The search for the perfect man thimble

These are the thimbles that didn't pass muster in the order that they disappointed me.

Thimble 1, a common yellow dritz thumb thimble. Fits. But, only if I use it backward. Which means the curves are all wrong. It's designed to contour around the pad of my finger, but because I wear it backward, that contour pushes against my fingernail. I've had this one for several years. It's greatest purpose has been to shove it into a wet leather thimble to stretch the leather.

Thimble 2 is what happens to leather thimbles around here after I've sweated in them a while. That thimble was discovered by a certain over zealous puppy and is holey, but I kept it as a backup. This week, when I discovered I had 3 leather thimbles that don't fit right, I tossed it.

Thimble 3 is the leather thimble I'm using now (and leaving only on high surfaces). This thimble is good, but I don't just want to sew with the pad of my finger like I do when I quilt. That works great for quilting, but for hand sewing, I use the tip of my finger and this thimble offers no protection to the tip. The needle goes right through the stitching that holds the thimble closed.

Thimble 4 is an extra large plastic thimble that I picked up at a quilt show this summer. It works okay, but it's still tight and cuts off the circulation in the tip of my finger. And, it's like releasing a vacuum seal to take it off. But, I've been surprised at how durable this plastic thimble is. I did not leave a mark after binding that heavily quilted cmas quilt. And, believe me, that was hard work. But, more about that later.

Thimbles 5, 6 and 7 are all sterling. They came in last week. Five and seven are size 12. I can barely get the tip of my finger in the hole. Thimble 6 is even smaller, but the good about it is that it fits Sydney, so she's getting a new sterling silver thimble for cmas, even if I don't.

Thimble 8 is a common dritz that I picked up in JoAnns last Friday. Marked extra large and when I put my finger in the "test hole", it fit perfect. But, the thimble is a size 12 at best. Damned lying packaging.

The last thimble is a size 9 that I picked up in an antique store for less than a dollar on Saturday. The reason it kinda works is that it's shallow. I have a scar on the side of my finger and this fits above that scar tissue. But, it's less than comfortable, even though it would work in a pinch.

There's a size 15 that's expected in the mail any day. If it doesn't work, I've found a size 18 in England that I'll try next.

I also got the name of TJ Lane from Sue. I've tried several times to find current makers of thimbles, even if it meant a special order. Except now that I've seen that a TJ Lane thimble is $100, I'm not so sure I can afford a special order. But, I wrote to them and asked them, as professionals, what they suggested I do. It will be nice to hear from someone that knows more about this than me. But, I have to confess that for $100 I can buy antique thimbles in every size from 15 to 20 and have them shipped overseas and then pick from what comes in. And, then sell the ones that don't work.

Okay, so this thimble conversation has taken on a life of it's own. So, at the risk of offending someone, I'll add poor Sydney's perspective to that. You guys have trouble finding undergarments that fit? Imagine that the man in your life went on the internet and studied undergarment and then bought them for you. And, continued to monitor your size and continued to shop with you. AND HAS NO IDEA HOW SUCH GARMENTS SHOULD FIT! Doesn't even get to see them on her to see how or if they fit. And, had to tell her last time that she'd changed size because the poor thing looked like she couldn't breathe.

Anybody watch Suburgatory on TV? It's about a teen girl being raised by her dad. We like it, even though the characters are a bit exaggerated because it's comedy. But, their pilot had a sub-plot about bras. And, I can gladly say that my girl is not going around in ugly, uncomfortable underwear. And, I better be the only one that knows that.

Poor Sydney. While having two dads has many advantages, it also has some real drawbacks.



Coloradolady said...

Lane, check this guy out. Now, I don't use a thimble, so I may be totally off the mark, but I emailed him this morning..no answer yet...but maybe he makes these? I was wondering if maybe he could make you one to fit and if it would work for you....just a thought.


I may not have a clue on this but it was worth a shot!! I am sure this is frustrating for you...now I will be looking for XL thimbles when I am out! I am going to look at some of the ones I have here, I just bought a bag of thimbles not long ago at an estate sale...you never know.....have a great day!

Laura said...

As for the bra fitting thing, take your daughter to a good department store like Norstroms, hand her over to the woman who fits bras and go out for coffee.

As for the pretty underwear thing, relate it to your thimble. Would you rather have a comfortable thimble that isn't very attractive or would you rather have a beautiful thimble that pinches?In my book, comfort trumps beauty in both bras and thimbles.

Elizabeth said...

I agree with Laura on taking Sydney for a bra fitting. Victoria's Secret is a good place to go since they specialize. Bras are one area you can't skimp on. You simply have to buy ones that fit right and have good support. As it happens, those are rather expensive, but it is a necessity.

Good for you for being so involved in every aspect of her life. There are a lot of dads in the world who are completely disconnected and a girl needs a good dad.

Good luck in your search for thimbles. I usually don't wear one, but binding that last couple of quilts, I wore a sensitive spot in my finger and had to use a plastic yellow one that has been hanging around for years. I don't even know where it came from. It worked OK. I'm wondering now if I should start a search of my own, though.

Can't wait to see that Christmas quilt. Way to keep us in suspense.

xo -E

mary said...

I second the bra fitting in store - not sure if you have LaSenza down there but they do a good job of fitting and have some pretty stuff that will give good support as well. Plus you don't have to buy every bra there once you have the size right. Feeling your pain with the thimbles, I must have a large finger because they all cut off my circulation.

Shevvy said...

Bra fitting is the way to go but utterly humiliating for a teenage girl at the same time. I go to a well known uk store that has woman of a certain age who hoik them up and in and tug and pull to get them in the cups right. It takes a bit of getting used to but they make the best bras!

As for thimbles, no idea as I can't use them. I did try out the fabric stuff that you wet and shape and it stops the needle getting through but I just myself too clumsy with them.

quiltfool said...

Hey, all. Just wanted to add that we tried the fitting idea and it did not go over well. That's when I kicked in and started studying. We make that kind of shopping a very private experience, just me and her. I'd love to turn her over to an expert, but don't see that happening until there's a girl or woman to take her and be there with her. Til then, it's just me and the internet and the fitting room. Lane

vtquilter said...

You two sound like such great Dad's. Sydney is one very lucky young lady. As for the bra fittings.... is there a good female friend, family member or coworker who wouldn't mind taking Sydney out for a shopping trip to help her with the bra fittings? Maybe a friend of her's Mom might be willing to step in and help out. Good luck.

lw said...

Seems like a girlfriend's mother could stand in for a duty like that.

If I had my way, there'd be a machine that you could stand in and it would measure you and then sewers in the back room would whip up a bra that fit perfectly in whatever style and color you wanted.

Anonymous said...

I know that Oprah had an entire show on the bra fitting once. I didn't see it, wish I had, but wondered if there might still be something on the internet about it. I think that the previews mentioned that most women do NOT wear the right size bra. Good luck in that advanture. Thanks for sharing.

Mad about Craft said...

I hate thimbles and I've given up the chase of trying to find one that fits so I use little sticky leather pads which stick to your finger pad and are reuseable. The problem you may have is that your finger may be bigger than they are designed for.

Good luck in the hunt.