It's the little things...
August 23, 2010
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.
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