Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life

Two essential items


I would say that I’m someone who doesn’t feel a great need for gadgets and I try, as a rule, to get by with the minimum. I take a lot of persuading to buy new gadgets. A couple of examples of my frugality spring to mind, I have an inherited sewing machine and somehow most of the accessories for it have been lost. I learnt to live with only one bobbin for years! Re-winding it each time I wanted to change the colour of my thread. I found some more bobbins in a second-hand shop and my Mum also found some hidden in a cupboard, so thankfully I haven’t got this problem anymore. Likewise, I’d been struggling with my old camera, that didn’t take very good pictures. I’d been blogging for over a year, trying to take photos outside when possible or “grabbing” moments of sunshine in the winter months, when I finally persuaded myself to get a new one.

I know that there are many sewing accessories and gadgets, and every beginner’s book trumpets the necessity of buying a huge amount of stuff. Mostly, I’m not persuaded to buy more gadgets, but perhaps I’m changing my ways because in the last year, as well as the camera, I have made two other purchases.

First of all, I bought this magnifying lamp. I live in quite a dark and ding Victorian house and to be honest, embroidery is completely out of question without any supplementary light.


The LED Light array is variable in intensity with a handy dimmer switch. The LEDs are actually very bright at their fullest extent. The lens is a decent size too – at 10 cm.

It can be mains or battery powered, which allows it to be used anywhere in the house without any fuss. The flexible arm can be positioned easily, however, the base is a little light and if you extend the flexible arm to full length, the lamp has a tendency to topple over.

All in all though, it has been a great buy and I just wouldn’t manage to do any embroidery work without it during the gloomy winter months.

The second item is my cutting mat. I bought this at Husqvarna Studio. I’ve just started getting into sewing with knit fabrics and this has been a vital for use with a rotary cutter.


I can’t get over how the cut lines just heal up. Sometimes I just keep on staring at the mat after I’ve made a cut, to try to see if it has left a mark! The mat also has handy grids on both sides and lines drawn at various angles. I find the 45 degree markings really handy for finding the true bias of a fabric.


Interestingly, both these items are getting a fair bit of use by Mr and Master Steely with their model-making. I really have to fight to get to use them these days!

Is there anything just simply can’t do without? Do you find your “sewing” equipment being spirited away mysteriously for other uses?

Author: steelyseamstress

Sewing a new wardrobe

4 thoughts on “Two essential items

  1. My only must – haves are decent scissors! I’m very stern about my sewing scissors but pretty much everything else has accumulated over the years after being brought home from college or given to me. I too am pretty frugal but I love looking at new sewing gadgets so I’m looking forward to seeing what anyone else says!!

  2. Thanks for the info about the lamp. I’ve been wondering which one to buy for close handwork. My sewing stuff is guarded by an evil witch, my doppelganger. It can only be borrowed by suitable grovelling, guarantees of kind treatment and safe return required. Penalties exacted.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s