Results tagged “Pincushion” from Fabric.com Blog
I dislike pinning, sometimes. When it comes to stitching a long seam, I like the security of pinning (I don't yet have Holly's courage). But when it comes to laying out and cutting out my pattern pieces, I hate it! I always feel like pinning distorts my layout and skews my cutting line. Just that little bit of fabric puffed up by the pinning process and what fabric is used to hold the pin in place is just enough to throw off some of my seams, darts or hems. It may just be me, but ever since I tossed the pins (when cutting out pattern pieces, that is) and went with pattern weights, my sewing has reached a whole new level.
Being the industrious seamstress that I am, I began my adventure with pattern weights with whatever was to hand. But after a few weeks of serious devotion to PWs (my short term for Pattern Weights) I decided to make my own. I cut out several 5 in. squares of quilting cotton and interfacing of coordinating prints (the weight pictured is in a lovely Moda) and on one side I attached a piece of 5 in. ric rac. Wrong sides together, I stitched the 2 squares together leaving an opened to turn and fill. I clipped the corners and turned it right side out. Using a handmade funnel of printer paper, I filled my PW half way with dried beans and topped it off with poly fill so it can serve as a pin cushion as well. I hand stitched the opening closed.
Many years later, I have somewhat reverted back to my origins since my PWs are attractive to not only me but my wee child as well. Leaving me back to using whatever is to hand since she has not yet learned the value of returning object from whence they came. I follow rule after a few bad turns:
1) Don't use your coffee cup (especially when there is coffee in it)
2) Don't use anything bigger than your fist (if you start with small it you can use it for even the smallest bit of your pattern and won't have to keep searching your house for another PW)
3) Don't use toys. The owner will come looking and demanding the return of their property leaving your without a PW)
4) Don't use your cell phone. You will forget why it is holding your fabric in place when an important (or not so important) call comes in and either your fabric will fall off the table or your pattern piece will get caught in the breeze mid cut.
5) Don't use anything alive- they are just plain unreliable.
My favorites are an unused and tightly capped bottle of fabric dye, a previously used glass that held water and needs to make it down the kitchen but hasn't in some time, and my own hand made PW (when I can find it). There are plenty of other handy PWs hanging about your house but if your schedule allows make some of your own, they are ever so much fun!
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When starting a new project, you often consider the big items: fabric, interfacing, buttons, zippers, etc but often it is the little things that can really throw off a project and need to be considered just as fiercely. Like making sure your #2 pencil was sharp before a big test, it's the little things that can make a project a breeze or a nightmare.
· Stock up on machine needles of all sizes, universal, sharp and ball point. Start every new project with a new needle. It will keep your sewing smooth, be still the tangles and prevent needle breaks. Also, make sure you match the needle to your project. While a universal 80/12 might seem to work well for most of your projects, there is a real difference when sewing knits with a ball point. Keep your needles in a handy place that is easily reachable from where you sew. You are more likely to change your needle as often as required if you do not have to get up and cross the room.
· Bobbins are huge. It is houses half your seam. Be sure you have the right size bobbin for your machine. Be exact. Bobbins are much more temperamental than your upper thread and depending on your machine, not so easy to adjust. The wrong size bobbin can cause severe tangles, mess up your tension and simply mess with your head by causing intermittent issues that are difficult to determine cause. Wind your bobbin carefully. Make sure it is straight and tight. Any looseness in your bobbin can cause major issue.
· Keep a good pair of scissors close by. Keep them sharp. Mark them in some fashion and sit your family down and announce that these are "Mommy's good fabric scissors and you are not to touch them except with Mommy's express permission (that goes for you too, husband) and if Mommy catches you touching her good fabric scissors she will use them to give you a special hair cut". But of course you can paraphrase; this is just what my mom said to us growing up. Use them to rescue tangle bobbin threads that have sucked in your fabric, clipping your thread as you go (we all dream the dream) and even as a turning tool.
Pincushions are not made of gold so there is no reason to just have one. Make several. You may remember from my sewing room video that I have about a half dozen (and counting). I keep them all over my sewing room because you are always in need of pins and they are always out of reach. Pincushions are cute, sassy, fun and quick to make. I have one for hand sewing needles; I have another to store my machine needles if my project calls for multiple needles and then the rest house my pins. With every project, one goes on the right side of my machine and one sits on my cutting table. As one gets empty and the other full, I rotate.
We have just covered a few of the little things needed to make every project go smoothly. Look around your sewing room or think back on a particularly trying project and contemplate on little things you can set up in advance to make your future projects move quicker, easier and more relaxing.