Tool Reviews Project Archive
This page contains the entries from the Tool Reviews category. For categories with more than 50 entries, please use the search form to locate older entries.
A few weeks ago I received a press release that Amy Butler and Kaffe Fassett had teamed together with Rowan and had come up with a new product. Considering how much I love both designers, I asked for a press kit. I had only expected something like yarn or fabric swatches, but was totally surprised that two boxes of gorgeous thread arrived in my mailbox last week. This new line of 100% cotton thread complements Amy's current Love and Soul Blossom's line and Kaffe's Stones and Circus collection. I've had the chance to sew with it over the past week and it is fabulous - the colors are vivid, they blend beautifully, and my machine loves it (there's no lint flying off)!
Besides matching your fabric perfectly, why should you use quality thread? Here's a great article on the difference between the 'bargain' spools and high quality brands. Now I need to get my hands on some Soul Blossoms fabric and thread.... I am so in love with the prints from this collection - it may be time to re-do the sewing room in some new fabrics!
One of the more frustrating aspects of sewing is getting little tiny tubes of fabric to turn right side out. There are lots of methods, using a ribbon and safety pin, leaving the thread tail long and pulling it through the tube, and using a bobby pin and snipping a hole at the top (and pulling it through) - none of which I work fantastically. I've purchased commercial tools as well, some of which work better than others. However, I was recently sent a Fasturn to test out and I have to say "I love it"!
I had heard about this product previously on notions reviews, but didn't understand how this tool could be so useful until I tried it myself. And it's easy to use too - create your fabric tube, slip the Fasturn inside, insert the 'pigtail' and twist so that it grabs the fabric, and pull (you can check out an illustration here). I tried it several times and got great results each trial.
If you're interested in purchasing this product yourself, The Crowing Touch company is offering a 20% discount on your order when you enter in the coupon code "BLOG". While you're there you can check out their other selection of sewing notions including bias tape makers, patterns, a video on how to use the Fasturn, and fabrics.
New Tools, Magazines, and Books
I've added a new section to the sidebar today - Tool Reviews. It's not very often that I find new tool products, but when I do, I use them all the time. Today's new tool is the fast2cut Foolproof Circles.
Foolproof Circles are hard plastic templates that come in 4 finished sizes 3", 6", 9", and 12" (1/4 seam allowances are included). Lines are included on the template to help design wedges and arcs for quilt designs such as drunkard's path and circle play. It does take some practice to use these templates - it's much easier if you start off using a smaller rotary cutter, but those who are more experienced using one will (especially those who use a rotary cutter for cutting out fabric for patterns) do just as well with a larger size. Of course, you can always trace the template and then cut - but the rotary cutter is much faster. If I would have had this tool when I started making pin cushions, I could whipped them out much faster (it sure beats using a compas)!
In addition to my new toy, I mean tool, I also bought a new magazine yesterday - Adorn. Apparently I missed the first issue, as this is only the second publication for this title. It reminds me a little bit of Craft, it's a similar size (but not nearly as thick), it covers a wide range of topics - from wool felting to sewing and beading, and has patterns or instructions to several different projects. The sewing section is small, but I loved their version of the Built By Wendy top, Simplicity 3964 - almost enough to buy it!
Speaking of magazines, Zaneta was so wonderful to send me 2 Australian Stitches that I've been pouring over all week! At some point I'm going to try the "Tops With A Twist" - a section on taking your favorite basic t-shirt top pattern and adding a twisted neckline to it. I also purchased the November issue of Patrones which finally arrived at the Stoff-Art ebay store. I can't wait for it to arrive, there are so many things that I want to make from this issue. You can check out the design pages here and here.
I also have a couple of more books to read and review including Fast, Fun & Easy Christmas Decorations: Festive Fabric Keepsakes to Create & Embellish, Toys to Sew: Dozens of Patterns for Dolls, Animals, Doll Clothes, and Accessories, and Threadbared: Decades of Don'ts from the Sewing and Crafting World (which I plan on reading once Taylor is fast asleep, because I am anticipating great hilarity).