Hi, Readers.  I have  a question for you, but as you know, I’m not one to get to the point before a long,  rambling preamble. So sit tight for a minute while I circumlocute.

As I’ve mentioned several times in the past, I’m sort of a minimalist when it comes to sewing tools and equipment. This isn’t because I don’t like nice sewing stuff or recognize its value in the sewing process. Rather it’s just the sense of frugality that I inherited from my mother, the fact that I’ve never had a dedicated sewing space in which to put stuff, and the fact that I’m generally able to get by on the hand-me-down tools and makeshift bits and bobs that make up my rather meagre collection with satisfactory results. I’ll splurge on fabrics and notions, but I get by with a motley collection of old, slightly bent pins, my mom’s old measuring tape (yes, I know they say that they stretch out over time, but after some 40 years, hers is still pretty accurate), and a small lumpy old ironing board, the kind that sits on a table. I can’t say I feel like my sewing experience or results are noticeably less satisfying. I have worked with nice tools and equipment in my sewing classes and I tell myself that someday when I have a sewing room, I’ll invest in great tools, but for now, I’m doing just fine with what I’ve got.

I own precisely two pieces of sewing equipment which I can say are objectively nice. First my Husqvarna Platinum 770 (some folks yesterday asked what kind of machine I was working on)- this was an eBay splurge after I “outgrew” the capabilities of my 50 Euro no-name machine that I purchased at a German supermarket. I’m no sewing machine expert, by the way. Why the 770?  Because I had fallen for Tchad‘s Platinum 730 and when he suggested I look on eBay for a similar one, the 770 just happened to be there within my price range. 

And the other nice thing I have is a pair of knife edge spring loaded Gingher shears – my total surprise birthday present from Dan, who managed to pick them out and buy them under my nose without my even noticing while I was wandering around a Jo-Ann. That’s right- if I am at the sewing store, I shut out the rest of the world. Dan got excited when he saw read the package that said the spring loading reduces fatigue while cutting because he knows that cutting is my least favorite part of sewing. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I sure do like cutting a lot more now that I’m using these lovely shears, and not a pair of scissors I got for $1 at a rummage sale.

[Actually, now that I think about it, I do also have that fancy Hamilton Beach Smart Lift iron that I won in the Pattern Review LBD contest, but I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve still been using my ancient old cheapo iron because the Hamilton Beach is a massive and heavy apparatus with an intimidating of plethora bells and whistles. I will take it out of the box and start using it soon though. That is what I keep telling myself.]

And now, after much ado, the Selfish Seamstress Gets to the Point. I have a question. And answer it quick because I’ve managed to find a teeny bit of time in the early evening to swing by the store to find buttons for my crafty McCall 5525 coat. The question is, while I’m there should I also buy a sleeve board?

I ask because they’re on sale for 50% off. I’ve never used one before, and I’ve been rolling up a t-shirt to act as a seam roll. To clarify, this is a seam roll, which may also be on sale but I’m not sure. Looks like it wouldn’t be too much of an investment in any case:

I have been feeling the need for something to help pressing sleeve seams, particularly where the sleeve meets the armscye. It’s one of the not-that-frequent occasions when I feel like having better equipment would actually have a noticeable effect on my finished results, rather than just simplifying the process. Does anyone out there use a sleeve board and if so, would you recommend it? Is there any reason to use a sleeve board instead of a seam roll or vice versa? Do you use each for different purposes and if so is there a good reason to have both? Pros and cons of each?  Should I stick with my minimalism and pass on either? Your suggestions?