A Whole Lot of Thimble

This week I’ve been getting to grips with the Tailor’s thimble.

And it’s certainly not an easy beast to master. Correct usage requires an awful lot of finger curled up in a tiny amount of space and, quite frankly, the whole thing feels darned peculiar.

 Default position with thimble resting at back of needle.

Default position with thimble resting at back of needle.

 Insert tip of needle into fabric using thumb and forefinger.

Insert tip of needle into fabric using thumb and forefinger.

 Push needle through with a forward motion of middle finger.

Push needle through with a forward motion of middle finger.

 Retrieve needle with thumb and forefinger and  pull thread through.

Retrieve needle with thumb and forefinger and pull thread through.

Being a complete novice in the world of thimble-wielding has its plus sides, I like to think : namely that having never used one before, I simply MUST be blissfully void of any bad technique. I’m pretty slow and cumbersome however I go about it, properly or not…so I might as well go by the book, awkward as it may feel, for now.

Thimble technique isn’t the only thing I’ve battled with this week though – I’ve also had a sizing issue. The Tailor’s thimble should fit snugly on the end of your finger… protruding digits are a no-no. Being in the unfortunate possession of scraggly little girl fingers, however, even the smallest size thimble was just too big. After several failed attempts to pad mine out with fabric, tape it to the end of my finger with plasters etc etc, some kind soul suggested narrowing the inside of the thimble with bluetack. A terrific idea! And one I would highly recommend. This method is an absolute winner on two counts : firstly, the thimble now fits snug as anything and it doesn’t budge. Secondly (and this makes me happy beyond belief), the bluetack acts as a cushion on my nail, protecting my varnished talons from extreme and unsightly wear and tear… who said tailoring couldn’t be glamorous?! I’ll continue to have immaculate nails for a while yet!

 Too big!

Too big!

 Snug with bluetack...

Snug with bluetack…

Now that my thimble fits and that I’ve at least understood how to use it, it’s just a case of practise… again and again at every opportunity. This weekend has already seen Thimble and I (plus thread, needle & fabric) together on the tube, at the reception desk for a dance event and sitting in an assortment of cafe’s throughout London, only pausing occasionally to take swigs of tea. I’ve received some funny looks from fellow commuters/cafe dwellers/dancers but I’ve ploughed on, regardless and am already starting to feel like the Tailor’s thimble and I might soon become the very best of friends.

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4 Comments

  1. Lachlan Mor

    I hate, HATE that style of thimble. Save your shrapnel and get you a coarse grate low lip thimble in silver. Best thing you can do for yourself.

    1. acapitalgirl

      I didn’t even know there was such a thing! I will seek on out, most definitely – thank you!

  2. Lachlan Mor

    I’ll have a look and sort it out for you.

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