Back to Basics Tip #17: I’m counting this as a Back to Basics Tip and my Friday’s 5 at 5. Since it’s Education Week and we are learning the basics and fundamentals of sewing, I thought I would give you some tips to help you. And we will be continuing Sewing 101 Education Week along with our regular stuff (tutorials, Project 52: Date Nights, etc.) next week. As I got into Sewing 101 Education Week, I found a lot more posts to write and teach you. So just bare with me if you’re not into sewing. But I will have a tutorial on Monday that is simple enough for beginners and cute enough for everyone. Trust me. You’ll want to come back next week.
On with my sewing tips…
- Read your manual. How boring. I know. But really. You can learn so much about sewing and how to work your machine by going through the manual. It will tell you what each stitch is used for. What additional equipment you will need. How to make a button hole or attach a button. How to clean your machine. Troubleshooting. And if you have a used or hand-me-down sewing machine (like mine) look for a manual online. Look for the manufacturing plate at the back of your machine and it will tell you the brand, model number and maybe even the year it was made. Look at the manufacture’s website and you can find manuals there. Or call the 1-800 number for the company asking for a manual. They can mail it to you for a small fee or email you a free PDF copy. I found mine online.
- Pre-wash fabric. You don’t want to sew something then wash it later to find it fitting differently or not at all because the fabric shrunk or whatever. It’s important that you do this for any fashion fabric that you used for clothing. The exception would be home decor fabric that you use to make drapes or covering chairs and the such. The type of fabric that is dry clean only. To find out how to treat certain fabric, read this Back to Basics Tip #3.
- Determine a straight edge when working with patterned fabrics. You don’t want the patterns to be crooked or slightly tilted, unless it was on purpose. And when they cut the fabric in the stores, it’s never a straight line at the cut. To find the straight line, make a slight cut at the cross grain (the side where the store cut the fabric) then tear the fabric. The fabric will tear straight.
- Iron seams and edges. This will help you in sewing and make it look for finished and professional. So keep the iron and ironing board close by, you’ll be using it a lot.
- Find fabric in thrift stores. My favorite place to shop for fabric is thrift stores. You can find specialty fabric there. Or even better, I love reusing bed sheets (flat or fitted) as fabric for my projects. You get 3 yards or more for around $3-$5 for the entire sheet.
» Tell me… What are your sewing tricks, tips and secrets? Please share!