Friday, January 17, 2014

A tip for sewing with knits and a product review

No, you didn't read that wrong, I, actually have a tip for sewing knits. Yeah, it surprises me too.

My machine really doesn't like sewing knits, it skips stitches, the tension gets all weird, and no matter what adjustments I make things always go sideways (yes, I always use a new needle for knits with each garment). This causes much swearing and tearing out of hair (and I don't have as much hair as I want/need so this isn't good). A common solution in sewing books is to cut strips of tissue paper on top or underneath the fabric as you sew. This works great, but who wants to spend time cutting tissue paper into strips, and if you do, you misplace it and can't find it when you need it,  Ask me how I know. This causes more swearing etc. I have also used rolls of adding machine paper, but this paper is a little thick and doesn't work all that well.


One day when I was wandering through my favourite dollar store, (yes, there is a difference), I came across rolls of crepe paper streamers, and had a light bulb moment. "These would be perfect for sewing!", I exclaimed. The Husband gave me that look that clearly said "what the hell is she going on about now?". As usual I ignored him and the streamers came home with me.



Well, let me tell you these suckers work better than I could have imagined. If you haven't played with used streamers since forever, you might have forgotten that they are sort of gathered or pleated. When I am using them for straight seams I press the streamers flat, stretching out the paper. Now this is the good part. Wait for it. When I am sewing curves, I press the streamers into the shape of the seam, just like you would for bias tape. Isn't this brilliant!  I don't pin it to the fabric, I just lay it under the fabric and feed it through the machine with the fabric. The paper tears off after sewing really easily, leaving no paper behind, unless you serge over it or use a twin needle.  However after a quick run through the washing machine any traces of paper are gone. If you decide to try this (and why wouldn't you-it's brilliant), I would suggest only using white paper, the other colours may run and then you would hate me, and none of us want that.




Review Time!

For Christmas The Husband got me some great items from the SACurve shop on Etsy. He gave me the 3/8" and 5/8" Mini Rulers, the EZ Wheel, EZ Pocket Template and the Collar Template (which isn't available in her shop right now). I have only used the Mini Rulers, and I love them. I am surprised at how many uses there are for these, I used to use my 2"X18" ruler for everything (which is why I have 3 of them), since I got these I haven't used them at all. I am almost looking forward to tracing a Burda pattern and you know how crazy that is.

I can't recommend these highly enough, and no, I am not receiving compensation for this review. But if the lovely Claire Tharp wants to send me the 5/8" Pattern Drafter as a thank you for this review, I wouldn't refuse 8-D.





EZ Pocket with centimeter measurements

12 comments:

  1. Brilliant! What a great solution.

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    1. "why, thank you", she said, blushing. 8-)

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  2. What a great tip! Who'da thot? Great minds--Great minds...

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    1. Us sewists are a resourceful bunch, aren't we!

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  3. Fantastic idea...now all I have to do is remember it when passing a dollar store, and that's very unlikely :(

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    1. What I do now when I want to remember something, is I write a note on my iPhone. Like for EVERYTHING. Somehow the act of typing it seems to make it more permanent in my memory.

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  4. What a great find! Now I wonder what else that crepe paper is good for in the sewing room....hmmmmm. The cool thing it is already cut in strips and so darn cheap! Thanks for sharing it with us!

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    1. Cheap and lazy, that's my way.

      Thank you Mrs Mole! If you think it is a good idea, it must be!!!

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  5. That is a great idea, but if you want to not have to buy crepe paper all the time, professional sewers suggest using a "walking foot" attachment for stretchy knits & jersey material, works like a charm and sews like it was cotton fabric.

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    1. I have a walking foot, and I use it all the time when I sew with knits. My machine still acts up. Of course it depends on the knit, but most of the time I need to use some kind of stabilizer.

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  6. Crepe paper, what a good idea! I haven't used it since I was in a parade at age 13 and used it to decorate my bike. I'll have to look for some, I bet it has other handy uses around the house. I owe you a nice long email and I'm trying to get my act together, so it'll be coming soon.

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  7. Brilliant! I'm going to pick up streamers tomorrow!

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