• Susan - Workroom Tech

30 Minutes with Workroom Tech: Episode 65 / What's New in the Workroom?

Updated: Jul 13

On this episode of The Sew Much More Podcast: 30 Minutes with Workroom Tech, Ceil DiGuglielmo and Susan Woodcock share what's new in their workrooms. New doesn't necessarily mean that they are sharing something brand, spanking new. Ceil and Susan are sharing new ideas, tools and supplies that they haven't shared before on the podcast, or that they recently tried out. You will want to listen to the podcast while viewing the photos and information below.


You can listen to the podcast here:

Episode 65, What's New in the Workroom?


1. Expedited Low-Bulk Pleated Drapery

Susan recently used this method for making blackout draperies. Although she developed this method in 2020, she had to revisit the instructions again. If you are looking for an efficient method for pleated draperies, this is a good option. You can learn how on the Workroom Tech blog here: Expedited Low-Bulk Pleated Drapery and in the March/April 2020 issue of Drapery & Design Digital Digest.


2. Finger Gloves, are recommended by Nancy Letts, Pine House Drapery. Use for hand sewing, when using hot glue, and other projects where you need extra protection on your finger tips. They are made of natural rubber. www.fingergloves.com

3. Ceil and Susan both like to wear the Sew-Grip Gloves to protect their hands when stuffing cushions, working with heavy materials, hand sewing and to support their hands and wrists. Available from Rowley Company


4. Nancy Letts shared that she using pieces of rug grip on her machine tables to keep scissors and small tools from vibrating off of the table. She attaches it to the table with double sided tape. Brilliant!

5. Another new favorite tools of Susan's was also recommended by Nancy Letts. The metal 36" ruler from Wawak.com. This ruler measures 1 3/4 inches which is a perfect size when cutting welt cord for cushions.

6. Ceil shared that she finds so many uses for blue low-tack tape, aka "painters tape". From marking seam allowances and pleat sizes when sewing to marking the layout of shades and lengths for panels on the worktable. The blue tape comes in handy. Susan keeps a roll on her tool belt.


7. Susan recently purchased a chalk cartridge pen with a variety of color chalks and sharpener. She really likes using it for marking pillow and cushions cuts. You can find this at Wawak.com


8. and 9. Dental tools can be used for so many things from cleaning machines to repairing pulls or picks in fabric. A hemostat is a handy tool to have in the workroom. Use this to grip cords or ties, or to grip needles when sewing difficult fabrics or hard to reach places.

10. Stubby 6-in-1 ratchet screwdriver - the perfect size to have on-hand. This tool was recommended by Nina Zheleva when she was at Workroom Tech filming videos for Vako.

11. Jennifer White shared the thread burner tool during the Workroom Tech Shade Smart classes. It is battery operating and works perfectly for cutting shade cord and synthetic threads. This is much easier and neater than using a lighter. You can find the thread burner at Sailrite.

12. Electric scissors are a big help for hurting hands. Susan likes the electric cutter set from Wolff Industries. This model has a rechargeable battery so there are no cords in the way. It's safe, convenient and easy to use. You do have to get used to using a noisy tool for cutting!

13. Mini vacuum attachments are a great help when cleaning machines.

14. One sewing machine foot that Susan recently purchased was a 1/8" compensating foot for the straight stitch machine (photo below) and for the walking foot. This helps to sew evenly when pattern matching, top stitching, or sewing tape trims.

15. Ceil shared that she attached a magnetic IKEA knife holder on her machine for holding feet. This is not only convenient but you can see the feet and that saves a lot of time looking for feet in a machine drawer or box.

16. Ceil shared how she stores plastic tubing at the end of her worktable. It's a simple and smart solution!

17. A buckram box is something Susan took for granted - it was something she used in her Mother's workroom and never thought much about it. But once you start using a buckram box, you will realize how helpful it is! You can make one using scrap plywood, a dowel, wing nuts and washers. It measures 8.5" x 10" x 7" (outside dimensions).

18. If a buckram box is helpful, a rolling cart for rolled goods is even better! Ceil recommends the one used by Pine House Drapery. You can find a free how-to instruction download in the May/June 2019 issue of Drapery and Design Digital Digest.


19. Wearing a wrist magnet for pins is so efficient! The "slap bracelet" style is something new. Susan really likes this. It doesn't slip or twist, and it lays flat so it can be used at the machine or to pick up spilled pins. You can find this style of magnetic pin cushion at Wawak.com .

When she ordered the wrist magnet, Susan purchased the new "Magic Pins". She had hoped that they would work but found they were too thin for drapery weight fabrics and linings. They would be good for silk or thin fabrics.

20. Mini 2-inch spring clamps are handy for holding pinch pleats, blackout hems and many other uses. Susan found them at Walmart.

21. Non-tilting drapery pins help to keep drapery pleats from tilting forward when installed on decorative drapery hardware. The space between the pin and the hook is much tighter. You can see this in the photo below. The standard drapery pin is on the left and the non-tilting pin is on the right.

22. Ceil is really happy to have added a small chop saw to her workroom. It is so much easier and more efficient to use the right tool for the job!


23. New lighter weight 3-pass, polyester blackout lining. This is a great, new material for blackout draperies and shades. Purchase Onyx blackout from Angel's Linings.

24. Ceil is trying the Vako 20.04 spring shade headrail system for the first time. There are so many new innovations in shade systems. Check out the Vako youtube channel for workroom education videos.


25. Sometimes it's the simple things in life that make our day. Susan and Ceil love the Sharpie S-Gel pens!



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