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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Scissors, scissors, who's got the scissors.....

 Part 2 of Tools of the trade and we are talking about scissors.  Most folks have more than one scissors, and scissors have more than one use!  Here we are just showing a few different ones and what might be there uses.  You may have many more, or you may be wondering why would any one want more than one!  The scissors pictures above is a small 'stork' scissors, this one is great for hand work, cutting threads mostly.  A great gift to give that sewing friend who has everything, they can always use one more cute little scissors.
 This is a fabric scissors.  We have many different scissors in our home, but the fabric scissors is only used for fabric.  This scissors has a fob on it to remind family...'fabric only'   If you only use your fabric scissors for cutting fabric, and not wool or paper, you scissors will stay sharp longer.  When cutting wool of paper, use a paper scissors.
 Here you see Fiscars Raggy scissors.  These have a small blade that was designed for cutting the seam allowances on raggy blankets. They help you not cut into the sewing and the smaller blade and spring loaded handle help with the cutting.
And I hope every one has one of these scissors.  They are the sharpest scissors and have a very fine blade- even way out at the end.  I'd hate to drop this on my foot, but they are great for cutting button holes open or for cutting slits with great precision.  These are just a few of the great cutting tools out there, hopefully this will help you in your future sewing projects.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tools of the trade

 We are going to be talking about and showing great tools!  The first one is this funny looking thing, called a hemostat.  This one was purchased at Harbor Freight for around $3.99, and I wouldn't be without one!  It is very handy for turning small arms, legs and ties right side out.  So let's see how this bad boy works.  Here you see a stitched arm and the hemostat ready for action. 
 You are going to put the hemostat into the arm, (for our example) and pinch it to the right side of the fabric, now slowly pull the hemostat and work the fabric, so you are getting the right side out.
 When you have gotten all that you 'pinched in' on your last grab, reach in farther and 're-pinch' and pull your fabric right side out.
 Continue 're-pinching' and pulling until you have your arm turned right side out.
The hemostat is a great tool to have for turning.  This maybe a sewing tool you may want to invest in if your sewing and handwork calls for turning many items right side out, especially those tiny items.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Needle troubles

Ever have trouble threading your needle?  Sometimes we are sure its just old age, and well, honestly sometimes it is!  However, did you realize that needles are 'stamped out' when they are manufactured.  So if you are having troubles threading your needle, it may help to flip the needle over and try the other side.  I found this especially true when using a #22 Chenelle needle, used for wool applique.  So next time you are having troubles you may want to give this handy tip a try, may solve your needle troubles, or you may have to spring for stronger glasses!  Have a fun day stitching.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Yo Yo Yo

 Today we are going to be working on making yo yos.   Different patterns call for these, they make great eyes, or flower center, and some people even make table runners and quilts out of them.  So to begin, you will need to cut a circle.  You can make your circle any size you like.  The bigger the circle, the bigger the end yo yo, the smaller the circle, the smaller the end yo yo.  Makes sense right?
 Find some needle and thread, and knot the one end of the thread, and thread the needle.  Begin stitching a 'running stitch' around the outside edge of the circle, about 1/4" from the outer edge.  Pull this thread through until the knot reaches the fabric.
 You can take several stitches at once, if you like.  Here you get an idea of distance from edge and the stitches aren't tiny little stitches, but fairly good sized ones.
 Continue to stitch all the way around the outer edge of the circle.
 Here we have finished stitching and you can see the beginning knot.
 Now gently pull the thread and it will gather up your circle.  You will want to tie a knot, to hold your work securely.  This is the front side of the yo yo.  Some patterns will call for many yo yo, to maybe make the legs or arms of a doll.
Here is the back of your yoyo.  There are yoyo makers that you can buy, but you will be doing the same thing, only with a plastic holder to help hold the fabric.  Hope this helps you next time you want to make one yo yo or 50!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

RSO...'really something obvious'

Ok, just kidding, that's not what it stands for!  Here again in sewing and working with patterns, this is another term you will run across.  We talked about fabrics having a 'wrong' side of the fabric, that is usually whitish.  So RSO, would mean right side out.  Often is sewing they will talk about having your finished project RSO. 
   Hope this explains yet another one of our sewing terms. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

WOF....'Wall of Fame?'

 So many times in sewing we use terms that are only used when sewing.  One by one we are going to explain what they mean, so when crafting, you will know what is being talked about. 
  Today's term is WOF  - which stands for width of fabric.  Sometimes, a measurement will be given, let's say it's 3"xWOF.  This means you would take your selvage edge and measure in 3" and cut this all the way across the width of your fabric.  So you would end up with a piece of fabric that measures 3"x45", if you are using 45" wide fabric.
So, this is what your cut piece might look like.  You can see the folded edge on the right, and the selvage edge on the left.  This would be great for a purse strap, scarf on a snowman, or for adding to a crock.  It is often used in quilt making, when cutting patches.  So now, when you side WOF, you know what the pattern is talking about. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Selvage

We are going to begin with very basic sewing terms and help you build your vocabulary that is 'sewing language'.  Very often we use terms and expect folks to know what we are talking about. This post is about selvage and everything you wanted to know about it!  Selvage is the finished edge of the fabric, this is usually a lighter color than the rest of the fabric. It will often have the designer or manufacture of the fabric, sometimes a year, and colored numbers.  You can see this fabric is a Jo Morton fabric and Andover fabrics is the manufacturer.  Sometimes selvage has tiny holes in it,  these come from the manufacturing process.  There are patterns of items made strictly from selvage, but most times, the selvage is cut away or used in the seam allowances.
Here is the bolt of fabric, the fold is at the top of the picture, and the selvage is at the bottom.  Hope this helps with your selvage questions.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

List of patterns

So here's another great idea.  This one was one from Melanie.  Our policy at the store is no returns on patterns.  Simple put, some people would buy a pattern, take it home, copy it and return it, only to do it again, and again.  This isn't fair to the folks who spent the time writing and making patterns.  So here's our suggestion, make a list of the patterns that you have.  I would do this by designer and then the name of the pattern.  Here's  an example  Designer- Country Friends  Pattern - Singing Sam.  This way, when you go shopping you won't be buying duplicate patterns.  Just put this in your phone, or in a notebook in your purse.  If you do buy a duplicate pattern, share it with a friend!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Homespun, sweet homespun

Today we will show and explain the difference between Homespun fabric and cotton print fabrics.  We have folded both of these fabrics, so you can see the front and the back.  We are not going to be too technical on here and not go into the process of making the fabrics.  The fabric on the left is Homespun, and both the front and the back are the same.  You can get Homespun to have a brushed side, and a non-brushed side, or both sides will be non brushed.  It can be plaid, striped, or solid.
  The fabric on the right is a cotton print and you can see it has a wrong side, which is kind of whitish.  So these fabrics have a definite right side and wrong side. So hopefully, this helps you out.