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  1. #1
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    Putting together a sewing kit?

    So, I'm thinking of adding a sewing kit to my MB. But most "travel" or "purse" sewing kits are filled with really low-quality components. So, I'm thinking of getting a TB pouch of some sort, and buying my own components. By necessity, the scissors will be cheap ones - any scissors I put in my bag will have to be confiscatable because I know I'll forget they are there, and they'll be taken at some point when I go through security.

    I'm thinking about:

    • small (but standard) spools of medium gray, black, and white threads only
    • small box of straight pins (the box of pins seems problematic - every plastic box I've ever seen gets cracked eventually, and I don't think putting them directly in a OP is a good idea as I suspect they'll poke through)
    • a small OP full of safety pins
    • a "wheel" of different sewing needles


    What else might be needed? and what OP would be a good choice for the set? I know a tape measure is a good idea, but I have one in my knitting notions already.

  2. #2
    Forum Member melminimalist's Avatar
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    Small tape measure. The ribbon kind. For scissors try the kindergarten safety scissors, they are cheap and since they are obviously children's you may have a better chance getting them through. Or a finger nail clipper, those cut thread well and won't ever be confiscated.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
    "Not all who wander are lost"
    "Love people, use things, because the opposite never works" - The Minimalists
    Synapse 25 in Olive, Aubergine Side Effect, UV A30 PCBP, Sitka PCSB

  3. #3
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    I've read lots of tips and tricks on a variety of forums and what I settled on was this:

    -old plastic film canister with lid (hopefully you have one tucked away somewhere - they're virtually indestructible)
    -lengths of black, brown, and white thread wrapped around a small piece of paperboard (cut out of a cereal box or similar)
    -a couple of needles threaded through a piece of index card/stiffer paper
    -one button
    -a few safety pins

    That's the barebones kit.

    I also usually have one of the small rolls of duct tape like this in a tiny ziplock (used for jewelry) in most bags I travel with...
    https://www.amazon.com/S-L-Survive-O...roll+duct+tape

    Nail clippers from my toiletry kit are sufficient to cut the thread.

    I've had this type of kit or something like it for decades and I think I've had to use it maybe twice...but I was happy to have it!

  4. #4
    Forum Member sturbridge's Avatar
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    The times that I've needed a sewing kit are either to sew on a button or mend a hem. I've never needed a tape measure for repairs on the road. My minimalist sewing kit is 2 threaded needles, one with black thread and one with white thread stuck between a one inch or so piece of velcro with a couple of safety pins inserted into the outside. I also usually carry tape of some sort which could hold a hem until I got back home.
    Proud owner of: Pop Tote in cloud, Aeronaut 30 in steel/iberian, Travel Cubelet in Dawn, Travel Cubelet in Nebulous Grey , SE in steel parapack, SSB in black halcyon, Pilot in steel dyneema/steel, , Truck in Nebulous Gray, Small Zipped shop bag in black, Small Zipped shop bag in Dawn numerous pouches, 3D cubes, Q kits and straps, Cubelets and Ghost Whales!

  5. #5
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    Putting together a sewing kit?

    Quote Originally Posted by CathyWeeks View Post
    So, I'm thinking of adding a sewing kit to my MB. But most "travel" or "purse" sewing kits are filled with really low-quality components. So, I'm thinking of getting a TB pouch of some sort, and buying my own components. By necessity, the scissors will be cheap ones - any scissors I put in my bag will have to be confiscatable because I know I'll forget they are there, and they'll be taken at some point when I go through security.

    I'm thinking about:

    • small (but standard) spools of medium gray, black, and white threads only
    • small box of straight pins (the box of pins seems problematic - every plastic box I've ever seen gets cracked eventually, and I don't think putting them directly in a OP is a good idea as I suspect they'll poke through)
    • a small OP full of safety pins
    • a "wheel" of different sewing needles


    What else might be needed? and what OP would be a good choice for the set? I know a tape measure is a good idea, but I have one in my knitting notions already.
    Since you're a knitter you could get a Knit Kit and then just add a thin strip of Velcro or cardboard with different coloured threads wound around it into the back compartment. The scissors are TSA-compliant:
    https://theknitkit.com/collections/k...=6860169936954

    Edited to add: forgot to ask, is this something you envision using more than just for emergencies? Is it going to be part of a larger craft kit? I'm guessing so since your list is kind of a lot to carry only for a quick repair, but if not, I would pare down. If for no other reason, than because spools of thread and tape measures take up a lot of room.
    Last edited by Cristina; 06-02-2018 at 11:44 AM.

  6. #6
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    Another tip that from Ladylighttravel's blog is to use your dental floss "cutter" to snip threads instead of carrying scissors. It should be strong enough and eliminates any worry about confiscation (the post has other great tips.) I carry a version of this super minimalist kit in my small OP pouch that has some other first-aid/EDC bits.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina View Post
    Is this something you envision using more than just for emergencies? Is it going to be part of a larger craft kit? I'm guessing so since your list is kind of a lot to carry only for a quick repair, but if not, I would pare down. If for no other reason, than because spools of thread and tape measures take up a lot of room.
    I use my tape measure all the time for knitting, anyway - it lives in my knitting notions, and it's going in no matter what. It's a small, retractable, ribbon-style designed for knitters/seamsters, and is quite small.

    But to answer your question, the sewing kit is for emergencies. One problem I've had with the teeny-tiny style of thread spools that come in kits is that I've run out of the right color of thread before, and it's impossible to get reasonable replacements, and the quality is for the birds (I've had threads that were rotting/breaking as I was trying to use them). But from my quilting days, I know that really, three colors are all that're needed, and maybe only two. I had in mind these kind of spools: Putting together a sewing kit?-gutermanncotton-jpg

    They are about 2.5" long and maybe 1/2" in diameter.

    I also like much longer needles than what come in the ready-made kits, so being able to chose my own is nice. Now that I think about it, one of the "wheel" cases full of needles is silly - takes up way more room than needed, and includes about 10x the number/type of needles that I need. I'd like a little cylinder of needles instead. Knitters love the "Chibi" darning needles because they come in a little plastic cylinder that is quite tough, and doesn't get lost. But for sewing needles, it's really kind of too big. Hmmm.... I'll have to think about that one.

  8. #8
    Forum Member melminimalist's Avatar
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    Also, you can use an empty altoids tin to hold you mini kit.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
    "Not all who wander are lost"
    "Love people, use things, because the opposite never works" - The Minimalists
    Synapse 25 in Olive, Aubergine Side Effect, UV A30 PCBP, Sitka PCSB

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CathyWeeks View Post
    I also like much longer needles than what come in the ready-made kits, so being able to chose my own is nice. Now that I think about it, one of the "wheel" cases full of needles is silly - takes up way more room than needed, and includes about 10x the number/type of needles that I need. I'd like a little cylinder of needles instead. Knitters love the "Chibi" darning needles because they come in a little plastic cylinder that is quite tough, and doesn't get lost. But for sewing needles, it's really kind of too big. Hmmm.... I'll have to think about that one.
    I have a little wooden cylinder that holds beading needles which are quite long... it's similar to this one - they come in various sizes:

    https://www.artbeads.com/jewelry-sup...SABEgJLwPD_BwE

    EDIT: oh, and with all that everyone's said... if you don't want to go super tiny, a mini Q-kit or a cubelet would hold everything
    Last edited by G42; 06-03-2018 at 07:51 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CathyWeeks View Post
    I use my tape measure all the time for knitting, anyway - it lives in my knitting notions, and it's going in no matter what. It's a small, retractable, ribbon-style designed for knitters/seamsters, and is quite small.

    But to answer your question, the sewing kit is for emergencies. One problem I've had with the teeny-tiny style of thread spools that come in kits is that I've run out of the right color of thread before, and it's impossible to get reasonable replacements, and the quality is for the birds (I've had threads that were rotting/breaking as I was trying to use them). But from my quilting days, I know that really, three colors are all that're needed, and maybe only two. I had in mind these kind of spools: Putting together a sewing kit?-gutermanncotton-jpg

    They are about 2.5" long and maybe 1/2" in diameter.

    I also like much longer needles than what come in the ready-made kits, so being able to chose my own is nice. Now that I think about it, one of the "wheel" cases full of needles is silly - takes up way more room than needed, and includes about 10x the number/type of needles that I need. I'd like a little cylinder of needles instead. Knitters love the "Chibi" darning needles because they come in a little plastic cylinder that is quite tough, and doesn't get lost. But for sewing needles, it's really kind of too big. Hmmm.... I'll have to think about that one.
    Sounds like you have a sewing machine? You could get three extra bobbins and wind each one with your preferred color of thread. You would have plenty that way but they would be flatter and much smaller than the Gutermann spools. (Nothing against Gutermann, that's the most common thread where I live and I consider those spools full size!).

    It's been a long time since I've lived in the US but can you buy needles there in paper envelopes? This travel sewing kit is from the U.K. but it shows clearly a paper pack of needles (which are common to buy here). The paper packs fit easily in even very small cases.

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/2646612...g-kit-in-a-tin

    As for scissors, that Etsy link also shows the sort of folding TSA scissors that are in the knit kit (which also has a yarn cutter built in). You can also use the cutter from a spool of dental floss if you want to eliminate scissors entirely.

  11. #11
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    You could get the rapid repair kit from merchant and mills... nice itty bitty scissors, decent thread, pins, safety pins and nice needles all in a small tin.. the scissors are tsa compliant as they are less than 2 inches total length and the blades are about 1 inch. I’ve flown with them multiple times international and domestic USA without even a question. I tucked a couple of Sajou cocoons in there with the rest for different colors (I tend to use a light grey or a dark grey thread for pretty much everything)
    It’s £15 on their website

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haraldsdotter View Post
    You could get the rapid repair kit from merchant and mills... nice itty bitty scissors, decent thread, pins, safety pins and nice needles all in a small tin.. the scissors are tsa compliant as they are less than 2 inches total length and the blades are about 1 inch. Iíve flown with them multiple times international and domestic USA without even a question. I tucked a couple of Sajou cocoons in there with the rest for different colors (I tend to use a light grey or a dark grey thread for pretty much everything)
    Itís £15 on their website
    WOW what a fabulous shop!

    Shipping to the US would be more than the cost of the kit, but the kit mirrors several ideas in this thread: The needles come in a vial, the threads are wound on bobbins, and the whole thing is in a mint tin.

    https://merchantandmills.com/store/e...-repair-kit-3/

  13. #13
    Forum Member Duggy'sMom's Avatar
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    I bought a merchant and mills rapid repair kit from a website in Canada for CAD 12.50 last year. Shipping wasn't too bad. They don't have any more in stock. But I'm sure if you want one, you can find another source.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina View Post
    Sounds like you have a sewing machine? You could get three extra bobbins and wind each one with your preferred color of thread. You would have plenty that way but they would be flatter and much smaller than the Gutermann spools. (Nothing against Gutermann, that's the most common thread where I live and I consider those spools full size!).
    The bobbin idea is brilliant! Thanks so much. I am totally going to do that. I can even use my sewing machine to do the winding.

    Depending on the project, I buy MUCH bigger spools of Guttermann thread, but usually only in staple colors like black, white, and gray, and rarely in other colors if needed. The rest of my spools are like the ones shown in the pic.

    I have a set of the folding scissors, so those are going in. I also have a little metal tin with a screw lid that I'm going to put both straight pins and safety pins in. Depending on the diameter of the tins I have, if it will hold 2-3 of the bobbins side-by-side, I'll use a second one for that. Needles I'm still thinking about. I LOVE the glass vial shown in one of the kits at the link upstream, but I think I'd likely end up breaking it. I have a metal tin for knitting notions, but it got badly dented in my EDC (it's now a little hard to get the lid to stay closed). I'd worry a glass needle holder would get broken. Right now, I'm thinking about making some sort of needle holder (probably out of cardboard) to go inside the lid of my round pin tin.
    Last edited by CathyWeeks; 06-04-2018 at 07:29 AM.

  15. #15
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    For sewing needles and pins, consider using the perfume counter sample fragrance vials with the snap-on lids. They seem to be pretty tough; I have never seen one break.

    The ones I am referring to are 4085-05 here:

    Putting together a sewing kit?-4085-01-jpg

    You can get them for free at Nordstroms all day long.

    I imagine the longer ones would be more prone to breakage.
    Last edited by dchang0; 06-05-2018 at 01:48 AM.

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