Friday, March 16, 2012


This all started with a tear in my underwear. A one inch section of seam had come unstitched, and I could have thrown the article out, but that seemed wasteful.  I could easily sew that section up with a running back stitch, overcast the seam, and it would be good as new, right?

I even knew where to find needle and thread. Thread (in the right color, no less) is kept in the sewing machine cabinet. Needles, however, are in the large plastic bucket where my husband keeps sewing supplies, on the top shelf of his side of the closet, and either I'd have to haul out the ladder to get to them, or risk bringing the heavy bucket right down on my head.

Fortunately, I keep a travel sewing kit in my travel cosmetic case, and I was able to find a needle without risking life and limb. I was also able to notice that the plastic case that the sewing kit is in, bought very cheaply, is coming apart. What I needed was a new etui. It could hold sewing items for travel and also keep me from having to grab a ladder every time I wanted to do a quick repair at home.

I searched under "etui" on and found this lovely item

Picture by RocknRobin

for $16.50 plus shipping. It opens out like the picture below.

Picture by RocknRobin

You have to add your own sewing items, but it is nice, and I almost bought it.

My guilty conscience got to me, however. I collect boxes, most of which are sitting doing nothing, and for what I really needed, I could adapt one of those.

In fact, I found the perfect one. My husband gave me a necklace for our first Christmas as a married couple, and it came in a very nice box (see below).

I keep all my jewelry in a jewelry box, however, so for almost 24 years the box has been sitting empty. It's a good size for a little sewing kit. Scissors could sit in the bottom, and one side of the top could hold a pincushion, while the other could hold a thimble and thread.

The rubber bands are for holding scissors. Not the spiffiest solution, but it will do for a try out.

For some reason, folding scissors have disappeared from all the stores in my neighborhood that used to carry them. I have to order some online, but in the meantime, I'm using my knife as a stand-in, just to see how all this works. Besides, it does have scissors.

Now for the pincushion. See how I cut the batting a little smaller than the space to allow for fabric?

Leftover fabric from my last bedding project coordinates quite well with the box.

Remember how I left space for the fabric? Not enough, apparently. I wrapped the batting with the fabric like a package, using double sided tape. I should have fit it in the box before I put the last piece of double sided tape on, but I didn't.

The other side is for thread and my new thimble. The cutout part of the thimble is to allow space for long fingernails. I don't have long fingernails, but I like that it is also adjustable.

The thread and tape measure are from the old sewing kit. Now I add needles, safety pins, and a straight pin to the pin cushion.

It closes perfectly, but I still need something to hold the thread and thimble in place.

The old dirty rubber bands have been replaced with hair bands that were on sale. The burgundy color goes well with the fabric. I also found the little scissors from the sewing kit, but they aren't very good quality.

I tried stapling a third burgundy hair band, but that didn't work. I hot glued in some burgundy ribbon, but it was hard to tie it tight enough to keep the items from falling out. Finally I hot glued the ribbon over the ends of the band to hold it in place.

I was going to cut off the rest of the ribbon, but I may leave it to tie as below. It depends on how annoying it gets to have to keep tying it. 

The box closes okay with everything in it. The knife is now back in my purse, though, since that's where I need it.

I still need to order some folding scissors online. None of the descriptions tell how big they are when they are closed. I've tried calling to find out, but it is apparently some big military secret or something.

So my project turned out about as well as most of my craft projects do, i.e, Im not going to be selling any of them on etsy any time soon (ever).

Instead of the hair bands, I thought about using plain elastic in a casing made of the sunflower fabric, but to turn the casing, I'd need my bodkin. The bodkin, of course, is in the big plastic tub on the top shelf of the closet. In other words, that project is literally over my head.

1 comment:

  1. Practical, portable, and pretty. Well done! I like it better than the etui you found on Etsy. Good luck finding decent tiny scissors. I've seen some as small as 2.5 inches on ebay, but I can't vouch for their quality.