We have a huge selection of new Merchant & Mills tools in our shop! I went on a shopping spree for this order and not only re-stocked any sold out tools but also purchased a whole bunch of new ones that have been on my wishlist for the last couple of years. Let me introduce you to the newest tools in our supply shop:
First off, meet these beautiful polished steel buttonhole scissors hailing from Sheffield, England (home of quality scissors and traditional scissor makers). I’ve been coveting these for quite some time due to their short blades which make for really precise snipping capabilities. I have a pair in my studio now that I have been using for everything from snipping exact notches, to grading and clipping seams, to actual buttonhole slicing.
They operate incredibly smoothly (they are the smoothest out of all the Merchant & Mills scissors that we carry) and are a nice practical size that makes them convenient to grab – not too heavy but not too small. Above you can see them in Matt’s hand and below you can see the wide bow scissors that we carry for size comparison.
I decided to increase our stock of pins and needles as well. Personally, I love my glass head pins (a best seller in our shop) as an all purpose pinning solution but, since every sewer has their preferred pin type, and since menswear fabrics can really fluctuate in weights, having a variety of pins on hand can be useful.
This box of dressmaking pins is absolutely crammed full of classic metal-headed pins that are excellent for medium weight fabrics. You won’t have to worry about running out of these pins while pinning multiple projects since you will have a whole ounce at your disposal (that doesn’t sound like that many, but believe me it is!).
I’m very excited about this next pin option which I think is particularly suited for menswear projects:
Toilet pins are especially large and strong pins that were traditionally used as closures on garments long before the invention of zippers. Women (and their maids) would pin themselves into their clothing for the day! Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you skip zipper installation on your Jedediah Pants! Instead, use these pins when you are working with heavy, rugged menswear materials. They would do particularly well pinning cargo pockets on heavy canvas Jutland Pants and would easily pin thick denim waistbands and belt loops in place. You won’t ever need to worry about bending these pins!
Each wooden case comes with 10 needles of assorted sizes. All include long heads that would work nicely with Sashiko or pearl cotton thread.
I also added the best thing since sliced bread to our shop:
Easy-thread needles! These will save you loads of frustration if you are short of sight (or patience). All you needed to do is press the thread down into the groove at the top of the needle head and it will lock into place with a tiny spring action!
To store all of your hand sewing and machine needles, we are now carrying Merchant & Mills beautiful hand crafted leather needle wallet sets. Each needle wallet comes in a rustic embossed cardboard box and is made from “happy English cows.” The wallet comes full of essential hand sewing tools:
How cute are these baby bow scissors?! They measure only 3″ in length! You will find the scissors tucked into the left pocket and a complete set of hand sewing needles and threader perfectly slotted into the right pocket. The needle wallet includes two felt pages to store all of your needles. I think I will pack the first page with hand sewing needles and the second with partially used machine needles (such as my ball point and twin needles).
While I was happily shopping away, I also added a few little essential notions to our Merchant & Mills order.
This tiny seam ripper is perfect for travelling to sewing meet-ups or for packing in your sewing machine’s tool cupboard. It would also make the perfect insert for hand carved or lathe turned seam ripper handles! At one point a couple of summers ago, Matt started carving me a seam ripper handle while we were camping. He was on the lookout for a seam ripper like this to complete it but never got around to it – maybe I can convince him to finish it now!
Do you know what a bodkin is? I didn’t either. But now I do! It is a handy little tool that helps to thread elastic, cord, yarn (or even shoelaces!) through narrow channels.
The one on the left includes a tapered hole that can lock your cord in place while the one on the right has an especially wide head for heavy elastics and a handy capped tip. I’ve already used the one on the right to save me immense frustration while trying to re-lace my hiking boots! The laces don’t have plastic coated tips and I was just about to cave and buy new laces when I remembered my bodkin. It worked a charm.
Now, last, but certainly not least, meet my absolute favorite purchase from this Merchant & Mills order – the thimble.
This stunning thimble is solid brass that has been lacquer coated so it won’t tarnish over time. It features the Merchant & Mills logo engraved along its base and handy divets that keep the needle head in place as you push through layers of fabric. The best feature of all is that the top of the thimble is completely open which allows it to slip down on to the finger for a custom snug fit. It also keeps the finger tip free to manipulate fabric.
I’ve never found a thimble that I’ve wanted to wear until this one! It feels secure on my finger (it is pictured above on Matt’s finger; on my smaller finger it sits slightly lower) and I feel so uninhibited by it that I can even wear it while pinning a hem and even while typing (I didn’t want to take off my pretty thimble once I first tried it on lol!).
Head to our shop to check out many more photos and thorough descriptions for all of these tools! If you have any questions, please feel free to comment or email so I can add the answers to our product descriptions. I hope some of these tools will fill a hole in your sewing tool box!