Tuesday, August 14, 2012


So I am going to switch gears and give a little advice about some sewing things.

1.  ALWAYS USE GOOD QUALITY THREAD:  Does the thread that you use really make a difference?  Well.....  yes absolutely!!!  I always try to use name brand thread.   Thread such as Gutermann, Coats and Clark etc...  there are others I am sure but that is what I use with Gutermann being my favourite.  Why is this important?  When you buy inferior thread it can do one of the following... 1. It can easily break.  2.  An inferior thread is made up of really short "staple" fibres.  It tends to be fuzzier, not as smooth looking.  3.  All of those staple fibres can jam up in your machine. 4. When you are hand sewing it tends to knot and get all jumbled up easier due to those staple fibres from an Inferior thread.  I know it is a little thing , but for the sake of a dollar or two it really saves headaches.

2. LEARN TO DO A HEM OR PAY FOR IT:  I know that it may sound easier than it looks but really a well hemmed skirt, shirt or drape really does make all the difference.  Listen, I myself have been in a jam before.  You are running out the door and your hem comes undone- what do you do?  You can tape it up temporarily or use Heat and Bond to "glue" it in place by ironing.  But in the long run the best hem by far is a stitched one.  Again, a small thing, but it is all in the details. 

3.  YOU HAVE ONE SHOT AT SEWING VINYL:    If you have ever sewn or plan to sew with vinyl to make a tablecloth or a tote bag then be forewarned, think carefully before you sew.  Think about it.....  Vinyl is a plastic product.  Any stitching you do will cause teeny tine holes in the "fabric".  If you have to rip stitches out those holes will be permanent.  If you have too my only advice is to start over or if you can, use a decorative trim to cover up the holes.  Seriously, that is all you can do.

4.  AFTER SEWING ALWAYS PRESS WITH AN IRON:  And when I mean press I mean just that.  There is a difference between pressing and ironing.  When you iron you move the iron back and forth.  When pressing you hold the iron in one place and apply slight pressure.  There is nothing I hate more and makes something look so unprofessional is not pressing your item.  Even if you are just making a pillow or pajama pants- ALWAYS PRESS!!  The way that I was taught was the following:  After you stitch your item lay the item flat on the ironing board and press the seam  as is- do not open it up first.  This helps to "set" the stitches.  Then go to the wrong side of the fabric and proceed to "open" up the seam and press it open.  This will give a clean and crisp seam.  Again, a small thing. But one that makes all the difference in the world.  One exception to this is "napped" fabrics like Velvet.  Velvets should be treated with extreme caution and should never be pressed or ironed.  They may be steamed but never apply pressure as this will crush the pile of the fabric.

5.  PRESS WITH A "PRESSING CLOTH":  Now what is that you say?  Well it is exactly what it sounds like.  Generally, it is a piece of cotton fabric that you lay over the piece that you are going to iron or press and press on top of that.  That way the presscloth is taking the "abuse" of the iron and not your garment or project.  Quite often an iron can leave a "shiny" spot on fabric.  This is due to the heat and pressure an iron can exert.  This can happen on twill fabrics or a many of other fabrics.  Also if your iron just happens to be too hot the cotton will protect the fabric underneath from scorching or even melting.

So there you have it!  Just a some little advice on sewing.  I know i don't generally talk about sewing here, but I have sewed like forever and just wanted to offer up little words of wisdom.  Maybe save you a little headache down the road.

Have a great day everyone.

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