Although many women today no longer make their family’s clothes as previous generations did, there are times when a sewing needle and thread can be a life-saver. An unraveling sock caught before a business meeting or a replacing a missing button on your teen’s jacket can bring profuse thanks to those gifted with the needle.
Even if you haven’t any sewing experience or skills, a sewing kit can come in handy on the job or at home. Some folks carry a palm-sized sewing packet in their cars for emergency repairs. Arranging a sewing basket can make a wonderful gift for a busy woman, mother or single, who occasionally is confronted by those last-minute repair needs, or who may enjoy dabbling in a little bit of hand sewing. Here’s how to organize a useful sewing basket.
- Select an attractive basket. Perhaps most useful is a wicker basket with a synthetic finish to help prevent fraying, chipping, and wearing. Choose one large enough to sit on your lap or for stashing in a closet or chairside. You can either get handles that stand upright for easy grasping or flexible handles for folding to the sides when not in use for easier storage. Colorful baskets can go with a room’s decor. Or get a plain basket, and tuck a colorful cloth into it and hem it around the sides for safekeeping. Allow the ends to hang out, if desired, for a decorous touch.
- Visit your local sewing or craft store. National chains will have a large supply of whatever you may need. Or they can order something that is not carried in current stock. In addition, most have catalogs you can browse for additional items that you can add, little by little, as the sewing bug catches hold of you and becomes a long-term hobby. Browse sales counters, discount tables, and novelty areas for a full view of various items that may catch your fancy.
- Start with the basics. Get a package or two of needles. They come in many sizes for a variety of functions, from heavy-duty carpet or canvas needles to finely-shaped, almost delicate needles for lace trim. Depending on your needs or interests, you may want to get a few different kinds to keep on hand for whatever sewing jobs or hobbies come your way. They are relatively inexpensive, as are many sewing items. Then look for straight pins, which you will need for basting or hemming as well as seams and pleats. Have fun shopping for threads, either in a large package of various colors and weights or on individual spools.
- Don’t forget the equipment supplies. A roller and marker are tools that will help with a variety of sewing chores. Pinking shears, or scissors, are useful for cutting fabric from patterns. Protect your fingers with thimbles. A pincushion or two provides a nesting place for needles and pins that have been used. A measuring tape will be needed for checking sizes and patterns.
- Now add the extras. If your sewing box is large enough or has side pockets, you may want to add a popular pattern or two for practice. Or pick up some unusual buttons or colorful ribbon as accents for a future project. Lace and other adornments can be bought by the yard and saved for a rainy day when boredom sets in and your little one asks, “What can I do?” Even using a brown lunch bag as a starting point, you can teach a young child to sew on button eyes, lace or yarn for hair, and pipe cleaners for a mustache for a fun time.
Sewing is not only functional, it provides a creative outlet for adults and kids alike. Put together your sewing basket, invite someone over, and make something pretty for a holiday or personal gift!