Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sew: A needle pulling thread.

I've been toying with this blog post for a while but wasn't sure I wanted to post it because I'm not an expert sewer. However, I decided that the people that read this blog don't necessarily care.

I know of lots of people that are wanting to get into sewing or become better sewers so lately while I've been working I've been thinking of my tips and tricks of the trade. And because I'm so nice, I'm going to share them with you. :)
 So a brief history of my sewing, I started probably late elementary school patching things for my dad because my mom loathes sewing. Home Ec in middle school probably is what peaked my interested the most. I made everything from the basic drawstring bag and shorts to a stuffed penguin. At home I'd use scraps we had to make other little bags or projects. I also was given the job of patching jeans and coveralls and putting in new zippers. When I got married the two things I wanted most were a kitchen aid mixer and a sewing machine. (side note, I got both with gift cards, thanks everyone! :-) ).

My most recent sewing projects include things for my niece and nephews (an apron, monster bag, and hooded monkey towel).
I also made a hoop skirt which you can read about Here.

I've broken a few needles in my day and continue to break them but don't plan on stopping sewing anytime soon. 

Heather's Tips and Tricks of sewing with a machine
  • Don't be afraid to mess up! 
                  So many people get upset when they have to use their seam ripper or start over. Making mistakes is perfectly fine and is going to happy. It's OKAY! That's why they make seam rippers. They will become your best friend (more on that later). I've had to completely scrap projects before because they didn't turn out. One other important thing to remember is that whoever you're making whatever for will love it because you spent time to make it by hand. I was worried about this, if I was wasting my time making homemade gifts but everyone loved them. "You MADE this??" "Wow! You should open a shop!" "I thought you bought this!" Every time. :)
  • The seam ripper is your best friend! 
                  Told you so. Get a good one and use it. I use mine every time I sew. Getting miscellaneous fabric stuck under the machine happens. Sewing the pocket of the jeans to the leg happens. Sewing too many layers together happens. The seam ripper is your best bet to get them apart. Take out a few stitches at a time and work the fabrics apart.
                   A seam ripper is also useful for other things. I use it when my needle becomes unthreaded so that I don't have to pull the thread all the way out, it is small enough to reach in the slot by the "thread take up" thingy. (I know about sewing but not the pieces of the machine :) this is that little silver lever that goes up and down as you sew, the part you loop through before going through the needle.
                 Any other brilliant uses you have tried?

  • Get a pair of scissors devoted to sewing and fabric.
                     When I say devoted, I mean it. Fabric and thread is strictly what you use the scissors for. I bought one of these fancy boxes ~~~~~~~~> and use the scissors that came with it. They look like a regular pair of scissors you can pick up anywhere. The key is to keep them for fabric! Once you begin to use them for paper or plastic, whatever, it dulls the blades and you start to get choppy cuts.  
  • Get one of these ~~~~~~~~~~~~>
         Okay, this one isn't a necessity but it's supper nice to have. I bought one with my machine so it's the singer brand but I'm sure there are other options out there. What I love about it, is you have just about any color thread you will need. Granted, some of them are smaller spools but it's helpful if you don't use specific colors very often (like pink or yellow) and start a project, you don't necessarily have to buy the thread to match. I also have found it very very helpful to have multiple colored bobbins.(see next point!) There's a bunch of other really nice things in the kit, plus it's nice to have the extra storage, especially if you don't have a room devoted for sewing.
  • Make multiple bobbins of 'neutral'/'normal' colors. 
           This would be colors like blue(navy), black, white maybe grey or tan. You have to decide what colors you use most frequently. With having a bobbin ready you just saved your self a few minutes.  Also, if you have a couple of the same colors made already, if you get halfway through a project and your bobbin runs out you can just throw a new one in, rather than taking the time to make one and start over.

I keep coming up with new points but I will add just one more for this post. 
  • Shut the door and walk away. 
         I won't lie, sewing can be stressful. You have to be able to leave the project and go do something else. We have my machine in our office where we keep the door closed most of the time unless we're working in there. But it has been the best thing ever. I can get partway through, get frustrated, shut the door and walk away before I get too frustrated.  At my parents, this wasn't the case. The machine was in the main room we used to watch tv or sit at night, I had to have the stuff cleaned up and put away at night.  Which was fine, but it's so nice to leave something where you are.

Alright folks. I have a few more points. I'll add them and maybe get enough free time to write about them later. :)
  • A lint roller is fabulous for cleaning up those short/loose threads. 
  • The inside of a project might not show, so it doesn't matter what it looks like
  • Sometimes it's the bobbin side that shows, if this is the case match your bobbin thread but it might not always matter 
  • You made it with love, that's what matters. :)
~Enjoy!~  and let me know if you have questions or comments!

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