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!

The seam rippers I use are by Prym and by Clover. I prefer the ergonomic grip on the Clover one but the Prymm one is really nice and small.

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!

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Posted by:Marlous

9 replies on “My embroidery workbag

  1. I have many of the same tools! I do use a Frixxon pen on my fabric – you remove it by ironing, not by using the rubber on the end. some people have complained that it comes back if you put it in the freezer… but I don’t tend to keep my embroidery or sewing projects in the freezer so I don’t really care about that!

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  2. I keep my small selection of tools in one section of a cantilever box – except pens and pencils, ‘cos I have far too many of those!

    I never thought of using Coloursoft pencils for pattern transfer/retouching. I have the full set, so I must try that! Thanks!

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    1. Another Certificate question, if you don’t mind! What tools came in the pack you had to buy at the start of course (apart from the slate frame)? The big weapon, the pricking tool, the prick and pounce, the paint(brushes), wool, acid free paper and anything else? Or did you have to buy those seperately if you didn’t have them already?

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  3. What a great collection of tools! Thanks for the tip about Yazzizzi being at the Knitting and Stitching show – I will check them out!
    I’m not nearly as organised as you I’m afraid. I have an old chocolate tin with all my needles in packets, which fits into an old biscuit tin where I keep my pencil case with thimbles, scissors, pencil, paintbrush, awl, packing tool, tweezers and beeswax and what I like to call the weapon – the needle used in framing up a slate frame! Also in my box I keep tracing paper, tape and string for framing up, pins and a small piece of calico.
    I can strongly recommend getting a pair of Uncle Bill’s tweezers if you don’t have them – they make unpicking so much easier!

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    1. Fortunately there is still some space left in my bag for all the things I probably will acquire for the certificate course and setting up the slate frame! What is a packing tool? I will check out Uncle Bill’s Tweezers. I wasn’t planning to go to the K&S show this year as I have been the past two years, but I really enjoy it and I might just get a one day ticket and coincide it with the start of the certificate.

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