Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Sewing Gadgets vs. Sewing Tools.

When I was at Hancock's on Monday, virtually every one of the sales staff was aggressively hawking a gizmo that dispenses straight pins. I'd seen it in the sale flyer and snorted at it just a bit. But they were flying out of the store; I saw SEVERAL ladies with them in their carts or under their arms (It's on sale! Plus you get today's 10 percent discount! I love mine...I have two!).

It was all I could do not to laugh out loud when the sales pitches were thrown my way. Really? I mean, really?

Now, there are kinda oddball tools that I use and wooden clapper, my collar/point turner, my buttonhole chisel, Wonder Tape...but these gadgety things just make me shake my head.

I shook my head similarly when the bobbin winder gadgets came out and had no problem resisting the sales pitches on those, either, but a well-meaning soul in my family saw those and thought 'Lisa sews! I bet she'd LOVE one of those!' and gave me the Dritz model for Christmas a few years back, which I dutifully unboxed and tried out, hoping for the sake of the person who gave it to me that it turned out to be a wonderful little tool.

Alas, it was not so. Despite the package labeling, I had to pull the thread out of the machine, same as I do with the on-machine bobbin winder, as it didn't pull the thread through the machine (foot up...yes, the tension was released!) at all. Then the stand-alone model filled the bobbin at break neck speed, with 80% of the thread on the bottom half of the bobbin. It was Not Useable. Not only did it not work any better/easier than the bobbin winder on the machine, it didn't come at all close to working as well. Gadget.

Bless her heart. She tried.

Now, I know there are folks who love their little bobbin winders. But I'll be honest...I don't get it.

I like my little magnetic pin grabbers (I have 3). I know some folks don't, because of the contagion of magnetism, but I can pretty much toss pins in its direction and they'll land on it, or I can wave it over a handful I've dropped or pulled out on the ironing board and it grabs 'em. I don't have a computerized machine, so I don't have to worry about the magnet. They're pretty cheap, compared to the Automatic Pin Dispenser..and I got it on a half price notions sale. Plus, it only takes up about 9 square inches on my sewing table, unlike the pin dispenser, which looked roughly the size of a loaf of Arnold's Whole Wheat bread and would be totally In My Way.

So, really, I'm just hoping no one decides I need a monster pin spitter for Christmas this year.... ;-)


  1. Really?!? There is such a thing? I have to agree, I thought the bobbin winders were a waste. My sewing machine does that, thanks, so why should I need a separate gadget? My standard tomato pin cushion does pretty good job of having the pins ready right under my hand, doesn't need batteries or electricity and takes up little space. I'm with you on this one!

  2. LOL, I saw these on the cutting table several weeks ago and my kids couldn't resist playing with it. I demonstated it, let 'em grab a pin, then announced, (rather loudly, I'm afraid),"If I see one of these things ever in my house, particularly on Mother's Day, you better hope you saved the receipt!" The Hancock ladies were not amused.

  3. Mickey...LOL!!!! I'm wondering if they got bonuses if they sold x number of them...they were ALL pushing them...

  4. I never could see the point of a bobbin winder. The one on the machine works just fine. And a pin dispenser? Really? I don't have any of those doo-hickeys that keep thread spools and bobbins together, either. I don't keep thread on bobbins after a project is complete, except for black and white thread. And my bobbins fit nicely into the case provided by Bernina. I wonder if other hobbies have the large amount of cheap useless gizmos that sewing has.

  5. My mom and I made (loud) fun of those stupid things the last time we were in Hancock's, too. What will they think of next??

  6. I have a gizmo that dispenses straight pins - its a pincushion ! I agree - I don`t get it either but then again I also don`t have a dishwasher, clothes dryer or food processor .

  7. Oh by the way glandular fever and mononucleosis are the same thing - I`m not sure if it is Aussie speak though ! My MUm had mononucleosis when she was 65 and ended up in hospital for 10 weeks as she couldnt walk ( developed Guillane Barre )lost heaps of weight and was sooo tired. So I know how debilitating this condition is. Glad you are improving.

  8. If family knows you sew and have a hard time knowing what to get you, expect the pin dispenser, if not this Xmas, then in the next few years. Unless you can drop a few hints to the appropriate folks about how much you love fabric store gift cards. ;)

    I don't have a bobbin winder either. I don't mind winding bobbins. It is a nice little break.