May 23, 2015

On Buying and Using the Right Tools

I used to be very much a Jerry-rig/make do kind of woman. For some things I still am but I'm beginning to recognize the value of having the right tools for the job and using things that actually work when you need them to. I don't know if this is because parenthood has cut my free time to almost nothing or I'm just not as interested in spending time messing around with some tiny thing, on the way to a larger project, when I could just be doing the damn project.

We recently had to get a new stove because ours was nearly kaput. I mean, it was an improvement over a camp fire but it had become unreliable and half the functions didn't work (pepper season is imminent and I will have roasting of peppers to do!). I didn't realize how unreliable the old stove was until we got a new one and suddenly cooking was easier and faster. Dinner is taking half the time because the thing gets hot and it gets hot quickly. Amazing!

I feel this way about my tape dispenser too. For years I used whatever random, old (read: covered in dust and dog hair) roll I could find. It was annoying. Sometimes the thing broke and then it was a pain to tear the tape. Sometimes it lost its stick. And of course, dog hair and dust. After a few months of taping printed sewing patterns together and making fitting adjustments on pattern paper I decided to get crazy and buy one of those weighted tape dispensers that takes refills. Not only was this option cheaper and created less waste now that I tape all the dang time but it is so much easier to use! All my sewing related taping tasks go so much faster.

Here are some of the other good tools that have made things faster and less frustrating:

I'm not just crazy neat with my pins, that's the super strong magnet at work! I toss the pin in the general direction of this thing and SPOING!, it falls into line.

After reading a blog post all about seam grading I decided to splurge and get myself some 5" Gingher tailor's shears and it turned out not to be a splurge at all but rather the correct tool for the job. Lots of things were easier with these shorter scissors.

I feel this way about my iron too. After years of a leaky Rowenta (leaking almost since it was new... not too happy with Rowentas) I looked for recommendations from my favorite sewing bloggers and, after talking myself off the ledge of getting a gravity feed, went with the recommendation on Closet Case Files and got a not very expensive Panasonic. It is working WONDERFULLY and my sewing is much better because my pressing during construction is much better.

And of course there is the Raskog cart. That has made a WORLD of difference. It used to be that I had to wander all over the place to put things away after a sewing project. Containers for all my tools were in different places. Since this was a pain it tended not to get done things were a mess. Now, I just roll my cart over and put everything right back where it goes. Love it. 

See? Right tool, right job - magic.

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