Sunday, 20 February 2011

Tools or toys?

Everytime I take up a new hobby I'm struck by the same feeling: the interest in all the little things one can buy. It's tools, little garment details, practical things, purly decorative things, bur I want them all, convinced that if I just have all the proper gear my experience will be perfect. Which is silly, because in the end it's not the gear that makes the hobby but the actual performance of it.

However, while toys are fun there are so many things that are practical. Danceshoes are shoes, which means they´re fun to buy, but they're also much needed if one dances a lot (for knees, feet, legs, posture etc). Sewingmachines are fun, but certainly also makes the sewist's life easier. So how to think when the things I crave as toys also are practical tools? Nowadays I think 1) Will I use it enough to merit the expense? and 2) Do I have room to store it? I'm often saved from "pratical purchases" by having to say "No" to the second question, my appartement is small with limited storage spaces.

Sewing is by no means a new hobby to me, but the intensity of it has shifted the past 1,5 years. A bit because of my vintage interest (sewing period clothes that can't be bought) and a bit because of my injuries giving me more time for quiet hobbies. I've sewn quite a great deal in my days, but little modern, meaning I have very few of the tools often taken for granted by sewists (in medieval circles I'm considered a great cheat as it is; I use a sewing machine after all! =) ). There's a lot of "Oh, I want that" and "Oh, I need that!" and "OMG, I've been looking for a place to buy that!" when I browse any sewing tool section =) I really try to remember that if I've made it this far without something, I probably don't really need it. Some stuff I've given myself leave to purchase/aquire:

A point presser (kantpress) and a tailor's ham. The tailor's ham I made myself from leftover fabric, it has wool from my thick coatfabric on one side and a double layer of cotton on the other side. First I stuffed it with rags, as one DIY said to, but it ended up very lumpy and uneven so I changed the filling to sawdust. At first I was at a total loss, where do one buy sawdust?, until pet-stores were mentioned. Cages for small animals has sawdust on the floor! *mentally clapping my forhead* The supermarket has a pet-isle, and what do you know? Sawdust!

An aid for measuring and a new seamripper, with a better handle. Both were in use within a few days of arrival.

I've been coveting a dress dummy but found them too expensive (a bit like the overlock, which btw works like a dream after service). I might very well be the luckiest girl in the world, 'cause my grandmother found one. And I mean found it, someone had thrown it in the trash (in a big plastic bag, in the trashes where one throws clothes, furniture etc, not the icky trashes). She rescued it, but it's the wrong size for her and she anyway has one, so she gave it to me! Thousend thank you's, grandma!

All the pieces are there, it's only fault is that it has separated in the waist. Some spring or something is missing, so one can press it together but it doesn't stay that way. Hopefully I'll find a way to lock it in place in a suitable height, but until then it will still be a great help while I'm sewing the coat. Later on I'm planning on making a fitted shell and fill it so the dummy actually have my measurments (nope, it can't be altered to that extent, I have too great variations between back, bust, shoulders, waist and hips. Erhmm... the bodice.).

Other things I covet but don't know if I really need are duckbill-scissorns, zigzag-scissors, loop-turners and chalkwheels. And lot's of other things, but that's what came to mind while writing. What do you say about this? Are these things (both the things I have and the one's I want) tools or toy's? Anything of it that you can't live without or that you've tried and never used again?

Hope everyone has had a great weekend!
Love / Erika


Lauren said...

Hehe, I do that too. If there's a new hobby with gadgets I have to have everything. If I'm being good I even use them more than once...
I love my rotary cutter and mat. They've made a real difference to my cutting out!

Kitten loves vintage said...

Jag lever nog på enkla medel tror jag, dvs jag har bara de allra nödvändigaste sy-tillbehören. Det går bra så länge man inte ens vet om vilka olika mojänger det finns...Men visst vore det bra med en ordentlig provdocka -fattar ej vilken tur du hade med din, bara du nu får den att passa förståss- och den där grejen som man kan pressa rundade former med. Hm, kanske jag borde sy en sån?

Helgen var trevlig förresten, vi åkte och dansade på lördagskvällen, ett tag sen sist :)

A Certain Vintage said...

oh i will i will learn to sew this year! i hope it's not as hard as it looks, love all your gadgets and all the things you have made and posted about on this blog :)

Camilla Kästner said...

gahhh, jag som letat som en tokig efter en bra presskudde precis som den.

Ska göra en idag, det enda tricky är väl att hitta en ull i tyghögen som inte är så färgat att det blöder när det får vatten eller ånga på sig.....

superpeppad nu...tack gumman

Erika said...

Lauren; Thank you, "Gadgets", that was the word I was looking for while writing! I love them =) Interesting to hear about the rotarycutter. I've never thought about getting one, until I started sewing knits. Now I'm seriously considering getting one! =)

Kitten; Det otroliga är ju att tills man upptäcker alla fiffiga små saker så behöver man dem inte. Så om man inte tittar borde man inte behöva dem =) Tackar om provdockan, känner mig helt oförtjänt tursam just nu, måste jag erkänna! Ska nog gå bra att forma den rätt =)
Presskudden rekommenderas varmt! Var lite krångligt att få in allt sågspån (gjorde en pappersstrut) men klart värt det.

Oh, vad trevligt att fara på dans!

Erika said...

A certain vintage; Thank you so much! Good luck with the sewing, just start with something easy and fun (like a gathered skirt) and I'm sure you'll do great and have lot's of fun!

Camilla; Skoj att jag kunde inspirera dig! Det var verkligen lättare än jag trodde, utom som sagt att få ner sågspånen. En papperstrut, dammsugare och hålla vovven borta är några råd =) Men himla praktisk, har redan använts flitigt. Planerar att sy en ärmrulle också =)

Isis said...

Where did you find the point presser? I need one! :)

Erika said...

Isis; it really is handy! Esp when tailoring... I got it from Swelogent, at a very reasonable price. Only companies and organisations can shop from them, I bought it when I took part in a sewing class via "Vuxenskolan" and the whole group sent in a joined order through the school.

Isis said...

Thanks. That was teh company I had found. I will ask friends who has companies to see if they can help me. I plan to tailor a jacket and I want one!