In another lifetime, I wrote several award-winning educational grants and collaborated on many others. During the training process and beyond, my mentor would rhetorically ask, “Why reinvent the wheel?” I think about her statement quite often as I toss around topic ideas for this blog. As I wrote Saturday, many have already written great tips, tutorials, and techniques that make sewing much easier. Over the course of this National Sewing Month, I plan to share sites I’ve found particularly helpful, and why they’ve helped me become a better sewist. Rest assured, I’m not “reinventing” anything! Rather, I’m simply sharing the knowledge of others to give us all the opportunity to perfect our craft of sewing!
My number one resource for fresh ideas and tips/techniques comes from Nancy Zieman. “Sewing with
is celebrating 30 years on PBS
– for a REASON! She’s amazingly talented and explains techniques extremely
well. Although she’s been on for years, I just recently began watching her –
again. And now, I check her blog
almost daily. It’s been amazing how much I’ve already learned.
The other day, and quite by accident, I happened across Baby Lock’s “Inside Scoop” – Nancy’s Tip of the Month! I’m going share what she’s posted so far this year and, on occasion, put in my two cents worth via “NOTE”:
September Tip of the Month
Don’t waste your money on buying cheap thread – you get what you pay for.
NOTE: Old thread – use it or lose it – by throwing it away! It’s so frustrating to get through a project only to then put a little stress on the stitching and the thread breaks!
August Tip of the Month
When you receive a compliment on something you’ve sewn, quilted, or embroidered, graciously say, “Thank you.” Please don’t point out the flaw that only you can find.
July Tip of the Month
For successful seam beginnings, I start stitching on an “anchor cloth” (a small doubled up scrap of fabric), then continuously stitch seams without trouble. Great tip for quilting and garment sewing too.
NOTE: This is a habit. For me, it was/is a hard one to get used to, but so worth the effort!
June Tip of the Month
Press fusible interfacing to the back of frequently used tissue pattern pieces.
NOTE: I’ve not done this – yet! It is on my “to do” list now!
May Tip of the Month
Add machine embroidery to a ready-to-wear pocket without removing the entire pocket. Instead remove the straight stitches and leave the bar tacks at the top of the pocket. You’ll be able to embroider the pocket and stitch it back in place with perfect positioning.
April Tip of the Month
When sewing on metal buttons with shanks, use a strand of monofilament thread along with the standard sewing thread for added strength in keeping buttons in place.
March Tip of the Month
Apply the soft side of sticky back Velcro to the top of coat hangers. A 3” strip on both top edges is all that’s needed to keep garments from falling off the hangers.
February Tip of the Month
When stitching two slightly uneven seams, always sew with the shorter length on top and the longer length on the bottom towards the feed dogs. The bottom fabric will ease as you sew and even serge.
January Tip of the Month
Next time you’re hemming, instead of using a straight stitch select one of the many built in decorative stitching on your sewing machine.
NOTE: I should do this more often on my dolly’s dresses/blouses!
P.S. She has many more tips for years 2008-2011 on this same site! I highly recommend checking them out when you have a chance.