The Scissorlace! One of my favorite sewing tools ever, plus a quick jewelry-making tip!

If you’re like me, you’re forever losing your scissors or forgetting to bring them when you sit down at the machine. So I came up with an easy solution: I strung a pair of small thread scissors onto a chain so can wear my scissors as a necklace!

This is a stupid-easy project, but it’s such a useful tool, you won’t want to be without it. Let a necklace and your scissors join forces to become THE SCISSORLACE!

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Crafter’s Gift Guide: The Seamstress

No need to scratch your head in confusion trying to think up a gift for a seamstress. Here are my picks for great gifts for the budding fashion designers, quilters, or hobby sewers.

Brother CS6000i Sewing Machine
This machine made my Recommended Machines list way back in 2010. At the time it had 4.5 stars on Amazon and over 250 reviews. Today it still has the 4.5 star rating with over 1100 reviews. My rule of thumb when buying a mass produced product of any sort is CTR.
The reviews seldom lie.

I’ve had numerous readers tell me they bought this machine on that recommendation and love it. So whether the seamstress in your life is a seasoned pro or a beginner, this machine will make a good addition to their collection. (I’m not the only person with a sewing machine collection, right?)

Brother 1034D Serger/Overlock Machine
Speaking of my collection… this is one of the machines in it. When people ask me about a good serger/overlocker for a beginner, my finger points at this guy. I’ve had mine since 2007, I’ve never had it serviced, and it’s still chugging along. And at under $200, the price doesn’t hurt, either. It’s almost more than you can hope for: great reviews, great price, great function. Sometimes mass production gets it right!

If you’re not familiar with a serger, take a look at the inside of a t-shirt. All of the seams are most likely a serged/overlocked stitch, and it can’t be done with a standard sewing machine.

Another question I get often is “Should I get a sewing machine or a serger?” The answer to that is very simple: a sewing machine is a must. A serger is a companion to a sewing machine. There are a lot of important things you can do with a sewing machine that you can’t do with a serger. So if the crafter in your life doesn’t already have a sewing machine, that should be number one on the list.

When is it time to add a serger to the collection? I would recommend a serger to anyone that has a serious passion for sewing, anyone that wants to primarily focus on making clothing, and anyone that wants to sell the items they make.Read more…