Sewing and Travel

Hubby’s surgery at MD Anderson was a success.  It was a long 10 days and I am SEW glad I brought a sewing machine and project to work on while we were there.  May I share some of what I learned from my experience?  These recommendations are based on staying at a hotel for an extended time (not attending a sewing retreat).

  1. If at all possible, take a sewing machine – preferably a computerized 3/4 size sewing machine like a Janome Jem 720/760, Elna STAR or Handi Stitch 210 (from HandiQuilter).  These are all essentially the same machine made by Janome.  It fits perfectly in a Travelon underseat rolling tote, so you can carry it on the plane.  Remove the needle, place a piece of foam in the bottom of the bag and set the machine on top of it.  Tuck fabric, batting and/or your sewing mat around the machine to protect it even more.  A Janome Jem Gold 660 or a Singer Featherweight are also options, but it really depends on the type of project you plan to do. I took an Elna STAR with me. I REALLY appreciated the needle down and adjustable zigzag.
  2. Unless your project is completely precut, take a folding 18″x24″ mat with you.
  3. Take a portable Ott/Daylight or similar lamp with you, along with a 6′ extension cord.
  4. If possible, take your extended sewing table (or get a Sew Steady acrylic table for your machine).
  5. Pack your rotary cutter plus an extra blade.
  6. Pack only your go-to rulers – (for me:  5″x15″, 6-1/2″ square and 2-1/2″x6″-1/2″)
  7. Karen K. Buckley Perfect Scissors are wonderful!  I took the lime green and turquoise sizes with me.
  8. Leave the iron and ironing mat at home – the hotel has an ironing board and iron.  But do pack a small bottle of ironing spray, a couple sheets of parchment paper and a travel size lint roller.
  9. Pack all project specific items – pattern, templates, interfacing, marking pencils, etc. in a ziplock bag.  Fabric, too!
  10. Essential sewing supplies – and only you know what those will be. If in doubt, leave it out. You can always buy one when you get there.

Things I really wished I’d brought with me:  wooden chopstick or skewer, hand sewing needles/thimble, pretty magnetic bowl and a “trash” bag (fabric or paper bag/tape).

Any must-haves that you would add to this list?