I've found myself at the sewing machine a bit more than normal lately, working on a few projects - in particular, a couple of sleep sacks for Eli. They're only about six bucks in materials when I go coupon crazy at Jo-Ann, and while the end result makes Eli look like a hobo in a sleeping bag, it's way better than paying the $30 bucks for a new one every time he has a growth spurt. I'm getting better and better each time, partly due to a few sewing revelations I've discovered and I had to share.
- Don't skimp on thread. I often justify purchasing the cheapest materials out there because "I don't sew that often," or "It's just me that will be using it." Silly girl. Thread actually does make a difference - cheap thread causes problems with your machines tension system, causing thread knotting on the bottom of your project. I'm fairly certain I rethreaded the bobbin no less than 15 times on one small project because it kept knotting on me - but really, I just needed new thread. Those irrepressible Hulk-like anger feelings? Totally preventable.
- Did you know that you can remove part of your machine to sew a small round area (like a pant leg or sleeve?) Check it:
- When making my first sleep sack for Eli, I also tackled my first zipper. I was terrified to sew it in, but this tutorial has an amazing trick to make it easier. I'm sure all you professional seamstress out there knew about it, but I was prepared to attempt to just sew each side of the zipper individually on my fabric, then pray they match up. I'm still not perfect at it, but I was shocked at how professional my first one looked. After I finished it, I danced circles around Mike singing, "It's amazin', so amazin', so amazin', so amazin." Thank you Kanye, for those eloquent and profound lyrics that came to me in my time of need.
- I finally bit the bullet and invested in a rotary matt and cutter. I can't even cut out a straight edge of lined wrapping paper, but with these tools, I can cut straight lines of 10 pieces of fabric at a time! Okay, I actually have no idea how many I could do at a time, the packaging just said "multiple" and I've only tested it with one. But you never know. Ten could be accurate. Anyway, having a straight edge of fabric to start with, helps me sew in a straight line one trillion times better. Worth the investment.
- Speaking of sewing in a straight line, true confessions: I Googled "How to sew in a straight line." I was desperate folks. Trying to sew in a straight line is like trying to fit a camel through the eye of a needle. I really didn't find anything new or revolutionary, which was a total bummer and it means that there is no hope for me or Eli's Halloween costume - poor kid.
- If it isn't obvious by now, I will not be making a living in sewing anytime in the near future or well, ever.