13 November 2011

To Pin or Not To Pin? Your Sewing Tips Unleashed

I loved reading all the sewing tricks submitted as entries to the Pattern Cutting book giveaway. I learnt loads of new ideas - so glad I asked! I also discovered some lovely new (to me) blogs through the process, which is always a bonus. I thought I'd pull together a Top Ten Tips list from your submissions.

I should qualify the term "top" by saying that, firstly, this list is more of a random selection than an official canon or indeed even my favourites - it would be impossible to favour ten of them over any others as they all had value. Secondly, if you're a regular reader you will know that something I particularly value in sewing culture - and the sewing blogs I choose to read - is the attitude that there is no single right way of doing things. So if you don't agree with any of these tips, that's fine! In fact, it was fun to read contradictory tips in the list. "Don't pin!" "Always pin!" "Get on with it!" "Slow it down!" You get the idea.

Right, onto your tips:

1) "Fasten two pens or pencils together with a rubber band when you're tracing patterns from burda magazine as it instantly adds seam allowance without having to draw it in afterwards, just measure the distance between the lines and use that when you stitch the seams - most are 1.0-1.5cm." (Lazystitching)

2) "Tissue paper is a must for the sewing kit. You can lay it down when cutting slippery fabric. Or sandwich it between fabric when sewing seams on slippery or stretchy fabric. It's helped me TONS!" (Jill)

3) "Whenever you have to ease a larger piece of fabric with a smaller one [like sleeves], put the gathered larger piece on the bottom while sewing on the machine. The feed dogs will pull the bottom layer a little bit more than the upper layer, and this will help ease in the fabric." (Heather)

4) "I use washable glue to install my zippers. I get better control when positioning and then I wait for it to dry before sewing." (Carmencita B)

5) "If you are using a serger to sew a seam, the left needle thread is the one that could show through on the right side of the garment. So if you just match the left needle thread to your fabric colour, you can get away with using white or black for the other three threads. This way you don't have to buy four spools of thread for every colour of fabric you sew." (Margiwarg)

6) "Write a review of the pattern (even if you don't want to put it on the internet), as you'll have a good record of what you did with a pattern and how it worked out. This helps to figure out what patterns work for you and your body type and will speed up the process of sewing a pattern a second time if you like it." (Hilde)

7) "When sewing several layers of fabric or an area of thicker fabric, you can use the wheel at the side of your machine instead of the pedal, so you are not making the motor work too hard. It is good for short sections of sewing when you know your machine might struggle." (Kestrel)

8) "When machine sewing oilcloth (right side), stick some masking tape to the bottom of your foot to enable it to glide easily across the surface." (Elisalex)

9) "If you have a overlocker/serger, keep a stock of thread in blendable colours (ivory, grey, rose etc NOT primary colours). You can use these blendable colours quite successfully instead of an exact shade." (Sarah)

And finally...

10) "Listen to other people's sewing experiences, but don't listen to their opinions. And by that I mean, learn from others as much as you can, but once they start saying things like 'slide-fasteners are a pain in the back', 'trousers and bras are the most difficult to sew' or 'knit fabrics are for professionals', it's time to let it go in one ear and out the other. For one thing, it's bound not to be true, and for another thing it's up to you, not other people, to decide your limitations." (Emma)

Too right.

Righto, so who won the Pattern Cutting book, then?

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zilredloh said...
Ooooh! What a wonderful book to be able to give away.

Hmmm... favorite sewing trick ehh. I've found that using strips of silk organza underneath invisible (and regular) zippers helps a ton with stability and to prevent warping. They're little strips of amazing. heh
9 November 2011 22:38

Another great tip! Thank you, Liz from zilredloh, and enjoy the book! Woooooooooooo!

Right, today is going to be a good day. I'm juggling so many different projects at the moment but today I'm going to focus on sewing and blogging only (I've glimpsed lots of interesting looking posts in my blog reader that I'm looking forward to reading) and I think I'll channel sewing queen Gertie by staying in my pyjamas as long as possible. Ah bliss! Anyone else got a similar Sunday planned?

[Soundtrack: 'Eternal Flame' by Joan As Police Woman]