Always Keep a Needle and Thread in Your Handbag

Nov 28, 2012

I learned several valuable lessons over the Thanksgiving holiday.

First, never underestimate holiday traffic when you have to get to the airport. I did, and I also learned that if you arrive 30 minutes before your flight, you may make the flight, but your luggage will not be going with you ... ever. Remember how they used to send it on the next plane. They don't do that anymore.


The simple needle and thread
are travel must-haves.

Thus, suddenly unencumbered, I made my way through security and onto the plane. I have to admit that there is a real feeling of freedom that comes with

having nothing. But then you start to think of something you might wear or do, and you realize, "I can't do that."

So I found myself in a discount store at my destination (thankfully open late for holiday hours), choosing a clearance rack wardrobe that would get me through two holiday dinners, a baby shower, and countless hours spent lounging with family.

Thank goodness I know how to use a needle and thread. I found a couple of pair of black pants that were excellently priced and just a bit too long, and I had the unexpected opportunity to exercise my hand-sewing skills.

I was staying with my mother, who fortunately has a well-stocked sewing room, and so I very comfortably hemmed the pants, which took me with élan through several occasions.

But that was the final holiday lesson. What if I hadn't been staying with a sewing hostess? I definitely should have been carrying that needle and thread in my purse.

Sometimes no matter how much you try to control for disaster, it finds you. Even the most well planned ride to the airport can meet with obstruction. But I can always have a needle and thread handy in my bag, in case my bags and I are parted again.

Just don't ask me if that needle will make it through the eye of airport security. That I can't tell you.

For more sewing tips and techniques, check out a subscription to Sew Beautiful magazine.

Have your sewing skills ever come in handy while travelling? Tell us all about it!

Happy stitching!


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Comments

K-SueCrochet wrote
on Nov 28, 2012 9:30 AM

A couple of years ago, I taught our little homeschool group of 5 boys and 2 girls to thread a needle and sew on a button.  To introduce the lesson, I told a story of one of the boys growing up, finding himself best man at a wedding, and the groom coming to him in a panic because a button on his tuxedo had popped off.  In my imagined future, our homeschool hero said, "Dude, give me the jacket.  Give me the button. I'll take care of it."  Just a month later, that very scenario arose at a wedding - 2 of the tuxedoes popped buttons, and I (aunt of the bride) wound up in the guys' dressing area, sewing on buttons!

Joey59 wrote
on Nov 28, 2012 9:30 AM

I am a quilter so ALWAYS travel with needle and thread. You are also allowed to carry a very short scissors, especially if it has a rounded point; mine is designed for small kids.

on Nov 28, 2012 9:33 AM

I just love announcing to the world that I love sewing.  When I travel by plane, I have all my sewing stuff, needles, favorite scissors, and other basic sewing supplies in the check-in luggage.  On my carry-on, I have one those luggage tags I got free that says: I LOVE SEWING... One TSA screener announced to the guy at the monitor about me being a sewer.  When my carry-on went through, the other TSA screener opened my bag looking for scissors.. They did not find any of course.  I just watched them scramble looking for something I know they will never find.. I just made those idle people go to work and got them excited..

on Nov 28, 2012 9:35 AM

My son just graduated from ARMY  Basic  Training ,  Nov.2nd,2012,  at Fort Benning, GA.  Well his dress uniform shirt was too tight  around the neck  -  so much so that he could hardly  speak!  Needless to say,  I didn't  have a needle  or thread with me.  But, the front desk supplied me with a sewing kit and I was able to move the button for him.  At graduation, my son  surprised me and  received the award for Top Soldier of his graduating  class!  During the ceremony, he had to lead his fellow graduates in saying the "Soldier's Creed".  He would  of had trouble doing this if I had not  moved the  button!   I have learned my lesson - always travel with a sewing kit!

on Nov 28, 2012 9:35 AM

My son just graduated from ARMY  Basic  Training ,  Nov.2nd,2012,  at Fort Benning, GA.  Well his dress uniform shirt was too tight  around the neck  -  so much so that he could hardly  speak!  Needless to say,  I didn't  have a needle  or thread with me.  But, the front desk supplied me with a sewing kit and I was able to move the button for him.  At graduation, my son  surprised me and  received the award for Top Soldier of his graduating  class!  During the ceremony, he had to lead his fellow graduates in saying the "Soldier's Creed".  He would  of had trouble doing this if I had not  moved the  button!   I have learned my lesson - always travel with a sewing kit!

on Nov 28, 2012 9:40 AM

My son just graduated from ARMY  Basic  Training ,  Nov.2nd,2012,  at Fort Benning, GA.  Well his dress uniform shirt was too tight  around the neck  -  so much so that he could hardly  speak!  Needless to say,  I didn't  have a needle  or thread with me.  But, the front desk supplied me with a sewing kit and I was able to move the button for him.  At graduation, my son  surprised me and  received the award for Top Soldier of his graduating  class!  During the ceremony, he had to lead his fellow graduates in saying the "Soldier's Creed".  He would  of had trouble doing this if I had not  moved the  button!   I have learned my lesson - always travel with a sewing kit!

on Nov 28, 2012 9:40 AM

My son just graduated from ARMY  Basic  Training ,  Nov.2nd,2012,  at Fort Benning, GA.  Well his dress uniform shirt was too tight  around the neck  -  so much so that he could hardly  speak!  Needless to say,  I didn't  have a needle  or thread with me.  But, the front desk supplied me with a sewing kit and I was able to move the button for him.  At graduation, my son  surprised me and  received the award for Top Soldier of his graduating  class!  During the ceremony, he had to lead his fellow graduates in saying the "Soldier's Creed".  He would  of had trouble doing this if I had not  moved the  button!   I have learned my lesson - always travel with a sewing kit!

missysews wrote
on Nov 28, 2012 9:56 AM

At a Bed and Breakfast in Germany, my son's backpack strap broke.  The inn had a "sewing doll" on the wall for guests to use, including needles, threads, pins,  and basic scissors.  I used their supplies to repair his strap.  Several years later, my husband and I were in a cab in China with that same son and his girlfriend. This time it was her purse strap that needed attention.  Since I always travel with a hand sewing project, I sat in the back seat with them and, fixed the purse.  

on Nov 28, 2012 10:01 AM

On a recent holiday to Italy (from the UK) I found that I had neglected to pack any shorts!  I found a needle and thread in a local supermarket and chopped off the legs of a pair of cropped trousers to make shorts, neatly hemmed of course.  since then a sewing kit has been added to my holiday list.  As we drive to Europe there's no problem with airport security but my metal replacement joints would set the scanners off anyway!

Happy sewing.

Judy

on Nov 28, 2012 11:48 AM

i always have a little sewing kit in my handbag. it has proved useful on numerous occasions and has NEVER been stopped at security! holes in tights, running repairs to children's clothes, the odd button and quick impromptu mending at friends houses :)

cinisajoy wrote
on Nov 28, 2012 4:00 PM

If you are in the US, yes the needle and thread will go through just fine.  Well unless you threaten to pierce the security guy, then you might miss your flight.

I know scissors have to be under a certain size.

sweet Mamu wrote
on Nov 28, 2012 7:09 PM

Before my son was born I made him a rabbit out of an argyle sock which became his favorite toy to sleep with.  When he was almost a year old we went to visit my parents out-of-state for Thanksgiving and we accidentally left "Ba" at home.  We tried in vain to put our distraught child down to sleep that night.  As a last resort my husband rushed to the local big box store for a pair of argyle sox and some poly batting.  I borrowed my mom's ancient sewing machine and hastily created a substitute Ba.  It worked! In the dark he grabbed it, rubbed the ear over his nose and fell asleep.  

workgirl wrote
on Nov 28, 2012 7:53 PM

At one point in my life I worked at the front desk for a hotel where businessmen stayed frequently.  One day one of these men, on a short trip with only one change of clothing plus the expensive suit he was to wear to a presentation, came to the front desk a bit worried because he had a rip in the pants fabric.  I had needle and thread with me, so I asked him to bring the pants to me.  I promptly wove the fabric back together well enough so that he could give his presentation and get  him back home to a person who could properly repair the rip.  He greatly appreciated what I did for him.

Meg Singer wrote
on Nov 28, 2012 8:07 PM

Never put your needle through the thread as pictured. It splits the thread and weakens it. Meg

DebDG wrote
on Dec 1, 2012 8:07 AM

Yes, you can bring a sewing needle on the plane. And also little scissors. I usually have a hand embroidery project in my bag, and I use kindergarten scissors. Only once, very recently, was I hassled about it. But the scissors got on the plane.

AmberStitch wrote
on Dec 3, 2012 2:13 PM

Thanks so much for sharing your great sewing tales!