Tool School: I Sew For Fun by Nancy Zieman

By Steve Butler

What is it? 

What would you do if you wanted to give someone the gift that is sewing?  You know, to enable an individual to achieve their creative expression through sewing, whether that be fashion, quilting, home décor or crafting.  Or, for that matter, any variation or combination of all of the above.

What’s important to have?  What’s necessary?  First of all for any project in any genre related to the use of fabric in sewing or crafts, the requirement for making accurate measurements is absolute.  Being able to precisely measure and place our hems, seems, pin tucks, button holes, appliqué, circles, etc., etc. is essential.

So, we need a measuring tool.  That’s one.  Once we’ve made our measurement we need to mark the spot or line and it needs to be visible but not permanent.  So add a compatible marking tool to your list.  When we have the pieces of our pattern or design cut out, we’ll need to hold them securely in position in preparation for sewing them together.  Secure is the operative word.

We’ll need some type of pin or clip to hold our pieces together while we manipulate them during the sewing process.  So those go on the list too.  Don’t forget we’ll need something to keep those pins organized when not in use. Some kind of pin caddy.  It’s hard to think of any sewing project that doesn’t require at least some hand sewing work to bring the project to conclusion.

We’ll probably need a few different hand sewing needle sizes to accommodate different fabrics and thread sizes.  Yep, put ’em on the list.  Sooner or later most projects find themselves on the needle plate of a sewing machine.  There’s a couple of real concerns here, especial for the newbie (or perhaps just shaky hands).  Safety first.  Always.  The sewing machine needle is the pointy end of a powerful and unforgiving machine.  We need to do something to protect youthful fingers from sharp steel.

At the same time we need to provide something to assist inexperienced hands as they attempt to position fabric along the desired line of sewing.  Two more items for the list.  And then, of course, we’re all human.  Mistakes will be made and the “bad” stitches will have to be removed so we can replace them with the “good” stitches.  Some type of seam ripper will have to be added to the list.

That’s quite a list.  A lot to think about.  A lot to consider.  A lot to identify.   But fret not.  Clover, in association with Nancy Zieman, has developed a program that provides all of the sewing notions necessary to enable the novice to experience the joy of sewing.  Here’s how.

What does it do?

As we all know, Nancy Zieman is a legend, a virtual icon in the sewing world.  Drawing from her vast knowledge and years of experience she has worked with Clover to develop a program entitled “I Sew For Fun”.  In this program she included, and in some cases designed, all of the sewing notions necessary for the youthful sewer to embark on their own creative journey.  It’s even color coordinated to give it special appeal.  Included you will find:

Sew-Safe Presser Foot-Unique among all other presser feet, the Sew-Safe Presser Foot has extended sides and a protective shield across the forward edge.  This feature isolates the sewing machine needle and protects small fingers as they move their projects across the needle plate.  With the included adapter the Sew-Safe Presser Foot fits both high shank and low shank sewing machines.

Sew-Safe Presser Foot
Art No. 9600


Seam Guide – The Seam Guide is the ultimate tool to assist both novice and accomplished sewer produce perfect seams in either straight stitches, curves or decorative top stitching.  The included grid ruler allows us to measure in either 1/8″ or 1/4″ increments to enable precise placement of the seam guide.  The “sticky back” adhesive that holds the seam guide in place leaves no residue the needle plate and is renewable simply by rinsing.

Seam Guide
Art No. 9601


Magnet Pin Caddy – When we aren’t using our pins the Magnet Pin Caddy stores them for us.  The magnetic feature picks the pins up and aligns them for easy access.  There’s even a groove under the pins to assist us as we retrieve them.  No poked fingers.  No crying.  That’s important.

Heart-Shaped Magnet Pin Caddy
Art No. 9602


Retractable Seam Ripper – The Retractable Seam Ripper has two unique features.  Activation of a slide on the side of the device allows the retraction of the point.  In this “safe” position it functions as a handy thread cutter.  When extended it is a high quality seam ripper with a smooth point and sharp cutting edge for effortless stitch removal.

Retractable Seam Ripper
Art No. 9603


Heart-Shaped Pins – The Heart-Shaped Pins have an acute point and a smooth, small diameter shaft for use on most fabrics.  The heart shaped head of the pin makes them easy to see and manipulate.  Twenty pins are included.

Heart-Shaped Pins
Art No. 9604


Hand-Sewing Needles with Heart-Shaped Case – The heart-shaped case keeps the needles damage free and where they can easily be found.  The hand-sewing needles included are Milliners, Betweens and Embroidery needles, one each.  These styles and sizes accommodate the primary, most often used hand sewing applications.  The case has capacity for additional sizes and styles as they become necessary.

Hand Sewing Needles with Heart-Shaped Case
Art No. 9605


Wonder Clips – Wonder Clips are perfect for applications using multiple layers of fabric or fabrics where pins might leave permanent holes or cause the fabric to pucker.  Ten clips in distinctive purple and turquoise colors are provided.

Wonder Clips
Art No. 9606


5-in-1 Sliding Gauge – This is hands down the best measuring tool you can have in your kit.  The moving cursor locks into place at 1/8″ intervals up to six inches for perfect hem lines, seams, button holes, etc.  It even includes a pivot point for inscribing arcs or circles.

5-in-1 Sliding Gauge
Art No. 9607


Fabric Marking Pen – The Fabric Marking Pen contains a water soluble, dark blue ink and a sharp point.  This allows us to make very precise, fine marks on a variety of fabric colors from dark to light and then simply wash them away with water when they are no longer needed.

Fabric Marking Pen
Art No. 9608


How do I share it?

To see it is to both understand it and love it.  Set up a static display of all the component pieces on a sewing table with a sewing machine.  Both grandmothers and mothers will see all the possibilities.  On the same display, advertise your next “Kid’s Camp” and make the “I Sew For Fun” program part of the project kit.  Word will spread.  Everyone will want one.  This is Nancy’s way of bringing the joys of sewing to a whole new generation of sewers.  And, as always, she’s hit the mark.

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2 thoughts on “Tool School: I Sew For Fun by Nancy Zieman

  1. Pingback: I Sew For Fun: DIY Scrunchies | Clover Needlecraft

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