Sew, This Is What I Know

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Once you master a few basics, sewing can be a skill you draw on for life. I started to sew in grade 8.  We all made an apron to use in the cooking semester. Mine is purple because Donny Osmond liked that color (really).  Look, I still have it, so I guess I did an OK job (you probably know how old I am now, so I’ll let you do the math).

Our next project was a clothing item,  I seem to remember a peach peasant sun-dress. Even though it was the 70’s, it would totally be in style again (refer to this earlier post ).

Since then, whether it’s home decor or a couture outfit, I really find sewing useful when I can’t find what I’m looking for in a retail store. Like my recent pillow project, born partly out of my wish to be creative and partly out of the fact that all the stores seem to carry similar merchandise.  Is Homesense and Winners the ‘same’ store or is it just me?   I’m no expert, but I have a few tricks when I sew, this is what I know:

  • Thread two bobbins at a time. When you run out of  bobbin thread half way through a seam, you won’t have to un-thread your sewing machine to rewind the bobbin, you’ll have one ready to go. Just pop it in.
  • Get yourself a clear ruler with frequently used measures pre marked on it.  I use it to draw the stitching line with a sewing pen. These pens fade and/or wash out and don’t permanently mark your fabric.
  • When you want to baste for a gather (maybe a sleeve or ruffle) use an alternate color of thread. That way you won’t rip out your ‘stay stitching’ by accident.
  • Have your ironing board set up to press as you go. An iron is your sewing projects best friend. You’ll get perfectly lovely results when sewing a pressed garment versus trying to sew through creases, etc.
  • Finally, the ‘french seam’.  I may be too fastidious but I like my projects to look as good inside as out.  That means no raveling threads in the laundry. Here’s a look at the inside of my pillow covers.  Looks just like the outside right?  It’s so easy.
  • press and pin WRONG sides together RIGHT SIDES UP
  • sew seams with WRONG sides together at 1/4 “
  • remove pins
  • neatly trim all seams closely to stitching
  • turn out
  • you’ll now have RIGHT sides together WRONG SIDES UP (how you normally start).
  • press well with hot iron
  • pin for second seam
  • sew at 5/8″ to allow the salvage of your first seam to lie within the second seam
  • if that sounds too confusing, check out this easy breezy tutorial by Marlene on You Tube

Sew, do you have any good tips you can share with me?  I’d love to hear them!

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23 responses »

    • I’m sure you have way more ‘up your perfectly set in’ sleeve (inside sewing ha ha). I wish my apron x stitch was a nicer color, we probably didn’t have much to select from. Thanks for your visit

  1. You sew and your organize! Be still my heart. I’m going to share this on my Organized at Heart Facebook page. Two bobbins at a time. That makes great sense. I’m the optimist that thinks one will do. Hah!

    • That’s a great personality trait to have, an optimist! More people should be like you. I’m tickled that you’ll share it, what would Boomdeeadda do with out you? It just wouldn’t be the same. Thanks Alys.

      • That is very, very cute. I actually saw a bunch of easy home updates on her site, and all well photographed. Thanks for thinking of me, I’ve pinned that one too now.
        I wonder if Ikea has some plain wooden trays…must go there and take a look-see. 🙂

      • Boomdee, LOL. Sounds like someone who’d hang out with P-diddy….Boom D in the house (that’s how Ellen D would say it and she’s hip to these things, Ha)

      • I love Ellen. My sister follows her daily, recording her shows to watch on the weekend if she needs to get caught up. I don’t watch much TV but catch her occasionally on YouTube.

        Have you seen the Toyota van ad campaign with the swagger video? Bood D made me think of that. It always gives me a chuckle.

      • No doubt, that Swagger Wagon family made me laugh. Very clever campaigne, that team should get a raise!
        LOL, that dad is the opposite of hip. So nice to spend the evening chatting, hope you have a great weekend Alys. Boom D signing off. Ha

Talk nerdy to me………..

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