Do you ever find that in your daily rushed routine of taking care of others you neglect yourself? I do! It often seems like if I'm not walking chihuahuas, I'm feeding chihuahuas, or stroking chihuahuas, or tossing some stuffed something-or-other-that-used-to-have-legs-that-got-chewed-off and playing with chihuahuas. Actually, only they're playing, I'm just throwing.
How about me?
I had an epiphany yesterday, inspired no doubt by my new Daily Ditch feature here on MPB. Friends, I did so want to call this The Daily Dump, but Michael thought that sounded a little...er...you know. We ran through a whole host of possibilities, including The Daily Discard, The Daily Detritus, and Crap du Jour. I hope you're happy with The Daily Ditch as it was very much the compromise choice.
But back to today's topic. I decided that it was time to do something unprecedented in my two-plus years of sewing, an act of true self love: I replaced all my sewing pins. I love me!
I use a pin cushion that came with one of my vintage sewing machines, my Pfaff 139, to be precise. See it there in the photo?
Here it is today.
The pins that it came with were I don't know how old -- but old -- and some were rusty and crusty as well. You'd think I'd have replaced them all at that time, but instead, I proceeded to use them for the following two years. I cannot tell you how many times I've tried to stick a pin into a project only to find that the tip was too dull, too bent, or simply too yucky, and I had to reach for another one. This doesn't take a lot of time, but over a period of years, it adds up.
Last winter, I actually treated myself to a fresh box of pins from Sil Thread, only I never opened it. Until yesterday that is. Behold!
These new pins are a little longer than my old ones and finer. They may not last as long, but it feels great to finally do something for me, for me, for ME!
BTW, I could use a new pin cushion too, and I noticed that Sunni over at A Fashionable Stitch sells adorable ones, both the tomato kind and the wrist kind. I have one of those cheapie wrist pincushions, but I never wear it on my wrist. To be blunt, it sucks, and will likely be a Daily Ditch in the near future.
While we're on the subject of pins, let's talk about needles. When I started sewing, I got turned on to Organ needles and I've used them ever since. I buy mine at Steinlauf & Stoller in the Garment District, but you can find these most anywhere sewing machine needles are sold. I sew most frequently with Size 9's and 11's, though I always keep 14's around, as well as 18's for denim and elephant hide.
I change my needle before I begin any important project, or when I break one, which I do on occasion. I found these vintage ball point needles at the flea market recently, though I have yet to use them. Often my vintage machines come with interesting old notions, and that's usually how I get exposed to them. Otherwise I stick to the tried-and-true.
Readers, it's time once again for the The Daily Ditch!
This Rolls Razor contraption belonged to my father, who probably purchased it in the 1950s when it was -- excuse the pun -- the cutting edge in shaving. My father died a long time ago and this appliance has sat under one of the bathroom sinks in my mother's apartment ever since. She finally gave it to me. Friends, I have absolutely no interest in this razor, though I have seen ones like it turn up on Etsy. It comes with its own sharpening surface, and you're supposed to roll the blade against this surface to sharpen it (hence the name).
As you can see, it's quite snazzy and was made in England. Today we bid it goodbye.
But wait -- today we have special bonus ditch!
Like me, you probably have, hidden away in some drawer somewhere, a pile of telephone headsets and other assorted useless attachments for phones you no longer own. Whatever happened to the days when you'd own a phone for fifty years? Now it seems you have to replace them every year or so, and of course the headsets from the old phones never fit the new phones -- the manufacturers aren't that stupid! (My current POS cell phone only uses bluetooth accessories wouldn't you know).
Today I'm ditching a big pile of these contraptions, and I say good riddance to bad rubbish!
In closing, friends, what kind of pins would you recommend to the home sewer looking to replace all of his or her pins? Are you loyal to any particular sewing needle brand, or just use whatever came with your sewing machine years ago, as you haven't changed your needle ever?
I find that changing a sewing machine needle can make a huge positive difference in the quality of my stitches, but it's often the last thing people consider. Please change your needle sometime in this lifetime!
Have a great day, everybody, and give yourself a hug -- or a sharp new sewing machine needle!
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I've been sewing obsessively since 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!