Saturday, 18 November 2017

5 Common Sewing Mistakes

It is an undeniable fact that every sewer makes mistakes and most of them happen to be unintentional. You see, sewing is one easy yet sensitive task to do and you have to be really careful in it in order to avoid any sort of mistake. The mistakes are different and you’ve got to deal with them in different ways. For example, some mistakes can be fixed just by ripping out a seam but also, there are times in which, starting over is the only option left. The reason that you are reading this article is probably because you are about to start learning sewing or you are tired of making mistakes while sewing. Well, don’t worry at all because here in this article we are going to mention some of the common sewing mistakes and also, how to deal with them.

1- Buying the most expensive machine

Spending on a very expensive sewing machine won’t let you master the art of sewing. You definitely want a high quality product that is reliable and durable but buying the Mercedes standard sewing machine is not something you should do in fact you should look for that one machine which is computerized and can handle all your beginner projects and fancy projects which you intend to make in future.

2-Starting more than one project at a time

As a beginner, I am sure you are very excited and want to take multiple projects all at the same time and that is the worst thing that a sewer can do. You must be sure that you are handling only one project at a time. The one goal of a sewer is to mess up as little fabric as they can but starting with three four projects at once will lead you to some serious fabric loss and it also can risk the satisfaction of your customer.

3-Wrong Measurements

Sewing is not something that anyone can do in fact you’ve got to learn some things before getting started with it and above everything, you should master the knowledge of measurements. The most common mistake that many sewers make is that they are not careful about the measurements and they simply start sewing according to their outlook. Well, trust me, this won’t turn out to be a good thing for you and you definitely will lose your customers. Make sure that you are working accurately with the measurements of each part.

4- Not Buying Enough Fabric

The one big mistake that most of the sewers make is that they don’t buy enough fabric and they buy it accurately as the fabric indicates. This factor leaves no chance for you to make any mistakes and also, there are times that some fabrics shrink in the washing process which means you won’t be able to cut all your pattern pieces properly. Note: if your pattern has a map or a directional print then you would require more fabric than the pattern indicates.

5-Use of the wrong thread or needle

The Rayon, silk and other sorts of threads are not appropriate when it comes to the construction of the clothes and you should always use 100% polyester, all-purpose thread to make sure that your clothes are well-stitched. Also, there are different types of needles available for different fabrics of clothes so make sure that you’ve got enough knowledge on needles too and know when to use what type of needle. These tips will definitely help you in sewing the best clothes in your area. 

Overall Verdict

You just don’t master an art without knowledge or practice and mistakes are inevitable every time you are getting started with a project so, don’t lose hope and learn how to sew. This is it for today. Stay connected and keep reading because we’ve got a lot more to talk on sewing errors and tips on how to improve your sewing skills.
Till then, keep sharing and keep loving our blogs, we assure you that we will come up with something more informative and exciting in our upcoming articles. 

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

7 Best Sewing Machines for Home Use

Stitching is not only an interesting hobby, it is also a very useful skill. People have been learning and practising this art since old times. Even today, many ladies prefer to work on the sewing machines at home, rather than going to some tailor. You can better stitch your outfit according to your choice.  The art itself is very important but for neatness and accuracy, you are required to have a good sewing machine. These are numerous brands offering varieties of these and one might get overwhelmed to see the multiple options.

If you are also looking for the appropriate sewing machine, you will get all the information here. We have come up with some of the best and easy to use sewing machines, using which you can stitch wonderful clothes and other articles.

Give it a read and get to know about these sewing machines perfect for home use:

ACME 802 Domestic Sewing Machine

ACME 802 Domestic Sewing Machine

This one is compact in size and you can place it anywhere to do your work. It is simply built and has a decent design.  Additionally, it is very user-friendly and offers 10-30 stitches pattern.

BROTHER Innov-is NV15P Computerized Sewing Machine

This computerized machine is very efficient in functioning. The beginners should go for this one for a smooth and flawless start. The experts will do great with it.
This one is best for those who want to work simply and get uncompromised quality. It has many advanced features including LCD screen, slide speed controller, start/stop button, needle threader, options of 16 stitches and a lot more. Using this would make your work a lot easier and less time-consuming.

BROTHER GS2700 Sewing Machine

This one is classic metal frame machine with improved functioning and increased durability. It is best suited for the home furnishing and stitching dresses. It features easy and quick stitching and includes everything that makes its operation comfortable. The needle threader is automatic and the Led light included is very bright and has a long life.

JANOME 1012 Sewing Machine

The JANOME 1012 is very suitable for domestic use. Particularly, if you are new to stitching, this is going to be a helpful one for you. It has front bobbin system that is useful for the starters as they can change the bobbin during stitching. Moreover, it is well-built and has a robust structure.

JANOME 8050 Computerized Sewing Machine

This computerized masterpiece is best for those who know the basics. It has commendable professional efficiency and operates flawlessly. You can work on it continuously for hours and enjoy sewing your clothes with full concentration and great ease.

JANOME New Home 2030DC Computerized Sewing Machine

This beautiful machine has 3 buttonholes and thirty stitches. It contains several advanced features that are provided by the more costly machines. It includes single-hand needle thread, LCD display, very easy navigation, a start and stop button, a button for the auto lock, speed limiter, reverses button, free arm, stitch width of 7mm and length of 5mm. This marvellous article comes complete with a soft cover.

SINGER 1409 Promise Sewing Machine

SINGER is a well-reputed name, known well for its high quality and long-lasting products. The SINGER 1409 is one of its promising domestic machines and is very user-friendly. It is very appropriate to be used in homes and you can easily work on it.
The features include both the decorative and basic stitches that are total 9 in number. The straight and easy threading path saves your time and helps with quick stitching. Additionally, to make it more convenient, it allows you to change the stitch style in just one simple step.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Tutorial: How to sew a blind hem

Blind hems are fantastic. Using an ingenious method of folding and stitching, you can create a machine stitched hem that is nearly invisible from the outside. It’s a fantastic way to create a deep hem on a skirt, unlined jacket, or pants.
If you have trouble with your hems, you might consider trying another foot, if your machine accepts them. It could make all the difference.
Also, make sure you have enough seam allowance for a fairly deep hem. I like to make mine at least 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Add an extra inch to that. So if you had a skirt that you wanted to be 25″ long with a 2 inch hem, you’d make sure the skirt was at least 28″ long before hemming.
Ok, let’s get started!
Tools needed:
  • Marking pen, pencil, or chalk
  • Ruler
  • Pins
  • Iron
  • Blind hem presser foot

1) First, figure out exactly where you want your hem to fall, and mark that line in water soluble pen, pencil, or chalk on the right side of the garment. That would be the middle line here, shown in yellow.
2) Mark two more lines, one above and below your hem line. They should be of equal distance to the hemline, however deep you want your hem to be. So for a 2″ hem, you’d draw a line 2 inches above (the white line) and a line 2 inches below (the pink line).
3) If necessary, trim the raw edge of the hem so it is only about 1 inch below the bottom (pink) line.

4) Turn the raw edge under and press. The fold should be 1/2 inch from the bottom (pink) line. Basically, you’re folding it in half so that the raw edge on the inside hits right at the pink line.

Here’s how it will look after you press it.

5) Now, pinch along the middle (yellow) line to fold.

6) Fold along this line, matching up the top (white) line with the bottom (pink) line as you fold.

7) Pin the fold in place. Here you can see that the middle (yellow) line is now at the bottom of the hem.

8) Fold again. Fold upward along the top (white) line this time.

9) Pin in place again. You can just remove the existing pins and repin at this point.

Here’s how it will look on the inside.

10) Lightly press the folds. Once you’ve pressed them in place, you can remove the pins if you like.

11) Again, here’s how it will look once pressed.

12) Put the blind hem presser foot on your sewing machine. This is what the foot looks like.

13) Set your machine to the blind hem stitch. You can see what it looks like here. You can set the stitch width wider or shorter depending on how wide you want it, but mine was set to 3.5 here.

14) With the wrong side up, lower the presser foot onto the hem. The vertical plate should sit right along the fold. As the machine stitches, it will stitch across that plate every few stitches, taking a tiny bite out of the fold. Stitch slowly, making sure to keep the fold right up against the plate.

Here’s how it will look once it’s stitched!
15) Look at the stitches carefully at this point. Occasionally, your machine may have missed the fold while stitching. You may need to go back and restitch over parts if this happens. This is the part that used to frustrate me, but with a higher quality foot, this never seems to happen anymore.

16) Remove the pins if you haven’t already and let the hem come down.

17) Finally, give the hem a press. You’ll often get a little crease where the hem was previously pressed. Use a little spray of water to help remove the crease as you press. If it’s still there after pressing, don’t worry too much. It will probably come out with washing.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Understanding Sewing Terms: Grainlines

You’ve probably seen the term used freely in books or blogs. Sewers, especially beginners, are often confused with the concept. It’s something we all must learn and is incredibly important in sewing. This first post will help you understand the terms used to describe grain and what it is.

Woven fabric has two finished edges, which is known as selvage. The selvage is the part of fabric where you often see manufacturer’s information, contrasting trim, etc. The selvage does not fray, although some selvages have frayed threads hanging off after the finished edge. This fraying will not affect the fabric in any way.

The line of thread moving from selvage to selvage is called weft. I like to think of it with this rhyme: right to left, weft. Kind of cheesy, I know, but it helps! In sewing, the weft is mostly referred to as the crosswise grainline. The next time you buy fabric, watch the fabric being cut. It will be cut along the crosswise grain.

The line of fabric that moves at a right angle to the crosswise grain is the lengthwise grainline. This thread runs the entire length of the fabric and is parallel to the selvage. When you place a pattern on the fabric, you align the pattern’s grainline with the fabric’s lengthwise grain. Unless otherwise noted, grain or grainline generally refers to the lengthwise grain.
True Bias is an invisible line that’s at a 45-degree angle to the crosswise and lengthwise grain. It has a good deal of stretch. When garments are cut on the bias, they hug and move easily with the body. Fabric for spaghetti straps, bias binding and cording are also cut on the bias.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Here's Five Tips to Stop your Sewing Machine from Swallowing Fabric

Have you ever had one of these moments - you’re having a lovely time sewing a beautiful voile or delicate chiffon, when suddenly the fabric gets sucked under the needle plate?

Today I want to share five tips to stop this happening. As always, if you have any tricks of your own to add, please share them in the comments – the more, the merrier!

1) Use a fine needle

Before you begin, check that the needle in your sewing machine is fine enough for the fabric that you’re sewing. Too thick and the needle could push the fabric into the hole under the presser foot. For fine fabrics, a needle labelled 60 or 70 on the pack is usually a good option.

Make sure it’s nice and sharp too, as a blunt needle can also be problematic – change it to a new one for your lovely, delicate fabric.

2) Cover the hole

This may sound like an extreme measure, but it’s definitely worth a try if your fabric is particularly fine. Place a small piece of sticky tape over the hole in the needle plate that’s directly under the needle. I mean really small – make sure you don’t tape over the feed dogs (the little grippy tracks that feed the fabric through the machine).

Before you start sewing your real fabric, make a single stitch with the machine to pierce a hole in the tape for the needle to go through. You can use an old needle for this if you’re worried about making it blunt, then switch to a sharp one when you start sewing your fabric.

3) Don’t start sewing on the raw edge

One of the surest ways to lodge fine fabric into the needle plate is to start sewing from the raw edge of the fabric, which can easily fold down into the hole and get stuck. If you’re sewing a pleat, or even a dart, try sewing from the inside towards the edge, rather than the other way round. If you’re sewing a seam, start a little way in from the edge – try 10mm (3/8in) on particularly tricky fabrics.

4) Avoid back tacking at the beginning of the seam

Following on from the last point, don’t back tack when you start sewing a seam. The extra needle and thread action can push fine fabrics inside the machine, particularly at the beginning of a seam.

Instead, once you get to the end of the line of stitching, turn the project over, then sew over the gap you left at the start, overlapping the two lines by a couple of stitches to knot the threads.

As for back tacking at the end of the seam, I find it's usually okay as long as I do it about 5mm before reaching the raw edge.

5) Try chain stitching

Chain stitching is when you sew from one piece of fabric onto another without stopping and raising and lowering the presser foot in between. It’s a great time-saver when you’re in a hurry – it’s a technique I mentioned in my tips on speedy sewing. It’s also useful for fine fabrics when you want to stop them getting pushed under the needle plate.

Take a scrap of fabric and fold it so it’s about four or five layers thick – slightly thicker than your real seam so the presser foot will be sliding gracefully down onto the rear seam. Start sewing around the middle of this piece. Then, just before you reach the end, push your real seam right up against the scrap, edge to edge, so you can feed it straight under the presser foot and sew straight onto it from the scrap. Once you’ve finished, trim the threads to release the scrap.

And that's it!

If you've been struggling with fine fabrics, I hope you find these tips helpful. I'm sure there are plenty more tactics out there to help prevent fine fabrics getting sucked under the needle plate. If you've got any other tips you'd like to share, that'd be great - you can leave a comment below. Thanks!

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Sewing Tips & Tricks: How to Thread your Sewing Machine

Threading your sewing machine is a quick and easy process once you know how. Yes, it can seem long and complicated the first few times you do it, but keep practising and you'll soon be threading up in seconds, I promise :)

Machines vary, so some of the parts on my machine (a Janome DKS100) may be in different positions to yours, but nothing will be that different that you won't be able to work it out.

Ready to sew? Let's go!

1) Wind the bobbin

A sewing machine uses two sources of thread – the spool (or reel) of thread that sits on top of the machine and the bobbin of thread that comes up from below. You buy the spools of thread in the shops and the bobbins come empty – so before threading the machine, you need to get some of your chosen thread off the spool and onto the bobbin.

Place the spool of thread onto the spool pin (the prong sticking out the top of your machine). Some spool pins stick upwards, others stick out towards the left and have a plastic cover to hold the spool in place. The thread should be coming out from behind towards the left if the spool pin is sticking up, or over the top towards the back if the spool pin is on its side.

Unravel a few inches of thread, pull it to the left and wrap it round the front of the little nubbin sticking out on top of your machine.

Thread a little up through the tiny hole in the top of the bobbin and wrap it round a few times so it’s unravelling round the back and towards the left. Place the bobbin on the bobbin winder - the small prong on the right of the machine. Depending on your machine, to secure it in place you'll either flick the bobbin winder towards the right or flick the stopper next to it towards the bobbin.

On many machines, if you pull out the handwheel on the right of the machine you can wind the bobbin without the needle going up and down. On other machines you don't need to do this - the machine already knows you're winding the bobbin because it's flicked towards the stopper.

Switch your machine on and, holding the thread sticking out of the bobbin for the first few seconds, press your foot down on the pedal to start the thread winding from the spool onto the bobbin. Keep an eye on it - if the thread ends up on the bobbin winder rather than on the bobbin itself, you may need to switch the direction the thread is being wrapped, or just make sure you're holding the thread for the first few seconds. Keep winding until the bobbin is full of thread (or as much as you need).

Snip the thread to separate the spool and bobbin, before flicking the bobbin winder to the left to remove the bobbin. Now turn your machine off so you don't accidentally sew over your hand doing the next part!

2) Thread the spool

Now to thread your machine. We'll start by threading the spool from the top. 

The thread should be coming out from behind the spool towards the left. First things first - take the thread off the little silver tension discs - those are just for winding the bobbin and will make your stitching really tight if you accidentally leave the thread on there. You machine may have a hook or two on the top that the thread needs to go around - check your manual if you're not sure.

Now you need to guide the thread down to the needle - your machine will probably have arrows directing you so you can’t go too wrong. Guide it left to right - pull it round to the left of the first hook, then down through the first ditch, up the left side of the second ditch, through the eye of the second hook, and back down the second ditch on the right side this time.

At the top of your needle, there will be one or two hooks (check your sewing machine manual if you're not sure). Secure the thread behind these hooks.

3) Thread the needle

Now you can thread the needle, from the front to the back. Check the thread isn't twisted around the needle. If your needle is down in the ditch, turn the hand wheel (the knob on the right of the machine) to move it up into a position so you can thread it easily.

4) Thread the bobbin

The bobbin thread goes in the bottom of the machine. Some machines are "front-loading" - the bobbin goes in the front of the bottom of the machine. Others are "top-loading" - the bobbin goes in the top of the bottom part of the machine. Let's look at both...

Front-loading machines:

This machine I'm showing you here (not my regular one) is front-loading. Remove the arm on the front left of the machine and flip down the cover to reveal the bobbin holder. Pull the bobbin case out – this is the silver thing in the middle.

On this machine, you hold the bobbin so the thread is unwinding in a clockwise direction – but do check your manual in case it’s different on your machine. Drop it this way up, down into the case.

Pull a few inches of thread down the tiny slit and and out through the side, before placing the case back in the machine.

Top-loading machines:

On a top-loading machine, the bobbin case is fixed inside the machine, just in front of the needle plate. First, take off the little plastic cover by flicking the button on the right to the side. Hold the bobbin so the thread is coming out anticlockwise if you’re looking at it from above. Plop it into the case.

There's a little groove at the front of the bobbin case (the silver bit surrounding the bobbin) - pull the thread through this hook and off to the left.

5) Surface the thread

The last thing to do is get the bobbin thread up to the surface of the machine, using the spool (top) thread to fish it out. Holding the spool thread in your left hand, turn the hand wheel with your right hand for one rotation to move the needle down and up again (or press the needle up-down button twice if your machine has one). Now gently tug on the upper thread with your left hand and a loop of the bobbin (lower) thread should emerge to the surface with it. Pull this loop of thread out - that's your bobbin thread. Close the cover, put the arm back on your machine... et voilĂ !

You’re ready to sew!

Before you do that, it’d be a good idea to pull your thread out from whence it came and practise rethreading a couple more times. I promise that, once you do that, you’ll realise that it’s actually a quick and easy procedure, and not as complicated or time-consuming as this long tutorial makes it seem! 

By: Tilly and the Buttons