Monday, August 29, 2011

Applewhite Guest Blogger - Top Ten Must Haves for Home Sewing

Once I really decided to leap into the art of sewing and bought my first machine, I turned to my friend Dana of Applewhite Handmade

Dana started sewing in Kindergarten, fashioning tiny outfits for her Barbies.  With her years of experience, calm vibe and thoughtful approach, I knew she could get me off to a good start. 

Dana graciously came to my house for a girl's-night-in and shared her tips over some Pinot Noir.  The best advice I received was her "Top Ten Must Haves for Home Sewing".  Armed with a list and an understanding of the basics, I headed to JoAnn's much more prepared and a lot less overwhelmed.  If you're a novice seamstress, you'll want to keep reading. 

Thank you, Dana, for guest blogging today!

Top 10 Must Haves for Home Sewing

1.      Dressing Making Shears:  Shears are the best scissors for cutting fabric.  It’s important for your fabric to have nice straight cut edge because your edges serve as seam guides.  If your edges are crooked then you seams will be too.
2.      Small Sharp Scissors:  These are used for snipping the threads from your work whether machine or hand sewed and allow you to get right up next to the fabric.  Keep them close by, they are needed often!

3.      Pin cushion filled with nice sharp pins:  I love to use a nice heavy pin cushion so it doesn’t roll around or scoot away while I’m sewing.  My new favorite pin cushion filling is crushed walnut shell. It’s heavy, nontoxic and environmentally friendly but still sharpens your needles like the old fashion emery filling does. 

4.      Seam ripper:  Even the best seamstress makes mistakes or needs to adjust her sewing.  Having a seam ripper on hand will make the job quick and easy.

5.      Sewing Gauge:  A sewing gauge is a six inch ruler with a sliding marker on it that you can move to your desired measurement.  This great little tool comes in handy for measuring little things such as seam allowances.

6.      Yard Stick:  I like the wooden ones because they don’t bend like metal ones do.  They are used for measuring larger pieces.

7.      Measuring Tape:  These are flexible plastic or ribbon measuring tapes. Used for measuring the body for clothing or anything that isn’t flat.

8.      Marking Pens:  These fabulous pens have disappearing ink!  Use them to mark button, seam, or embellishment placement.  Just remember not to iron over the ink until it has disappeared.

9.      A Little Collection of Hand Sewing Needles:  Fabric supply stores sell a variety pack of needles which would be perfect for most home sewers. 

10.  A Loop Turner or Safety Pins:  A loop turner is a tool specifically made for turning narrow tubes of fabric for things like tote bag handles.  If you don’t have a loop turner a safety pin will usually work just as well if it is pinned to one end of the tube and threaded through the tube and out the other end.
Happy sewing!

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