Our little g&g team grew back in August when the lovely Racheal came to join us. It’s been so great having an extra pair of hands to help out with everything in the shop, and the workshops too!
Here she is....busy sorting out the yarn.
We chat about the projects we would like to make with all the new fabric that comes in all the time, so I thought it would be a nice idea to start a pattern club where we could get together properly and talk about making a particular project. (I’m a bit geeky and loved setting up clubs when I was a kid!) Then we can let you know what we’ve been stitching up and give you lots of ideas, hints and tips about how we got on!
The new g&g pattern club also includes reviewing different products and gadgets we have in the shop – which we can then let you guys know about too. We carry literally hundreds of haberdashery items and it can be hard to keep track of the details and uses of all of them.
So every month, we will be getting together and reviewing a new set of products or some of the lovely sewing patterns we have in the shop.
I’ve been using these ‘chaco liners’ (which are basically chalk markers) for a while now and I love them. Sometimes unless you use something day in day out it can be hard to see from the packaging what you would actually do with it.
The way the marker works is by a little toothed wheel that sits in the nib. There is a cartridge of loose chalk (in a range of lovely colours) that is replaceable; mine have lasted well over a year though.
As you use the marker, the little wheel turns and dispenses the chalk in a crisp straight line – very satisfying!
The main advantage I find with this marker over a pencil or a traditional block of chalk is that it never blunts. You can always relay on getting a nice sharp line.
I use it for marking a stitch guideline when sewing in darts.
I also use it when making my own bias binding as it gives me a nice clear line that I can use when cutting out my strips. (See step 2 below - Picture taken from my book Learn to Sew)
As the chalk is loose it has the benefit of almost just shaking off, it just means that if you are going to use it as a stitch guide, draw on your line then get stitching right away. If you leave it till another day and your fabric is getting moved around in the mean time, the chalk is likely to come off.
They cost £7.95 each and come in pink, yellow, white, blue and silver.
The adhesive tape (which is sticky on one side) is meant for marking cutting or stitching lines without the use of chalk or a pen and can also act as a seam guide. It costs £3.10 for a 9m roll of 6mm wide tape.
It’s 6mm or ¼” wide (and comes on a roll of 9m), so in terms of being a seam guide it would be more suited to patchwork projects as that’s commonly what they use.
It’s great as it doesn’t leave a sticky residue on the fabric and will stay sticky so can be re-used several times. Just watch out that you don’t actually stitch over it as it can be hard to remove it without pulling the stitched out too!
You can very easily write or mark the tape to it’s useful if you need to space things out evenly. You could stick it onto your quilting ruler to mark out a certain line so that it’s easier to see where you need to measure things up when cutting.
The wool bobbins, which come in three sizes small, medium and large (and cost £4.10, £4.60 and £5.90 respectively) are is meant for storing yarn without it getting all tangled – especially useful if doing colour work.
You can still easily pull the yarn out even when the soft rubber top is down, but it does give some resistance which is useful if knitting with different colours. I've tried intarsia before and been driven mad by my little cardboard bobbins unravelling, leading to far to much tangling.
Or, if you have cats who love to destroy balls of yarn for fun then this would help to keep the yarn safe. Or if you like your knitting projects to be portable it will keep the yarn clean and safe if its rolling around in your bag.
They are also stackable which is pretty neat!
We thought the smaller ones would be great for embroidery threads too.
At the end of the month we are having our first pattern review and up on the stand is.....
- the Named Yona Coat
- the new Bruyère Shirt from Deer and Doe
- And...I’m too indecisive so I’ve not decided what mine is yet!
Are there any tools or gadgets that you would like to know more about? I'd love to hear any suggestions, then we can do the investigating for you!