Notions: May 2012 Archives
Terre Downum from Facebook asks: I'm planning to make a tablecloth with oilcloth, what size needle do I need to use
Tara Says: Well, Terra I would recommend your heavy duty needles, a size 16 sharp paired with some poly wrapped cotton thread so it will be durable but won't break when sewing. Be sure to stick a piece of tape to the underside of your sewing foot to help guide the fabric through and prevent hang-ups.
Oilcloth is a great fabric for all kinds of summertime projects like tablecloths. You can also make picnic mats, tote bags, beach bags and aprons.
Hannah Wright Robinson from Facebook asks: how often do I need to oil my machine and do I need any oil in the bobbin area?
Tara says: it really depends on your machine. If you still have your instruction manual, check out the maintenance section for exact instructions on caring and maintaining your sewing machine. If you don't have one, take it to your local sewing machine shop for a tune up and ask them for all the details. However, works on your machine should be able to tell you what at-home car you can give and how often.
My sewing machine is due a yearly check up so I will be taking it in to the shop this week. I have a Brother and my manual state that I do not need to add oil (it comes with enough) and if I think it needs oil to take it in for a tune up. Brother also recommends that I get my machine serviced once a year to get hard to reach lint and debris out as well as check the tension and lube it up. You should never used compressed air to wash out dust from your machine; it can often make a problem worse by sweeping it into hard to clean areas. I use a soft craft paint brush to clean my bobbing case after every project and when my threads get tangled (dust in the bobbin case is the number one cause).
Paula J. Hatmaker from Facebook wants some tips on adding an underwire shelf bra into a swimsuit or where she can find size F foam bra cups?
Tara says: well, after some deep searching I found a link to a link to a link to a store in Germany that sells size F foam cups. There is another in Canada that sells swimwear foam cups in size F as well. You can price shop for the best deal. I also found another link to Dixie DIY's big list of Bra suppliers that you may find very helpful should you need more for your shelf bra. She includes store with supplies as well as patterns. As for instructions on adding a underwire shelf bra to your swimsuit I would advise you to either study a well fitting suit you already have with a bra you like and use it as a pattern or check out the Pattern School for a guide on adding a underwire shelf bra to swimwear. Or you can take the easy way and use a store bought bra and add it in like instructed in this Thread's Magazine forum posting. Both are great options if your pattern instructions are not up to par.
If you are familiar with Grommet Pliers then, please, put all your pessimistic plier preconceptions aside; Snap Pliers are nothing like Grommet Pliers. Compared to Grommet Pliers, Snap Pliers are a walk in the park on a breezy spring day while drinking an iced coffee, holding hands with your sweetheart. I was loath to try these but I have some cloth diapers that needed to be converted from Velcro to snaps and have some cloth diapers to make in the days ahead and knew this was a task I could no longer put off.
I should have purchased a set of Snap Pliers years ago. They are so easy and snaps are handy for so many projects. Before I start listing their uses like Bubba listing shrimp recipes (see Forrest Gump for movie reference) I will share how to use the Babyville Boutique Snap Plier Set ($19.98) which includes the Snap Pliers already pre-loaded with a size 20 die trays (this is where you place your snaps pieces and press them together to seal) which is the size of the snaps Fabric.com carries! Plus a screw driver to change the die plates, an awl to punch a hole for your snaps and a shank that fits the larger die tray. Complete instructions are also included.
After my placement is marked I use my awl to punch a hole for my first snap. Since I am punching through PUL, which is a knit, I need to punch and twist to make a larger hole than I really need because the hole will slowly close up once I remove the awl and I need to get the shank of my snap through the hole before it closes so I make it a little bigger than I need to allow time for my fumbling fingers.
Once your shank is in place, place one of your snap cups on the shank. It doesn't matter which just make sure you only use one kind in each location. I will use the other kind on the diaper tabs. Once my snap cup is in place, I hold the two pieces together with my fingers while I maneuver the pieces into the Snap Pliers placing the shank end in the bottom die cup and the top snap cup under the top die cup.
Once the snaps pieces are in place, I squeeze the plier handles together with as much pressure as I can muster and then release and squeeze again for good measure. That's it. You do the same procedure for the other side of your snap but you really don't need to be super strong to squeeze the pliers with enough force and it is all really easy. I love how professional they look (I don't always get the best looking grommets) and can't wait to convert all my diapers to snaps and make some new ones as well!!
Check out our great selection of snaps in different, cute colors!