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!