January always finds me in a frenzy of cleaning, revamping and generally refreshing.  This year Matt and I are taking that concept a step further by installing new floors in our house...it's been fun but it also makes me very pleased to walk in to my tidy studio and close the door on all the dust, piles of wood, and tools spread everywhere throughout the rest of the house. I'm keeping the new year frenzy to a minimum in my studio by simply giving my machines a good clean and the attention they deserve (yet rarely receive).  I thought you guys might like to do the same so I've added a few interesting tools and accessories to the shop to help you refresh and renew! First off, here is something extremely simple but beautiful: A lint brush.sewing-tools-thread-theory-45As you can see below, the only lint brush I had in my studio before acquiring this one was NOT doing a good job of removing lint.  It was poor quality to start with and was completely worn out.sewing-tools-thread-theory-44The fine and soft bristles on this brush do a much nicer job of getting in to tiny crevices and I think they are flexible enough to stand up to quite a lot of wear.  The beautiful twisted wire handle will allow the brush to hang nicely in a visible spot so that we are all more likely to give our machines a clean!sewing-tools-thread-theory-42 Once your machine is clean, it's time to add a few useful accessories.  I feel very lucky to have a handy measuring tape printed right on the work table on my industrial sewing machine.  It is useful to take quick measurements while I'm in the middle of sewing.  I'm excited that I've found a similar tape to add to your sewing table! sewing-tools-thread-theory-13 It is adhesive so you just need to peel off the backing and stick it on to your table.  It is 60" long features both metric and imperial. sewing-tools-thread-theory-14 Even if you have seam markings engraved on to your machine's throat plate, your sewing will likely benefit from the use of a magnetic seam guide.  Just place it on top of the metal throat plate so that the fence is positioned at your desired seam allowance.  That way you can't accidentally swerve if your attention lapses momentarily or if you lose your grip on the fabric. sewing-tools-thread-theory-15 Keep in mind that this little upgrade for your machine features a magnet so you might want to do some research before using it on a computerised machine.  The back of the package warns against use with computerised machines but I have read several articles which explain that you would need a VERY strong magnet to wipe a hard drive in a sewing machine (this is a great article which leads me to believe that any household magnet is safe to use) but I want you to be aware that some people worry about placing magnets near or on their machines. sewing-tools-thread-theory-16 The last upgrade you might want to make to your sewing table is a tool tray straight out of a mechanic shop!  If you live in fear of your toddler (or you) stepping on a stray pin, this is the pin dish for you: sewing-tools-thread-theory-52 If features a huge magnetic base and a large metal tray.  I have turned it upside down and given it a vigorous shake with good results...not a single pin shifted position or fell to the floor! sewing-tools-thread-theory-55 This tray is big enough that you could use it to store all sorts of metal items - use it to contain your thread snips and sewing needles while you are working on a hand sewing project or fill it with bobbins! sewing-tools-thread-theory-50 Ready to give your machine a spa day?  It deserves it!  Head to our tool shop >
Now, to finish up today's post, it's time to announce the second winner of our Lazo Hack contest.  This week's prize is your choice of three PDF Thread Theory patterns! And the winner is...@nique_et and her fabric inspiration post!  Yesss...that print would be awesome!  I can imagine those trousers worn rolled up casually with a beaded white gauze blouse and leather gladiator sandals. nique_et-lazo-hack-contest Thank you for posting a photo using #lazotrousers! Next week's prize will be a $25 (CAD) gift card to Blackbird Fabrics so you can pick up some of the gorgeous tencel twill or sweater knit that Caroline has in stock.

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