The best of sewing, part2: Other useful things

I found so many interesting and useful things that are related to my sewing hobby that they deserve a post of their own.

This post includes affiliate links.

1. My Nikon D5600 DSLR camera

There’s no sewing blogging without a good camera. I don’t have a photographer in hand and only if I’m lucky, I can get a family member to take some photos of me. My new Nikon D5600 camera made it so much easier to take photos without help since it has a time lapse function my old camera lacked. I can set the camera to take 20 photos in 4-second intervals. Then I just press “start” and jump in front of the camera!

2. My Coverstitch machine

My Cover stich machine Janome CoverPro 2000CPX.

I bought my coverstitch machine Janome CoverPro 2000CPX in the year 2017, but I only learned how to use it properly in 2018. That was mainly due to lack of oiling, which I didn’t know my new machine desperately needed. Now I love making pretty necklines and hems with this large toy of mine.

3. Ommel sewing festival

Ommel festival crowd.

Ommel 2018 was the first sewing festival of its kind in Finland and I can’t wait for it to come back in the summer 2019. If you have ever thought about coming to visit Helsinki, seriously consider coming between 7th and 9th of June 2019 and visiting the sewing spectacle that is Ommel 2019!

This year the theme will be the Nordic countries and there will be fabrics and people from all the Nordic countries. Absolutely no Finnish skills are required! Even better, the festival is free and there will be plenty of free workshops and lectures available.

4. Faux leather paper

I tried faux leather paper and realised its potential after printing on it with my inkjet printer. I love making little patches to decorate my makes! I have also seen it used for gorgeous bags, baskets and even bowties!

5. Silk pins

I bought these silk pins last January and I have found my fingers reaching these all the time. Normal pins are much thicker and blunt compared to these new friends of mine.

These don’t leave holes into the most precious fabrics and they glide smoothly through such stubborn fabrics as lingerie lycra that seem to repel normal pins. Their cons are that you will end up drawing blood before you even notice that you have stuck one of these into your finger, so sharp they are! And as they are thin, they wild bend easily and can’t be used for thick fabrics.

6. Clover chalk wheel

I bought this yellow chalk wheel from Ompelino, but as most of you don’t live near Helsinki, here is a link to Amazon product page. I am not really a fan of using normal chalk, but I prefer magic markers that evaporate in a few days. Unfortunately, those magic markers don’t work with dark fabrics. Traditional chalk pulls the fabric as you use it but this chalk wheel just rolls on the fabric. Besides, it makes just lovely clicking sound!

7. Gütermann’s hand silk

My ball of Gütermann hand silk.

I bought a skein of this pre-waxed silk thread that is meant for hand-sewing. It took me hours to wind it up on a ball but finally It’s the most wonderful thread I have ever used! It glides through the fabric and never tangles.

8. Bluprint

Bluprint that was formerly called Craftsy unlimited is an online service in which you can watch huge amount of courses, from sewing to baking and even fitness with a single subscription cost. This is also where I learned how to sew bras and make a corset.

As even the rest of the Craftsy is turning into Bluprint, I learned that if you sign now (before 9th of Jan) for a year, you can not only get the year’s membership with $79,99 but also save 12 courses that you can keep forever. If you happen already to have an old Craftsy account, you can actually watch Bluprint courses for free until 8th of January, so you can try it out!

I myself got a membership and can warmly recommend the courses. Check especially bra-making courses by Beverly Johnson!

9. Seamly2D and Valentina

Sewing pattern design: Making the princess-seams.

These two free open source programs are good if you want to draft your own patterns using a computer. Both programs were originally one single product which split into two, so they are pretty similar to use. Seamly2D can be downloaded here and Valentina here.

10. Winifred Aldrich’s books of metric pattern cutting

I’m not a professional pattern cutter and neither have I any educational background in sewing or design. However, these books make drafting basic patterns simple. The instructions are easy to understand and can be then turned into your personal blocks. There are separate books for men, women and children with all the necessary sizing tables so that you can create multi-sized patterns.

This is all for today! Happy sewing!


I am a mother of two. I sew, knit and create and blog about it.


  • Lodi

    Love these end-of-year posts Katja!
    Can you talk more about the Gutermann’s hand silk? How does it come (before you rolled it into a ball)? Is it strictly for hand vs machine sewing? How thick is it? (40, 50 weight?)
    Yes, fabric is magnetic, enthralling, and fabulous, but apparently I find a ball of string interesting also! (I’m like a cat that way!?)

    • kk

      Hi, Lodi! It comes in a skein, just like many hand-dyed knitting yarns. You have to open the ties that hold the skein and then find a place for it in order to wind the thread into a ball. Since I’m an old knitter, I have a little wooden adjustable wheel that holds the skein and lets me pull the thread out while the wheel spins slowly. You could also hang the skein on a back of a chair or hold it between your feet or ask a friend to hold it between her hands. It’s meant for tailors and for hand sewing. It’s too thick and stiff (because of the waxing) for a regular sewing machine but it says on the tag that it can be used for edge stitching machines, whatever those are! I don’t really know about the weigth, since it doesn’t tell on the label. It is thicker than your normal poly thread but slightly thinner than Coats topstitching thread. You can find it in here, if you are interested:

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