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thimbles

 
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Let's talk about thimbles.
Different kinds
different uses
different shapes, materials, everything.

My question: Any tricks for sewing with a thimble that is too large and wants to fall off?
 
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I've been known to smoosh them into an oblong shape. It will hug your finger pad and nail.
 
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I've (gently)tapped them down with a hammer, to flatten & snug them up, a bit of beeswax to coat the inside can snug it up, too. Once, I put a rubber bandloosely on my finger, to fatten it up, lol
 
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A little bit of a band-aid on your finger? Or that paper tape for holding cotton pads over a wound?
How much space needs to be taken up?
 
r ranson
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It's a horn thimble so I'm not sure squishing is a possibility.  I'm thinking maybe a bit of felt inside?
 
Carla Burke
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That would be more comfortable, and entirely less damaging, I think.
 
Jay Angler
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r ranson wrote:It's a horn thimble so I'm not sure squishing is a possibility.  I'm thinking maybe a bit of felt inside?

Are you familiar with the stuff called "moleskin" which is sold for sticking on one's skin to stop a blister from things like ice skates on people who only wear them once/year? So it's sticky back with very soft, slippery material on the front. Some small pieces of it might stick inside the thimble easily. It's artificial, but it would help you have a sense for how much you need, and it's removable, so you can mess with it to get things right and then consider a more permanent solution (I'm not sure what glue works with horn in the long term) that is a natural fiber such as felted wool.
 
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I don’t know how much you love your horn thimble and that particular (over-the-finger-tip) type of thimble, but if you’re not too attached, consider this: The more time I spend hand-sewing (and I’ve always preferred it to machine sewing), the more enamored I become of the Japanese sashiko-style ring thimble that slides down your middle finger and protects the pad at the base of it so that you can push from there instead of a finger tip. I find it increases my speed and dexterity quite a bit for the running stitch or any straight stitch once I get used to the different method. I prefer the leather type to the metal type. When my first one wore through, we discovered that it could be used as a template to cut a new one from an old boot. They’re tied with a piece of elastic string, so they’re easily adjustable to your finger diameter. I can send a picture and/or a drawing of the shape to cut out later today or tomorrow if you’re interested, r!
 
Jay Angler
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Beth Wilder wrote:

I can send a picture and/or a drawing of the shape to cut out later today or tomorrow if you’re interested, r

I don't know about "r", but I'd definitely be interested in both (picture and pattern - ideally put a ruler on the pattern so we can scale based on how it prints if I decide to print it). I use a thimble, but found I had to use it on my ring finger because it interfered with other steps if it was on my middle finger, but even that was a compromise, and the same thimble won't fit both fingers! I don't mind machine sewing, but there are always situations where hand-sewing is the better option.
Thanks J.
 
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I'm another big fan of "alterna-thimble", as a person with fingers that are not the size thimble-makers considered. I have a nice one made of deerskin (no metal insert, just leather) that I love.

If I had a too-big thimble, I would also go with a bandaid or a piece of something comfy (scrap of old sweatshirt, felt) that could go inside and make the thimble fit snugly. Generally I'm too busy cursing the person who made such a stinking small thimble, though.
 
Beth Wilder
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Jay Angler wrote: don't know about "r", but I'd definitely be interested in both (picture and pattern - ideally put a ruler on the pattern so we can scale based on how it prints if I decide to print it). I use a thimble, but found I had to use it on my ring finger because it interfered with other steps if it was on my middle finger, but even that was a compromise, and the same thimble won't fit both fingers! I don't mind machine sewing, but there are always situations where hand-sewing is the better option.
Thanks J.


Sure, hopefully these below are helpful! (This site also describes how to use one, with pictures.)


fullsizeoutput_1164.jpeg
leather sashiko thimble & trace w/ ruler
leather sashiko thimble & trace w/ ruler
 
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You might try a cot.  They are made out of latex and fit over your finger (for medical use).  It will fill up the thimble a little more and the latex will keep the thimble from sliding around. They have them in pharmacies and on Amazon. They come in different sizes. Their cheap.
 
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Maybe a piece of thin window weatherstripping, sticky one side, soft on the other.
 
Jay Angler
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Sorry to take this thread on a tangent, but I liked the links Beth Wilder posted and wanted to try it. I didn't have any shoe leather, but I had an old pair of leather gloves which had been damaged, so I cut 3 layers and ended up with what's pictured below. I've got a project I want to try using it with, but thought I'd post this step:
sashiko-thimble.JPG
[Thumbnail for sashiko-thimble.JPG]
sashiko-thimble-on-hand.JPG
Next job - figure out how to use it!
Next job - figure out how to use it!
 
Beth Wilder
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Sorry to continue the tangent, but that looks great, Jay! I've found Atsushi Futatsuya's tutorials to be very helpful. Here's one on sashiko stitching using a sashiko thimble below. For mending something thicker like denim or where you've got multiple layers of fabric because you're patching, everything is stiffer and more difficult to wiggle back and forth like he demonstrates, but the use of the thimble -- although he uses a metal thimble, not a leather one -- is about the same:


Can you see the way he pushes the needle with the top of his palm (like, you know, where so many of my garden tool calluses are), where the thimble rests against it at the base of his finger? If you can't see it clearly, try this other video of his.
[Edited to correct the name of which of the family I believe does the sashiko tutorials.]
 
r ranson
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This is such a great introduction to thimble use.  
 
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