A well fitted thimble can make hand sewing much more comfortable. Do you like to push the needle through your fabric with the tip of your finger as is done by most quilters or with the side of your finger as is commonly done by tailors? There is no right or wrong way, just be sure to choose the thimble that matches your technique!
We’ve added a selection of thimbles to our shop so that you can choose the style that suits you best. We’ve also included multiple sizes to ensure that even male sewists with large fingers can find a thimble that fits.
These John James closed top thimbles, for example, come in size large, medium and small. I’ve measured the diameter at the base of each thimble and listed this on our website so that you can measure across the joint on your finger to compare.
These thimbles feature an indented top and divots that make it easy to hold your needle in place as you push through thick fabric.
We’ve also added to our open top thimble selection! I personally prefer open top thimbles because they allow my finger to breath (I hate when the thimble slips around on a sweaty finger :P) and I can pull the thimble down on to my finger’s joint so it rests very securely. I have pretty bony hands so there isn’t very much flesh on my finger tip to hold a thimble in place, thus, finding a snug fit on my joint is essential. I also like that an open top allows me to use the tip of my finger to manipulate fabric.
I only added two sizes of open thimble because we already have the beautiful brass Merchant & Mills thimble in our shop. The Merchant & Mills thimble is actually a size small thimble (when comparing it to the two nickel plated thimbles that are size medium and large).
These thimbles also feature nice divots to hold your needle in place when you push with the side of your finger.
While I was sourcing thimbles I decided to find a few other tools hand sewing tools to assist in sewing thick or unusual fabrics often used for menswear. First off, we have these small rubber discs that you can use to grip your needle when pulling it through leather or thick layers of denim or canvas.
Each package comes with two discs to store in your hand sewing kit.
I’ve also added my favourite unusual John James sewing needles to our shop. There are a selection of three extra sharp and strong leather needles that you can use to sew on leather buckles or elbow patches:
And the most handy household repair kit. You probably don’t have these needles in your sewing box! They include curved mattress needles, a darning needle and two sharp leather needles.
The mattress needles are especially handy for repairing upholstered furniture but I would also be interested to use them when hand stitching hard to reach areas (perhaps if you would like to repair a thick backpack or add a leather patch to a finished garment. Use these curved needles whenever the fabric you are stitching can not be easily manipulated with a straight needle.
The last secret weapon to add to your sewing kit are these serious little thread clippers.
They feature light and strong handles made from fibreglass reinforced resin and steel blades.
Their handle-less design makes them very quick to grab and comfortable to use. If you have never used this style of clipper before, you might find it takes a little bit to figure out the pinching technique since the way that you pinch the clippers closed effects the alignment of the blades. Once you master the technique (you will have it figured out after a few snips!) you will choose these clippers over any other thread snips.
Do you have any menswear hand sewing projects on the go right now? I frequently sew patches and medals on to the uniforms of Matt’s firefighter co-workers so I really like to have a good quality and convenient hand sewing kit ready to go in my sewing room.