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Topic: Things I have learned about sewing (feel free to add...)  (Read 44899 times)
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LMAshton
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« Reply #220 on: May 21, 2010 08:21:35 PM »

About commercial patterns...

If the picture on the front of the pattern envelope is an actual picture of an actual model wearing the actual garment, then the pattern was drafted and tested, ie a garment was made from the pattern.

If the picture on the front of the pattern envelope is a drawing, then the pattern was not tested, no garment was made from it, and could be a mish-mash of other patterns and may or may not actually work as advertised. I've bought some of these patterns in the past, and the pieces just never fit together properly no matter what I do.  I will not buy these again.
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Aislynn
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« Reply #221 on: May 22, 2010 09:31:51 AM »

About commercial patterns...

If the picture on the front of the pattern envelope is an actual picture of an actual model wearing the actual garment, then the pattern was drafted and tested, ie a garment was made from the pattern.

If the picture on the front of the pattern envelope is a drawing, then the pattern was not tested, no garment was made from it, and could be a mish-mash of other patterns and may or may not actually work as advertised. I've bought some of these patterns in the past, and the pieces just never fit together properly no matter what I do.  I will not buy these again.

On this note, I love love love when fabric stores have new sample dresses in.  That way, you not only see the pattern made up, but if the fabric store people are nice and understanding, they'll let you study the details, too.  It has definitely swayed me into purchasing patterns.  The finished projects on Pattern Review work much the same way.  I've gotten into the habit of checking that site's reviews prior to purchasing patterns.
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Sewers are for ninja turtles--seamstresses are for sewing Wink

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kyle98sean02
« Reply #222 on: May 24, 2010 04:50:55 PM »

Never skip the ironing step.  Its a dead giveaway that your item is homemade.
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Airsucker
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« Reply #223 on: May 26, 2010 02:41:32 PM »

3. Also, white kitchen sized trash bags cut open make excellent, durable pattern tracing material. I just use a sharpie to trace the pattern with.

Thank you!

You just solved my problem for me. Smiley

I was trying to figure out how I was going to cut around a tank top when the back is higher than the front.
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edelC
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« Reply #224 on: May 27, 2010 04:54:14 AM »

I use newspapers for pattern cutting, or if I need to trace it, rolls of greasproof, or baking paper. The problem with baking parchment is that if it is narrow, it doesnt stick together with tape, so I sometimes sew pieces together!
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Muria
« Reply #225 on: May 28, 2010 07:57:02 PM »

I was just reminded of another sewing tip: if you're sewing children's patterns from Simplicity, McCall's, or Butterick, be aware that they have ridiculous amounts of ease built into the patterns. I'm firmly convinced that they're using adult-sized ease on kid patterns. If you're a 36 bust, and they add 4 inches of ease, it's not a big deal (11% increase in the width of the garment). If you're a toddler with a 20 inch chest, that same 4 inches of ease is a 20% increase, and bumps you up to a size 5, according to their size charts!

And I can't believe I forgot AGAIN when I was making my son a costume last week. In my defense, the last few things I made for him used a Kwik Sew pattern, which doesn't have the ease issue.

Anyway, in case anyone is looking at their Jabba the Hutt baby dress and wondering what went wrong, it's not your fault.  Grin

I use newspapers for pattern cutting, or if I need to trace it, rolls of greasproof, or baking paper. The problem with baking parchment is that if it is narrow, it doesnt stick together with tape, so I sometimes sew pieces together!
If you ever happen across Swedish Tracing Paper , it is THE most awesome stuff for pattern cutting. It's just transparent enough to trace through, it's a lot sturdier than standard tracing paper or pattern paper (or wax paper, which I've tried to use before), and you can even sew it! I bought some at a sewing expo after reading a recommendation from someone online, and I bought three rolls with my Christmas money last year because it's just that nice to use. It also has just enough "grab" that it usually stays in place while you're tracing, without being like velcro.  Smiley

The same person who recommended it also recommended Palmer/Pletsch's interfacing, and it's great, too. I only buy interfacing from my local fabric store when I'm doing a craft project that isn't "deserving of the good stuff".  Smiley  The Palmer/Pletsch interfacing drapes beautifully, while still lending structure to the garment. If you don't recognize the name, they wrote the "Fit for Real People" books on modifying patterns, and also have a series of patterns through McCalls that they design (some with better instructions than others, but some of their older, more classic designs have great altering instructions). The only thing about the P/P interfacing is that you need to pre-shrink it (put it in warm, not hot water, then hang it up to dry). I usually splurge on 2-3 packages at a time when I can find it, and pre-shrink them all at once, so I don't have to think of it very often. By the way, it's wider than standard interfacing, so it seems more expensive than it is.

And no, I don't get paid to advertise either product, though I'd probably plug them more if they paid me in tracing paper and interfacing. They're just both great products, and I get really enthusiastic about sharing them with people who will appreciate it (talk to my family about video games, and you can keep it going for hours. Start comparing interfacing, or waxing eloquent about the pleasures of using swedish tracing paper, and their eyes glaze over).  Grin 
« Last Edit: May 28, 2010 08:24:56 PM by Muria » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Muria

Where did all this fabric come from? I CAN'T have bought THAT much!
AndreaKiss
« Reply #226 on: June 07, 2010 05:10:18 PM »

~cats will eat ribbon and thread
~always keep an extra pack of bobbin spools
~keep 2 bobbins of the same color thread you are using for a project
~saved jars from things like mushrooms or salsa are great for storing buttons, and when they are full they look really pretty sitting on your shelves
~friends and family will see something you've made and expect you to make one for them for free
~you will become addicted to buying fabric
~and maybe even buttons, trim, lace, etc as well
~if you know how to sew, never ever let anyone who is going to or knows someone who is going to have a baby know that you sew!
~sewing is love*

Thanks to whoever mentioned using muslin instead of interfacing! I hate having to use interfacing, so i'm def going to try muslin instead.
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LMAshton
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« Reply #227 on: June 08, 2010 03:38:21 AM »

About cats eating ribbon and thread...

It's true. One of my cats ate thread, and it nearly killed her. The vet wanted an enormouse sum of money to operate, and I didn't have it. The thread had caught under my cat's tongue, so the vet cut the thread. Then we waited. My cat lived with no ill effects, but it so easily could have gone another way.

So please, please, please keep this in mind if you have cats. Keep the thread in an enclosed container that the cats cannot get into. Never leave thread, whether threaded into the sewing machine or otherwise, available for any cat to play with. Because, yes, they will eat thread that's been threaded on a sewing machine, too.
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AndreaKiss
« Reply #228 on: June 08, 2010 09:12:16 AM »

Yes, it can be dangerous.  My poor little Seymour once ate a thin ribbon and i was unaware of it until he went to the litter box one day and came out with some of the ribbon... well, you can imagine.  I had to pull it out and was scared to death that i would cause some internal damage.  He's ok though, thankfully.

Another thing i've learned:  Cutting boards and rotary cutters are the best.  Just make sure when you buy replacement blades that they are safe to use on your self-healing boards.  I found this out the hard way.
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little me
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« Reply #229 on: June 11, 2010 07:53:06 AM »

My cats are not allowed anymore in my craft/sewing area - they've messed it up too much (by being sick). I would suggest that sewers keep your area cat free, that would avoid the eating probs, accidental accidents, & costly vet bills.

Sewing has taught me that fractions aren't that scary. I can now understand  fraction increments (I love my clear, acrylic ruler w/all the measurements) & it has helped me tremendously in sewing & drafting patterns.
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