I Buy Thread Too…

Like Carolyn and Shannon, I do tend to stock up on thread. I hate looking for thread mid-project and think it looks cheap when my thread doesn’t match my fabric. I don’t order online, instead, I wait until I visit my parents.

In Panama City, I can buy a 500 meter / 547 yard roll of Gutermann thread for $1. That’s just 1.8 cents a yard. I can buy the smallest Gutterman for 45 cents. So, when I visit, I write down the colors I have and fill in what I don’t.

Yeah. . . . LOL. If my Spanish were good enough I would ask to find out where the cleaners and tailors puchase big rolls. But, that is beyond my abilities.

What I totally don’t understand is why the same thread is twice as much in the States. I’m *thinking* that since it’s made in Mexico — shipping costs are less? Trade agreements?

I also picked up a vary form curve (I think — it’s regla curva de corte) and an L square.  Both are made in Mexico, wooden and $5.

They are both marked in metric, which I find FAR easier when dealing with BWOF and sewing. I have never liked fractions 🙂

I tend to stock up on hand sewing and machine needles here. The hand sewing needles are Japanese sharps and 85 cents for a pack of 10.  The sewing machine needles are 25 cents each — so 10 needles for less than $3. They are Singer made and come in wing, lycra, knit, woven (cotton) and polyester. If there is a ‘universal’, I haven’t seen it.

Oh, this time I got these HUGE marking chalks which are 5 cm on each side. These are 50 cents each.

I’m leaving on Friday and I think I’m going to stop by a local furniture maker and see if he can make the curves out of teak (sastsre, variable, francesca, gota de modisto). I figure it can’t be as much as Atlas Levy sells them for at $95 🙂 Yes, totally inspired by Els’ post at the Sewing Divas.


  1. Nice stuff. 🙂

    I don’t get why Gütermann around here is $3 for 100 meters and $5 for 200 meters. I haven’t seen larger spools for a long time, it is probably impossible to sell. I mean, it is marketed as European/German quality, I live in Europe 200 km from the German border, and yet it is freaking expensive. I don’t get it. 🙂 Ordinary quality thread is $6 for 1000 m.

  2. I LOVE those rulers. I wish I had a wooden hip curve. My metal one is so much less classy looking! I’m glad you are having a great time. Don’t bring anything sharp in your carry on luggage 😉

  3. The price is why I took Carolyn’s advice and bought from Atlanta Thread. Lucky you, having a place to buy great stuff like that! Good luck getting your curves made.

  4. You sure are in sewing notions heaven,nice rulers too. Here a 200 meter Guterman roll cost more than 4 US dollar.

  5. Nothing worse than running out of thread. I live 20 miles from any store that sells sewing stuff so you’d think I’d be smart enough to stock up when Jo-Ann’s has a sale, but apparently I’m not!

  6. You gave me a great idea: having wooden curved rulers made! Apparently French curves and all the so-called fashion rulers are unavailable in Italy or, at least, I was unable to find them (well, I found a company that makes them but you have to buy at least 20 of each type 😦 ).
    Is Gutermann thread made in Mexico??? Poor me, I thought it was manufactured in Germany…
    Anyway, I’m happy you are finding so many notions at such great prices!

  7. indeed guetermann is a german company, but they produce in more countries, including mexico. you’ve really made a good deal with the threads!
    they also produce here, but they are expensive. 500 m cost me about 5 Euros, which would be around 7 – 8 USD. I should have the thread shipped from abroad – it’s cheaper, even with the shipping costs 😉

  8. Oh seems you are in heaven!
    Your rules are beautiful. I laughed at your comment on metric measures, as I have the same issue but in reverse. Depending on what I do, I fetch the French or the US rulers 🙂

    PS: just read your article on PR about sewing magazines, and liked it.

  9. I love seeing spools of thread, all lined up like little soldiers, ready to stitch together garments at a moments notice. Ah, the possibilities…

  10. Cidell, stock up on white and black threads. A Dietzen #7 Curve in wood, would be nice. It is perfect for armscye/armholes and necklines. If you can get those made, buy a batch and I’ll take a couple off of your hands. Atlanta Threads sells an aluminium version for approx $4. You won’t see a picture if/when you check the site but it is aluminium. Panama is next on my list. I will no longer suffer Ja. with rainy season starting April….and ending November, give me a break!!!

  11. Gutterman is about $1.78 for 100m here in Canada. The large spools are cheaper/length but there is rarely a diverse colour selection of them. $0.45 is a steal!
    And very cool wooden rulers too.
    Great haul, Cidell!

  12. Don’t ya wanna buy thread for your blog readers? 🙂 What a GREAT price!
    Enjoy the remainder of your trip. Wishing you safe travels on your return.

  13. I bought those rulers on my last visit. I had the rulers re-copied to acrylic plastic.

    What is the name of the store where you bought the sewing supplies, including thread?

  14. It would be awesome if you started a business selling the thread and the other notions online!! Have you considered doing that? It would benefit the store you’re buying it from too! 🙂

  15. You have a great blog. I’d love for you to come and visit my blog. I just made a Vintage Vogue Original 1944 Design, V2858. On the previous page you’ll find a dress I made from an original 1974 pattern that I found in an antique store. I call that post The Lady in Lavender. And lots of other things in between. Hope you enjoy.

  16. Wow, love those rulers! I stopped using Gutterman after it started being made in Mexico…just not the same quality and my machine hated it. I hope it works for you because those prices are fantastic. Now if you can find Mettler at those prices..you could start a business 🙂

  17. hey, I came across your website, while serching for obi belts ^^

    I just cant believe that for a 500/Gutterman you just paid $1.00 .. thats just insane!

    I’m from Panama, living in Germany, and believe me Guterman is really expenssive (all around Europe)
    I feel so happy you wrote about this, in 1 month I’m heading to PTY, so its gonna be a massive shopping for supplies!

    yay **

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