Friday, December 5, 2008

Quilting Tools To Sew Clothes*

I used to look at the Nancy's Notions catalog with some disdain. All the tools, patterns and fabric looked more suitable for the Christmas sweaterset crowd, not super-stylish self. But I just flipped through the latest edition (they added me back on the list, apparently, even though I received a "this is your last one ever!" issue a month or so ago and failed to buy an item to stay on the mailing list). I saw the entire 56-page mailer in a new light (although not the Ott-Lite as I've been wanting for quite some time).

Paintstiks on Fabric. I could rub these onto a tissue-thin jersey knit. Do just like the major manufacturers and just embellish part of your fabric. Nancy's Notions suggest rubbing color over a unique rubbing plate, but I'd imagine you could use just about anything three-dimensional, a textured rubber mat comes to mind.

The Simply Crazy Quilt Template, intended to create the popular Victorian-era bed covers, actually looks useful for making ties, the kind the men wear around their necks to work and big, important job interviews.

Oh, the Lightracer is the stuff of delightful dreams. The catalog says it's a "must-hve for tracing quilt designs and applique projects." I envision it as a wonderful tool for tracing and drawing cartoons. Maybe I'd use it for sewing, just perhaps. This has me entranced in a Lite Brites sort of way.

The Yo-yo maker. I have this idea that one day I'm going to make a 1950s circle skirt out of yo-yos. Out of all my retro fabric scraps. I'll just sew all of these hundreds of circles together on my sewing machine, pop the whole thing over a big red crinoline so I can look rockabilly silly and then I'll wear it to Martyrs and lindy hop the night away in bobby socks and a pair of canvas sneakers.

Zip & Carry Bags. I've never been a fan of the totes that look like leftovers from Laura Ashley. This book, however, has me intrigued in a Nancy Drew sort of way. I have two bags, promotional pieces, that, when completely zipped, are just little puffy pocket squares, handy to have when you think you'll be picking up groceries on the way but you don't want to lug a cumbersome, hard-to-fold fabric bag. Actually, upon closer look, this book and the concept, is different. According to the Zip & Carry book, you make your entire carry-all from 5 1/2 yards of Make-A-Zipper and 6 yards of grosgrain ribbon. Still an interesting idea.

Here's my favorite, and something that would be high on my Christmas wish list: a quick easy mitred binding tool. It's for quilt edges, but it would make for lightening-quick work out of making sharp, hospital-bed crisp corners on scarves, skirts, jacket edges, and I don't know what else.

The Sixth Finger (TM) stiletto
is right up my alley and down my lane because I'm always burning my fingers on the iron. I'd practically have to wear the thing draped around my neck for it to be practical since I can see myself pressing fabric with my handy dandy gadget in a drawer or lost in a jar of pens.

Now tell me that Pins with a sense of direction (unlike myself sometimes while driving a car) wouldn't be helpful while cutting out a pattern, particularly one with nap? These would the sewing equivalent of Mapquest. By the way, I can't find the URL for this one. I think I need a GPS system.

And you got to love the Oliso Touch & Glide Auto-Lift steam iron. I mean, who hasn't burned an ironing board cover at least once in their sewing career? I mean I have. I'm certain Coco Chanel, at least a Project Runway winner or two or three have. The iron rises up on its own (kind of spooky, don't you think?) when you release the handle. That function alone would be worth the $109 pricetag.

That is all, for now. I don't expect to receive any of these toys for a certain upcoming holiday. 'Tis ok, I have enough toys on my desk and in my sewing machine tray to play with. Take, for starters, the Husqvarna circular attachment. Given to me by a fellow enthusiast and friend, I haven't even opened the package. It's been more than a few months. What attachments have you purchased that you haven't used yet?
* The dress pattern above? From Anna Marie Horner.

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