- by Barb Edtl Shelton
How to Make a Mini Sewing Kit
It's true that "a stitch in time saves nine," but if that one little heroic stitch is going to be saving nine other stitches, the least we can do is give it a little "tool box" to work out of.
You can keep this in your purse, wallet, the glove box, your office drawer, or just at home if you aren't a sewer and don't have supplies.
You might even want to make a few, and keep one in each place!What if you're out 'n' about when a button pops off in a vital spot? Like mid-bosom on a blouse? Or a seam splits in a place that's a bit tacky, like an underarm seam, or worse, in a downright dangerous spot, like a crotch seam?!?!
To the rescue: this Mini Sewing Kit!!!
These also make great shower prizes and stocking stuffers!!! Especially when added to an Emergency Purse Kit!!!
(Actual type of bag to hold contents has since changed.)
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First, you need something to contain the sewing supplies you'll be putting together. A 2-inch by 3-inch zip-lock bag is what I used for mine.
But if you want a little more finger room, you can use a 2.5-inch by 3-inch bag, a 3-inch by 3-inch bag or a little bigger yet ~ a 3-inch by 4-inch bag. (So you have a few choices! And these are all the thicker 4 mil plastic, which is more durable.) Any of these sizes of bags will fit into an Emergency Purse Kit very nicely!
Pictured here are the supplies I used to create one of these:
a small ziploc baggie - Your choice of size; see options in the above section.
5 spools of thread - You'll only use a little of each color, so you don't need a lot. If you don't have any on hand, here's an assortment pack of 24 spools of thread.
a few buttons - If you have buttons on hand, choose a few in colors that go with clothing you wear. If you don't, this is a good option: 100 buttons in assorted sizes and colors.
a piece of thicker cardboard - I save pieces that other paper craft items come with. If you use regular cardstock, you will want to glue two pieces together to make it thicker. You'll just need a tiny piece as per directions that are comin' up next.
one or two hand-sewing needles - If you don't have any on hand, this is a handy dispenser with 25 needles of assorted sizes.
a needle threader - I looooove these! The older your eyes get, the more joy this inexpensive little tool will bring you!
ONLY TWO TOOLS
straight-edge scissors to cut the cardboard.
pinking scissors to make the zig-zagged edge of the piece that holds the thread. You can use the "adulty" kind (called "pinking shears") or the kids' kind, like I used! If you do not have these, just cut a simple zig-zag with the straight edge scissors. It'll just look... uuuum... whimsical!!!
LET'S DO THIS!!!
Using the straight-edge scissors, cut a piece of cardboard 1/4" smaller than the length and width of the content portion of the baggie you're using. This is for the 2"X3" zip-loc bag, so you can make yours a little bigger if using a larger size. (Adjust according to the size of bag you're using.)
I just sketched mine onto the cardboard, and then cut.
Next, make sure the piece fits inside the bag you're using:
Opening tightness varies, so you'll also want to make sure the piece fits easily through the opening (where it's the smallest), although you'll still be cutting off a bit more in the next step. But you'll also be adding on the thread.
Using actual pinking shears (or kid-type craft scissors as shown in the photo below ~ which I got many years ago), trim narrow strips off of each long side. The dips is what you'll wind your thread into so it won't slip around.
Along one side, make short slits ~ about 1/4 inch long, but no need to be exact ~ in every third dip. I had five slits total. You'll pull the ends of the thread into these slits when you're done winding on a length of thread, which will keep the end of the thread in place without having to use tape.
Holding the start of the thread in place on the card with your left thumb, wind the thread around and around the card with your right hand* over the end of the thread so that it eventually, within 3 or 4 wind-arounds, gets covered over and secured in place. I went around the card 15 times, but you can go more or less depending on how much thread you want to have on hand.
End by pulling the thread into the little cut, and then snip off the thread at about 1/2 inch. (No need to measure; this isn't an exact science.)
Wind all five colors onto the notched card this same way, and then trim the end (on the left here) of the card to take off that last notch. (I could have added a sixth color of thread instead, but 5 was plenty for me.)
So here it is with that left end trimmed, and with a needle "woven" in through the thread colors to keep the needle in placed. (You don't want it just floating around the bag and possibly poking through the plastic bag.)
YOUR SEWING KIT:
Tuck a needle threader under the threads, and insert all this into the little baggie.
If you've never used a needle threader, here's how: Just slip that diamond-shaped wire thingy through the eye (hole) of your needle, feed the end of the thread through that, and then pull the wire back through the eye of your needle, and wah-lah!!! One threaded needle without raising your blood pressure!
Turn your kit over and into the other side of the bag insert a few miscellaneous buttons of your choosing, considering the clothing you wear. (Two of mine are clear buttons so that, no matter what the color of the item that loses a button, the clear button will "match," or at least blend in and not clash.)
you have it!
mini sewing kit!
If you make one, let me know in the comments how it went, and if you have any other ideas!