My first attempt at a homemade compass failed. But I mulled it over for a day or two and with a bit M’s help, I made one today with a nail, a paint stirrer sticky thing, a drill, hammer, pencil and a small piece of round cardboard. The paint stick was the first idea, as it is sturdy, slim enough and long enough for circle-making.
Then, I (M) drilled holes in the stick that would fit a pencil, measuring 2cm apart. And a smaller hole at the end for the nail. My new sewing setup was put together by M and consists of two small sawhorses and an old door. Perfect. Originally, this table setup was not for me, but I may have encroached on pretty much the whole space. It is an excellent workspace. Mine.
So, this is where the nail bit comes in: I drove the nail through the paint stick and into the table top. Took it all back out of the holes, put a small round, hollow cardboard tube over the hole on the table, and then re-pounded the nail back in with the stick on top of the cardboard tube. This gave it the height needed to hover the stick over the fabric and to have a good distance between pencil and fabric. Now, I just fold material in half and swoop a half circle with my new gadget, cut the half-circle out, unfold and voila! Circle.
I can also make a full circle with the compass if I replace the nail with a small-pointed tack that can poke through the fabric and then swoop the arm all the way around the circle. Sorted.