Skip to comments.Weekly Thread Thread #2 6/24/14
Posted on 06/24/2014 12:05:52 PM PDT by Roos_Girl
Good afternoon everyone. I'm glad we had a bit of interest in a sewing thread. I'm looking forward to learning from you all! I got busy this past week and made the Little One a pair of shorts. Here is a picture:
I'm very please with how they turned out considering it was my first attempt at making clothing. So I'm going to make a few more pairs for him in the next size up. A friend who saw them asked if I would make a couple of pairs for her niece's son and I agreed to do that. I also got to work on modifying two different patterns for blouses for me; for my exact measurements, taste, etc. I decided to take my chances and ordered fabric online for a number of reasons, so I'm hoping that won't turn out to be a mistake.
Here's my question for the experienced seamstresses; it seemed like cutting the fabric around the pattern was not as easy as it should have been. I folded the fabric in half, pinned down the pattern to both layers and used (what I thought was a nice pair of gingher) fabric shears to cut. The pieces mostly matched up like they were supposed to. In your experience, what's the best way to lay out a pattern and cut fabric and have things turn out like you want them to?
Ping to the weekly Thread Thread
Question-— every now and again I want to sew a hem but I’m not an experienced sewer nor have a fancy machine. Can I just use one of those small hand held units and which would you recommend?
My first wife was a seamstress so I'll follow along and watch.
Boys should be in blue and red and dark
They look good! Looks like you did a good job!
As far as laying out patterns, just follow the directions that come with it, that should work. Might help if you press the fabric first to make sure there are no wrinkles.
Adorable shorts. Love the rocket motif and the “pork chop pockets.”
The shorts look very well done, including the elastic in the waistband. I always promote putting in pockets. Some kids like to collect things too, rose blooms, half a breakfast sausage, junk mail fliers about Pizza Discounts or Disneyland discounts.
You probably used a 100% cotton or predominantly cotton based fabric. Cotton washes well and won’t shrink very much in the wash. Synthethic blends can be useful and are of much better quality today vs decades back in the days of Leisure Suits.
PS I found this website yesterday www.allfreesewing.com Looks like they have a lot of free patterns for just about any project you can think of.
Hope some of you have progress pictures of your current projects you will share with all of us.
...I also press the pattern...get all the folds and wrinkles out of it as well. Great job for first time clothes!!
I bought a folding cardboard thing with a grid and measuring marks on it that is perfect for laying on a table and cutting out patterns without hurting the table - but it was more of a cat-mischief solution. I used to just do it on the floor but then the cats would come over and lay on the pattern/fabric! If I got mad at them, then it they would get playful and rip the tissue paper of the pattern (crinkly paper is fun!). So I had to ignore them until they got bored and walked away. The cardboard thing has teeth marks in it - I think they got mad at it since it took their fun away!
I use a rotary cutter and a tailoring curve. Just make sure you have a rotary cutting mat under it. As long as the fabric is coming up off the cutting surface at all, it will be uneven, so scissors don’t work for me.
BTW, my cousin in Sweden is a new grandmother to a grandson. I made my cousin a hooded jacket of blue fleece and now I’m going to make a baby bunting of what is left of the fabric.
This is going to sound crazy, but trust me (said the person hiding behind the computer, right?) Don’t try cutting around those little notches on the patterns that are there to help you match the pieces. Instead, use a water soluble pencil and mark the fabric with one, two, or three dots in the locations of the notches. I use different colors of pencils for different types of marks on the patterns. One color for the notches, another for the little dots (if there are any), another for darts, etc. I’ve found water color pencils work great for this. You can buy cheap water color pencil sets in craft stores. Be careful using water color pencils like red, navy, etc. on light colored fabric. And try to stay inside the seam allowance when possible with your marks.
As for scissors, make yourself a rule that you never break. Sewing scissors are ONLY used on fabric, period. Not crafts, not paper (except the patterns as you’re cutting fabric), not elastic, nothing but fabric. And keep them sharp. Something else, how sharp are your pins? If yours are pretty old, they may be dull, which will bunch up the fabric just enough to throw the measurements off and will be noticeable. You may want to consider ball-point pins, if you’re using nylon, polyester, jersey, or fabric that will run or snag.
Hope this helps. The shorts look really cute!
No matter what you use to cut fabric make sure it is sharp, sharp, sharp! If you use scissors, don’t use them to cut anything but thread and fabric, and don’t allow anyone else to use them for cutting paper, cardboard or plastic.
Also, if you use scissors, you can keep them sharp by keeping a glass jar handy. Use the scissors in a cutting motion on either side of the glass opening, as if you were going to “cut” it. You will feel the scissors tightening up as you work them.
Your project looks very good!
Great minds! LOL!
I’ve never used a hand held machine. Just for a hem, however....hem tape.
” A friend who saw them asked if I would make a couple of pairs for her niece’s son and I agreed to do that.”
As a long-time seamstress my advice is to NEVER agree to do someone else’s work for free because the word spreads rapidly and you’ll find yourself being expected to sew for MANY other people. I’ve been asked to do the most outrageous sewing for people who can well afford to BUY beautiful clothes for themselves and pay the store for the hem shortening.
Just one example of many: A neighbor who saw a woolen dress I had just completed except for the hem wanted me to loan her my brand new dress to wear to a party the next night. She was 4 inches shorten than I am, and I explained that I would never be able to remove the crease mark in the woolen material if I shortened it for her. (Not to mention that she was a sloppy eater). She said I was selfish!
Find some polite excuse to refuse.
I limited myself to sewing hems for my mother’s new clothes. I hate sewing hems but I did it with love for my Mother.
I have only seen hand held “machines” that you must move along to the next stitch. That makes it very hard to control the length of the stitch and it will show. They are useful for costumes and even tacking up draperies when hanging however.
I don’t even have one any more so no recommendation from me. Maybe someone has a new model that they like.
I have two sons and when they were of the small shorts age I must have made 50 pairs over the years. I found that if I used the pattern a lot it got a little ragged. So I used light iron on interfacing and ironed it to the pattern pieces. When they outgrew one pattern I was able to split the pieces and iron them on more interfacing in their enlarged size.
Very nice! Next time try cargo pockets for a change of look.
Good suggestions about ironing the fabric and pattern too.
If the fabric is brushed or has a nap it may “slither” to the side and need to have each piece cut separately. ( remember to “flip the pattern for the second side!)
This works for matching stripes or patterns too. Put the arrows and the corners of the pattern on the matching fabric pattern and all will match well!
Sorry, I’ve never used a handheld sewing machine.
I don’t think a 2 year old in the odd orange shorts is such a horrible fashion faux pas, and whatever is not boyish enough about orange is more than made up for by the ROCKETS! :)
I actually told her I would charge her the cost of the fabric plus a small amount per pair. I appreciate your advice, I can see how freebies would turn into a nightmare.
I was hoping you had done just that.
Good for you.
I wasn’t very clear in my description on how I prepared up to the point of cutting the fabric. First of all, the pattern is a downloadable pattern, so if/when the paper becomes too ragged to use or when I need to go up to the next size all I have to do is print out a new pattern. I was thinking about that and wondering what people used to do in the “old days” of tissue patterns.
I used a 100% cotton “quilting” weight. I think maybe a discussion about materials might be one of our future topics! So I washed the material in cold water. Dried it. Ironed it. Folded it in half and pinned the pattern on. Since I haven’t done a lot of sewing I’m guessing that although my pins are probably a little less than 10 years old they’re still sharp. At least they go into my fingertips easy enough. Ouch! I hope it was correct to fold parallel to the selvage. The scissors I use are only ever used for fabric. They stay in a little sewing box I have. Now, that said, I noticed that they all of a sudden have a burr in them halfway up the blade. I have absolutely no idea how it would have gotten there except that at some point something other than fabric was cut, but it wasn’t by me. So I’m hoping that can be smoothed out by a good sharpening. Anyway, then I cut the fabric by letting most of the fabric & pattern sit on the table while I lifted just what I needed to to be able to cut. Like I said, it mostly worked out well, it just seemed a little cumbersome.
Thank you all for your input! Anyone else have any projects they have going on?
I sometimes trace patterns onto red dot paper. That way the edge never gets ragged, and I can modify the pattern as I go.
If u have trouble cutting them out I think the paper might be part of the problem. Just use lots of pins! My kids are now in their 40s, so tissue patterns were the only game in town back then.
For a utility hem on a cotton shirt, shorts, etc., the best bet is to iron it carefully into place and then stitch it.
By hand always looks best if you are a consistent, patient stitcher -- especially if there is a print and you can pick your way around the colors so your one color thread shows the least. If you want a machine stitch, a regular machine is best, unless you are really good with a hand-held.
LOL! I haven't explored the new fangled world of interweb patterns - the last pattern I bought was for my wedding dress! Since then, I mainly just do repairs or stuff I make up without a pattern (curtains, big tote bags for our beach chairs, toaster cover, etc). I'm excited to start making clothes again. First I have to buy a new machine...mine was acting funny so I had my mom check it out to see if it was worth repairing. She suggested I finally upgrade to something modern.
You are both wise not to allow friends to impose upon you more than you are willing.
Giving them the scraps in a plastic bag does seem to make them know you are not making money on their leftovers too!
Agree. Much easier.
Our high school had a seamstress completely abandon a full production project. She’d (the seamstress) left over 50 outfits incomplete.
Several sewing moms chipped in and (somehow) got all of the costumes sewn. I had to completely rip apart and resize several costumes. I hadn’t sewn since toddler Halloween costume days!
They managed to recruit me for a couple of the fall show costumes. That’s when I said...”that’s it!”. I sewed two 1920’s dresses and said, “No more!”
Every year, I and another mom hemmed and repaired the school band uniforms. Of course, the kids had outgrown the one they had the year before and there were never enough long legged or teeny waisted pants. Our kids’ senior year, we got new uniforms and nothing was hemmed. Not the pants, not the arms, nothing. And half the decorations had to be hand stitched on. Whew! Yeah, I made the mistake of hand stitching on our kids’ patches to their jackets so the lining wouldn’t be messed up and every other kid begged me to stitch their’s on, too. Talk about sore fingers! But I did it out of love and knew their parents wouldn’t do it for them. Heck, some parents couldn’t be bothered to get them patches they’d earned, but they magically got sewing on. Lil’ Missy made All State Band both years she tried out and won everything she ever entered so had patches covering the back, the front and down both sleeves.
Back in college, our one and only twirler would come to my dormroom and we’d rip apart her costumes every week so she’d have a different look for halftime. That was fun! Everyone thought she had a dozen costumes instead of just three.
Daughter showed up late Sunday so it was a major rush job to get the three panel drapes turned into two panels. It wasn’t the neatest work but it got done. She happened upon her old band jacket and took it with her.
Bump For Later...
Ouch....patches! I’ve sewn a few on, too. Mostly for Scouts. Finally, hubby started taking them to one of our cleaners. I know what you mean about not trying to sew through the lining....we didn’t have to worry about that, with the Scout patches.
Love the story about the band uniforms. Lots of love sewn into those legs, sleeves, etc. I bet your daughter has many great memories with her band jacket....and will with the curtains, too.
That’s what I love about sewing for someone....giving the gift of memories.
I finally gave up and got a new one. So happy! Here's a type that is affordable and good. There are lower, cheaper models but they just don't have enough power. This one is solid and can sew over lumps like jeans seams, etc. Just make sure you buy the CORRECT BOBBIN and insert it in the CORRECT DIRECTION. Otherwise, you'll go mad.
If you have a JoAnn store near you, ask to subscribe to their mail newsletter, or go online. Once in awhile they have sales on Singer. You can't use store coupons on sewing machines, but you can use them on bobbins. Bobbins come in packs of 6, 12 or 24.
Whatta mom! Awesome! I wouldn't trade one minute of my kids' growing years.
Except when you make a quilt for a baby or a wedding and you never get a thank you note. LOL...
I bought a Singer about 8 years ago and hate it. I have to lay it on it’s back to be able to get the last couple doodads threaded and to have easier access to thread the needle. One would think Singer would have figured that problem out a century ago. Weirdest thing. Makes no sense.
Assuming 1) you are right-handed, and that 2) you mean the last hooks that are just above the needle:
With the machine in normal position,
engage the thread in all previous hooks, including the arm that goes up and down.
Then put your left index finger behind the thread while holding the end of the thread with your right hand.
Making a right angle at the level of the target hooks, so the thread is parallel to the work surface, use your right hand and a front-to-back motion to guide the thread into those last two hooks, while your left index finger steadies the thread.
Last, thread the needle front-to-back.
I have to use a needle-threader thingie or a magnifier on a stand to get the thread through the eye of any needle, these days.
Needle threader. Put the end of the thread through the flexible wire loop; stick the loop through the eye, pull the thread out of the wire loop on the other side, and remove the threader from the eye.
I’m a lefty but can do many things with either hand. It’s not the actual threading but that the last few steps are out of sight line. You simply can’t see them when you’re sitting in front of the machine. The last hook before the needle must be done sort of from the back which makes no sense. Very poor design by Singer. If I were to ever need another machine, this model lost me as a customer.
I hear you -- I had that on my old White machine. The Singer I bought recently had the last hook in the front, tho. But there are lots of options out there.