If you’ve signed up for our Snippets newsletter, you receive a sewing-related tip or technique every week. We’ve chosen five favorite Snippets from 2011 to share with you. There were just so many, it was hard to choose only five!
Working with Elastic
Elastic often twists when being pulled through a fabric tunnel. Marking one side can help avoid this annoying sewing glitch.
Before you begin pulling the elastic through, mark both ends of one side of the elastic with a colored pen. There’s no right or wrong side, simply choose one or the other. After you’ve pulled the elastic through, feel along the fabric for twists, and check the ends of the elastic. If they match up, you’re ready to go. If they don’t match, you can easily tell because one side is unmarked. Untwist the elastic and you’re set!
A Usable Fabric Stash
Most of us have a stash of fabrics, don’t we? Be it big or small, there are a number of things you can do to keep it usable and avoid destrying your precious stash.
We’ve learned a few tricks we’d like to share. We find that the more usable your stash is, the more you’ll… well, use it!
- Keep fabric out of sunlight. This will help prevent fading, since faded folds can ruin a fabric. If your fabric is stored in a sunny room (like ours is), you can always make a little curtain to cover it up.
- Prewash your fabric when you buy it. That way, it’s ready to sew when you are.
- Label your fabric. Attach paper tags to your fabric with the yardage and fiber information you may need later.
- Roll fabric instead of folding. Rolling helps save space and makes it so much easier to pull bundles in and out of shelves. Tie the rolls with bias binding or fabric strips and things will be very tidy.
- Hang velvet and corduroy. This will avoid destroying the nap (avoid metal hangers).
- Store large fabrics on bolts. Spare bolts are great for storing wide fabrics or great quantities of fabric. Ask your local fabric store if they can spare a few.
Once you have made adjustments to your pattern, make it last!
A simple way to do this is to use inexpensive, non-woven fusible interfacing. Take care when ironing to set the iron on dry heat instead of steam. You don’t want the paper to wrinkle or shrink. Remember to use a press cloth to avoid any ironing mishaps!
Before You Begin Sewing
Everyone has their own method of sewing, setting up a project and getting started. Here are just a few things we’ve found make the process a little easier.
- Depending upon the size of your project, wind at least two bobbins for each color thread you’ll be using. This will keep from stalling you midway through sewing with unthreading your machine and winding up the bobbin. Isn’t that annoying?
- Turn your iron on and pull out any ironing tools you’ll be using.
- Clear your space of various and sundry items that are unrelated to your project. Having a clean space will keep you unhindered when you go searching for that dropped button or misplaced zipper.
- Grab a bag or trash bin to keep nearby for thread and scraps.
And lastly, remember to have fun! When it stops being fun, put it away for a while.
Pretty Hem Finishes
Sometimes it’s nice to have fun surprises inside your garments.
Little things you do can make your garment even more special and unique. Hems are a great place to customize. You can finish the edge with a contrasting serger or zig zag thread or bias binding. When sewing lace, simply line up the lace to the edge, slightly covering the edge of the fabric then slip stitch to the inside. Lace looks beautiful and also helps conceal hand stitches very well.