How to Make Your Own Sewing Kit

How to Make Your Own Sewing Kit

Pack this handy emergency sewing kit in your purse, backpack, or suitcase, and you'll never be caught unprepared—it contains just the basics, all in one place, for simple repairs. Here's what you'll need to include:

• A small, sturdy, puncture-proof container with a tight-fitting lid (think mint tin or lozenge box)

• A rectangle of medium-weight cardboard (cut from a cracker box, 3 by 4 inches)

• Safety pins (three different sizes)

• A needle threader

• Needles (sharps and ball points)

• All-purpose threads in basic colors:

• Several buttons of different sizes and weights

• A tiny pair of scissors (available in craft stores and the notions section of dry goods stores)

1 Using sharp scissors, cut very shallow slits up one of the long sides of the cardboard rectangle at regular intervals. Turn it around and do the same on the other long side, exactly across from each cut you've already made.

2 Wind black thread around the topmost part of the cardboard, inserting it into the slits to hold it in place and create a kind of a "skein." Don't pull too tight or the cardboard will buckle. After winding the thread around five or six times, tuck in the end so that you can easily find it again later.

3 Do the same with your other thread colors until the slots on the card are filled. It's useful to have white or off-white, navy, brown, green, and red.

4 Tuck the needles inside the thread, piercing the cardboard to hold them in place. You can also fasten your safety pins around a loop of thread so they're easy to find.

SOME HELPFUL GLOSSARY TERMS

Pinking shears. Scissors with a diagonal cutting edge that looks like a long row of little teeth

Tailor's chalk. A thin flat piece of hard chalk or soapstone used by tailors and seamstresses for making temporary marks on cloth

Seam ripper. A specialty notion with no moving parts that features a sharp, curved blade ending in a sharp point on one side and a small ball on the other edge that glides over fabric and helps protect it

Inseam. The seam of a trouser leg that runs from the crotch down to the bottom of the hem, alongside the inner thigh and calf

Rayon. Originally named artificial silk or wood silk, rayon is a transparent fiber made of processed cellulose. Cellulose fibers from wood or cotton are dissolved in alkali to make a solution called viscose, which is then extruded through a spinneret into an acid bath to reconvert the viscose into cellulose. Unlike nylon and polyester, rayon wicks water, so it's ideal for use as a clothing textile.

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