Sewing Tips!

Sewing Tip #1Wind your bobbins as slow as your machine will allow.  If you have a speed control on your machine, set it low.  Thread is stretched while it is being wound on the bobbin, the faster it winds, the more it stretches.  Hence, puckered seams when sewing.  It also stands to reason that winding fast will wind it tight, putting a curl in the thread and making it more brittle.

Sewing Tip #2: Change the machine needle every project.  Needles are cheap compared to the price of fabric.  A burr on a needle (which happens easier than expected) causes skipped and puckered stitches.  Use the right needle for the fabric, knits and microsuedes take special needles, they are all available.

Sewing Tip #3: Never look at the machine needle as a guide while sewing! I use the edge of my foot, the markings on the faceplate, or magnets (the ones you buy for the front of the refrigerator with sayings on them work great, cut to fit!) on the faceplate.

Sewing Tip #4: Should be #1 in importance!  Interfacings, use interfacings.  I don't mean to slam Joanns, however, you will find little garment interfacings there that will compliment a garment.  I use https:/ or whenever I am in a little sewing shop, ask to see their interfacings.  And Joanns does have some useable garment interfacings.  Look for Easy Knit, or a cotton batiste weight fusible.

For coat tailoring you will want a sew-in interfacing for the best results, or a fusible of the same weight.  Chiffons and silks do best with self interfacing, the same garment fabric (use a temporary spray to hold the interfacing in place during construction).

Buy a yard or two of all kinds of interfacings.  Each garment should have at least 4-5 test samples.  Interfacings react differently to different fabrics and react differently according to their own feel; stiff, soft, curvy.  Interfacings tend to feel fused, like they do before being fused but stiffer.

After testing, you will see which interfacing works best with what you have in mind.  Sometimes you want the interfacing in the seam line and sometimes you don't, play with that too! 

Interfacings are the easiest way to get professional and polished results. Happy sewing!

Sewing Tip #5:  Do your stay-stitching and under-stitching.  Mrs. Hess in 7th grade was right, it does make a difference.  Facings, please under-stitch your facings, you will thank me; they will stay folded over and pressed against the back of the fabric like they should.

Stay Stitching: Sewing one thread away from stitch-line, sew along stitch line for all curved edges (including the top part of a curved front edge).  Stay stitching keeps the seam lines where they should be regardless of what happens to the cut edges.  Cut edges start to stretch and unravel with every movement, so if you rely on using the cut edge as a seam guide you may end up with skewered seams.  Sew with grain starting at the center and top of the garment and stitching down or into the arm eye.

Under stitching: After joining a facing to a front of a garment, an arm-eye, neck line; on the right side of the garment, with all seam allowances facing the facing and under the presser food, on the facing, stitch one stitch less next to the seam.  Sew with the grain of the garment; front facing, start at the top neck, sew down - neck facing, start at center back and sew toward shoulder seam, same with front, (yes, each side, starting and stopping twice) - arm-eye, start at shoulder seam and sew down to underarm, stop, start at shoulder seam on other side and sew to underarm.

Sewing Tip #6: when sewing velvet, throw away the pins, pick up a can of temporary adhesive and glue the seams together before sewing, you will actually enjoy sewing velvet!

Sewing Tip #7: Make a muslin copy of any garment you are making when using a loved or expensive fabric.  It is so much better to find out that you need to add fabric on muslin than running back to the store and hoping they have some of the bolt left.