Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
- Use a size 9 for Very Lightweight Fabrics, like Chiffon, Lace, Organdy, or Tulle.
- Use a size 11 or 12 for Lightweight Fabrics like Chambray, Gingham,Satin, Lawn, Single Knits, Jersey,Thin Leather, or Suede.
- Use a size 14 for Medium-weight Fabrics like most of your quilting cottons or Flannel, Velour, Broadcloth, Linen, Velvet, Double Knits, Vinyl, or some Leathers or Suede.
- Use a size 16 for Heavy-weight Fabrics including Denim, Sailcloth, Fake Fur, and thick Leathers.
- Use a size 18 for Very Heavy Fabrics like Canvas, Duck and some Upholstery fabrics.
Rule 2.2: Pick the right type of needle for the fabric. Basically:
- Woven fabric: Universal needles or Sharps
- Knits: Ball-point needles
- Leathers: Wedge-point needles (AKA leather needles)
- Most topstitching: Topstitching needles
Rule 3: Make sure your needle is inserted properly.
Any questions, refer to your sewing machine manual.
Friday, June 19, 2009
- How to insert my needle (You know, flat side to the side or back.)
- How to wind my bobbin
- How to thread my machine
- How to adjust the thread tension
- How to adjust the stitch length
- How to switch out the presser foot
- How to reverse a stitch
- How to use that silly button-holer
- How to maintain, clean, and possibly oil my machine
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
- Secure edges with paper clips.
- Use a strip of painter’s tape to secure a zipper.
- Secure edges with tape. (Remove promptly to avoid icky residue.)
Sunday, June 7, 2009
- The prose. For example, take this paragraph from the Introduction, "Haven't you envied your friends who have an endless supply of new clothes which they've made for themselves? You hear tales of how an inexpensive piece of material from a remnant counter has turned into a lovely party dress, while you've been trying to figure out how to persuade Dad to give you still another advance on your allowance to cover a down payment on that dress you saw in the store window."
- The chapter on "Basic Stitches" that covers everything from threading a needle and diagrams showing how to knot your thread to explaining running stitches, back stitching and hemming.
- Instructions on how to use a thimble (a lost art for certain!).
- A great chapter on the basic sashes, belts, totes and headbands.
- The "How to Use Patterns" chapter that is most thorough, including pinning, marking darts and notches, stay stitching, and facings.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Here are my 5 favorite sewing tips (for today anyway, because tomorrow I'll probably learn something new):
- Wet the back of your needle before trying to thread it. The surface tension from the water pulls the thread right on through.
- Compare your pattern pieces to a RTW piece that has a similar fit. This is particularly helpful if you're fitting a difficult client (like my hubby).
- Instead of chalk, mark your notches, darts, etc. with a dried-up remnemt of Ivory soap.
- Put a shirt together at one shoulder (or if it has raglan sleeves--at 3 seams). While it's flat, serge your neck binding (or cuffs onto sleeves) on the neck line. (I find it easiest to place if I've notched center front, shoulders and center back on both the shirt and the ribbing.) Then serge the remaining shoulder seam, all the way up the ribbing.
- Choose your pattern size based on your front width measurement (FWM). This is a great N. Zieman tip. To take the measurement, find the crease in your skin where your arms meet your body and measure straight acros your chest. Round off to the nearest half-inch. A FWM of 14 inches corresponds to a size 14 and every 1/2 inch difference is a pattern size. (I.e., 13.5 inches = size 12, 13 inches = size 10, 14.5 inches = size 16, 15 inches = size 18)
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
- The clothing patterns included with this book: a girls' jumper, a boys' suit, and an apron.
- A great supply list that explains why you need all those things, like stabilizer and interfacings.
- The very detailed (at first glance primitive, but actually quite informative) diagrams in the "Stitch Maneuver" chapter that instruct you as you begin to applique, turn inward or outward curves, form corners and stitch points.
- The "Little Red Riding Hood" applique design.
- While some of the designs are very cute, others are quite dated (think things we wore in the 70s!).
- I found the boys' suit to run very small.
- No instructions for sewing snap tape into the crotch of the boys' suit.