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Date: 8 November 2014. Sewing Kit Saves Time.

All of us have probably developed some tricks for saving time and making minor things easier to handle. For me, one is a simple little sewing kit I made up a while back. I have found it quite useful over the span of years. It's not fancy. It's not perfect but it is definitely good enough. And mine is handy.

My kit is small so it fits into a drawer. Because it is convenient to access I am far more likely to use it than if I had to drag out my full blown sewing supplies. By being handy, quite often it's tucked into my laundry bag when heading for dirt to wash clothes. When folding my shirts often I spot a loose button or some such issue that can be resolved immediately.

Years ago I'd stack stuff aside for these mammoth repair sessions. They were always dreaded and weighed on my mind because I knew it was "one more thing" undone. I hated that! And now I don't have to worry about which white shirt has a loose button. The problem has already been solved.

As a long-time worker with needles and thread there are some specific pieces of advice passed down through our family. The list includes:

  1. Always buy good thread. The cheap two-bit stuff breaks and if you're spending time to repair something make sure it lasts. Definition of "good thread" would be something along the lines of Coats and Clark.

  2. Above, you'll note a spot of red nail polish on the spool of thread. That shows me where the thread notch is.  I'm older than dirt and seeking that little spot where the thread end resides was always a pain in the transom. Now it's easy to find.

  3. Also, I have one end of an old shoe lace attached to my little orange kit. The other end feeds through the spool of thread, is knotted and then I add another safety pin so the spool won't slip out. That way always the thread is right there and it won't walk away.

    That process was started back when my darling daughter started sewing and for some reason my supplies grew legs and somehow (?!?) turned up in her sewing basket. This way I cannot misplace the spool of thread.

  4. A couple of needles (I use embroidery needles because they have bigger eyes) along with a folding pair of scissors and I'm all set for any emergency fabric repair.

Needle Information

Embroidery needles have a sharp point while needlepoint needles have a blunt end to poke through the holes in needlepoint fabrics. Both have a much larger eye than the standard sewing version.

Regular needles have a very small eye to poke your thread through. Quilting needles are shorter but otherwise the same as regular ones.

You'd definitely want embroidery needles for hand sewing unless your
eyes are a lot more cooperative than mine. They are not expensive.

Embroidery needles are much easier to thread when the boat rocks too!

Because this kit is compact I can tuck it into my purse when going to the laundry ashore. An open seam (cheesecake is a weakness) can be repaired immediately rather than set aside for sewing time.

Fixing what I have saves money too. It only takes a few moments when the necessary tools (needle and thread) are so handy. I keep my kit in the top drawer of my bookcase when not in use. By being available at a moment's notice that loose button is fixed before it's lost. And something that simple is always a good thing.

Aboard Seaweed fixing things as they come up mean I don't get too overwhelmed. Frankly with all the turmoil engine swaps entail, the ability to have some degree of organization in my life helps enormously. And there is good news on the engine swap front:

Last week the motor mount mock-ups were taken into Tallahassee.
They have been built and soon enough will be seating my beautiful Kubota.

The decision to go with a tractor motor and change it into a marine engine is a complicated one. Transformation is not for the faint-of-heart but it is possible, and economical. I'll be sharing information on that process in a series of articles. If you'd like to see where my 18hp Kubota came from visit Yanmar Tractor Parts. They ship everywhere, so you don't have to be a local -- in case you wondered.

Life continues and I'll let you in on a secret: There's an enormous amount of pleasure one can get sticking a sharp needle into cloth. I took it up (quilting actually) back when my son turned into a teenager. I cannot describe to you how very good it felt to poke a piece of fabric... but that's another story for one of these days.

Are you a sewing basket kind of person, a sewing kit character, or both?!?
Do you also have a sewing machine? I've got a Singer Featherweight that I love.


Categories: Boat Talk, Locations, Money, Recommendations, Simplify, Vignettes

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Aphorism Alert:  When told the reason for daylight saving time the Old Indian said, "Only the Federal Government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket."

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