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Topic: Finished Project Raises New Questions  (Read 520 times)
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sarahdipity
« on: March 24, 2006 09:38:29 AM »

Hi, I'm pretty new here and I actually discovered craftster because I was trying to sew myself a purse.  I made a purse out of a grey wool fabric with a thick purple cotten for pockets and the straps.

I made gobs and gobs of mistakes.  But overall I guess it looks ok.  My computer is dead at the moment so when I get it back from the shop I'll post some pics.

Along the way I came up with a few questions.  First, I've been using the purse for about a month and I've discovered that the interfacing must not be enough because it's not really holding shape as much anymore.  Sad  Does any one have any suggestions?  I think next time I might also try to use a stiffer fabric. 

Second, how do I keep from breaking needles?  I think I broke like 4.  And I was using the strongest ones I could  get from my local JoAnn's.  I figure I might not be doing something right with my sewing machine.

Third, I double and even tried to tripple stitch but it *still* looks like the stitching near the handles are pulling loose.  Maybe I needed thicker thread?

I origionally wanted to make a bag that I could carry my digital SLR in.  But I think this bag will just not cut it.  Maybe after I have some more experience sewing I can make a bright orange bag to carry my camera, a book and my purse while I'm traveling.
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karenbb
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2006 12:08:13 PM »

As far as the needle breaking--you really need to use the size needle that is appropriate for your fabric and the number of layers you're sewing through.  I would also make sure your needle hasn't become slightly bent from sewing over needles or going through lots of layers.  A bent needle will break very easily.

Secondly, the stitches coming loose sounds like a tension problem.  You may need to increase the thread tension.  I would experiment on some scrap fabric to find what is working best for your fabric and your machine. 

You can always consult the old owner's manual--I do all the time and I've been sewing for a very looooong time.

Best of luck!
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Karen
Mint Workshop
ITZA
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2006 01:13:57 PM »

Re: Sewing Machine Needles - Go to google and search:
Sewing Machine Needle Guide

You will come up with a wealth of info to help you understand, select and use the proper sewing machine needle.

As previous poster said, consult your manual for adjusting tension.  If you don't have a manual, you can google search for your machine manual.  You'll usually find some info on your specific machine somewhere on line.

As far as your purse not being stablized enough for your needs, you have a few options to consider.  One, a combination or all of these may meet your needs.

1 - Using a tighter woven fabric / stiffer / more sturdy, etc.  ( Like decorator fabric)
2. - Using a heavier interfacing or double interfacing. 
3. - Using an underlining (in addition to your regular purse lining)
4. - Using a batting / fleece in addition to your interfacing.

Stitching pulling out from handles - do you mean that the handle is pulling away from the purse?  You can reinforce your purse handle TO your purse when you construct it.  You would do this by sewing several seams, close together, instead of sewing one seam to attach your handle to your purse.

Regarding thread:  Different weights of thread require different needle sizes.  Was your thread old?  Was your thread 100% cotton or was it a blend?  Usually a blend works best for me.

Re: Wool as your fabric of choice for your purse.  Wool is a very strong and durable fabric, but it is not known for holding it's shape.  Think about wearing a wool pantsuit.  If you sit in it for any period of time, you notice the pants changing shape at the knees.  You notice bagging in the rear end.  If you sit at your desk and work in your wool jacket you will notice the elbow area changing shape.  Thus - we steam out our wool suits and the moisture & heat and working of the fabric helps the original shape return. 

Hope this has helped a little. 
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sarahdipity
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2006 10:53:55 PM »

Wow thanks for all the helpful feedback.  I've been reading and rereading the manual as I go.  I definitely need to spend some time revisiting the buttion hole instructions several more times. 
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