How to choose the correct sewing thread

choose correct sewing thread

Do you pick up just any matching thread that you come across and sew your fabric? Or do you examine the thread closely before using it for a project? If you are like me and sometimes pick up any thread lying on the stash, then it’s time to change the rule. The quality of the thread used has a direct bearing on the final outcome of your sewing project. To get the best possible outcome, you need to get a clear understanding of the various types of threads available and when to use them.  To help you with this important process, we’ve put together a short list of guidelines on how to choose the correct sewing thread. Types of thread Cotton thread: These are threads that are used for natural fabric like cotton. Most of the cotton thread has a lustrous … Continue reading

15 Essential Tools for Your Beginner Sewing Kit

essential sewing tools

People who have never been interested in sewing before or who only practiced sewing as a hobby in their younger years may wonder what it takes to get started or get back into sewing.  Many of these prospective sewists often wonder what are the essential sewing tools that would make up the perfect beginner sewing kit?  And what’s the cost to stock up on these items to complete various projects? Below is a list of tools that can be considered “essential” for the beginner sewing kit.  They are the tools you want to learn the name of, have in your sewing box and learn to use if you want to try various sewing projects to see what you like doing. For your convenience only, each image links to the actual product on Amazon so you can check pricing compared to … Continue reading

Of Threads and More Sewing Threads

sewing threads

A good sewer should know her or his sewing thread. Whether sewing by hand or by machine, this means you should be able to determine the right quality of thread for each of your sewing projects. A good quality sewing thread generally translates to a better sewing experience because it will not break or tangle easily. This is especially true if you sew frequently, and until the wee hours of the morning like I do. Fortunately, quality thread need not always be the most expensive brand in the market. There are relatively inexpensive threads that are as good as the pricey ones. The trick is to know how to determine thread quality. So here’s how to do it: Inspect a strand of thread by holding it up to a bright light and then inspect how much lint or fray is deviating from … Continue reading

Have you tried an electric seam ripper?

For anyone with manual dexterity problems, or anyone with a lot of seam ripping to do, this electric seam ripper is the answer!

I’m not a big fan of “un-sewing”.  Perhaps I do it more than most because I often design my own patterns so along the way there is a lot of testing, experimenting, and altering things as they are developed.  That often means that a seam needs to be unpicked.  I’m interested where the phrase seam ripping and the term seam ripper came from.  Certainly most of the fabrics I sew with, if I make a mistake there is no way I can just ‘rip’ that seam open to undo the stitches – that would damage the fabric.  So I like to unpick or “un-sew” them, and let’s face it, sometimes that can take a long time and can be a bit tedious if you do it over and over. (Not that I would ever make any sewing mistakes of course … Continue reading

I Love You with All My Needles

Sewing for Love It is believed that humans started sewing with a needle 25,000 years ago. Yes, the art of attaching objects together by using a needle and a thread dates back as early as the prehistoric age! Imagine a woman lovingly sewing together a hide or bark for clothing, to protect her husband and children from the harsh environment. Using needles made of animal bones or natural needles from the agave plant, she must have spent many hours hand sewing her family’s clothes with the very limited material available to her.  It is certainly different today with a quick search on Amazon showing over a million sewing items! The thimble, made from bone, wood or bark also made its appearance during this time, to give her the much needed help in pushing her needle through tough surfaces. For sewing … Continue reading

Can you cut paper with your sewing scissors?

Advice from the experts on whether cutting paper with your sewing scissors really dulls the blade or not. Really interesting reading.

Ah ha – the age old question.  Should we keep our sewing scissors just for cutting fabric.  Will cutting paper somehow ‘dull’ the scissors, make them less sharp, or less able to cut fabric if we dare to cut paper with them as well? Is this just an urban myth?  Did seamstresses of old simply pass on this mantra to stop the family endlessly borrowing their sewing scissors.  Was it just told to make sure the sewing scissors were always there when they needed them? We’ve all seen the funny memes on social media warning of the dire consequences of using our sewing scissors to cut paper. It’s discussed from time to time in the sewing chat group, and there will always be those who say yes they cut with paper occasionally and still have nice sharp scissors.  We all … Continue reading

Tool tips – budget or quality? The Bodkin

Can you make sewing more fun, quicker or easier by using a quality tool compared to the budget version. Today - the bodkin.

I hope the series about spending in the sewing room has been interesting and useful these past few weeks. We’ve looked at whether spending more money on sewing tools, gadgets and gizmos can give you better sewing results, save you time or just make sewing more fun. Covered so far: Your sewing machine – can you notice the difference? Seam rippers – ooh shiny ! Sewing scissors – like a hot knife through butter Sewing storage solutions – some budget ideas for you Wonder Clips – should you buy the cheap ones? Applique pressing sheet – saves time Sewing pins – how many different types do you need? With the holiday season coming up, I felt like splashing out a little to treat myself on a few new sewing supplies and trade in my budget versions for something a little better. Today, the Bodkin What’s a … Continue reading

Tool tips – budget or quality? Sewing pins

Just how many different types of sewing pins are there, and how many of them do you really need?

Continuing today in our series about budget or quality sewing tools.  Can you have more fun, save time, or get better sewing results if you spend more money on your sewing tools or on all the extra gadgets and sewing gizmos. In our previous articles: Your sewing machine – can you notice the difference? Seam rippers – ooh shiny ! Sewing scissors – like a hot knife through butter Sewing storage solutions – some budget ideas for you Wonder Clips – should you buy the cheap ones? Applique pressing sheet – saves time Sewing pins When I first started out, I bought this box of sewing pins at my local sewing store.  Pretty cheap, about $2 for the box, just your standard economy pins.  You can often find the same box in your sewing notions section at the supermarket – these are about as budget as … Continue reading

Tool tips- Sewing storage ideas

Ideas to store small sewing tools and supplies. Some are pretty practical, some are pretty nifty and for some, buying a dedicated item does work best.

We’ve been looking at sewing tools recently and asking if you can get better sewing results, save time in the sewing room or just have more fun if you spend more money, or if the budget versions of your favorite tools are ‘good enough’.  Covered so far: Sewing machines Seam rippers Sewing scissors Wonder Clips Sewing storage ideas – small tools and things Today I’m looking at basic sewing room storage for your tools and equipment.  Do you like something custom designed for sewing, or do you keep everything in a big cardboard box and rummage about, or something in between.  Maybe you have a custom designed sewing space with peg boards, or dedicated sewing storage.  Is your storage also a decorative item, and are there practical reasons why spending more is going to get you better organised and save you … Continue reading

Tool tips – budget or quality? Wonder Clips

Looking at sewing supplies. Does spending more on our tools get us better sewing results? Today - Wonder Clips!

Next in our series of articles on looking at tools and equipment in the sewing room and asking if buying a better/more expensive/high quality tool will make sewing faster, easier or just more fun.  Can you sew well on a budget or will spending more money make you a better sewer? In earlier articles we looked at: Sewing machine Seam ripper Sewing scissors Today I want to look at one of the miracles in the sewing room and a tool I use all the time – the Wonder Clip.  Should you buy branded or budget? Wonder clips OK, these are a little sewing miracle that make so many jobs just that little bit easier.  I use these all the time, especially in bag making with the thick layers, but also for quilting and binding too.  Any time I don’t want … Continue reading

Pressing tools: how to use my favorite ones

Pressing tools, My favorites and How to use

Let’s start with a fact: I never (ever) iron anything: I just hang clothes on the clothesline “in the right way” (and please tell me I am not the only one)! Conversely, I’m a strong supporter of pressing seams while sewing: one of the worst things to see, when lurking someone else’s project on the web (just because in my real life I don’t currently meet anyone else who sews…) are badly-pressed (or even not-pressed-at-all) seams… aaaAAARRRGGHH! Ugly!  They can ruin a whole garment, in my humble opinion.  As I’ve learned along the way, pressing tools are what makes your life easier: you won’t go anywhere, with just an iron… lots of frustrations (and burned fingers) are waiting you! I have collected a few (and others are coming soon in my sewing room) and today I’m showing you my favorite … Continue reading