Notion Commotion with Miss Celie’s Pants

Get your stitch together for BlackTOBER! Check out  the following classes and custom fabric options. 

Yes YOU can make a bra! Nikki G, Sewing my style

Yes YOU can acid dye fabric for that bra! Deborah Grayson, @colorfulfindings

Yes YOU can buy holiday fabrics with Black people on it! Queenora Renee Fabrics

Ways to support the Podcast and Black Women Stitch

Buy these amazing STITCH PLEASE pattern weights Made by Bianca Springer of Thanks I Made Them! 20% of September purchases will be donated to us! 

$15 to the Paypal account for a Black Women Stitch lapel pin! DM or email your mailing to address for free USA shipping. You can also use  Cash App  

Sustained financial support also appreciated here: For as little as $2 a month, you can join our  Patreon

FREE SUPPORT Is also appreciated. Please rate, review, subscribe to the podcast. Tell a friend to do the same! 

Learn more about Renee on her social media channels! 

She has been social sewing via her Miss Celie’s Pants blog and for about 15  years and on Instagram for seven. Currently, she is  also a temp editor with Sewcialists. Some people might recognize her as an occasional model for Cashmerette Patterns. She has modeled the Holyoke maxi dress, Ipswich Swimsuit, and the Tobin Sweater.

A few months ago, Renee wrote about being Black and how it shaped the way she presented herself in the sewing community and why.  Here’s a link to that blog entry.

Check out Renee and Lisa’s SEWING NOTIONS VERZUZ. 

Which do YOU think is best in each category?

Category:  Cutting 

Renee: Bird In Hand  vs.  Lisa: Pattern Weights

Category: Marking 

Renee: ChacoLiner  vs.  Lisa: Frixion Colors

Category: Pressing  

Renee: Ham Holder vs. Lisa: Clover Hot Ruler Perfect Press

Category: Presser Feet 

Renee: 1/4inch foot vs Lisa: Stitch In the Ditch foot (I said “topstitch” but was describing  a foot with a stitch guide built in the center)

BONUS CATEGORY: The Notion that Defies All Categories

Renee: Seam Gauge  vs  Lisa: Fasturn Tube Turning Se


Read Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Lisa : [00:00:00] Hello Stitchers.  Welcome to Stitch Please the official podcast of Black women stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. I'm your host Lisa Woolfork. I'm a fourth generation sewing enthusiast with more than 20 years of sewing experience. I am looking forward to today's conversation. So sit back, relax, and get ready to get your stitch together.


Lisa : [00:01:14] also want to be delighted and

grateful to be speaking with today. I'm talking with Renee Samuels of Ms. Celie’s Pants on Instagram. She, Renee Samuels. Lots of years of experience in the sewing field, as a blogger, as a pattern tester, as a writer, as a model for a Cashmerette patterns, she has done quite a lot.

And then there was something that she did recently that sparked my curiosity so quickly that I thought I absolutely have to talk to her on the podcast as soon as possible. and so welcome, Renee. Thank you so much for being here.

Renee : [00:01:52] Lisa, thank you for asking me I'm thrilled to be here. Thrilled.

Lisa : [00:01:55] So I saw your photo about notion commotion [00:02:00] in October and today when this episode releases is September 30th, the last day of September, we are heading into October.

I've been talking about October as BlackTober, which was, it was Black turbo, all them, all my months, Black, because I'm Black, all my months are Black, but I liked BlackTober because it gives me a chance to talk about specific things like cosplay and quilt Design or owning a fabric shop, like things that.

So when I call it BlackTober, so this is a perfect sendoff because what we are leaning into now is what does it mean to create, a sewing challenge, which is what you've done with notions, commotion, and what we have set up for you all today is a bit of a game, a head to head challenge between Renee and I over some of the categories that she has identified for her.

Notions commotions challenge. some of these cats, there's lots of different categories, but the ones that we are gonna talk about, we have ahead of time independently on our own separate note pads, at our own separate [00:03:00] homes have written down answers to. The following categories, what's the best notion for cutting the best notion for marking the best pressing tool, the best presser feet.

And then we have a bonus of what is the best notion that defies all categorization. So I know, right? So while you, I hope you all got that you can think of your own answers to these questions. We had, we're going to, we're not going to start with our game. We're gonna start with just a little bit of great background information about Renee and allowing us to tell some of her sewing story.

So I'm going to, can you tell us how you got started with sewing?

Renee : [00:03:42] Oh, sure. so again, just thanks for having me and letting me talk about this program or about this, challenge that we created. So my background, my mother did not, but my grandmother and my grandfather on my mother's side, Are from the Caribbean, from Grenada West.

[00:04:00] And these characters specifically, which is the smallest of three islands and they were tailors except back then, my grandmother was a seamstress because she was a woman and my grandfather got to be a tailor because he's a man. My mom never learned how to sew, but when we, my mom joined the military and she actually retired.

Earl, but we were stationed overseas in Germany and, we didn't have access to the internet back in the eighties. Teen magazines were always a little bit late, so these things would show up and I would see clothes that I wanted to make or have, and I didn't have access to them because you really just got what was on posts at the PX.

And we were at a small base and I remember one time. Going into the PX, which was a post exchange. It's like a big department store on a military base and being in the fabric section and looking at a simplicity catalog and flipping through it and thinking, Oh my gosh, I could make these things.

It is possible for me to have the clothes that I want. [00:05:00] If I make them myself. so my mom sent me to a woman at church and said to her, teach Renee how to, so I took [00:05:09] lessons from her,

Renee : [00:05:11] after church and on weekends for about a year and then in, and I sewed a little bit, but not too much, but I knew how a machine works.

Then in high school, I took home act and we had sewing. And I swear to you, I was the only person in my class of 90 that enjoyed it. Like I, I was like, I will make these pajama pants. I will make these pillows. What is the stuffed animal also? That also y'all you want to be print? I'll make you an apron.

Like I just got really into it.

Lisa : [00:05:41] This happened. So it was like, so I'm trying to understand how usually at least when I think about teaching, if you have a class of 90 and only one. One person in the class is excited about it. That is that's some pretty bad teaching. I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings, but you are not good at your job 90, [00:06:00] like class and only one of nine.

I did. That's just, I don't know, like what did, what that shows that you clearly had the spark and even if you had a bad teacher, which it seems like you might have, because nobody else was interested. how did you balance that?

Renee : [00:06:18] So I think what happened is, I went to a small religious boarding school in Virginia.

I think home-ec was taught in the more traditional sense of. You are a woman or your kids, you need to learn how to do basics. And so it was very rudimentary. Like here's a sewing machine. Here are the three things we'll make you're done had home economics. I think teaching it that way. Versus maybe she has started the class with here's how you have, here's how you would fix the button.

more practical things for a nineties kid would have worked out better than saying you're gonna make pajama pants. so yeah, there was a spark and I really think, [00:07:00] I know we joke when we talk about the ancestors, but I think the ancestors were in my ear. Oh

Lisa : [00:07:05] no, I don't. I do not joke. When I talk about the ancestors, I do not, I really do not.

I've got some photos right here of my ancestors, my great grandmother who I never met. my grandmother who was born in 1913, I am grateful for them, because of them, we are here, so they didn't do everything wrong. Like some people like to say.

Renee : [00:07:26] Absolutely. and so I just left sewing and I through college, intermittently not a ton, I'd say, Oh, I want to make a tee shirt or there's a skirt and I could easily do it.

I didn't have much of a stash, but I always had a sewing machine, that my mom bought it for me from Walmart for $90 on a Black Friday special. And I use that machine probably for the first 15 years that I sowed. Wow. Yeah, I really did. It, did everything I needed to do and it's probably why I don't get.

I love sewing machines, but I don't get hyped up about the newest computerized, this or embroidery that, because [00:08:00] a basic sewing machine can do almost everything you need. Then when I got my second job out of college, I initially started as a TV reporter on air and. You had a uniform, you wear a suit and a shirt.

And so there was nothing for me to really, so at

Lisa : [00:08:17] that time,

Renee : [00:08:18] when I left that to be a gubernatorial speech writer, I was working in the state Capitol and everybody had these amazing clothes. And it was really an opportunity to showcase a little bit more of your style because it was such a forward facing role that I got back into sewing.

Because again, there were clothes that I wanted to make that I could not. Personally by, but also my body stopped being so easy to fit well in the store while still slim. I had thick thighs. I had a big butt. I had a full bust : [00:08:53] and I started sewing.

Lisa You have all sorts of, I call these body blessings. Like I called my [00:09:00] butt, like my buddies, my booty blessing.

I love it. And so you'd have you have some body blessings and for that, we give thanks. I

Renee : [00:09:07] do. I really do. And I. Was not somebody who was trying to hide those assets. Like I had a perky, but I love it. And I wanted people to see it and see it covered. And that's really how I started sewing. And I think one time I was also the Dawn of the internet and I remember.

Looking for a pattern online to see where I could buy it. And I stumbled on pattern and my mind was honestly blown. I was like, wait, there are other people who enjoy. So

Lisa : [00:09:39] yes. I remember pattern review and I was very active in the early days of patterns review. I remember. My login name.

I haven't been on in years, but name was Lisaquilts. I had tons and tons of stuff. Tons of reviews of stuff that I made for me, the kids, when they now they're like seven, 16 and 21 when they were little, all types of little [00:10:00] garments, all types of stuff that I made for myself. Halloween costume.

All of those stuff and photos that ahead of it. It was just a good, it's a great site, a really great resource.

Renee : [00:10:08] It really was. And, I actually, my best friend in the world, I met through pattern review. It was another young woman who sewed. She lived in Virginia. I lived in Baltimore, but my parents were stationed there at the time.

And so I remember setting up our first date and we've been friends now. We went on a trip to Cleveland to celebrate our friends at bursary and took a look at two different textile fashion exhibits. Like we, yeah, I like sewing really brought me a community that I didn't know existed. And. Sidebar related to Black Women Stitch.

that friend, she was the first white woman that I met, who I told her something that was a microaggression, even though I didn't have the language for it at the time. And she said to me, “yeah, that was wrong. And here's why it was wrong.” And I was like, “wait, you see me?” [00:10:56] You understand this [00:10:58] is not something that I [00:11:00] thought I put until that moment.

I thought, Oh, just Black people understand that this happens. But no, it turns out. not to use the, not to be flipped, but woke paying attention, caring white person can see it too. And you don't have to explain it to them. And I think that from sewing,

Lisa : [00:11:16] Go ahead. That's awesome. And like the way that we develop community, I think really can, be the basis for genuine friendships, And I think that friendships survive when there are vulnerabilities that can be shared and. Sustained and not dismissed, and I think maybe one of the, one of the fundamental differences between the experience that you're describing with your friend and the experiences that I had with the white sewing community that I was working with or had been with for quite a while, was that they largely lacked the capacity to recognize any racism.

And definitely lack the capacity to [00:12:00] recognize their own harmful behavior. and that my thing was, I just did not want to. I just can't be teaching people all the time. My job is teaching. I'm a professor. I love it. That's why I got into this field, but I do not want to be teaching every minute of my life.

I'm just not going to do it.

Renee : [00:12:17] was revolutionary for me. It was revolutionary. And my late twenties to meet somebody who I didn't have to do that with, but also shared by hobbies. And, she'll always be a dear friend for that. You might think that's sewing. I read a little bit about this a few months ago, but sewing puts people of color into homes that normally wouldn't get to interact with you.

and I think that's really, I think it's something to be said for not being an ambassador or showing how you live your life, but showing that I am a person. you can, and we can enjoy the same things. There aren't things that are just for Black people that you can't and also be a [00:13:00] part of sewing.

Yeah. This is thing that can bring us together and through blogging. and maybe eventually Instagram, I got to connect with people that show a little bit of my life. And also I got to see the world through social sewing.

Lisa : [00:13:15] Yes.

Renee : [00:13:16] Getting to follow international bloggers, people who are not native English speakers, seeing how outside of my, Or in the elite bumpy, yuppie mindset,

Renee : [00:13:28] how they go and vacation, what kinds of foods they're eating, the kinds of clothes they're interested in, sewing, where they draw their inspiration.

It really brings all of that around that. I love it

Lisa : [00:13:38] for that. And there's so many ways to do it differently. I was talking with. Chioma who has, some, a YouTube page and she's, I'm on Instagram and she's based in Nigeria. And we had a conversation last year about that. Like what fabric shopping is like for her.

And she's we don't have the store where you go in and all the patterns and fabrics and stuff, we go to the market and the market has lots of different vendors installs, and you buy your fabrics this [00:14:00] way. And if you want something, you need to get it right then, because there's no way that there's no way to know if there'll be more than.

Today. so like I think that, or that also I'm talking with her and learning about some of the sewing scene in Nigeria was like, this is why some people really like PDF patterns because I've gotten really spoiled by bye by having access cheap access to for patterns that I could pay two, $3 for.

And if I need, if I need two different sizes, I just buy two different patterns and not worry about it. Yeah. But there's people all around the world who do not shop like that for whom these patterns are as cheap as they are for us here in the U S and or are they simply are not available. And so with PDF, it makes things a little bit easier, but at the same time, they also learned that she was explaining, they also learn to draft patterns to fit their bodies.

And that's one of the things that I think that here in the States could completely benefit from because what we, what I see sometimes.

[00:15:00] I am buying a vision of my body that was created by someone else. These blocks, the blocks, which many of these patterns are based on not based for women, my height, my hip waist ratio that have booty blessings, none of those patterns they seem to be, they seems to be made for people who are more like, chopsticks.

And I'm more like a bubble tea straw with bumps. So I got a little Booty bump for the bubble part, and I got some boobs up front top. So I really I'm one of those like nice things, bubble tea straws, not like a coffee stirrer, which is what some of the other patterns are based on. And so rather than having a complex, you just say, I want to make this thing.

Here are my sizes. I will put my sizes in. And now I have a garment that fits me really well, instead of looking at a pattern and crying and feeling inadequate because you got the size, but you have to do a thousand adjustments to get it just, [00:16:00] So that's something that I do love. I do this thing about like bringing the diversity of the sewing community together and how it's so possible, and also really important to do that because you can, we can learn a lot from each other.

like today y'all this is going to be so much fun. We have, I have never done this before we, before we get to that, we're going to take a quick break. Before we get to that. I want to talk a little bit about Destash Baltimore. I wanted to give people a chance to learn about that project and what your goals behind that are before we get to our very exciting game.

Renee : [00:16:32] Yes. so two years ago I had this idea, to. I can't even say two years ago, two years ago, I pulled myself together enough to put together some money Baltimore. And what I wanted was a big community fabric tool notion books swap.

Lisa : [00:16:51] Yes, please.

Renee : [00:16:53] When you start sewing or when you've been sewing, you accumulate fabric that you don't love anymore, or it doesn't [00:17:00] suit your

Lisa : [00:17:00] lifestyle.

Renee : [00:17:02] yes, I do say I don't work in a traditional office anymore. I don't need the silts the heavy tweets, the coat that, I'm always going to have coatings, but I don't need the suit jackets, but I didn't want to just donate it or have it go to Goodwill or possibly just get destroyed. Cause no one knew what to do with it.

And there were things that I would just be happy to give to somebody if I knew that they wanted it and would use it. And so I just one day was like, alright, you know what I at office, we have these conference spaces. It doesn't cost me anything. I'll just put together a graphic and see who's interested.

And honestly I'm thought. If I get 20 people to show up, I'll be so happy. I was floored and thrilled and slightly nauseous when we had 50 people within the first three days sign up. and I had to cut capacity at 75 just because I didn't know what I was going to do with everyone. and again, community [00:18:00] came through.

Friends of mine, who I met through teaching sewing or through sewing friends of mine who don't sow and barely understand how to thread a sewing machine volunteer to help. And we had about 75 people, mostly women show up. We had, I don't remember exactly now, but we had over a thousand pieces of fabric, a couple of hundred books.

Lisa : [00:18:23] hundreds

Renee : [00:18:24] and hundreds of patterns. And we came and we spent about an hour and we dispatched and swapped. And I walked away with coatings with wool Jersey,

just Prince, a fabric that I loved. And I think everybody felt good because it wasn't necessarily about consumerism because we weren't repurchasing.

I was about that it wasn't just being thrown out. And we all got to communicate and talk and hang out. It's a really great time. And I learned a lot of lessons from it and I plan to do it every other year. Unfortunately, the day that I picked this year was the [00:19:00] day that the world basically turned upside down.

yeah, going into the sash Baltimore weekend was the weekend that Maryland went into lockdown. So I had to cancel it. I [00:19:10] had it on hold for a little [00:19:12] bit thinking I could maybe somehow pull it off, even thought about. We used to try to do it outside so that people could grieve and people signed up this year too.

but my husband and I went to an outdoor wedding that we thought would be a little bit safer than it was, and it was not, I thought I don't want to be in this position of policing other people's behavior. and I also don't want to be in a position of, if something goes wrong, I would feel responsible being responsible.

So I just decided to put it off this year and I'm hoping. Summer 2021 is when we can make it happen.

Lisa : [00:19:45] Yes, I would love that. And I'm definitely going to keep it my eyes peeled because I will absolutely drive up to Baltimore too, to say that I am donating lots of fabric to Destash, which I will.

Renee: with anything [00:20:00] though.

Lisa : [00:20:00] I did not say anything about that. That is not the topic of the conversation, Renee, the conference, the topic of the conversation is Lisa is going to go to Destash Baltimore, and she's going to carry fabric from Charlottesville, Virginia, to Baltimore, Maryland for the purposes of destashing.

Now, what she returns with is, anybody’s guess. Who's to say? probably nothing.

Renee : [00:20:26] We all thought we were walking away was not big. yeah. And you won't be alone. We had folks coming in from New York, from Philadelphia. we had one woman who has since moved to Minneapolis, but she said she would come back the next time we pull it together.

It's a great time. And I would love to see something like this happen in other cities and anybody listening. If you want it to happen in your city, I have. A document that I can email you with tips and tricks, and honestly, Southwest flies there I'll show up and help if you need it.

Lisa : [00:20:56] That's a great idea. So for those listeners and we, I know we have [00:21:00] listeners, I'm very fortunate to say we have listeners on six continents and in 95 different countries.

So if you are in a community and you would like to meet more people who are sewing, if you would like to get rid of some sewing stuff that you know is precious, but you're not sure if you take it to the local jumble shop. Or, there's there's really no place to destash fabric sometimes because you never know, if it'll get picked up or not, you can create a nice little micro event, that allows you to do this.

And, and I'm sure there's a way that they can, we can maybe hopefully scale it for COVID or just wait until, like you said next year when things open up. But I imagine it could be really fun to have a Destash, Atlanta, a Destash. I destash Charlottesville, even where I would absolutely not take any fabric because if it was here, I can't, it needs to be somewhere else.

It needs to be, maybe I'll talk to, my friends, Sierra and SoneSeere Burrell and ask them if they want to [00:22:00] help with Destash Richmond.

Renee : [00:22:02] Yeah,

Lisa : [00:22:03] isn't she great. And her sister, it was amazing to her sister. Did the logo for stitch please? Yeah, she's an art designer. She's an artist then a designer is that they're both wonderful people.

and yeah, maybe they can run. I will help. Run, Destash Richmond, because it's not anywhere near my actual house. I can not. I'm telling you what if somebody came up with a thousand pieces of fabric all spread out and said, I've already identified a location in Charlottesville for this event, but I am not, I'm not mentioning it because I don't want it to happen here and needs to happen in Richmond.

I love

Renee : [00:22:38] Charlottesville. No.

Lisa : [00:22:40] listen, Linda, listen, I have enough fabric in this studio for a good little while. I cannot in good conscience Participate in a Destash and knowing myself, okay. I'll you know, it would be like, you know how sometimes they have like little kids or even sometimes adults, if they don't want to hear something, they [00:23:00] put their hands over both ears and go LA.

That's what I would have to do for the D stash Charlottesville, because I would be walking, going in there saying here is my, my wheelbarrow full of fabric. I am leaving and not coming back. For four days. I am

Renee : [00:23:16] not joking. There were people who pulled up in minivans and said, just take it. I am not walking inside.

I don't need to see this and pulled out. it was amazing, but terrifying.

Lisa : [00:23:29] It's like you had, you had contact free pickup before it was necessary to have contact free pickup.

Renee : [00:23:34] Very much Yes. Very much

Lisa : [00:23:37] Oh my gosh. All right. We're going to take a quick break folks and let me come back for Gwen to explain our game.

So stay tuned.

Hey stitchers. We are getting ready to celebrate. [00:24:00] BlackTober just like last year, we had a lot of really exciting new folks to talk with in different areas of the sewing community in the sewing industry. And this year is no exception. As we get ready to head into BlackTober, I wanted to emphasize. Three Black women own businesses who are having exciting events themselves, this coming October.

So stay tuned and check the show notes for links and more information.

QUEENORA RENEE FABRICS Are you looking for representation in your fabric? listen, I got you. Here at quinoa Renee fabrics, we provide custom printed textiles that focus center and reflect on Black culture and community. Like right now, we're holding a preorder for our holiday fabric. Our holiday fabric features a Kwanzaa print, a Black Santa and family print, as [00:25:00] well as some naughty.Mr. And mrs. Clause prints that you just have to see

for us gone are the days of looking for characters and designs that you can truly see yourself in. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, or online at Come see our fabric that is sure to start a conversation.

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Lisa: Welcome back everybody. You are listening to the stitch please podcast. And I am joined today by Renee Samuel's of miss Seeley's pants on Instagram. She's going to share with us this really fantastic idea she has, that starts to Morrow. So you are on the very [00:27:00] cusp of the beginning of this idea. and it's called notion Commotion. So can you tell us about everyday? What made you think of the idea and the categories and stuff? Yeah,

Renee : [00:27:10] so I, if you have followed me for any period of time, that I like a tool, I like a gadget. I like a notion. I find that tools and notions are. As important as the machine that you're sewing on, they make, they give you a professional finish.

They make the job easier and they're very specific for what they do. I'm not sure, kind of person who looks for the easy way around. They look for the best way to do it. And tools and notions are often the way that you can use them. For this. And I thought, Oh gosh, I love the sewing challenge, but I, myself, I'm not really into everyday posting and taking pictures of myself.

I'm not a neat person. I'm very messy. So my sewing room is not nice to look at. My mirrors often have dust on them and I thought, this is it. This is a sewing fetish challenge that is fun to pull out your tools [00:28:00] if you like your notions and tools, but also is a great way to show other people what's available out there.

I'm using a notion and tool is very much the behind the curtains part of sewing. It's not often that you see somebody there with their pressing him or their butterfly scissors, and understand that they're using this to achieve a result. And so by being able to once or twice a week post, this happened prompt and be able to show people what you're using.

But also, the timing as well, time for the Hanukkah Christmas season,

Lisa : [00:28:33] it's

Renee : [00:28:33] a great time for Kwanzaa. Build that list out, see what people are suggesting and figure out what it is you might need. So if we do that in October, you are all set for November shopping.

Lisa : [00:28:42] That's absolutely true. And we'll probably do the stitch please podcast.

Last year, we did a holiday gift guide where we went through some tools. I talked with a charter member, Black women's stitch, and she and I, this was Allysia Holland. She and I discussed, our favorite notions and some of the things we [00:29:00] loved and why we love them. And we had a list of, I think what we could do this time is we're going to talk about.

Our favorite notions and what I think well, I'm going to do for mine, but we, maybe what you could do for yours to Renee is if you would share the links for your products, I will put the links from my choices in the show notes, so people can see exactly what we're talking about too. if they were interested in getting it for themselves.

okay. Since you are a, my, honored guest and you have created this challenge, talk about some of the categories, and then we'll talk about the categories that we are going to be discussing. So what are some of the categories that you have for the challenge overall?

Renee : [00:29:54] it's twice a week posting every Thursday and Monday in the month of [00:30:00] October. And the very first category is going to be machines. And that is outside of your. Regular sewing machine. we're going to leave it open. What's the machine you're interested in. Is it, do you use a serger?

Is it a cover stitch? Is it a bias tape maker? is it a hemming machine? There are all kinds of machines that are outside your basic sewing machine that is confusing to people. I know when I've taught sewing classes, I tried to explain there's a serger, there's a cover stitch, there's a blind hemmer.

and so this is a way to talk about machines outside of regular sewing that you might want to add or don't understand necessarily how they work. So that will start us off. And then next category is rip it. And it's all kinds of different ways of how do you open up a seam? How do you rip it open? I've learned from sewing over the years that everybody has their favorite tool or gadget for a seam.

And it's not always a seam ripper, which will come up, I [00:31:00] think on our quiz that we're giving.

Lisa : [00:31:01] Yes, it's true. I know someone, she's actually in the, the DC area and she uses a straight razor. And whenever I see her with this razor and she's excellent at it and she's fast.

And that's when I see her, I'm like, Oh my gosh, I hope she doesn't lose the finger. She wouldn't, she will not. Yeah. I tried to do it that way. yes. Oh yes. If I had to do it this way, I would lose a finger.

Renee : [00:31:27] I have seen surgical scalpels. So that would mean perfect for you. If you did hurt your finger, I've seen things that looked like, the mustache or like a facial hair,

Lisa : [00:31:36] mustache trimmers.

Yes. Yes. It's like a little peanut.

Renee : [00:31:40] Yeah, exactly.

Lisa : [00:31:41] It was really expensive. Like they called it an electric stitch remover and it's 80 or $90. And then, but you could also get like a little mustache tremor. That's maybe 20 bucks, but it taught me a lot, but doesn't work as well as the actual. Thread tremor.

I dunno. So I have been thinking about that, but they do buzz a lot. They're pretty loud.

[00:32:00] Renee : [00:32:00] There's so many tools. There's more than one way. I shouldn't say that, but there's more than one way to tell problem

notions can help you do that. we're going to talk about tracing, like whether it's the kind of tracing you will use. Is there a tracing paper that you like show us? What is the thing that you use when it comes to tracing remarketing? Pressing, this, we could do a whole month on pressing tools, notions and gadgets.

The world is wide open. Is it your hand? Is it your seam roll? Is it the shoe that goes over your iron? Is it here?

Lisa : [00:32:35] Stick your seam stick with the short seam stick or a long seam stick. Is it the seam stick with the pretty cover or just doing a regular dowel rods? yeah. Yeah. I did a whole episode on pressing just on pressing versus ironing, Or a press cloth because sometimes it doesn't matter if you have all that stuff, if you totally mess up your garment because you didn't put a press cloth down, there is no fixing it.

Renee : [00:32:58] and even along those [00:33:00] lines, one time my husband saw me come downstairs and grab a paper bag and go upstairs.

He's what are you doing with that? I'm like, Oh, I need this dependent or my seam so that the seam doesn't press through, there's. It's for myself. When I teach, I haven't been able to cover all of the tips and tricks. And I think you don't always see them when you're looking on sewing social media to understand how people arrived at that.

We're going to talk about buttonholes. You got excited earlier when I brought up buttons,

Lisa : [00:33:27] you did, I did at buttonholes. There's so much that can go. Go right with the buttonhole. And I think for me, the reasons that I have touch wood, I'm touching with now have had such great success in my buttonholes is that I have a great machine that does buttonholes.

and I have a whole arsenal of tools that helped me make my buttonholes. Great. And because you were talking about the things that you'd like and holes, and I was like, yeah, but none of that matters if you don't do blank first, so yeah.

Renee : [00:33:54] And that could be like you were saying it could be the button, the spacer, the ruler.

Yeah. [00:34:00] Is it the frame check? Is it the way you, what tool do you use to cut it open and the button ball scissors alone. I know I will fight you over my favorite pair of scissors.

Lisa : [00:34:10] Oh, I bet. Oh yeah. I know it. I know it. I know it. I have kids and husband and like I have told them if the scissors are in this basket, they are for you.

If the scissors are, if the scissors are on a wall, If they are on a wall, on a hook, if they are laying on top of a piece of fabric, they are not for you. And I've also taken to writing the word paper on any set, like on the blades or the handle of any scissors that they could also use. So

Renee : [00:34:40] I had to do that as a newly married woman.

I came downstairs and saw my husband, wrapping a Hanukkah gift and he was using my fabric scissors. And when I tell you. My heart was in my throat and I thought, am I going to commit a murder this soon into my marriage?

Lisa : [00:34:57] You said marriage was hard, but I did not expect it to be this hard. [00:35:00] what am I doing?

Renee : [00:35:02] I should just say he has since learned he, Oh, observed scissors. They're labeled Jordan. He knows if they don't say Jordan, he is not to use them.

Lisa : [00:35:09] My husband has his own iron.

Renee: Seriously?

Lisa: Yes, he has his own iron. I did not require this, but I use a gravity feed iron and he was like, I don't want this iron with this snake attached to the tank at the top with the thing.

I just want to iron my pants. I'd I'm gonna use this Black and Decker that I got from, from Kmart before it closed and this'll be my iron. And I'm like, okay, that's yours.

Renee : [00:35:32] that joke like, You don't want somebody giving you a vacuum cleaner as a wedding gift? If somebody gave me like a gravity feed iron as a wedding or birthday present.

Yeah. I might kiss them like those.

Lisa : [00:35:42] Oh yeah.

Renee : [00:35:42] It's an amazing tool again. It's just another tool that it's awesome. I think something that the last day I think will be the most one day, cause it's unconventional and it is. Tell us about something you use in your sewing practice. That's not necessarily marketed towards sewing.

[00:36:00] I think that's going to bring a lot of great ones out of the woodwork.

Lisa : [00:36:04] So this sounds like a really exciting challenge. I am very excited and I'm excited for them just to review. We settled on four one, two, three, four. We settled on four categories that we, that Renee and I are going to play right now.

And then we also have a fifth one, which is a bonus category that we're just going to identify as the notion that defies all categories. Okay. alright. Oh, I just want to also acknowledge I'm going to put this out there in the show notes. We had an episode, a few checks out the fact that you talked about me being excited about the buttonholes.

I'm excited because we, I did an episode, last month I believe called by all the machines. And this was from the tipsy pincushion who bought a button hole machine.

Renee : [00:36:49] I want, when I have thought about buying one and putting it in my basement garage, And then I would charge people to make their button holes.

I have regular access. I've thought,

Lisa : [00:36:59] listen, to [00:37:00] thought about this. You have not listened to that episode, listening to that episode about her process of researching, ordering, assembling, and making. We'll push you over the edge because is it's one of my more, it's a bit, it's been a very popular episode and it's, and she talks about it in really great detail.

So I recommend that one, if you haven't heard that, I think so. 42 43. but I'll put a link to it in the show notes, so people can go back and listen to that one, but a machine that does nothing but buttonholes and it cuts them. Yes, the laser cut them. There is

Renee : [00:37:36] African American gentleman here in town who was a tailor.

He does a lot of work for the Washington opera. He has, his entire basement is decked out like a costume studio and he does, and he didn't even charge me. Like I called him up. He was like, yeah, I'll do him. I brought them over. He

Lisa : [00:37:51] went through them. It was amazing.

Renee : [00:37:55] I had a friend drive up from DC to have buttons.

She even has. I'm just [00:38:00] getting so excited. I'm tripping over my words. he has a corded button homemaker too, for her cashmere coat all my time. And it was so beautiful.

Lisa : [00:38:09] that's a cord. Oh my gosh.

Renee : [00:38:13] Oh,

Lisa : [00:38:15] that's beautiful. I can't wait till you get yours.

Renee : [00:38:19] Watch this is going to be my business. I'm going to have it set up that you just pull up to the back.

I'll make the button holes and you're on your way.

Lisa : [00:38:26] I'm excited so that when I come to Destash Baltimore, next year, I'm going to bring some stuff that I don't want to do buttonholes on. So you could do them with your new machine. Excellent. I'm also claiming first spot because you, cause I just did.

Renee : [00:38:38] Yeah, I just announce it here.

So yeah.

Lisa : [00:38:40] You heard it here, folks. You heard it here first. Okay. All right, so we're ready. So the first category we decided was going to be cutting. So as you are our again, esteem guest, and you created the challenge. What notion are you identifying as the most important, best powerful, favorite cutting notion that you have.

[00:39:00] So

Renee : [00:39:00] for me, I would say, it's my bird in hand notion now. Okay. Bird in hand is actually a clamp that you use to hold a garment so that it gives you a third hand. The reason I love it is. Particularly for ripping seams or cutting my seams. I can clamp it to use the third, the bird in hand clamp attach it, use my left hand to hold the garment.

And then my right hand, I'm able to just cut through and slice so quickly. So smoothly instead of like straining my fingers and using my hands to try to hold something open to me and is revolutionary is the way that I deal with my seams heading and repping.

Lisa : [00:39:45] Excellent bird in hand. Okay. I like that bird in hand for me.

I'm going to identify from my favorite cutting tool will be pattern weights. I [00:40:00] love pattern weights. I do not like to pin I stopped. No, really. I think I've been sewing maybe what? 25 years, 20. And I stopped pinning maybe 17 years ago. As soon as I figured out how I could not. I could avoid using those like horrible torture devices.

Yeah. I figured it out. I did not, I do not enjoy pinning patterns, but I do enjoy cutting with scissors and rotary cutters. So for me, sewing pit sewing pattern weights, and I'm going to give a plug for thanks. I made them. She's amazing. And she makes these delightful pattern weights, and she made some for the Stitch Please podcast.

And if you buy these girls, if you buy these by the end of the month, which is by the today's your last day to buy those 20% of the proceeds are coming to us. But even if she didn't make them for us, I own four sets of her pattern, weight that I have purchased. and I've purchased them for other people.

And. The reason I liked them is the versatility. I like being able to lay them down [00:41:00] for cutting lingerie leg for cutting coats, for cutting outerwear, for cutting, bras, panties, anything you need, you can, you don't have to pin. You can. You don't have to pin and the pattern weights help with that.

So I really like hers. they are these little tiny, like two inch squares. They're heavy and they come in a really nice little, I have my cases of them in my toolbox. I use for my, when I knew I'm going to be cutting a garment, I take out this particular toolbox and all of the resources and marketing tools and pens and chalks and all that are in there.

And, it just makes me excited because when I see my, when I put my pattern waits out, it's it's helping to get my mind set for sewing. okay, cool beans. All right. So we've got, bird in hand versus pattern weights. Excellent. Okay. So the next, I wonder, how do we decide who we should put a survey up later?


Renee : [00:41:52] we shouldn't put a survey, but what if we have a tool that is unfamiliar to people? I'll do a video. Okay. If I can do that, [00:42:00] just to add,

I was going to say for pattern weights, I like even that I can think of four different kinds of pattern weights I have in my sewing room. I've got the professional long, heavy iron cast that I got in the garment district of New York.

I've got these awesome ones that I wish also would bring back they're yellow and they're just different sizes. They've got those little spikes at the bottom

Lisa : [00:42:20] of the body and it's like a, it's like a hard donut and they missed.

Renee : [00:42:25] Yes, Lisa, I saw those on somebody's blog and I did not talk about them publicly until I had secured them because they were discontinued.

I don't like that. I am absolutely like that. Once I have it, then you all can know about it,

Lisa : [00:42:42] but if I don't have it yet,

Renee : [00:42:45] I would love to see those back. June Tailor made these really cute pattern weights that are in the shape of sewing garments or sewing tools. And then there's another kind, I'm not sure who makes them, but there are curves and L-shaped and so they finished

Lisa : [00:42:59] different parts of the [00:43:00] pattern.

Yes. And they also have some that are filled with beads. Have you seen the sand

Renee : [00:43:05] and

Lisa : [00:43:07] they're called wiggle weights. Does that sound familiar? Like they, you can use them to go along the curves or whatever. That was one of the advantage of the, those that kind of had the sand in them. Yes. A you and I are

Renee : [00:43:18] kindred to here.

Lisa : [00:43:19] I'm telling you, I'm telling you, I told you. Okay. so that's what we're deciding on. Now, we're going to switch to marking. What did you have as your must have Go To marking tool?

Renee : [00:43:31] So I put the Chaco liner as my must have Go To marking tool. The Chaco liner, it's a plastic tube. And at the bottom, it has a wheel that disperses a loose chalk.

The reason that I like it is I'm able to get right against the ruler edge of what I'm marking. I have found that if I use the wider more widely acceptable waxy chalk, It's already on its own about an eighth of an inch thick. [00:44:00] So you're not marking the exact place that you want to be sewing or need to know.

But with the Chaco liner, I can be extremely precise. I've had one that's lasted me for probably five, six years now, and I particularly like the one from Clover. So I just think the Chaco liner for me has been my marketing tool of every day.

Lisa : [00:44:22] Cool. I was protected. I'm with it. I respect it. Which you got, what you got?

I am choosing the Frixion colors. Marker. The fixie on colors. Marker is different than the flexion ball tip it's it's different than the Frixion fine lighter or highlighter. This Frixion has a felt tip. And it's like a felt tip, marker. It's very juicy. I really like it because while it's easy to Mark on a bunch of like cotton and linen fabrics, [00:45:00] I, so with a lot of it, why knits and that can be very difficult to have visible markings for your darts and your pleats and all those things that those garments also have.

Sometimes they requires a lot of markings or where are you going to put your pocket, et cetera. And I liked the fixing on, because it shows up. better than any of the other marketing things that like my, I use wax free. I use chalk, I use, all types of stuff, but flexion has become my go to, and I'm very, careful with it.

I always test it before I use it. it's sometimes in the, one of the things that's so great about the friction is that it disappears with friction and it also disappears with heat. So you can iron it away sometimes though, even on white fabrics, you can get a, an echo or a shadow. and so that's why I always test.

And I always, if I know it's going to be a problem, I'll put it just in the seam allowance, but I freaking love these markers [00:46:00] and I have about 50-11 .I am. And that is not so serious. 50 11 million, like seriously, like Beyonce up in the club with 50-11 girls. I'm up in this sewing room with 50-11 Frixion markers.

I've got the stadium, I've got the ballpoint, I've got the retractable, I've got the highlighter, I've got the fine lighter and I've got these. And you would think that Frixion n was sponsoring and Frixion does not know me from a can of paint. And This is why I can give unvarnished reviews of stuff that I like.

I know some people think that Marks come back when it's cold or in the freezer I ask

Renee : [00:46:37] about that.

Lisa : [00:46:37] I have not had that experience. And I even did an experiment where I did a test piece, put it down, ironed it, and then put it in the refrigerator for three days. And the marks did not return. Now, the refrigerator is different than the freezer.

but I'm also thinking like, where are you going to be marking your garment, that you will be outside in below freezing temperatures [00:47:00] for it to re you know what I'm saying? So for me, the reappearance with cold is not, It's not an issue, unless maybe you had a coat and you had marked all of your outside stitching or whatever, And, but I'd like, for me, I can't think of a situation where I would necessarily do that, but I always encourage everybody to test it first. And if you want to be safe, just put it in the same allowance where no one's gonna see it if it returns, but that has not been my experience ghosting that has been.

Putting it down, ironing it and looking back and seeing a trace of the Mark on some fabrics. That's the only downside that I have personally experienced with this, but I love the Frixion. Look at us. Okay. So we've got our chaco liner versus Frixion. Nice. And then the next category is.

Propose pressing tools. This [00:48:00] is a tough one. Yeah, because there's like a lot of prep, what are you going to do? I don't even know what you could, what to say? I did. I did pick something, but there's a lot of options. So what is your favorite presser pressing tool? So I

Renee : [00:48:15] picked something too.

That is, I won't call it my favorite pressing tool, but I will say it is a convenient and handy one that a lot of people don't know about. And that is a ham holder, specifically CHAM holder. I. Don't even think I bought it because it was a handful that I think I bought it pressing a contour pressing ham that they threw in the hand holder and it

Lisa : [00:48:43] in the ham,

Renee : [00:48:45] in that crazy, probably about eight inches in diameter.

And it allows you to put your hand in all kinds of different. You can have it back by that skinny side up. If you turn it on it's for the [00:49:00] curb, it will hold it in place. So it doesn't move. And it's one of those things that until I had, I didn't realize how convenient and wonderful it is. drifts has, since I believe drinks now may say smaller version of it.

Lisa : [00:49:15] is it blue and made out of plastic?

Renee : [00:49:18] Mine is. I made out of plastic. I think the new one is blue or Black and it's maybe four inch in diameter. I think it is so convenient and wonderful. And until you have one, you don't know what you're missing. and I think if you can't find a vintage one, I believe people for a bit we're using.

Oh, I'm going to show my ignorance with sports. The thing you put a football in to kick from.

Lisa : [00:49:43] Yeah. I don't know what that's called either. So let's call it the football spike thing.

Renee : [00:49:49] Yes. that is also an option now. Now what do you have?

Lisa : [00:49:53] Okay, so I'm going to totally concede that you have won this round because the thing that I chose is [00:50:00] wonderful, but.

I have been wanting a ham holder for you and I still don't have one. So what I chose, I love, I still think it's great. And that's my Clover hot ruler. And the thing that's so great. Familiar. Okay. So the thing that's great about the Clover hot ruler is that it has markings on it. it's a piece of, some type of thing.

Fused polyester felt of some sort that is highly heat resistant. And what you can do is that, and certain patterns, it will say turn over half an inch in press turn over five days, allowance and press the texture of this tool, which is two and a half inches by 10 inches long, you lay it down, you fold your fabric over it, and then you press it.

And it helps to the fibers in this, in the hot ruler. I think I'm, I think I'm calling it that I'm not sure if that's the [00:51:00] exact name anyway, the fibers in it helped the fabric to cling to the ruler and then except the heat that will come from the iron, giving you a really firm lovely press.

Renee : [00:51:14] Lisa.

Yes. You're spending my money today. Is

Lisa : [00:51:17] that what's happening here? I am. Hey at look, I have had a ham holder in my Amazon cart for quite some time. And I think the one that I found was made by someone. And so you are making me think after I'm done with this call, I need to just go ahead and hit, add to cart on that thing.

Because when you go to

Renee : [00:51:36] press something and you don't have to use both hands. Oh, and you can just, yes, you already know.

Lisa : [00:51:42] I do know. I do know because one of the things about a ham that's so great. Unlike a seam roll or what that sometimes they call it the sausage, the same roll is that the ham has two distinct ends, right?

So the top end is narrow for narrow shoulders and for bust darts. And then the [00:52:00] bottom end is bigger. So if you have a bigger bus, so if you have a curved neck line, you're meant to use all four. Cardinal directions as it were of a ham, you're meant to use the small and the big end at the bottom and both sides.

And, but, and that's why they have different textures of fabric on them. So the ham holder really does give you a chance to do that. Especially important if you're like iron and Not writing, pressing, like I am with a gravity feed, iron. Those things are happening with four pounds. So I have one hand holding a four pound hot weight that could burn my hand.

And then my other hand is balancing this hand with the garment on it and making sure that I'm pressing the curves of this color properly, so yeah, I need a ha I need a ham holder. This is an idea whose time has come.

Renee : [00:52:46] I just realized, and cut this. It doesn't work, but there is a, I wrote a year, maybe 10 years ago, a blog post on the different versions of hams that you can or were able to purchase in the United States.

And one of the [00:53:00] things that I think is great about, again, the international sewing community, I didn't know what a Press book. Press book was, until I was looking at one on somebody in the Netherlands and my dad said, Oh yeah, that's a press book. My father grew up for who's Jamaican versus my mom. Who's Granadian he grew up ironing his clothes and using a press book looks like a small footstool almost, but yeah, that's what he would use to correctly, press shape into his garment and.

In the United States, we really had two different sizes. There was a dressmaker's ham that I think we can conventionally use today for things like darts and smaller colors, but then they also made a larger, actually three different ones. They made a larger version called a taylorstown that was supposed to help you with things like princess and things that were a little bit longer and needed more of a curve.

Lisa : [00:53:50] Yeah. And then I have one of those.

Renee : [00:53:53] I have it. And then I think. Don't see manufactured anymore. mass produced anymore. [00:54:00] is it kidney shape, contour.

Lisa : [00:54:02] Ham. Yes. Yes. I think I might've seen one of those that Wawak did I, am I making that up? I could look, don't listen to me as my mother likes to say, don't start me to lying.

I thought I saw one there, I could be wrong.

Renee : [00:54:16] And I think that one is just great. I honestly mostly use it for when I'm pressing the seam in seam, a pants that curve, and it changed my pressing life. I didn't list it as my favorite, but it is. If you can find one folks, grab one.

Lisa : [00:54:30] Excellent.

Excellent. Okay. So we're doing really good. We've got our three categories done. we've got two done. We've done our cutting on our marketing and our pressing. Now we're going to get to presser feet. What is your number one? Favorite presser foot. I have one written down, but now I think I might need to change it, but I won't.

I'm going to be, I'm going to be legit. I'm going to identify this earlier, so I'm not going to change. I

Renee : [00:54:53] think you're doing what I'm doing because I thought I had decided, but I also am changing my mind, but I'll also stick with what I first [00:55:00] have. I think for garment sours, we undervalue the use and the abilities of a quarter inch presser foot.

Lisa : [00:55:09] Yeah.

Renee : [00:55:10] I think of them as piecing feet that quilters use. But I have found that this foot is wonderful for top stitching.

Lisa : [00:55:18] Yeah,

Renee : [00:55:18] it is. Inside to be a boring person, but if you're sewing something where the seam is completely in case a quarter and seem on like a color or an elliptical is much easier to deal with.

And if you have a quarter inch presser foot, you can have that precision and. I just, I think it's an undervalued tool for fashion garment Sewers.

Lisa : [00:55:41] I agree with that. And it was so funny because that was what I was thinking about changing mine too. So that's perfect because one of the things I love about the quarter inch foot is that I saw a lot of bras.

And so for bras and panties, the seam allowance tends to be a quarter inch. And also you recall if you so [00:56:00] quick, so patterns there, same allowance, I thought was almost always a, we say used before. Maybe. I don't know how it is. Now, but it used to be that they had narrow seam allowances, that they had a quarter inch seam allowance.

And in you do your own patterns, like if you buy like a Burda or something, where you add your own seam allowances, what I would do was I would just trace the pattern normally and then go around the edge. And so it in a, with the quarter and seam allowance so that I would have it. the pattern would, that's how I added same allowances to my pieces by sowing a base thing, stitch around the ones I had traced.

Yeah. Yeah. And it was, and instead of using the ruler, I just did the sewing and it helped me to orient myself better to the pieces themselves. so each component could make sense. And I was adding the same allowance and I knew it was going to be the right one cause I'm using this exact foot and this exact distance.

but yeah, the court run seam allowance is a great foot. The one that I put down was the top stitch foot, and the top stitch foot, or maybe it's called the edge ditch foot, whatever has that [00:57:00] little blade in it.

Renee : [00:57:01] The edge stitch foot, or sometimes it's the overcast foot, but it

Lisa : [00:57:05] used the same way. But the thing for me was being able to drive that foot.

Like you're driving through, like you're driving the prowess of a ship through calm water. Because for me, I just Marvel at, they would have these two seams and I press them and whatever, and then I would take the foot and just made sure the blade was in that seam. And when I was done, you couldn't see any of the stitching that I had done.

It was all. Actually embedded in there, it was in there in that scene and I just love it. it's

Renee : [00:57:41] still,

Lisa : [00:57:42] it was, and it's just, and it came with the machine and I was like, you need to practice with these feet some more, because that was a re it's a really great foot. So maybe that is the edge ditch foot.

I'm not sure, but whatever one has the blade. That, it's not a cutting blade, so don't think that I'm cutting my fabric as I'm going. It's not like that. It's just [00:58:00] this really fit guide and your needle is seated behind it. And so as you're sewing, it's sowing exactly along, the path that you're at your, that you're intending it to.

And I don't know why I can't get the same effects with an open toe foot. It's not the same. I just can't get the same effect, but at least I need you to know

Renee : [00:58:19] that's what I was going to change my answer to.

Lisa : [00:58:22] Look at the great mass. Y'all like how we get all this serendipity we just met. We just had our first conversation a few hours ago and we have all of this sewing stuff in common.

Okay. So this is going to be the big one. This is, so this last round is a bonus category. and this is the notion that defies all categories. And this is the notion that you think is so great. And so amazing that regardless of all the categories, whether it's for cutting and measuring and everything, this is the one that you think everybody should have.

This [00:59:00] is the one that's been the essential game changer. What is yours?

Renee : [00:59:04] So I'm going to go with a seam guide as seam guide is. Tool that you either use a magnet or a screw to attach to your sewing machine so that you can see a clear path of where your seam allowance should be. The reason I picked a seam allowance guide is when I would teach sewing.

I think the question I had over and over again is how do I keep my straight seam straight? How do I keep a consistent seam allowance? And if you have a good seam guide, even for me, I've been sewing 25, 30 years. It is. It is your it's your candle in the wind. Like you can keep your eye and that's probably not the best handle Lowen.

He's your North

Lisa : [00:59:46] star.

Renee : [00:59:49] He's going to blow off a candle.

It's your North star. You can use it as your guiding light, and [01:00:00] I'll keep it precise and nice and straight seems. And I think it is an underused tool. and my favorite one. I'll send a link to my favorite version, but it's actually curbed in parts and concave and convex and other parts that you can twisted around so that if you're sewing something curved, it's got a curved angle.

If you're sewing something straight, it's got a straight angle. I love it. That is my, if you want your sewing to be back, consider a good scene guide.

Lisa : [01:00:29] Yes. I love that. I love that because I do use seam guides as well at purchase one, I'm a big fan of Nancy's notions products through Cove Clover. So I bought that one, honestly, I feel a bit like my mother, because she is a mother of invention and I instead have stopped using that one.

And now I use a kind of a do it yourself, hack version of that, which is a half inch. What was that half inch? No, about a three eighth inch stack [01:01:00] of. Masking tape.

Renee : [01:01:02] Yeah.

Lisa : [01:01:03] That I cut into two inch strips. So I'll get it like a one inch wide thing of masking tape or painter's tape. And then I'll say this tape is not to be used for painting, whatever this is to be used for these steam guides.

And I'll just buy it and score it with a utility knife and peel it. And then as I worked through it, I can peel off the bottom and stick it down. And whenever the sticky gets old, because it's like a, three A's or half inch stack, just peeling off one thin layer at the bottom, refreshes the whole.

Shebang and it'll, and it helps me because my baby lock machine comes with what didn't come with. I think I'm sure I bought it. it has through my purchasing, a gorgeous, wonderful dual feed foot, but this thing is the size of a softball. It is huge. and it has a laser and it has all this other stuff in it.

And so it's hard for me to [01:02:00] see. What the markings are on the sole plate because the foot covers them again. So for me, putting down that tape, And when I'm doing curves and it's a great way to him circle skirts. When you use that role, when you use that foot, it helps you to, but the tape is the thing I'm saying.

It's dude, I got this like very expensive sewing machine that I keep in Great order with masking tape. yeah, let me share mine. So here's mine. I know this is probably not going to be a surprise to people who have listened to the podcast. So people who, especially folks who are my friends who know me.

I am going to identify as the notion that defies all category, the Fasturn Tube Turn set that is not just a game changer. It is a life changer. And everybody out there who is turning tubes with a safety pin and a prayer. a chopstick and a dream or one of those [01:03:00] things that looks like a very lean fine metal thing with a circle about the size of a quarter at the end.

Yes. And that little hook, God bless America. And God bless you. because all those are, I know for me, I'm telling you this Fasturn Tube Turn Set. I have had the drinks one with no. Oh no, ma'am no, ma'am. It is not that this one is made by a company called crowning touch. And it comes with the set itself.

Again, I bought this maybe 25 years ago, the least at least 25 years. And I had the set first and then someone gave me the case that it came in. But the fast turn set is made by, crowning touch. It comes with. It comes with six [01:04:00] brass tubes in various widths and lengths, and it comes with three little copper, like they're very narrow wire channels that you can use to thread.

Up. so basically I'm going to try to describe what I'm going to, what I'm actually going to do. One day is I'm going to do a demonstration of this on my Patrion channel for people to see like how amazing. And this is, because it's really game changing. So imagine you have a tube of any. With, so say, you'd say how about this?

You take a two inch piece of a two inch strip of fabric. That's 44 inches wide. You've done, you've gone. These are done a rotary cut across the width of fabric. You run it through your serger because you want to get it done quick. You've pressed it. So it could be so that seam can be a bit flat.

You then take that 44 inch. Wide or long strip. you slide it over the chamber of the fast turn [01:05:00] and you shove it all the way down. The tubes are very strong so they can hold a lot of fabrics. So you like pushing it down, pushing. Then you take your little tiny, I call her like a pigtail tool, which is like a long, thin strong wire.

You thread it up through the open base of that chamber. Then you find the same allowance at the top of your tube. You put, you hook that little. that little pigtail tool goes right through the seam allowance and you pull, and as you pull it down through the brass tube, the entire thing comes along with it.

And I'm telling you it will change your life. Your sewing life about making bag handles belt loops, spaghetti straps dolls arms, because fabric jewelry, I've made a three chain necklace from scraps of address using this method. By [01:06:00] taking these fabric tools, taking these fabric tubes, sewing them on the serger real quick, laying down the tube and putting a piece of chenille yarn next to it.

And so when I'm pulling, it's also pulling the yarn, it's pulling, it's turning and stuffing the tube at the same time. That's incredible. So that you've just weighted this junk. This is it's like Megan, the stallion of sewing notions, the fast turn to set. I've heard that they I've heard that.

They're a bit. Scarce to find these days though. I did have some friends that purchase them on eBay, like a vintage one on eBay for not very much money. I think when I bought this, I might have, I paid $60 for it. But again, that was 23 years ago, 25 years ago. And I would pay if someone was going to take it from me, I would pay it again to keep it.

It is really that good. It has got nothing compares to it. Nothing is like it not the drip set or the set with the blue. It comes with a blue [01:07:00] tube and a white tube on a stick. No, ma'am you deserve good things in life. I know we just met, but I want you to, I want you to have good things in life. so we'll

Renee : [01:07:09] see how fast I am on eBay and Etsy.

After this, after the, our chat,

Lisa : [01:07:13] I'm telling you this thing is worth its weight in platinum. And I know that, and you might think of it as a one tool, a one use implement, but something else that one of my friends during the holiday gift guide episode, explain that if you need to couch, Oh, this is good for two things.

One, if you need to couch elastic through, a drawstring, and sometimes if you don't have a Bodkin or you're not able to find yours or whatever, you can run this tube, depending on how it's shaped, you can run this tube through. The casing and use the little, the little thing to pull your elastic through it.

So it makes it really easy. It makes it really, I did that for a pair of Vogue pants that had, they had double elastic in the back and I was working and I was like, Oh [01:08:00] my gosh, this is a ticket for him and said, Oh wait, hold up. I got that tube set out. Okay. And I had that elastic threaded in there in less than four minutes worked so well that I went on.

I unthreaded it. And went on and did an IGTV video showing people how fast it was. It was that fast. And another thing that is good for is if you are making masks that, where you have what you need to thread your elastic through the side piece. So the size seeing that goes near the face, it's very easy for that.

You just put, instead of trying to push the elastic through, after you've closed the same, you can just take the tube, stick it in there. And drop the elastic through move the tube and your elastic is in.

Renee : [01:08:45] I will tell you the reason that mostly sounds amazing to me is I must have four different things for threading elastic, and the sounds like the best of them.

And I don't even know that

Lisa : [01:08:56] just started last year when we did the episode, it was [01:09:00] Allysia. Holland mentioning that's what she used it for. I've had this tool for, like I said, 23, 25 years and never thought to use it for elastic until she mentioned it. And when you think about say you have a garment where you have a neck line that's rushed or whatever, and you need to thread a string through it to gather it or whatever, if you leave part of it open so that it's flat, you can thread much of the garment on there and you can, you can draw it through that way.

So depending on how tight the curve is, it can be really helpful for garments that way. So that's mine. That is mine. I like your seam gauge though, because, crooked seams are nobody's friend. All right. this has been so amazing. Is there anything else you want us to think about as we move forward to starting your challenge tomorrow?

Anything we need to be aware of? I know that there'll be more details coming out in advance. but I just thought today was such a fun [01:10:00] day being the last day of September, to be able to talk about notions and just the way to document some of the things that we really love about sewing.

Renee : [01:10:11] so I would just say, within sewing, we can get caught up on the size of somebody's stash, the cost of somebody sewing machine or thinking I can't do this because I don't have that. Or if I, spent $3,000 on this machine, it's going to make my clothes or what I'm making all that much better.

And. So this isn't a challenge to make anybody feel that way. I think it's actually the opposite that there are things that cost five, $10, or maybe even free in your home that can help you level up. And if you want to level up, then this is if not participate, definitely follow along and see what you're missing out on.

Lisa: I think that's an excellent line on which to conclude. Thank you so much for joining me today. Can you tell us where we can find you on the, [01:11:00] I just love giving everybody a chance to let people know where they can find you.

Renee : [01:11:04] Yes. I have a blog that I've maintained for about 12 years now at ms.

Seeley's and I'm on Instagram as at ms. Seeley's pants. I also am an editor at the socialists. So follow along there, it's a sewing blog for everybody. and I'll be doing a lot of work there in the upcoming year.

Lisa : [01:11:25] That's fantastic. When I, this has been a delight. Thank you very much for the conversation today, and I wish you great success with the notions commotion.

And I look forward to playing along some more, cause this was really fun.

Renee : [01:11:38] This was a lot of friendlies that thank you so much. I feel I've met my match and I can't wait to come up with this again.

Lisa : [01:11:44] Yes, indeed.

You've been listening to the stitch please podcast the official podcast of Black women's [01:12:00] stitch, the sewing group, where Black lives matter. Appreciate you supporting us by listening to the podcast. If you'd like to reach out to us with questions, you can contact us at If you'd like to support us financially, you can do that by supporting us on Patreon P a T R E O N.

And you can find Black women stitch there in the Patreon directory. And for as little as $2 a month, you can help support the project with things like editing transcripts and other things to strengthen the podcast. And finally, if financial support is not something you can do right now, you can really help the podcast by rating it and reviewing it anywhere.

You listen to podcasts. That allows you to review them. So I know that podcast, director or services allow for reviews, but for those who do for those that have like star rating, or just ask for a few comments, if you could share those comments and say nice things about it, stitch plays podcast, that [01:13:00] is incredibly helpful.

Thank you so much. Come back next week and we'll help you get your stitch together.

Hosted by Lisa Woolfork

Lisa is a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast who learned to sew while earning a PhD in African American literature and culture. She has been sewing for more than twenty years while also teaching, researching, and publishing in Black American literature and culture.

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