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Fun with Duct tape

Susan -homedecsewing | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi, haven’t visited in a while , but after cleaning my shop, I wanted to pass on this hint. I wrap my bare feet in duct tape and walk all around and pick up threads before I vacuum. It’s fun.When 1 side is full twist it around to the bottom and use that side also. Saves time cutting threads from roller bar on cleaner ! Happy sewing, Susan


  1. stillsuesew | | #1

    Thanks for the great idea and making me laugh out loud!

    1. Susan -homedecsewing | | #2

      Well Sue whats so funny, imagining me sticking to the rug? it is a hoot, but I love doing it! It gives me great satisfaction picking up all those threads, have you tried it yet ? I let it get pretty deep in there so its great to see the floor clean for a minute ! Glad to be busy making a mess , I love my job.

      1. Stillsewing | | #3

        Sorry to rain on your parade but what happens when you pick up some pins or needles in your waltz around the room? I'm looking for a safe way to remove these before I start to vacuum and so prevent a leaky bag in my machine.

        1. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #4

          What about putting some sticky backed magnetic tape across the front of your vac? It should attract those needles as you sweep across the carpet. Cathy

          1. Stillsewing | | #6

            That's a very good idea but I threw out any magnets that I had when I purchased a computerised sewing machine ---- just to be on the safe side! Might rethink this one as I have managed to walk on quite a few sharp things in my day and that without trying to pick anything up.

          2. sewluving | | #7

            The best thing we did at our house was to take out the carpet and put down hardwood in the loft where I sew.  It is our office/sewing room.  I can now see the feared needles/pins etc.  Can also see the dust bunnies that threaten to attack too.  But that is a whole other story.  I can now use the swiffer mop and little dust buster to pick up the lint, threads etc etc.  I know this is an expensive solution but we were going to do it anyway and WOW what a difference it makes.  So I don't need to try the duct tape solution

            Heather in Calgary

          3. Susan -homedecsewing | | #9

            Lucky you , that would be nice, my shop is my 2 car attached garage, since we live in Florida,cars can live outside so its another room . Concrete is too hard, so I've carpeted.I have made a huge screen door for the opening, snapped to the wood frame , velcro on the bottom, and finally today I could turn off the air and open it all up, natural light and a wonderful balmy breeze for the next 6 months,yay ! lucky me.

          4. sewluving | | #11

            Wow, that sounds lovely.  A two car garage is a huge area.  And 6 months of natural breezes and lots of light.  We have had to turn on the fireplace every morning (a gas one) and use the furnace now too.  This past Tues and Wed we had an early introduction to 'snow/ice/winter' again.  Lots of car accidents those two days.  Back to more seasonal temps the last couple of days though. 

            Happy Sewing

            Heather in Calgary

          5. Susan -homedecsewing | | #13

            I'm from northern Ohio originally so I remember slip sliding down the steps and driving in white-outs , just a faint memory now...

            swimmin tomorrow, shame on me.

          6. sewluving | | #14

            lucky you..........happy swimming, then a bit of sewing........:)

            Heather in Calgary

          7. Stillsewing | | #10

            I'm not so lucky -- my sewing is confined to the dining room. Not really a problem as we only use it for formal dining, our kitchen is big enough for most of our needs. However I love my carpets in our living/dining room (the latter can have the folding doors shut to ensure that the offending mess can be hidden from view when needed) so I shall just continue to be careful and not walk barefoot in my sometimes workroom.

          8. sewluving | | #12

            I feel very lucky with our place too.  Lived here 8 years.  Have only got carpet now in our family room.  The hardwood is so much easier to maintain nowadays not like years ago when we had to use paste wax and polishers/buffers.  Sounds like you have a good set-up there too.

            Heather in Calgary

          9. Stillsewing | | #15

            I love my carpeted house. I grew up in the days when we only had a limited amount of carpet in the house and we had hard to keep lino -- cleaning, polishing, etc. Running a vacuum cleaner over the house is sooo easy by comparison. I also love the quiet house that we get with all the echoes and noise being absorbed by the curtains and the carpets. each to their own.

          10. Susan -homedecsewing | | #17

            I'm with you, cushy carpet after a vacuum is a delite for the feet.My carpet shamooer hot vac was my best present yet !

          11. Susan -homedecsewing | | #16

            Ah dining room tables, a sewers best friend !

          12. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #18

            I think magnets at floor level would not affect your machine, lol. Can't be too careful with them anyways, around computer stuff. I gave up on carpeting in my house years ago. Now if I can only teach the cat not to pull the pins out of the pincushion... Cathy

          13. Stillsewing | | #20

            Now as you say you "can't be too careful with" magnets nowadays. My lovely little self effacing Apple sits here quietly in the corner of the same room and I do not want it to meet a magnet either! One more reason for banning magnets!

          14. ljb2115 | | #21

            Speaking of pins in the feet-----this was probably twenty-five years ago.........DH stepped on a pin which was in the family room rug (an Early American braided one) and said pin broke off.  He wasn't sure if the pin was in his foot or not.  Long story short, we were getting ready to attend a  department Christmas party - DH pulled on his good boots and I thought he was going to pass out.  The pin was still in his foot.  Next morning he went to the local doctor, who in turn sent him to a surgeon, who maneuvered a probe via fluroscope in his foot and retrieved a one-half inch of pin.  I now can hear pins hit rugs and carpeting.  Even though I kept the rug swept - daily, the pin was embedded in the braid.  DH also said the tetanus shot hurt worse than the retrieval of the broken pin!

          15. rodezzy | | #22

            Wow, that is a good story.  That's why I don't have rugs in my sewing room.  giggle.  Thanks for the read.

          16. jjgg | | #23

            Pins in the foot are not as hard to remove as tooth picks. Toothpicks (wood) sticks to the tissue and swells from the heat and moisture of the body. I had a patient in the ER I had to remove a toothpick from his foot under fluoroscopy. the flouroscope gives you a one dimension picture, then you have to triangulate with probes just where the darn thing is and then, try to remove the bugger with as little damage to the foot as possible. Next to the 3 y.o. that put super glue in her eye and glued her eye shut, this was probably the most challenging thing I had to deal with.And yes, lots and lots of people for some reason pick up the super glue thinking it's their eye drops. This little girl was copying her mom.

          17. decoratrice | | #19

            I read somewhere that one of the tasks for the lowliest girl in the couture sewing room was to "drag the magnet" at the end of the day.  It probably sounds much better in French.  I use my Grabbit pin holder, but my machine isn't computerized. 

        2. Susan -homedecsewing | | #5

          I have stepped on a few, so i know what you mean, I have a skinny bamboo stick with my magnet with plastic handle thingy taped to the end and sweep it across the floor a couple times a week to get staples and dropped pins. The kids think its a fun toy, and love to help.

          1. Stillsewing | | #8

            I know what you mean as I have done so myself -- that's why I though that I would mention the dangers!! A needle in the foot is not a pretty sight! I find that pins and needles tend to get embedded into the carpet and so I'm now pretty wary of the dangers, both to humans and machinery as you can't always see them.

        3. ironinglady | | #24

          Go to an autoparts store and explain what you need. Mine is collapable and less than $10. They are used to retrieve nuts, bolts and screws dropped into the engine block/flood during repairs.

          1. Stillsewing | | #25

            Thanks very much for that bit of info, I shall follow up on that. Pins are an eternal problem as we have carpets all through out house and I regularly go into the bedroom to check the mirror during fitting sessions. ( dropping pins as I go)

          2. Beth | | #26

            To prevent stepping on the lost pins use only pins with colored heads. They are easy to see in the carpet. Sewing needles are another problem. Those I watch carefully.

          3. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #27

            I've been gone a LOT the past few months, and I just saw this discussion. I had to tell you some fun I had with duct tape last week. I was at my son's house and my 11-year-old granddaughter needed both a pirate costume and a queen costume for a presentation her GT group was doing -- the limited number of students required that many of the kids have two roles. Anyway, the queen dress was fairly easy, since her idea of a queen was glitzy and glittery formal wear. We bought a gold lame` dress at the thrift store, and jazzed it up with sequins, ribbons, etc, and she was happy. The pirate pants, though, were the most fun, even though she was dubious until they were done. I bought a roll of 2" wide red duct tape and ripped it down the center to make 1" strips. We took a pair of flaired leg jeans that were too short for her, and made red stripes down the legs. Then we notched the bottom of the legs just below the knees. No hemming necessary. They were adorable, and she loved them. We made them right after church on Sunday and she wore them the rest of the day. The tape did not come off or even loosen.

          4. Stillsewing | | #28

            That's another good idea! There is so much sense in this forum. However kin the past few years I've tended to move away from pins with heads so that I can press as I sew without having to remove pins with heads that leave their mark on my efforts. Just have to be carefull I suppose.

          5. Beth | | #29

            Pin marks after pressing are a problem. I don't have any advice for that.



          6. starzoe | | #30

            Pin marks can be useful when altering clothing. Pressing over flat head steel pins or silk pins can easily mark a new seamline or fold, just press enough so enough indentations show and be careful not to scratch the sole plate.

          7. Ralphetta | | #34

            I like to go barefoot. Every few years I step on a pin that's lodged point up between the boards in the hardwood floor of my sewing room. It really wakes you up! They seem to hide out in the groove.

          8. Stillsewing | | #38

            So do I but with carpet underfoot it's harder to spot them so I'm just more careful about dropping pins. I don't need the wake up calls!!!

          9. byf | | #39

            I, too, have carpet where I sew and dreaded dropping needles and pins on it (I do use flower head pins, which are easy to see, when I can). We put a plastic pad (like those used under desk chairs) down and I can now see dropped pins and needles and it is easier to pick up stray thread snips, too.

          10. Stillsewing | | #41

            The plastic mat is a great idea. I have one, in the same room as my sewing machine, under the chair at my computer, to avoid wearing a hole in the carpet as my husband did at his computer, in another room. Maybe I should give that one a try. Thanks for the idea, that sounds great.

          11. Gloriasews | | #42

            I use a small Magna-lite flashlight to check the carpet under my sewing machine & it works great.  The light is super-bright & catches the glint of a pin immediately.  I also have a magnet at the end of a flexible rod, with an LED light on the end, & this is also used often, even to find things that fell between tight-fitting cabinets, the fridge, etc..   That wonderful gadget was cheap, at Princess Auto, of course, for you Canadians out there :).

          12. Stillsewing | | #44

            Another great idea! Thanks.

          13. Tootsiebelle | | #31

            Pins in the feet!  Toothpicks!  Superglue in the eye!   It all makes me cringe! 

            Beth, you mentioned machine needles - I keep a used (washed out, of course!)plastic pill bottle, such as one would received from a pharmacy, in the drawer by my machine.  The damaged needles go in there; one day when it fills up, it will be easy and safe to discard. 

            Needles that are still good, I put 'upside down' in the original package - that way I know it's been used, but is not yet worn out.  A dot/mark on the shank made by an indelible ink pen also helps to identify a used-but-not-yet-ready-for-discard needle.

            Hope this helps.


          14. Stillsewing | | #32

            That's a great idea about putting used needles back in their cases, but upside down. I use safety pins to keep the different types of needles together and a scrap of the appropriate fabric eg woven, jersey etc to identify each bundle. I then keep semi used needles in the fabric, as I find it a quick way to identify the needle that I want to use. Thanks to someone mentioning using the used plastic bottle to assist in disposing needles I keep one near the sewing machine and it is a great way for disposing of pins in particular. I find that I seem to have lots of them that are either bent, blunt or starting to rust. Maybe it's because I press over them and the steam affects them.

          15. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #33

            I use a small babyfood jar with a hole in the lid to dispose of my used needles and pins. It will take wrecked safety and T pins easily. I can't remember how long ago I started using it, before my kids were born, and I have yet to fill the jar. It is also heavy enough to use as a weight for fabric when needed. Cathy

          16. Stillsewing | | #37

            When you mention the use of your small jar brings to mind the fact that my mother never used pins when laying out material to cut it out. Instead everything in the dining room (scene of operations) was used, be it vases, books, heavy ash trays, so your jar would have also have come into service. I use pins which of course are not so accurate!

          17. Tootsiebelle | | #36

            I like your idea of identifying the use of the fabric to identify a needle's application.  It makes it so simple to find the right needle for the job!

            I have been so good about putting machine needles in the pill bottle, but must admit that I have always just thrown pins straight into the trash since they weren't as stout as machine needles.  Thank you for opening my eyes to this; I shall immediately change my habit! 

            Happy Sewing!

          18. sewluving | | #40

            I use a very tall plastic pill bottle with the child-proof lid for my bent pins/needles or used needles etc.  It is also long enough to hold a seam ripper that was no useable anymore.  Have done this for a looong time now. 

            Heather in Calgary

          19. Tootsiebelle | | #43

            That's a great idea!  Aren't pill bottles wonderful?!  (Except for the reason(s) we may have them in the first place!)  Off topic (sort of-...sorry!) for a moment, recently use pill bottles and plastic baskets to organize all kinds of small stuff, in the kitchen junk drawer, that 'we may need someday'. 

            In the sewing area, pill bottles hold safety pins sorted by size/type, lingerie hooks, and buttons from RTW (RTW?!?!  Who said THAT?!?!?! LOL!)  An indelible ink pen to label the cap, and voila, a 'free' organizing system. 

            Also, depending on the depth of the storage drawer, it may be possible to stand the bottles upright.  In that case, if the bottom of the bottle is labeled because the bottle will stand on its cap, which many times is of larger diameter than the bottom of the bottle.  In this way, the bottle has a lesser chance of toppling over if placed cap-end-down.  

            My innate need to fix things caused me to wonder if a seam ripper could be rendered serviceable again.   Internet search revealed: https://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/review/readreview.pl?ID=1019.  Some folks replaced them when needed, but a couple of them found ways to sharpen their seam rippers.

            ...note to self:  dig out old seam rippers...


            (P.S.: deleted original post (#44) and retyped because I noticed the font didn't match the rest of the discussion thread.   This was because I had composed the message in Word and copied it to the message box.  If anyone can tell me which font is used in the discussion board, I can then correct the font after pasting.  Many thanks to any/all that can advise.)

            Edited 11/21/2009 8:31 am ET by Tootsiebelle

          20. KharminJ | | #45

            Hi, Tootsiebelle!Believe me, my *graphics-brain* completely understands your reluctance to post in a different font, but I really don't think it would make any difference in the reading (grin) ~ As long as it isn't a fancy hard-to-read script (like wedding invitations)!Happy Saturday ~ Kharmin

          21. Tootsiebelle | | #47

            Kharmin, thank you for the kind words.  Was concerned because I seem to remember reading something about consistency of font in a discussion board quite some time ago.  I looked around in the Gatherings information, but couldn't find anything.  Didn't want to offend or inadvertently break a site rule, and so decided to rewrite. 

            I sure appreciate your comments. 

            And happy Saturday (almost Sunday now) to you as well.  Many thanks! :-)


          22. sewluving | | #46

            Love your idea for organizing small things.  For my buttons I sorted them into colours etc.  Then I put them in small plastic bags either the snack size or the sandwich size depending on how many of each that I have.  I then store them all in a very large round cookie tin.  It is so easy now to find the buttons that I need by colour/size etc. 

            I too like your idea about putting used needles upside down in the little packages when you have used them.  I had a hard time remembering what size needle I was using in my machine if I left the machine for a few weeks etc.  So now I use painters tape (mine is green) and I rip a piece off, jot the needle size on it and stick the tape to the front of the machine.  When I change needles I put the needle back in the package and then stick the tape back on the package.  I repeat this with each needle size type I use.  So much easier when the old mind can't remember and the eyes can't always see the needle size number on the end of the needle. 

            Who would have thought to sharpen a seam ripper........well, I guess there are some who did.  That is also a great tip.  I have 3 or 4 of them around all the time.  

            Heather in Calgary

          23. Tootsiebelle | | #48

            Great idea separating buttons by color.   And I will use your painters tape idea for needle identification on the sewing machine.  Thank you!!  :-)


          24. Gloriasews | | #49

            This font looks like Tahoma, to me. :)


          25. Tootsiebelle | | #50

            Thanks for the information, Gloria.<!----><!----><!---->

            Am testing Tahoma here...<!----><!---->

          26. Tootsiebelle | | #51

            Testing fonts available in message block:









            Edit to add comment:  Hard to tell.   The above font names are typed in the font they represent.  Could be any of Geneva, Arial or Verdana.

            Edited 11/22/2009 1:14 am ET by Tootsiebelle

          27. Gloriasews | | #52

            Yup - you're right - they all look alike.  Your Tahoma test was too large & bold, otherwise it would also look like the other 3.  Decisions, decisions, decisions, eh? :)

          28. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #53

            I have my font set to Verdana as it seems to be the easiest to read, in both Word and other programs. I am not fussy as some when it comes to fonts, but works for me. :) Cathy

          29. Tootsiebelle | | #54

            Thanks, Cathy. 


            Happy Sewing!

          30. Beth | | #35

            Thank you. These are good suggestions.


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