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Most worthless sewing notion/gadget
galadriel45
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galadriel45
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Date: 9/28/04 9:41 PM

After reading about all of our favorite notions, I was wondering if people have stories about their most worthless sewing notions or gadgets?  The gadget that comes to my mind is a Dritz quilt baster.  I saw it in Walmart one day, when I was going to buy some safety pins to pin baste a quilt, a job that is something akin to me as picking up all of the Christmas tree needles off the floor well into Easter.  So there is this little plastic gadget that you load with little pieces of plastic.  You insert a needle through the quilt, pull the trigger and the plastic stays in, basting the quilt.  Wonderful! I though, and plunked down $16.99 cheerfully.  I brought my little gadget home, loaded it up and inserted the needle.  The little plastic jammed.  Durn.  I opened the needle, pulled out about a half a dozen little plastic things, and tried again.  Jammed again.  I kept thinking it was my technique, but really there wasn't anything to it.  After about 45 minutes I had about 12 pieces of plastic basting my quilt and about 50 pieces of plastic all over my bed and floor.  I reloaded that baby one more time, and this time it jammed so badly that I couldn't get it to unjam.  Soooo, where I could have had the whole durn quilt pinbasted in an hour, I had about 2 feet basted, and had to pick up all of the plastic pieces - that I am still finding in the carpet (like Christmas tree needles.  That was probably my most worthless sewing gadget.

Janie Viers
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Janie Viers  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/28/04 11:10 PM

The little plastic thread cutter that was to adhere to the lower side of the machine and make cutting threads quick....It stuck on for about 2 days and then the heat from the light bulb in the machine made it fall off....I couldn't get a place that was conveneint to the needle AND didn't get warm enough to disolve the adhesive.

Pinking shears.....they are so miserable to use when you are trying to do a pretty trim around the polar fleece.  I finally just gave up and use a pinking rotary blade.

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JanieV

Gigi Louis
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Gigi Louis
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Date: 9/29/04 6:50 AM

Gosh, I have bought so many useless notions over the years I don't think I could remember them all!  The one that comes to mind first is the metal Welt Pocket Former.  Useless unless you want welt pocket making to become ten times more difficult.  Oh, yes, also Dritz grommet and snap pliers.  Take your $20 and flush it down the loo!

galadriel45, I have the Quilt-Tac basting gun and it works great!  It's much more expensive than the one from Dritz but I don't mind paying for stuff that does what it's supposed to.

Lisa Laree
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Date: 9/29/04 7:54 AM

I'm like Gigi, I've got several that I've accumulated over the years (some have finally gone to the great notions graveyard)...
1) the snap pliers came to mind even before I read Gigi's post.  I absolutely ruined a whole package of snaps before I finally gave up on it.  There's another tool -- it's three pieces and you hit it with a hammer but I can't remember the name of it right off -- that actually works.

2) The lighted seam ripper; SOUNDS like a good idea, but the light  bulb, being slightly offset from the pointy part, isn't focused on the right place.  In fact, mine cast a shadow right where the point of the ripper was.  Not good.

3) Another 'I can't remember it's name' (I think it's 'Needle Trak' or something like that) thing worked great for a while but...anyway, it's the little gizzy with sliding pointers that you adhere to the sewing machine to help you recollect what size/type needle you have in it.  It really did help a lot until some losely woven fabric snagged on the sliding pointers and they broke off.  Unlike JanieV's thread cutter, this sucker is FIRMLY stuck on the front of my machine, useless and in the way.  

5) a little set that contained a stilleto point and a chalk holder, both hooked onto sliding clamps that, in theory, would attatch to a yardstick to make a giant compass for drawing circles.  They didn't fit any yardstick in the house...

6) The Dritz EZ Hem Guide...fairly large metal measuring device that's curved on one side and straight on the other.  You're supposed to use it to measure hems by folding them up to the desired line and pressing, but the metal gets Really Hot and the steam is deflected out onto the hand that holds it and then condenses on the gizmo.  Linda Lee's suggested cardboard templates work much better.

7) There's a combo fusible/Ban-roll-type waistband interfacing that I tried that was just a mess...It looked like a Really Good Thing; pre-measured and perforated fusible waistband interfacing with the really sturdy Ban-roll type interfacing pre-fused to one side.  But, the fusing agent didn't stick to the fabric and the Ban-roll UNFUSED from the backing in the heat/steam.  I had to baste the whole thing down before I could use it.  Ugh.  I actually negatively reviewed this in the Notions reviews.

Somewhere someone told me that the welt pocket maker was really great, but I hadn't actually gotten one yet.  Sigh.  I guess I'll just have to give up on the 'magic weltmaker' dream and learn to do them myself... :rolleyes:

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Lisa -- so much fabric, so little time!
http://sewrandom.blogspot.com/

Tini
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Tini
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Date: 9/29/04 8:23 AM

ui, I do have a couple....

* welt buttonhole templates... Expensive and maybe it is just me but I can't figure out how to use these...
* flexible ruler. Just toooooo flexible
* the YKK invisible zipper foot... Didn't work with my Pfaff. I now own a Bernina & the matching zipper foot works beautiful!

I do have a box at home... Need to look into that before I can go on...

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Gigi Louis
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Date: 9/29/04 8:23 AM

Lisa, you're thinking of the Snap Source tool.  I agree, it's fantastic (and inexpensive).  I also have the Verio pliers from Germany - also fantastic but quite a lot more expensive.

I too have the EZ Hem Guide (why AM I saving it?) and used to have the lighted ripper.  I've never seen a ripper with such a huge head before or since, lol.

Welt pockets and bound buttonholes are not hard, they just take practice.

PVA
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PVA
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Date: 9/29/04 10:00 AM

At one time I was absolutely "Gadget-Happy", & would fall for almost anything that I thought was designed for a specific chore, & would be "the right tool for the job".   :wow:   I'm sure I've got lots of that worthless junk taking up room in my work-space right now!  I have sworn-off Dritz-anything forever!  I've learned the hard way that cheaper isn't necessarily better!   :confused:    I'm glad the first time I saw that quilt-baster I was at a BIG quilt show with lots of vendors & they were demo-ing that quilt baster.  I tried it, it was great & I've used one many times with no problems.  (Not the Dritz version.)  Unfortunately, I have been taken in by some other "white elephants", but I guess it's all part of the education.   :blush:   I guess my all-time favorite is the seam-ripper!  Back in the covered-wagon days of sewing we used old razor blades!   :eek:   Boy, I shed many tears (& droplets of blood) before some genius produced a seam ripper that didn't trash the project before it could be even tried-on!  I would probably say the next-best notion in my arsenal is the rotary cutter, ruler & cutting mat!  Again, don't waste money & energy on Dritz!  Just my NSHO, of course!   :D    :D

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PVA (Pat)  "A girl can't have too many scissors!"
If I don't have time to do it right, when will I have time to do it over?

Liana
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Liana
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Date: 9/29/04 1:07 PM

Gigi,
  That Dritz hem gauge makes a great painting shield when you're painting alongside trim.  (Just what we'd hoped for from a sewing notion.) Just hold it up and paint along it.  I also have a weirdly shaped windshield ice scraper that is perfect for this.  Much easier than taping IMO.  

I too have lots of worthless notions.  I have only one great seam ripper, the one that came with my Elna, and I hang onto it like death.  Why are there so many rotten ones?  The collar point and tube turner is one pretty worthless notion that comes to mind.  Just buy the Fasturn tubes.  They're more than worth the aggravation you'll avoid.

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Liana
http://sewintriguing.blogspot.com/
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Gigi Louis
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Date: 9/29/04 1:27 PM

Wow, Liana, I have been using a large spackle knife for painting!  Finally, a good use for the hem guide!

My fave seam ripper is the one that came with my Bernina.  My dealer says that I am the ONLY person who will pay $5 for them!  I have quite a collection around the house. :tounge:

Elona
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Date: 9/29/04 3:22 PM

Oh, yeah, the lighted seam ripper and the steam-collecting hem gauge are right up there on the Worthless Scale!

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