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Topic: Things I have learned about sewing (feel free to add...)  (Read 32791 times)
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hat-and-bag-lady
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« Reply #230 on: October 26, 2010 04:03:20 PM »

~friends and family will see something you've made and expect you to make one for them for free

Yeah: And, when you refuse to be a "Sewing Sucker", they get mad at you ...

Other things family and friends expect of "Their Personal Sewing Sucker" is seeing something that you've made, it looks like a million dollars, and they say: "I'll buy you the fabric, and you can make me one just like that" When they realize that the fabric you made it out of costs more than "a buck or two", they get angry at the fabric shops, the Ready-to-wear companies, and the fabric companies (And you, of course) for charging an arm and a leg for stupid, foul, filth, filthing-foul fabric and sewing! (After all: aren't you supposed to be "their personal sewing sucker"?)

Alright: all seamstresses together: "Thank you for the compliment: no, I don't sew for other people anymore. It's too costly." (You'll have to ignore the extreme-whining that they're doing after this: they aren't accustomed to not getting what they want for FREE, from "their personal sewing sucker")
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A.T. Morel
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« Reply #231 on: October 26, 2010 04:09:52 PM »

If your stitches look wrong check the tension and threading of your machine.

Mmm. Or, oil your machine. (Or take your machine to the sewing-machine-repair-place to have it's annual servicing.)

Just be certain that, after oiling your machine, you threadlessly sew through several paper towels, to make sure that you won't leave oil all over a (Light-coloured silk) garment.

(That isn't to say that I always sew light-coloured silk; but, if the machine is going to leak oil at all, ever, it'll likely be all over a light-coloured silk garment. Murphy's laws of sewing, you know)
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A.T. Morel
IamSusie
« Reply #232 on: November 02, 2010 10:58:26 AM »

Quote
Mmm. Or, oil your machine.

Many machines do not require oil.  Be sure to check your manual or with the manufacturer to see if your machine requires oil, or you may have a nasty mess on your hands.
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Totallyblank
« Reply #233 on: November 03, 2010 09:37:30 AM »

I've learned to always undo my goofs and then quit for the night. If I know I have to rip out a seam before I can sew again, I put it off and off and off...
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« Reply #234 on: November 05, 2010 08:48:19 AM »

I use oness of those clear shoe holder things that hangs on the back of the door to hold patterns.  (it has a bunch of clear pockets...)  That way I can see what I need.

Before cutting patterns out, I iron them to freezer paper, that way I can use them more than once, the dog and the 3yr old can step on them and they wont tear. 

I fold them up and put them in a big ziplock with the pattern envelope in the front, and stick it in my shoe holder.



- when buying elastic, buy like 10 yards at a time when its on sale.  That way you dont run out right when you need to finish a pair of pants!
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skuwiff
« Reply #235 on: February 04, 2011 11:09:46 PM »

When working on a big project - with too little time....

Don't forget to eat lunch/dinner... Many a time i've been working away, troubled with stuff up after stuff up, cursing myself for making stupid mistakes, only to realise that it's 5pm and all i've had for the day is a cup or two of tea.  The sewing brain really does work so much better (and mistake free) when you fuel it with proper food  Wink

Use two ironing board covers, one on top of the other.  The top one is used for all your general ironing, the bottom one is used for attaching iron-on interfacing with.  That way you can just whip the top cover off whenever you want to attach interfacing and you can iron onto the board around the pattern piece - without the extra glue ending up on the right side of your fabric later.

And when ironing interfacing on (or setting pleats) - don't glide the iron over the fabric, lift and lower the iron straight down, pausing for a second before moving on to the next point.

Respect the power of thy  sewing machine.  Fingers and moving needles do not mix.  Sewing machines are quite apt at sewing through an entire finger.  Sadly needles are not quite as strong and often break off 3/4 of the way through said finger/nail.  Your nails will never look the same again  Shocked
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Demi_Kitten
« Reply #236 on: February 10, 2011 02:18:56 AM »

My granddad worked as a sewing machine technician (which is why when my machine starts to eat my fabric I wish he hadn't died years ago) he always said that when you're considering a sewing machine to buy never go for the one that does 28 stitches and promises to cook you breakfast whilst sewing a button hole, embroidering a hanky and babysitting your children. He always said the more they could do they more could go wrong and the harder it was to fix it.
Like many people have said, we mostly use 3 or 4 stitches at the most so what is the point in having so many? (I have a few stitches I only used once to see what they looked like, thought "huh, that's nice" and ignored ever since).

My grandma was a fantastic dress maker (again, she is also dead which is totally annoying when I need advice and despite being the daughter of a dress maker my mum can't sew clothes for toffee lol) and she was obsessive about her dress makers pins because one day the family dog got one in his foot right in the pad and he was limping and crying and Grandma was devastated to think she'd hurt him because she was careless. (He was okay, Granddad got it out and the dog didn't hold a grudge)

I've found that despite buying my fabric and supplies from a shop that has a craft section they always assume I need fabric for clothing, they get really confused when I buy less than a metre and I've been asked in the past how small the person I'm sewing for is....actually she was 4ft7 but that's beside the point, I was making her a tote bag. Cheesy
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Athena: Today I was beat in a weaving contest by a mortal, so I threw a little bit of a hissy fit at her, so she hung herself...long story short she's a spider and everyone thinks I'm a bitch. FML
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« Reply #237 on: June 18, 2011 04:34:11 PM »

If you buy fabric with a specific project in mind, the longer you wait to start on it, the more it will seem like work and the less you will want to do it.  If you buy a random amount of fabric because it looks neat, it can sit in your stash for years with no guilt.  Once you do get around to using it, you will be excited that you have something to do with it.

Or, if you leave it in your stash long enough, you'll forget what project you bought it for, and can safely use it for whatever you're working on NOW.
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A.T. Morel
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« Reply #238 on: July 18, 2011 01:11:08 PM »

    - Before you haul your sewing machine off to be repaired, make sure that the reason it isn't sewing is an actual problem, and not that you left it in bobbin threading mode.

Or before you think it needs to be repaired because it isn't sewing, make sure that you've turned it on failing that make sure it's plugged in before you turn it on. (In my defense, I was tired)

Also, if you have two machines side by side or at the same table, make SURE you're stepping on the right foot pedal! The sewing machine pedal will not run the serger, no matter how many times you turn it off and on, or how hard you step on the pedal.
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« Reply #239 on: August 04, 2011 09:36:09 AM »

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!

I have always found that Simplicity patterns for adults run small, and McCall's and Butterick run very large. I didn't know about the kids' patterns - I'll have to check that, thanks!
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