Thursday, January 28, 2010

#.10 Silk Organza For a Press cloth?

I got this idea from Sandra Betzina. while watching her TV show Sew Perfect

I buy a metre of white silk organza to have on hand to use just for pressing cloths.
Now I know silk organza is hard to come by for some of us and is a little expensive. I buy mine at C&M Textiles in Ottawa when I go visit my children for about $20.00 and it's worth every penny..

I cut various sizes and love using these press cloths because they are absorbent ,can withstand high heat and you can see the seams through them.I guarantee once you try this hint, you'll never want to be without your silk organza pressing cloth again.

#9. Keeping Track of Your Scissors

This hint is a very short and simple one.

No matter how many scissors I have, I never seemed to have a pair at my sewing machine. I always had to get up and find them at my cutting table or on the ironing board.Recently I fixed that problem by taking a length of elastic cord and tying it to a pair of my scissors and attaching the cord to a drawer handle. That way I always have them where I need them.

Now why didn't I think of that before?

#8. The Tailor's Awl

The tailor's awl is a very useful little tool to have in your sewing room.

I first read about it in a book I got for Christmas a few years ago called Sewing Secrets From the Fashion Industry by Rodale Press.

I use my awl to help feed thick or heavy fabric through the presser foot.

It is useful to top stitch around corners or the point of a collar. Just stick the point of the awl near the collar point or the corner and "push "it along till it's cleared the feed dogs.

Another use is when inserting sleeves, use the awl to feed the extra fullness of the sleeve to the armhole to avoid puckering.To do this the sleeve has to be on top,and the armscye on the bottom against the feed dog.

There are many other uses for a tailor's awl of course and once you try it you won't be able to get along without it.

#7. Organizing Those Packets of Sewing Machine Needles

This hint again concerns sewing machine needles and it is my own idea. On the wall over my sewing machine ,I have a shelf with a sort of board running beneath it. That is where I keep my needles in there cases. I stick the needle cases using sticky Velcro on the back of each to Velcro on the board.This keeps my needles organized and at my fingertips.


#6.Another use for that tomato pincushion

If you're like me, you probably change your sewing machine needle a lot and what to do with the one you remove! Should you put it back in the little packet it comes in , or what? This is what I do.

I bought an extra tomato pin cushion that no sewist can do without. In each section divided by the green thread, I wrote the needle type at the top.. I then divided each section three times to accommodate the different needle sizes. As I remove a needle , I stick it in its allotted section on the tomato . For example last night I removed a size 7o sharp that I had used to make a couple of buttonholes and poked it into the "sharps" section of the tomato.

Take a look !

Now, I didn't think this up myself but I have no idea where I got it from so I can't give whoever it is credit. The important thing is, it's an effective way of keeping track of those used , but still good needles.

Happy Sewing from Diana

#5. I just can't see the hole in that needle anymore

This helpful hint is one I read in Vogue Patterns magazine ,many years ago.It concerns threading your sewing machine needle.

When I turned 40, I had to get reading glasses. I guess it's just automatic - turn 40, need glasses. Well,gradually threading those darn needles wasn't so easy. So I was delighted to come upon this in the above mentioned magazine.

It is so simple ,really . All you have to do ,to be able to see that little hole in that needle, is to place a white object behind it. I have a white point turner that I keep velcroed to the left side of my sewing machine and it does the trick.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

#4. What Size Needle Did I Put In There?

As I was sewing this morning, I had to change my sewing machine needle. If you're anything like me, you probably don't always remember what size or kind of needle you last put in your machine.

I learned this tip by watching Sandra Betzina on her TV program "Sew Perfect". Each time I change my needle, I write the size and the type of needle I am changing to on one of those coloured sticky dots you can buy at office supplies stores.I stick it to the front of my machine.

I do the same thing for my serger.

It's a very simple yet effective way to always know what size needle is in there.

Hope this helps somebody! Happy sewing!

#3. Twin Needles

I thought I would talk about using a twin needle. I sometimes talk to customers at Fabricville, where I work part time,who don't know that you don't need a special attachment to use this very useful notion. All you need is a zigzag foot, the extra spool pin that usually comes with a sewing machine ,an extra spool of the same colour thread you are using and a little info.Here is what I do:

(a).Instead of a second spool of thread ,I usually fill an extra bobbin.

(b).I use Wooly nylon, which I wind by hand, in the bobbin because it has a little stretch and it helps to avoid the ridge that forms between the two rows of stitches.

(c). I loosen the top tension. This also helps to create a nice flat double seam.

(d). I use a bias strip of fusible interfacing along and a little over the hem allowance.
      (Edited Oct, 2014) or I use Steam a Seam to fuse the hem and this acts as a stabilizer for the twin needle stitching.

(e).I  baste the hem by hand first with a different color thread. This serves as a guide for the double hem.

(f) I set my stitch length to about 3.5 or so as I would when top-stitching and my speed to quite slow.
To see photos of this procedure click here.

So that's it. Now why don't you give a double needle a try? You'll love the results!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

#2. Making Alterations with Fusible Interfacing

I never seem to have any heat resistant tape on hand so when I need to make alterations to a pattern such as extra length or a full bust adjustment (usually called an FBA among sewers)I use scraps of fusible interfacing instead. It works great!

I save almost every scrap of fusible interfacing in plastic bags for this purpose.When I buy new interfacing,I also will cut straight strips of various widths to have on hand when needed.

You need a piece of the interfacing for both under and over the pattern piece you are altering.In the photo below ,I'm ironing the bottom layer of the interfacing. No photo of the next step but add another strip to the top and iron in place. Very sturdy too.

In this photo, I've done an FBA. and added length to this jacket in two different places.

Shown are from left to right, the front, the front facing, the side front,and the under arm piece which eliminates the side seam.

#1. Fusble Thread

I'm posting useful hints that I think help a lot in the sewing process. I've gathered these over the years in various places. I'll try to give credit where possible but I can't always remember the origin. Some, I've come up with myself. Hope They help someone out there in Blogland!

If you haven't tried fusible thread yet, you might want to. So far, I've used it on the edges of sew-in interfacing before applying it to individual garment pieces.
Fill your bobbin with the fusible thread.Sew around each piece of interfacing, then fuse it to the garment pieces . It stays put while you construct your garment.

I've used it on the wrong side of facings so when ironed ,they stay in place.

Another use for fusible thread is , when you want to use a double needle to hem a garment,first sew around the bottom edge making sure the fusible thread is to the inside of the hem. Press in place ,then turn over and hem with your double needle
It makes the job much easier..

If you notice in the photo, the thread has loose layers so the thing to remember is to use tit in the bobbin and you should have no problem.

Try it! I think you'll find many more uses for this thread. Let me know what you come up with.