Well how is that for a title? Hand sewing and thread. Not very thrilling. But – actually – it is!
Do you have any of these? Sold as a mending aid, my mother swears by them. I use mine from time to time. In fact I have three. One is cotton, the other two polyester multi-purpose thread. As you can see some colours are used more than others, and also that they soon look like a brown mess as all I tend to extract the cooler-brighter colours (which I use more than the warmer and more muted shades). But for people who just do hand mending these items are a boon because they include all the colours you are likely to need (or close enough) for fixing the boy’s shorts, or attaching a lace collar, repairing a zip or hem on your jeans. The pre-cut length is maybe a tiny bit short for some jobs but it is convenient for many. Economical too. The all purpose thread is good for everything but there is also a thread plait available with button hole weight thread, which may be useful for attaching buttons as well as button holes and a little bit of top stitching.
I even have a little mending kit that has one of these in it, a few needles and pins, a safety pin and some tiny scissors. And a tape measure. I often carry it around in my handbag and find I use the tape measure and the scissors quite often. My mother, who was growing up in the 1930 and 1940s, also had a similar product for fixing her stockings, that were originally made of wool or silk (before Nylon was invented). She still has these in her sewing kit although the only stockings she wears these days are compression knee socks. But the colour is accurate!
However if you do a lot of sewing these plaits have their limitations. At a hat making weekend I realised you do lots of hand sewing, and you want a good colour match, but you don’t necessarily know in advance what trimmings or gros grain ribbon you will use. You need different – millinery straws – long, fine needles. And in terms of thread I was introduced to the modern, souped up version, by another student. As I am going to do a course in millinery next term I decided to splash out on the Ferrari of rainbow thread.
i absolutely love this product. It cost £42.66 which works out just over £1 per reel, so pretty good value. Of course I will use some threads more than others, but I can replace them as they run out with the same or different colours.
I love the presentation too – the folding box that fits into your bag, the squishy black foam that holds the reels out for you to peruse and it make me feel the like the sewing version of a district nurse, door to door sales person or visiting chiropodist. Everything to hand for the professional seamstress or milliner!
And the rainbow ordering is so compelling. I love to put colours next to each other in the “right” order. It is quite an art. Like perfect balance in matters of proportion, our eyes always enjoy the natural order of colour. I had to buy these felt tips in Aldi, for obvious reasons. I hope to use these for my sketching workshop!