cotton from CottonBirdDesigns said 7 years ago

    Great post!

  • GeorgieGirlLLC

    D George from GeorgieGirlLLC said 7 years ago

    I love to sew, I would watch Mrs. Ingalls on Little House On The Prairie and pretend I was one of daughters and sit in my room and sew by hand. I was allowed to watch my grandmother, but was never allowed to use a sewing machine until I owned my own. Thanks for the post, it brought back wonderful memories!!

  • DoodleTimeDesigns

    Faith Wellman from DoodleTimeDesigns said 7 years ago

    My mom taught herself to sew & then she taught me. Now, she lives on in everything I make & design. Good tools make all the difference. But, good teachers inspire forever! Faith.

  • KalosKraft

    Shannon Phillips from KalosKraft said 7 years ago

    I lost my thread snips a couple of years ago and have had such a hard time finding a new pair! They are super useful save so much time. Love this post!

  • KMalinka

    Natalia from KMalinkaVintage said 7 years ago

    Great article!

  • SimplySpainDesigns

    Julie and Cory from SimplySpainDesigns said 7 years ago

    I love seeing a post about supplies. I'm always interested in hearing about the processes or favorite shops of other shop owners - thank you for posting this!

  • sewgracious

    Sew Gracious from SewGracious said 7 years ago

    From one who has done sewing & needlework since age 4 and has "Sew" in her shop name....CONGRATS and thanks for a great article. I appreciate someone shining the light on the art of sewing! ;)

  • omasbricabrac

    Oma from omasbricabrac said 7 years ago

    Sew, I love to sew! Congratulations, fabulous article!!

  • bedouin

    Nicole from KarmaCodeOne said 7 years ago

    I love vintage sewing supplies ! Fun post !

  • RepurposeCouture

    Marla from RepurposeCouture said 7 years ago

    I love this article! I've been sewing since my dolls needed clothes! I've sewn for my kids and now their kids.

  • Sweetvintangelady

    Gladys from Sweetvintagelady said 7 years ago

    My grandma didn't have enough patience to teach me how to use the sewing machine. I was able to learn from her how to sew a button and do simple stitches. I was lucky enough to inherit a Bernina 830 from my mother in law and it has been a blessing in my life. Recently I found a great teacher who is walking me through this beautiful process of learning to sew. She says that sewing is not a science but an art and art is never perfect. What an inspiration for me! Learning to use the machine is definitely helping me expand my Etsy business.

  • legacylinens

    Mary Rickles from LegacyLinens said 7 years ago Featured

    Sewing is so therapeutic whether you can only sew straight seams for a pillow cover or can do more complicated tailoring. And the older sewing supplies are just so much better that what is out there now. Hooray for the home sewist!

  • greycricketstudios

    Holly Tomlinson from GreyCricketStudios said 7 years ago

    This may be my favorite posting ever! My mom and I are both avid sewers; we are always looking for new projects and techniques to try. Love everything!!

  • janeeroberti

    Jane E Roberti from janeeroberti said 7 years ago

    Great stuff! But don'tforget to wear your thread snippers around your neck on a string. I had a design business for years and the snippers around the neck was a defacto part of our daily wardrobe, like a pocket protector for geeks. Makes me want to start sewing......

  • finickyfinds

    finicky from finickypatternshop said 7 years ago

    I started sewing when I was eleven; made myself a cute top! I can no longer sew because my hands don't work well but I am saving patterns one at a time and still love doing what I can to keep sewing alive for others :)

  • seasidecloth

    seasidecloth from seasidecloth said 7 years ago

    Sew wonderfully informative ... .... couldn't resist :)

  • IrraNellie

    IrraNellie Designers from IrraNellie said 7 years ago

    This post makes me want to sew again!

  • whitecrossmeimei

    Jordan White from MeiMeiSupplies said 7 years ago

    I agree with author . . . I loooove my Juki! I sew all day, every day, & it just keeps going! Sailrite is right up there too; it handles the waxed canvas and leather just fine. Great article, and good luck!

  • handmadebycecilia

    Cecilia Escobar from HandmadebyCecilia said 7 years ago

    I love to sew ... books. I can thread a line and go through the pages in a repetitive, cautious movement that provokes and ecstasy and meditative state of mind. I love sewing books. Now coming to fabric? Only the one that will cover the books. Someday, I will try sewing fabric for good. Someday. Love the post, thank you.

  • AudreyKerchnerPhotog

    Aud Kerchner from AudreyKerchnerstudio said 7 years ago

    The kit with the organe handled scissors and the tomatoe pin cushion brought back memories. My mom had both and was an avid sewer. Thank you for the artificial it's nice to know that there are others that get the warm and fuzzies about sewing like I do.

  • ThreeBarDGifts

    Monica from ThreeBarDGifts said 7 years ago

    My mom started teaching me to sew when I was a young girl. I entered my first dress in 4H when I was 9 and won a blue ribbon! I'm not fond of garment making these days but truly love piecing quilts and creating home décor. Thank you for this article!

  • themefragrance

    Theme Fragrance from themefragrance said 7 years ago

    I love looking for vintage sixties fashion patterns on Etsy, and there are tons of shops that produce fabric with unique and quirky designs. There are also great gift items for those who sew such as novelty pin cushions and other fun accessories.

  • owlgypsy

    Christina Young from owlgypsy said 7 years ago

    Great finds! I have an obsession with sewing supplies! NEED THE CAT TAPE MEASURE! :)

  • PennyBirchWilliams

    Penny Birch-Williams from PennyBirchWilliams said 7 years ago

    My mom was a great seamstress and was always sewing things. I also enjoy sewing for my home and my family, but find it makes my back ache so I don't do it as much as I would like. I've gotten pretty good at adjusting patterns but haven't yet figured out pattern making from the books I have. One of my favorite things to do is spend an afternoon at the fabric store looking at patterns and fabrics, looking for just the right thing for my next project. Right now I'm looking for a pattern for my daughter's new disco dance routine...maybe I'll find a vintage one here on etsy! Thanks for all the tips and ideas!

  • hopeandjoyhome

    Julia from hopeandjoyhome said 7 years ago

    I love sewing! My mom taught me to sew doll clothes when I was 6..thinking about those tiny seams, it probably would have been easier to sew clothes for me! I used to sew lots of my daughters' clothes when they were small..until it wasn't cool anymore. I made a christening gown complete with mini pleats, tucks, entredeux , lace and French seams that all my babies and one grandbaby have worn and both my daughters' 1st Communion dresses. Now I sew totes and pillows. I always look for old sewing notions when I am out hunting..I have a vintage button hoarding problem!

  • peonyexpressions

    Nancy Gordon from peonyexpressions said 7 years ago

    I learned to sew from my grandmother. She made me the prettiest dresses growing up. I made a lot of my five girls' dresses when they were little as well. Today I need to start sewing for my two granddaughters! So many cute patterns and fabrics out there. Great Etsy finds on sewing supplies.. I will have to check them out!

  • debvasbinder

    Deb Vasbinder from BabyCuteBaby said 7 years ago

    I can relate - I love to sew and create my own designs and patterns- It's truly my therapy. Thanks for the great article and finds.

  • cberez

    CB DESIGN'S from CBDesignsPR said 7 years ago

    I love your finds!

  • EggMoneyQuilts

    Vivian from EggMoneyQuilts said 7 years ago

    Lots of sewers here! I haven't tried sewing garments but I do sew quilts. I am expecting my first granddaughter next month-so I see some frilly little dresses in my future!

  • helchahel

    Elena Kryvenchenko from DaintyClub said 7 years ago

    Lovely stuff! Much like yourself!

  • TreasuredMemoryLane

    Sujata from TreasuredMemoryLane said 7 years ago

    I am sewer and a crafter from very childhood. I must do something everyday with thread and needle. Great tips for stay organized. Thanks for the article.

  • swaggjewelry

    April McGee-Riess from RawLuxGems said 7 years ago

    Cool Stuff!!!

  • superiorqualitychina

    David SHI from superiorqualitychina said 7 years ago

    DIY sewing will be good.

  • farandtwee

    Vintage Minnow from VintageMinnow said 7 years ago

    i want to sew old patterns so bad! i just haven't committed to learning. another time consuming hobby i am sure!

  • nickydill

    Nicky Dillerstone from nickydill said 7 years ago

    I have never seen a pattern awl before, that looks really useful, and I picked up a copy of the Readers Digest book of Sewing at our local furniture recycle charity for 50p, what a bargain. Thanks for such a lovely and informative article

  • tsawczyn

    Theresa from StampedSummer said 7 years ago

    Great! Thanks so much :) I just got my first machine in July and I'm so excited to get better at sewing!

  • metroretrovintage

    metroretrovintage from MetroRetroVintage said 7 years ago

    Excellent article Sarah! I have found the Vogue Sewing book to be an indispensable guide as well.

  • NellywithWings

    Nelly V from NellywithWings said 7 years ago

    I love to sew. Thanks for a fun article :D

  • michele325

    Michele from MichelesAManoDesigns said 7 years ago

    Great selections! I remember my grandmother sewing all her clothes, some of mine and of course all my doll's!!! A needle and thread were always in my hands as a result of watching her in awe....thanks for sharing - love your picks!

  • aressa

    aressa from OriginalBridalHanger said 7 years ago

    This post reminds me of growing up...My mother was a great seamstress....Miss those days!

  • FireHorseTextiles

    Julia K Walton from JuliaKWalton said 7 years ago

    Interesting selections! I would put my Fiskars scissors at the top of my list.

  • KaiyasCloset

    Jessica Meyer from KaiyasRoom said 7 years ago

    My mother and myself do seamstress work. What caught my eye on this blog is the picture. The wooden spools of thread. Anyone ever hear of spool knitting? My Gram taught me that as a child and I always remember it was so much fun to do and make things with the wooden spool. She was also a huge sewer and a big impact on why I sew today also :) I mad my first dress out of curtains, zipper in the back, lace at the sleeves, neck and bottom..when I was six. I should post a picture on here :) Memories!!

  • FoxyGloves23

    Marie Cashin from MEmbroideries said 7 years ago

    Cool! I have some vintage patterns to look through... and a sewing room that needs new decor!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage said 7 years ago

    Great blog!

  • Happiknits

    Becca from Happiknits said 7 years ago

    Thank you for sharing! I've been taking private lessons once a week for the past year. I've always wanted to learn how to make my own clothing, and I was very frustrating with not being able to find vintage clothing in my own size. My sewing teacher is showing me how to take a vintage pattern and make it into my size :)

  • janemarek3

    Fudgie Budgie from FudgieBudgie said 7 years ago

    Another Aussie who loves to sew xx I will be FB'ing you :0)

  • janemarek3

    Fudgie Budgie from FudgieBudgie said 7 years ago

    Another Aussie loving to sew! YaY! I will be FBing you :0)

  • byvala

    Barbara Pater from byvala said 7 years ago

    Ha, same thing here, only I learned to sew from my dad. He had a leather manufactory and we had a whole bunch of industrial machines. Good times.

  • scarvesinfinity

    Le Chelle from ScarvesInfinity said 7 years ago

    This is a great post! I started sewing at a very young age on my "hand crank" Holly Hobbie sewing machine (That definitely reveals my age! LOL). Later years my mom passed down her ancient Singer to me. I still have both of those 1st machines and love to use the old Singer sometimes just because it's so special to me. I always sewed my own clothes for school mainly because my my struggling parents really didn't have the financial resources to take me shopping for clothes. Looking back, I wouldn't trade that upbringing for anything. It opened my world up to discover something I love dearly. I went away to Fashion Design college when I was 17 and have avidly used the "tools of the trade" that you have shown and made my own patterns for years now. Thanks so much for this post! I thoroughly enjoyed reading!

  • liliavaniniboutique

    Lilia Vanini from liliavaniniboutique said 7 years ago

    I started to sew when I was aprox 5 years old, the full story is on my about page but to me sew is just to be out of this world, I enjoy so much to be alone sewing on my studio, peace and harmony is all I need and that I found when I am sewing. Thank you!

  • TheEnchantedSlipper

    J Breault from TheEnchantedSlipper said 7 years ago

    I actually love to sew. I have some fabulous rustic Christmas stockings that I make and I love making children's drapery. I am hoping for a new sewing machine at some point this year so I can start making some new things. I love the little kitty measuring tape in this blog. I would use that every day in my shop for sizing. Thank you for sharing.

  • ezliving

    ezliving from ezliving said 7 years ago

    Congrat! i love to sew and crochete on my free time!!

  • MKDesignsCo

    Melissa Blake from MKDesignsCo said 7 years ago

    Great tips! I grew up with a few of those books in my mothers home and have similar memories of hurriedly sewing two pieces of scraps together while no one was looking and praying I didn't sew my finger too. A great story to bring me back to when I learned to love what was being passed down from woman to woman in my family!

  • MakeABasket

    MakeABasket from MakeABasket said 7 years ago

    I love the return of the fiber arts...sewing, knitting, crochet! It is a wonderful thing, to be able to make lovely things for the body and home! thanks for finding great notions!

  • dottywalker

    Dotty Walker from SewThoughtfulBlanket said 7 years ago

    Great article! Sewing is my passion!

  • studiotwenty

    Monique from needlegoods said 7 years ago

    There are so many fun accessories for sewing these days :)

  • compelledtocraft

    Paula Hogan from compelledtocraft said 7 years ago

    Wonderful collection! You might also consider a pretty, colorful ironing board cover for you sewing space. :)

  • BrooklynOwl

    Annie from BrooklynOwl said 7 years ago

    I love the vintage aspects of this article! Makes me think of my mom who taught me how to sew!

  • GrumpyDinosaur

    Cris Cabrel from ChubiSubi said 7 years ago

    Great post! It will be very useful :)

  • winterhavendesigns

    Nicole from winterhavendesigns said 7 years ago Featured

    I am so happy to have found Etsy with so many artists that share the love and passion for creating. I learned to sew at 10 years old and never stopped! I don't have any friends that sew and I felt like it was a dying craft until I found Etsy! Sewing has been my outlet for so long and now I see my daughter taking an interest too. I am happy to pass along all that I know...who knows maybe she will be my business partner some day!

  • emberair

    emberair from EmberandAir said 7 years ago

    Great to see such a useful post! Shops can benefit from it, but I think that sewing is a basic technique that everyone can benefit from. You don't need to be able to make a dress, but being able to fix your sock or shirt is a great start.

  • PruAtelier

    Jeanne B from PruAtelier said 7 years ago

    Sewing is my reason for being on Etsy but somehow it's gotten waylaid for a bit until I clean out some more! Great article!

  • AgnesBlackwell

    Linda Beattie said 7 years ago

    What a lovely blog, so nice to read personal things and especially to see things designers particularly like, like the sewing accessories...PR always inspires me to get sewing, such a satisfying thing to do...thankyou PR and Etsy!

  • 4oldtimesandnew

    Ann from 4oldtimesandnew said 7 years ago

    Nice blog! Have never had or used a pattern notcher, but I think it would be a handy tool. Have never had a pattern awl (always stuck a pin through the marking and used chalk to mark the point on the fabric). I think I just found a new use for my paper-punching awl! I'm being drawn back to my sewing machine!

  • ArtchalaHandmade

    artchala from ArtchalaHandmade said 7 years ago

    Lovely ♥

  • kaufeebean

    kaufeebean from NancysPatternsdotcom said 7 years ago

    I have been sewing for years but for the last ten I have been sewing for Barbie at 1/6th scale. Now I am designing my own patterns (see Nancy'sPatternsdotcom) and I love it. Thanks for the ideas. My mother and grandmother were both sewers. May crafting never die!

  • sewingcher

    sewingcher from CherylJDesigns said 7 years ago

    Hello, and I love your articles. I live to sew and can hardly finish one project before starting another. I am a custom design seamstress, and now about to create a dream wedding gown for a woman about to marry a dignitary from my city! Wish me luck.

  • dominna

    Katrina Dzerkale from Dominna said 7 years ago

    this really inspired me for some sewing !

  • mum4hick

    Michelle Hickson from ColeandTaffy said 6 years ago

    Yes, I love to sew and am so thankful that my mum taught me to sew as a teenager. I am now teaching my own teenage daughter to sew!

  • CarolsTagSale

    Carol Slinker from CarolsTagSale said 6 years ago

    I, too, come from a long line of seamstresses. I remember my grandmother laying out newspaper on the floor and drawing and cutting out a pattern, Usually for some dress she had seen in a magazine or department store. Thank you for the back to basics article.

  • foundtreasures1

    Lorita from DesignsbyLorita said 6 years ago

    Wow, great inspiration. Sewing is relaxing and I remember fondly the days when my grandma taught me to sew!!!

  • ArtFashionCreation

    Toile La La from ArtFashionCreation said 6 years ago

    An interesting article... love the special sewing tools such as the notcher and awl!

  • korenkwan

    Koren Kwan from GarasuWonderland said 6 years ago

    good story, enjoy reading it!

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