Tools, Glorious Tools: The Sewing Caddy



noun re·spite \ˈres-pət also ri-ˈspīt: an interval of rest or relief

These days are hectic. Not bad-hectic; in fact, they are quite pleasant-hectic. But hectic and busy and stressful nonetheless.

Most evenings provide me with a respite, however–an hour or two of quiet time, when I indulge in an adult beverage and some simple, soothing hand sewing. It’s a homely sort of ritual—a fire in the fireplace, a cat or two snoring nearby, a husband strumming the guitar, and the sewing.

This time would not be restful, though, if I had to go searching for my needle, dig around for my thread, and then wonder where, exactly, I left my scissors. So one of my favorite tools is a tool that holds my hand sewing tools.

This small sewing caddy was handmade locally, by the husband of the woman who owns a local quilt shop. It is aesthetically appealing in its own right but its value comes from the tidy way it corrals my basic needs.

The thread holder can be configured to hold the spool vertically or horizontally, according to what suits me.


My small scissors fit neatly into the slot on the end.

My favorite mechanical pencil and thimble have their places.

And a super-strong magnet is set into one end—I just need to fling my needle somewhere close to that magnet for it to be snagged.


So, when I turn my back on candy making for the day or finish the deep cleaning that the upcoming holidays necessitate, when I come home from running errands and turn off my computer for the day, my quiet place is ready and waiting. It’s easy.

I pick up fabric circles and my yoyo gizmo, reach for my sewing caddy, and settle in to my respite. Ahhhh . . . .

Do you have a tool that makes relaxing more relaxing for you?


47 thoughts on “Tools, Glorious Tools: The Sewing Caddy

  1. What a wonderful gadget. Since my sewing corner was dismantled to make room for visiting grandchildren, I’m always looking for a needle and thread, or having to get into my sewing chest – a chore, as it doubles as a seating bench. Now I have something to be on the alert for!

  2. I am loving that caddie and the magnet for keeping the needles and pins safe is an inspired idea! I have started sewing again! And I keep all my bits and bobs in a lovely tin which I bought years and years ago from a shop in London called ‘The Patchwork Dog and the Calico Cat’. It still has the original price ticket on…£3.95. I can take it anywhere and it houses everything I need. I am doing applique, so inside the tin there is a tiny perspex box full of teeny fabric flowers cut out and turned under and all made from Liberty Tana Lawn. Pure happines in a tin. 🙂
    You always ask the good questions Kerry 🙂

  3. That is a seriously cute and practical little gizmo! My sewing box is so very utilitarian and unpretty, but holds everything I might possibly need within arms reach of my chair and therefore does the perfect job for me – but not unique or handmade or pretty alas! I went back and read your post about the yoyo maker and came away pretty impressed with it! Clover items are horrendously expensive here – I guess its all the import duties etc so I’m very impressed at the mere $6. I have a tool [well three of them actually] that I use for all kinds of things. Its metal, about 8 cm long with a point at one end and a black rubber tip at the other end. I call it my pokey tool and it is invaluable. I have one in my sewing kit, one on my work desk and one in my paintbrush kit. The rubber tip is handy for picking up tiny bits with and pushing through fabric corners. The pointy end makes holes, turns fine fabric corners inside out and is used as a finger extension to rummage through things to find the right bit…………. I’ve even used the rubber end as a thimble replacement when the need arises.

    • A good tool is such a joy! I had one for jewelry making, when I was big into that, that, if it went missing, I would actually start to hyperventilate until I found it! I had heard that the Clover tools were very expensive outside the US–that’s crazy–they’re so little and lightweight.

  4. I have my tools thrown into a small nylon zip bag. Nothing special about the bag but it does sit on the table next to the lamp ready for knitting in the evening 🙂

  5. What a fantastic tool! I’m especially loving the magnets on the end – I lose my needles all the time and that’s a brilliant solution. Your evenings sound so relaxing, especially with the fire and the sleeping cats. I don’t have a tool as such, but just having my craft stuff organised properly means it’s a fun weekend activity and I don’t spend hours tearing my flat apart looking for the things I need x

  6. What a handsome sewing caddy! And it’s so functional. And that magnet is pure genius! Love it. Glad to know that you do relax for an hour or two each day!

    • The combination of its usefulness and its aesthetic appeal really makes me happy! And, yes, I certainly do relax–and I’m on a mission to do even more of it! (Is that a contradiction? To be on a mission to relax?!)

  7. Do I have a tool that makes relaxing more relaxing? Uh, some good whisky (or whiskey, take your pick) always helps. 😉 Earlier this year I bought a pair of Fiskars blunt-ended school scissors to keep by my chair in the living room. They are quite sharp enough to snip thread or small bits of fabric. However I didn’t go farther and make up a little sewing kit. In fact it never occurred to me! I do more and more of my quilt bindings by machine, and very little other hand sewing. Still it would be a good item to have at hand. Thanks.

    • I’ll take whiskey, with the “e”! Obviously, I have sewing tools that are not part of this little caddy but, when I am just sewing on a button or doing my little yo-yos, this is perfect.

  8. My pitiful hand sewing equipment fits nicely in a zippered pouch with little pockets inside. I found it in a pile of giveaway stuff. It can hold my scissors (in their leather sheath), some spools of thread or perle cotton, a piece of paper with various sizes of sewing needles stuck in it and, most important of all, the loop for threading dental floss through braces. I use it to get heavy cotton thread through the needle eye. I got it from the lady who cleans my teeth.

  9. What a nifty caddy , and the magnetic at the end is a great idea to keep in mind when looking for one. This time of year I love my lap quilt hoop, it relaxing to quilt under a quilt.:)

    • It is a great idea. I was horrified at how much it cost–but, of course, bought it anyway and now I’m so glad did. It has meant I am much more likely to make progress on hand sewing.

  10. This made me smile. 🙂 I’ve been sewing on binding in the evening – mug rugs, table toppers, placemats. And, I haul all these separate things to my chair and then balance them on the arms, on the table and can’t get up unless I move everything. LOL I think I could put your tool to good use. 🙂

  11. What a brilliant caddie, well designed and functional. These special catch all gadgets make me so happy! Just know, when you are relaxing, I’m doing about the same thing. It’s my way of keeping balanced and appreciating the quiet moments.

    • I do love the idea of some of us relaxing around the country (or world!), with our own separate and fulfilling tasks, all being creative. It’s sort of like a virtual craft bee . . .

  12. I love that caddy, but I would worry my kitties would love it more. I have a small tin that has all the essentials in it, and is small enough to toss into a bag when I need to have a mobile project. It is wonderful to know you won’t have to go searching for the essentials.

  13. What a clever way to corral the tools! I can see the magnet being very useful for dropped pins and needles too. (By the way, my Mom has been making yo-yos for years. It’s her travel project. I think she’s planning to put them together into a quilt “someday”.)

  14. A cute and useful tool that looks great even when left sitting out on the table beside your chair. Mine is less pretty. I’m just using a cute little caddy from IKEA that has elastics and pouches inside that hold scissors, tape measure, thimble, seam ripper,pins and needles. I added a pencil with eraser, and I’m good to go.

  15. I love the term “adult beverage” quite appropriate. That caddy is very handy. You know what I love most? The magnet. It’s pretty and ‘attractive’ thanks for sharing!!!!

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