“Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury - to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best for both the body and the mind.”
Albert Einstein

Saturday 29 March 2014

The sewing box

I have now successfully made it to 3 months of not buying anything new and have simplified my life greatly. I am slowing culling my useless possessions and finding space in my life for whats important.

Not being able to buy anything new makes you think about what you have and how you can make it last longer. Lately I have found myself mending items of clothing and being less ruthless when just chucking something out. If its unwearable or broken it usually ends up in the bin and as it is not donated either this is a waste.

New buttons, fixing zips, sewing up hems and seams are not hard things to do, it just takes the right tools and a little patience. If you have never sewn a button on something I suggest you give it a go. Its probably the easiest thing you will ever do and is so useful.

When I was younger I was fascinated with my grandmothers sewing kit, its where all the spare buttons ended up, all the off cuts of material where chucked in there too even old film canisters (I never knew why, but they are a great way or storing pins). All of the things in there where useful and often brought my favorite clothes or soft toys back to life.

What you need to create you first sewing kit:-

  1. A box or container - now remember you don't need to buy this, any old box will do as long as there are no holes or ways for pins to escape it will be fine.
  2. Scissors - try and have a dedicated pair to sewing as using them around the house makes them blunt and they will not cut fabric as well as they should.
  3. Pins, Safety Pins and Needles - you can pick these up from any two-dollar store. 
  4. Pin cushion or container - remember a film canister is great for this, or you can make your own pin cushion with some fabric but making a ball with off-cutts and putting a piece of material over the top and securing with safety pins.
  5. Thread - good quality thread is a must, it will ensure those buttons won't break off and its easier to sew with. Get the standard colors, white, blue, black, brown and beige to start off with.
  6. Seam Cutter - is a little tool thats used for un-picking thread. Its good for those mistakes when starting out.
  7. Measuring Tape - a roll up one is a good idea.
  8. Buttons - Keep a variety and always hold onto any you find or get with new clothing you can keep them in a small jar inside your sewing kit.
  9. Hem Tape - Can be used as a quick fix before a night, all you need is an iron. 
  10. Lighter - burning the end of certain material melts and fuses it together. Just be careful.
Check out my little DIY sewing kit and sewing area its slowly growing and fixing my favorite items of clothing and making them like new whilst saving me money.

If you make a habit of buying things you do not need, you will soon be selling things you do. Filipino Proverb.

Stay Simple.


  1. Well done on your 3 month mark, Holly. How did you make that clever little shelf in the last photo. When I was a girl, only real mothers had sewing boxes. We small girls had something better... old boxes. I had an Old Gold chocolate box which smelt delicious every time I opened it. Sandra

  2. Mum gave me my first sewing box and I still use it all the time! I made a little pin cushion myself and I love rummaging around in there. I remember getting Mum's buttons out and sorting them in order of preference. I'm not sure what changed in my mind as to the qualities for a better button, but I was pretty definite about it.

    A good tip you gave me was to cut the buttons off shirts which are being thrown out (only ones which aren't in good enough condition to donate to charity) and keeping them as spares. Great idea!