More equipment

The only items that you might have difficulty getting hold of are a metal ruler and Pentel propelling pencils. Any ruler will do but a metal one particularly if you can get a 24inch/61cms one, is very useful. Because they are heavier than the plastic sort they don’t move about so easily when you’re marking out pattern pieces and you get a more accurate result.


Pentel pencils are really good for drawing up paper patterns and marking fabric up for cutting out. We use 0.5mm and 0.3mm sizes. They are quite expensive, particularly the spare leads, but we find them much better than ordinary pencils.


We use Fiskars scissors, the sort you can buy anywhere and to keep them nice and sharp, especially as we use them to cut paper which blunts them very quickly, we use a Fiskars sharpener.


It’s worth finding out a little bit about sewing needles. If you choose the right needle for the work you’re doing it makes a big difference. For example, we use milliners needles to stab through our miniature mattresses to make the characteristic dimples in them. We use quilting needles to stitch the mattress buttons into place because they’re straight and go through the buttons much more easily than needles with more prominent eyes.


Someone has asked us how she can tell what size hem the narrow hemmer in her accessories box will make because it isn’t in it’s original packaging.

If you turn the hemming foot over you’ll see a channel that runs up the foot from the back until about a third of the way from the front. If you measure the width of the channel, that will be the finished width of the hem it will make.

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