What are Notions? Things like needles, markers, bobbins, tape measures, and many etc! If you go to your local fabric store, and check the aisle marked Notions - well, you'll be amazed at all the things there.
If your local fabric store, or chain fabric store has a sale on Notions, go and stock up on -
- Sewing machine needles
- Hand sewing needles
- Extra bobbins for your sewing machine (if the store carries them)
- Tape measures - both 60" a and 120" if you're a quilter
- Chalk based markers
- Fray Check on hand. One bottle goes a long way. What to do with it? After you sew a button on, put a dab of FC on the threads. The button will stay on longer. Use it on the end of ribbons that fray, anything that frays.
- Beeswax is handy if you do hand sewing. How? Thread your needle and run the thread through the beeswax so it is coated. Then, use your iron to press the thread and let the wax melt into the fibers of the thread. The beeswax makes the thread much stronger.
- Thread Heaven keeps your thread from tangling while hand sewing. I call this a 'box of snot' :) lol It's a little box of shape-able 'stuff' (i don't know what it is) but when you run your thread through it, it helps it not to tangle. If you do a lot of hand sewing, this is just one of those nice things to have around.
- Sewing Machine Needles - Schmetz. They have a huge selection of different types of needles for your machine. Most machines can use Schmetz needles, but if yours can't, use what your manual recommends. What kind of needles should you keep in stock? First and foremost -
- Universal needles in sizes from 11 to 16 will do for most regular sewing. (11 is thinner than 16, you'd use a size 11 on thin cotton and a size 16 on denim).
- Ball Point needles are good for sewing on knits, as they go between the fibers of the cloth and not through them. Size 10 to 14 should see you through most knits sewing.
- Jean or Denim needles are specifically engineered for heavyweight tightly woven fabric such as denim and canvas. Size 14 -18. These will come in handy if you do a lot of sewing on denim. For the occasional jeans hemming, a Universal size 16 will be fine.
- Embroidery needles are an absolute must when using decorative threads. They prevent shredding and breakage when sewing with metallic and other machine embroidery threads. If you do a lot of sewing with these specialty threads, you will need these. Before I knew about them, I tried doing some 'sewing machine embroidery' with my Universal needles and every 5 minutes, the thread was breaking. Once a sewing friend told me about these, it was heavenly! They are the bomb!
- Topstitch needles are designed for ... well, topstitching! We usually (as with jeans) topstitch with a heavier thread, and these needles have an extra large eye and a large groove to accommodate topstitch thread for decorative or edge stitching.
- Microtex Sharp needles. For use on micro fibers, polyester, silk, artificial leather, coated materials. The very thin acute point creates beautiful topstitching and perfectly straight stitches for quilt piecing when precision is paramount.
- Twin needles are great for doing pintucks in heirloom sewing.
- Wing needles are perfect for heirloom sewing with linen.
That pretty much covers most sewing machine needles that you might need. There are many more for special purposes. But usually when learning to do special projects, the specific needle needed will be mentioned.
|When the Notions sale is going on, or you have coupons for Notions get together with a friend to buy multiple packages and split the cost. Go with two friends and save more!|
- Hand Sewing Needles -John James is my preferred brand. They make a Multi-Pack of needles, which contains just about every hand-sewing needle you might need. If you need specific kinds of needles for your own specific kind of sewing, it's best to buy those singly and in bulk. Running out of needles in the middle of a project is no fun!
- Betweens - used for hand-quilting. The larger the size number, the shorter the needle. The shorter the needle, the smaller stitches you can make. If you're just learning to hand quilt, start with a size 9 and work your way up to a 12.
- Beading - if you like to embellish the things you sew with beads, a beading needle is a must. It's long and very thin, making it able to go through the smallest beads easily. Most 'everyday' needles will not go through beads, unless they are very large.
- Chalk-based Markers - Why chalk based? What about the nifty blue ones with washable ink and the really cool purple ones with disappearing ink? In my experience (and you're personal mileage will vary), washable doesn't always mean 'washable and never to return' and disappearing ink has a funny way of re-appearing during the oddest moments! And if you're interested in the long-term stability of your item - no one really knows what effect these markers will have on fabrics in the long run. They just haven't been around that long. I use a Dritz Ceramic Marker with changeable leads in white, pink and green. It marks lightly, but clearly and then just brushes off. Sometimes the old ways are the best - chalk, soapstone, and graphite are great marking tools.
- Extra Bobbins - I don't know about you, but when I run out of bobbin thread in the middle of my project, it's just plain annoying. Why can't they make a sewing machine where you can thread the bobbin with a spool of thread? Okay, I digress :) I wind 4-5 bobbins of white, beige, and black at the same time. That way they are waiting for me, and when I run out of bobbin thread, I simply pop another one in and I'm on my way. But it does take quite a few bobbins, more than what comes with the machine! So, if you can get some on sale, stock up. They do occasionally break, and/or get lost (especially if you have a cat) so you want to make sure you always have enough for extra bobbins.
- Rotary Blades - If you use a Rotary Cutter, sharp blades are very important. If your blade is sharp, you'll apply less pressure to the cutter, using less energy on your part. And, if you do slip (please be very careful!) the resulting cut will be less severe. If you keep working with a blade that is dull, you apply more pressure, requiring more energy and that slip (if it results in a cut) will likely require stitches. I can never stress this enough - Rotary Cutters are very important tools to the sewer/quilter, but also very dangerous when not handled properly. I have sent my blades out to be sharpened and been very happy with them. That can be a thrifty alternative to buying new blades all the time. When they go on sale - set in a little stock. You'll never be sorry.
- Tape Measure - do you lose your tape measure as often as I do? I hope not!!! I finally solved that problem by installing a hook near my cutting table, and making it a habit to always put my tape measure back there when I'm done with it. But until that happened, I was continually pulling out a new one, and then later, finding several at one time. I say stock up on them, don't be without - they are not expensive!
That wraps up my most-used notions and my thoughts on them. I'm eager to hear about yours and what you think. I actually didn't think I had this much to say about notions! :)