Today I thought I would share the contents of my embroidery workbag with you. I always like reading about tools and gadgets other people are using so I hope you like that too.
My workbag has been evolving quite a bit over the past year because I have been getting into different kinds of embroidery requiring different tools. I don’t pretend that my workbag will stay like this forever as I like updating and improving it. So please leave a comment with your favourite tools so I can check them out!
My workbag is a Yazzii Deluxe Double Organiser. In one half it has space for all of your tools and in the other half has space large enough to keep an 8 inch hoop in (with dowel attached if you are using an Elbesee seat frame) for your current project. I found out about Yazzii bags from Alison’s Cole’s Little Hints and Tips book. Yazzii makes a large range of craft bags in different colours for quilting, sewing, knitting, crochet and embroidery. Their bags are great because they have lots of clear plastic zippered pockets to keep all of your tools separate and organised. Their bags are available from their website. Yazzii is based in Australia but they ship all over the world. They also attend (mainly quilt) shows in the USA and Australia. This year will be attending their first shows in the UK, the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham (10-13 Aug) and the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace (11-15 Oct). Do check out their stand if your attending either of these shows!
My main embroidery scissors are by Prym and they have a KAI blade. They are ideal for fine work. My gold work scissors are ones Alison Cole has commissioned at Premax in Italy. They have a serrated blade. I bought mine at the Embroidery Den in Melbourne but they are also available from Alison Cole’s website. My Hardanger scissors are from the RSN. My straight and curved tweezers, my gold plated mellor and my stainless steel mellor and stiletto are also from the RSN.
The funny green cone shaped rubber things protecting the tips of my scissors and tweezers are actually Clover point protectors for knitting needles. They are, however, a perfect fit to protect the tips of scissors!
I like to use Frixion pens to mark off charts. I don’t like using a pencil for this as a felt tip pen is much quicker and clearer. I used to use ordinary felt tip pens but those ment I couldn’t rectify a mistake if I had crossed something of when I shouldn’t have. This is why friction pens are great as you can rub out any mistake. Don’t use these pens though to mark your fabric as you can still see a residue from the pen on your fabric even if you have rubbed it out.
For marking fabric I like to use Prymm water erasable pen. I alway test it on a piece a fabric first though, as it doesn’t erase from all fabrics easily. For erasing on the go I like Prym’s water pen. It has got a fine nib which means you can erase some marks on the go to check your stitching without having to wet your entire work. Pens like this of course can not be used when your work should not or cannot be wetted. For those works I like to use Sublime Stitching Fine tip Iron-on transfer pen which I bought from Trish Burr’s shop, but I don’t think she stocks it anymore. I also use a mechanical pencil, or Derwent Coloursoft pencils to redraw designs if the design on the fabric has worn off.
I like using John James Needles. I keep them in their original packets so I can keep track of which ones I still have and which one is which. I only keep the types of needle I am actually using in my workbag. The other packets are stored in an A4 ringbinder with plastic business card pockets inside them.
The needle minder is one by the RSN. One side of the magnet pictures a button and the other side a rose. It is only available as a set from their website but on its own if you buy it in the shop. Needlegrabbers by Prym are great to pull your needle through if your hands are a bit sweaty.
My tape measure and ruler are by Prym. The drafting triangle is from my local Hema, just as the make-up brushes I use to remove loose beeswax or metal particles from my work. The metalwork dish I bought at the Crewel Gobelin in Sydney and is made especially for them by a local craftsman. The velvet board is from the RSN.
My workbag also houses a small screwdriver to tighten ring frames and an Elbesee twizzler to tighten wingnuts. I also have a small set of wire cutters and pliers for stumpwork. Not pictured are a set polyster threads for tacking, some glass headed pins and a polishing cloth for my glasses.
I hope that this article has given you a good idea about the tools I like using for my embroidery. As I mentioned I really like to hear what you think about these and what your favourite tools are.
Also I really would like some recommendations for something that doesn’t fit in a workbag but which is a tool all the same: a magnifying light. The one I have at the moment is far too small and the arm doesn’t stay put so I really like to invest in a much better model. At the moment I am toying between two daylight models (D25080 & D25030). If you can recommend either, please let me know!