Vintage glass stoppers also work well in a pinch!
I also use an old eyeglass case to cart around the pin cushions, pens, ect. Funky and it works.
Years ago I used dental floss to gather a skirt for an Afghan Nomad Dress by Folkwear Patterns. I made the traditional skirt and used 5 meters of raw pink silk – it is a lot of weight and needed some extra strength. I made the dress 25 years ago and it still fits! Too warm for summer ware and the big sleeves are best suited for capes not coats.
You can find the pattern here. http://www.folkwear.com/107.html