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

Tool tips – budget or quality? Sewing scissors

Should you buy a really good pair of sewing scissors or will a budget pair perform just as well?

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.  Covered so far: Sewing machines Seam rippers Today I’m looking at another sewing essential and something you use in every single sewing and fabric project – our sewing scissors or shears. Is this an area where you get what you pay for?  Can a budget set of sewing scissors do just fine for most of us? Sewing Scissors I bought my first pair of sewing scissors at my local sewing shop.  Knowing how important this is for the sewing room, I bought their most expensive pair at about $35, probably worth less than $10 if I bought them in the US!  They aren’t any particular brand, just came in … Continue reading

How to sharpen scissors and other sewing tools

How you can sharpen your own sewing scissors and other sewing supplies such as your rotary cutter and pins

Hi Vicky here.  Sharpening scissors is a subject dear to my own heart. I am not the tidiest of people so over the years I have gained a few pairs of sewing scissors (whilst the original pair were lost somewhere in the sewing room!). Everyone knows that sewing scissors should only be used for fabric but I cannot guarantee my children have not borrowed them for paper…. The end result is three pairs of dull scissors, perfect for researching how to sharpen your sewing scissors. I tried three different methods of sharpening your sewing scissors yourself at home.  How would each of these methods work out? How to sharpen scissors 1. Cutting through foil: Fold several layers of foil. I folded the foil so I had six layers. Cut smoothly through the foil ensuring all the blade touches the foil with each cut. Repeat … Continue reading

Tool tips-budget or quality? The brass seam ripper

Can you actually save money, time or get better results if you invest in a better seam ripper? Interesting take on sewing tool quality.

We looked in my earlier article on sewing tools at sewing machines.  How much should you spend?  Will buying an expensive machine make you a better sewer or get you better results.  Or should you just go with the best machine your budget allows?  I’m a frugal kinda gal and am sticking with my budget Brother machine, but that doesn’t mean I might not want to upgrade some of the other more modest sewing tools in my collection. So in this series we will take a look at what I currently use and what I might upgrade to or in some cases downgrade to where a budget version works just fine too. Will upgrading any of these tools get me better results or save me time in the sewing room?  Today the seam ripper. Seam rippers As much as we don’t … Continue reading

Tool Tip. Do quality tools lead to better sewing?

Does a better machine make you a better sewer? Is it worth spending a lot of money on a machine? What do you think?

As time goes on I seem to accumulate more and more sewing tools.  Nothing wrong with that of course.  I always am quite frugal with my spending though and wondered about whether it is worth spending more to get a ‘better quality’ tool that would give me ‘better’ sewing results or last longer.  What do you think? So I thought I would look at some of my budget sewing tools and some of the more expensive alternatives, and consider if it was time to upgrade.  Let’s have a look at the differences and I’d love to know from you if you think one is better than the other, where it might be worth investing more money or where the budget option is good enough. Sewing machines Ok so this seems like a very obvious place to start, with our home sewing … Continue reading

My favorite fabric marking tools – Frixion pens

Change your (sewing) life with the Frixion pen for marking on fabric. Marks well and then disappears with heat.

There are few tools in the sewing room that could be called life-changing, but Hallelujah for the Frixion Pen!  OK so maybe that’s a little over the top but I love these pens so much I just can’t stop talking about them.  Whenever I recommend a fabric marker for one of my projects, I’ll always link out the these sweeties. Alternative Fabric Markers What do you use to mark fabric?  There are a number of different ways, some more modern (and some more effective) than others: Tailors chalk?  In a variety of colors, doesn’t make a very sharp line, can be a bugger to then try to remove it without washing.  Drop it in the floor and it can break.  Tends to drag the fabric as you mark I find.  But its been used for years in all the best … Continue reading

Neat way to fold and organise fabric

Fabric envy! How to fold and organise your fabric stash. Makes things so much easier to find and match. I'm doing it!

I’m lucky or unlucky depending on what way you look at it.  My local fabric store only has about a dozen bolts of quilting cotton, and many of those feature vegetables, so I’m never tempted to buy too much.  That means compared to many, I have quite a modest stash of fabric.  Still, it is easy for it to get out of hand, as I rummage about in the crate, make a mess, and the fabrics get creased and just well, messy. An example of what I mean.  Hmm, messy. That annoys me a lot so I sought advice in our sewing chat group and found the perfect solution.  You can buy these ‘magazine boards’ from Amazon.  They are basically designed for people who collect comics and things like that I think.  It’s a thin but stiff cardboard board, glossy … Continue reading

Thinking of getting a dress form?

Video review of the PGM Pro 601 ladies dress form

  Have you seen my Penelope?  She’s my PGM dress form and is instrumental in my pattern designs and in my clothes fitting these days.  I’ve lost a few pounds this year (YAY) so she needs some of her custom padding adjusting slightly for my new shape, but she remains my constant sewing companion. If you were thinking of getting one, I just heard some news from PGM and I wanted to let you know that PGM dress forms are increasing their prices from 24th April – by a massive amount on most of the dress forms – some of them up to 48% more in price. So if you were thinking of getting one this year (hopefully from So Sew Easy) get your order in quickly before those prices go right up.  And I mean UP! Here are all of my dress … Continue reading

Make your sewing pattern weights 11 ways

Serger Pepper Pattern Weights DIY

Hi there! Irene from Serger Pepper here! How is your sewing machine? Did you clean it from the last time we met? And did you make a bag for your laptop? Or maybe you’ve been too busy choosing  your first serger… Today we’re here to talk about a sewing tool I didn’t use for a lot of time (my mom still looks at me weird when I say I’m not using pins… whaaat?): Pattern Weights What are pattern weights? Exactly what their name says! They can be any heavy object, better if not too fragile or spiky, absolutely not sphere-shaped 🙂 They are used, just like pins, to keep the pattern pieces stuck to the fabric while you cut it, to make sure you’re cutting as accurate as you can. Let me show you my unconventional pattern weights: You can see I … Continue reading

Tool Tip – Dritz Thermal Thimbles

Sewing tool tips. These thermal thimbles are just what I've been looking for to stop my fingers getting burned from the steam iron.

I’ve started to accumulate. Not just fabric of course, we all need a sizable fabric stash in case of well, a zombie apocalypse or something, where we can’t get out to the fabric shop for a while. I’ve also started to accumulate some sewing tools. Small tools that make sewing quicker, easier or help me to get a better result. I’m so delighted with these Dritz thermal thimbles that I bought, that I wanted to share them with you. Why you need these Dritz Thermal Thimbles! Have you ever noticed when you look at the base of your iron how the majority of the steam vents are either near the tip, on the outer edges of the soleplate,  or both.  They even usually have little grooves that direct the steam outwards too. That means that whenever you want to press … Continue reading

Different types of interfacing and when to use them

Very useful to see all the different types of interfacing on video so I could really see how they each affected the fabric. I have a better understanding of what does what now.

Whether you sew bags or clothes, from time to time, you’ll need to use an interfacing on your projects and it can often be difficult to choose which one works best with which project. Many sewing patterns usually will make a suggestion, but not list an essential interfacing product, because availability varies so widely that what is available in one area or country, can not be found in another area, making a person in that area reluctant to buy a pattern when the stipulated interfacing can’t be used. So let’s take a look at a few examples today and you can see in the video how they change the structure of the fabric in each case. Comparison of different types of interfacing     Fusible versus Sew in   Fusible interfacing has a fabric ‘glue’ on one side.  You can usually … Continue reading