Saturday, 14 March 2015

Useful tools

I have been working on this months 'Mini Mania' (as it has now been named) challenge, and I have to say it has been a bit of a challenge.  I managed to get all the pieces cut, but as I was piecing them I noticed my machine was skipping stitches, so like a good girl I changed the needle (not the easiest task with my new machine), but it still skipped stitches so I had to resort to reading the instruction book and that gave me another needle choice, so once again changed the needle.  In the past I have never had any trouble doing this, but my new Janome is a bit if a fiddle so I have resorted to finding little tools to help and wondered if any of you have a similar problem and have solved it with your own tools.  Firstly I use a handbag mirror so that I can see where the needle should be placed..

I think this came out of a Christmas Cracker

that helped a lot, then I remembered my Bernina overlocker had a dust brush with a hole at the end where you inserted the needle to help with the placement into the machine so off I went and found that.
You can still buy these from Bernina Dealers

Lastly my old Bernina needle threader came in very handy with those fine needles that have very small eyes for the automatic needle threader to tackle

This used to slide into the side of the old machine 

 So these are my new favourite friends

Can you see the needle?

and these are my old but very trusty friends 

Fine lace pins, sharp snips, Sewing guide, and my quick unpick 

What special bits and pieces do you use???


  1. How clever to use a small mirror and I wish my lint brush had a wee hole in the end of it. My old sewing machine is fairly easy to replace the needle on but the newer, Janome, can be very frustrating.

  2. Never thought if using a mirror! I have a very special pair of tiny scissors that I won't share and a pair of tweezers next to my machine. But my favourite friends are very fine long silk pins.

  3. I think we would all be lost without our favourite bits and pieces. I love my silver (yes silver) thimble that my Mum gave me.

  4. I've been doing a lot of EPP and I seem to pull up across my pinkie finger causing it to get red and raw so I made a fingercot (that's what I call it) out of some wide elastic...it's like a little sleeve for my pinkie...that and my well worn leather thimble with a little metal "coin" at the top.
    I have a new leather thimble...same brand..but it's not worn in to the shape of my finger yet!:)
    I also love my large bent paperclip for hooking out lint from deep in the dark recesses of my bobbin case!!

  5. I know how you feel about changing the needle Jo! I have the same problem and I use the inside of a magnifying mirror that I have. Seems to be a problem with new Janomes!