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New Sewing Notions!

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I love trying new things and today a package came from my friend Els. Hemming tape and basting thread!!!

What's in the Envelope

The hemming tape is 2 meters long. That is also 2000 millimeters or 200 centimeters.


In imperial measurement the tape is 78.72 inches, or 6.56 feet, much taller than I. I could use it to mark the hem of short sleeves! Wow, what a concept.

It is anchored by a 4 ounce (yes, I weighed it LOL) brass foot which rests firmly on the floor and the top of the tape is held up. The hem is marked so that it is equal distance from the floor.

Standing Tape

One side of the tape has the markings down from the top and the other side has the markings running up

Close Up

A tape can roll up and take up very little space as opposed to a clumsy yard stick that stands in a corner, waiting to fall over if it’s bumped. Corners are not always (ahem!) *easy* to get to in my sewing space.

And an unyielding yardstick can flatten gathers of a skirt and cause the hem to look uneven in spite of the technically correct placement of the hem.

So I am very pleased to add this hemming tape to the sewing notions stash.

Els sent an unexpected **bonus**: some basting thread for me to try out. When tailoring with canvas and tightly woven wools the basting threads I buy here can be difficult to pull through the fabrics’ thickness, shed messy cotton fibers, and easy break off when you are trying to remove them after machine stitching. This thread looks like it might be mercerized. It’s more shiny and thicker than the shank hanging from my task light. I like that it’s on a spool.

I tried so hard to get the photo that would show you the differences but I believe I’ve failed. Maybe you can see that the spooled thread is not quite as fuzzy…(then again, maybe not….)

Basting Thread

Guess you’ll have to be here to appreciate the differences

Both are welcome additions to my bag of tricks.

Thank you Els!


About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

7 responses »

  1. You’re welcome MaryBeth. I use the led measuring tape to measure the length for a skirt, dress or pants. I put a piece of string or elastic around the waist and measure the distance from the ground to the string at waist at the left side, right side, center front and center back. This way you can see if you have any balancing “problems” read high hip, tilted front or back waistline, big butt etc. If you know which skirt length you prefer you can then subtract the amount from floor to skirtlenght and see if you need to alter the skirt pattern length at left, right side center front or center back.

    A balanced skirt pattern is about nearly 1 inch (2 cm) higher at the side seams then center front and center back length.

  2. love that measuring tape, and the extra info from Els.
    The basting thread looks just like the one that my friend (non-blogger) Isabel picks up on her annual visits back to her home in Portugal.

  3. Very cool tools! I think I can detect a faint halo of fuzz around the thread on the top in the last photo, which would be the source of some problems with basting with it.

  4. I love getting new notions too 🙂
    That is a different tape measure, sounds very useful.

  5. Els sent me some of that basting thread – I love it and I know you will too Mary Beth! It’s also great for thread tracing because it’s on the thick side and it shows up easily.

  6. I was very surprised when I found out that basting thread was not a common notion in the US. We use it a LOT here in Portugal (and I assume in Europe too). Kudos to Els for providing it to you!


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