With that much time to fill, I got very good at sewing on the go!
If you are planning a trip, whether by plane, train, or as a passenger in a car, consider putting together a sewing project for the road.
This little box has come with me across the UK, US, Canada, the Caribbean, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and S. Korea. I never have problems with security, even when pulled aside for a "random check". Plus, nothing in the box is particularly valuable, so losing anything would only be an inconvenience!
For the sewing, I use:
- a pincushion ring (don't use your pants or shirt for pins while flying, because you might forget them in there and ping at security). I also have a pincushion bracelet.
- 3 glass-head pins. I use two for swapping down the seam I am sewing, and a third as back-up or to pin further along the seam.
- 2 needles. I had a flight where my needly snapped mid-flight and I had to wait another 6 hours before I could sew again. Ever since then, I always travel with 2!
- a couple of safety pins, because I always need safety pins
For the thread, I use:
- thread which has been wound onto a bobbin so that I can stay small. Also, when travelling with larger spools (or particularly cones) I am always searched at the gate, as security doesn't recognize what it is in the x-ray machine!
- a threader for flights or drives with turbulence
- a baggie for all my bits of leftover thread, so I don't leave a mess
- a magnet (safety pins are attached to it in the picture), in case I drop a needle and can't see it
- a pen for when the customs declarations come around
- bits of electrical tape (in this case, pink) to protect the nail on my left index finger from being scratched by my needle. I keep the bits on the outside lid of the box because I tend to forget to take the tape off when I put everything else away.
- a rubber finger cot for my right thumb. I use it to help grip the needle as I pull it through, rather than pushing the needle from behind like a proper thimble. Watch out if you try these sorts of finger cots - I bought some where the plastic disintigrated after about a year and got some strange goo on my fabric!
I take only a bit of fabric in the kit. The rest goes in my luggage for another leg of the trip. It's also worth packing some fabric scissors.
When sewing garments by hand, I use a running stitch and do French seams to finish the edges. I always clip balance marks into the seam allowance so that I can tune out and sew as I watch movies, listen to audiobooks, or generally tune out.