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MAGMATTIN's Photo MAGMATTIN SparkPoints: (124,626)
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6/2/19 12:17 A

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So true! I thought it was strange my father has 3 of his hand tools. But I realize it is handy to have them in the garage, in the basement, and a few in the kitchen.

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KARISSATX's Photo KARISSATX Posts: 602
5/30/19 9:22 A

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That's very cute! And a great suggestion to have 2 sewing boxes -- i'm always going back and forth because i like to quilt while i'm watching (listening to) the TV. But then when i get back in my sewing room, i'm like "where's my pin cushion? Where are my scissors?" Nice tip!


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BLHEALTH's Photo BLHEALTH Posts: 308
5/29/19 7:28 P

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Sewing Tip:
I have found out that it is good to have a small sewing box, not only in the sewing room, but also have one close to your relaxing area. There are always so many stitches waiting to be done. Here is a small wall hanging I made.


Live simply, expect little, give much. Scatter sunshine, forget self, think of others.
KARISSATX's Photo KARISSATX Posts: 602
1/29/19 11:43 A

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Really fun -- we had to meet a sales quota and then we were paid commission. I was knocking it out of the park because i worked in the bridal dept. where people spend gobs of money on dresses and accessories. (incidentally, i ended up working in 2 different bridal shops over the years making customs).

we also had to make and wear clothing made from fabric carried in their store so that we could be walking advertisements. It was a high end fabric store -- you don't find much of that anymore (sigh....)

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MAGMATTIN's Photo MAGMATTIN SparkPoints: (124,626)
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1/29/19 10:28 A

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Yes, but wasn't it fun?? Fortunately they have removed the chemical odors.

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KARISSATX's Photo KARISSATX Posts: 602
1/29/19 7:43 A

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I worked in a fabric store in grad school -- i will NEVER do that again! LOL!

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KARISSATX's Photo KARISSATX Posts: 602
1/29/19 7:43 A

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MAGMATTIN's Photo MAGMATTIN SparkPoints: (124,626)
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1/28/19 6:54 P

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I am a big believer in recycling fabrics. The only problem is storage. I worked in a fabric store during college. I still have some of that fabric and I am a grandmother!!

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KARISSATX's Photo KARISSATX Posts: 602
1/28/19 4:45 P

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RECYCLE MATERIALS! I made a wrist dragon for my little niece for her birthday out of a crushed velvet skirt i bought at Goodwill. Thrift stores are often a great place to find fabric, vinyl, or leather for a small project. i've made hundreds of leather checkbook covers (back when people actually wrote checks - i still do) and sometimes, you just need a little piece of a particular color leather. The first place i look is at a thrift store - leather purses, leather vests or skirts often have a good amount for a small project. You can normally find all different colors for cheap. If you go to the leather store, they'll make you buy the whole piece (not cheap!). Recycling fabric and leather is so fun!


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KARISSATX's Photo KARISSATX Posts: 602
1/14/19 10:34 A

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Whenever i need to put a zipper in, i always baste it in first and then zip to make sure both sides are lined up properly. Baste with a different color thread so it's easy to find and pull out later. It takes a little more time to do it this way, but it takes less time than sewing the zipper in WRONG and having to take it out and do it all over again. Don't settle - do it right!
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KARISSATX's Photo KARISSATX Posts: 602
12/8/18 6:19 P

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When doing alterations, you should have 1 PRIMARY goal: for no one to be able to see that the garment has been altered.

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KARISSATX's Photo KARISSATX Posts: 602
11/13/18 3:21 P

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I'm not familiar with felt pages for books, but my first impression is that felt has a tendency to stretch under the pressure of the presser foot. So lessen the tension a little on your presser foot before you sew. As far as holding it in place, you might try either using a fusible web to hold it in place - or fabric glue (the spray-on kind works really well for appliques). I'm a fan of starch as a stabilizer, but i've not ever used it on felt so you could try it on a scrap and see if that helps to stabilize, if you're going to use pins or basting. I'm interested in knowing if any of these things help, so let me know if you have time and think about it!
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MAGMATTIN's Photo MAGMATTIN SparkPoints: (124,626)
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11/13/18 1:34 A

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Good to know. I am probably a 5 seamstress (1-10), mainly because I sew for different crafts, sometimes paper for cards. My sewing right now is on felt pages for books. Anything I should be aware of? One question, because felt is so pliable, what is the best way to keep it in place? pinning or hand sewing before I use the machine?

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KARISSATX's Photo KARISSATX Posts: 602
11/9/18 9:21 A

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Using the wrong sewing needle can cause your sewing machine to skip stitches, not sew a consistent stitch and other issues that may make you think it's the machine fouling up. Often times, people bring their machines to me to repair and it's something simple like: wrong size sewing needle (or wrong type -- ex: always use ball point needles for knits; leather needles for leather, etc.), sewing needle inserted backwards, BOBBIN inserted backwards (there's normally only one direction for the bobbin), machine threaded incorrectly. Before you take your machine to a repair shop, where they'll charge you a $70 minimum for a "clean and oil" no matter the issue, check these items first.

Nancy Zieman also recommends using a brand new needle for each project because needles can become burred and slightly warped and can often created issues for the next project. Many of us can't afford to do this, so before you put a used needle in your machine, roll it between your fingers to see if it's warped. It will be pretty easy to notice.

I once bought a sewing machine at a yard sale for $5. It was a beauty! When i asked "what's wrong with this machine?" they told me "it doesn't sew in reverse" -- the people who owned it didn't understand the up and down lever on the front of the older machines that controlled the reverse stitch had been screwed "up" into place, preventing the machine from sewing in reverse. I landed a beauty of a vintage machine for $5 for a simple misunderstanding of how older machines work!

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KARISSATX's Photo KARISSATX Posts: 602
10/30/18 10:27 A

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HEMMING T-SHIRTS:

I hem a lot of t-shirts for a group of retired ladies in the next town over from me. They don't tuck in their shirts, but they don't like them hanging down to their hips. i also prefer a "cropped" look on my t-shirts.

So, first, mark the cutting line (usually 1" below the actual hem length) with pins or disappearing ink. DO NOT CUT - starch & press the cutting line with spray starch.

Then SERGEalong the cutting line. As you serge, feed the fabric gently into the serger with your fingertips so that the fabric doesnt' stretch as you serge (the starch helps this process).

After you've finished serging the cutting line, turn the hem under 1" and starch/press again. Using a double needle (you'll need to thread the machine with 2 spools of thread), stitch the hem in place on the RIGHT SIDE of the shirt, so that you have a nice, perfectly-spaced, double straight stitch. Measure the location of the stitching so that your double needles are right over the serged edge of the t-shirt on the underside. This will further prevent stretching so that you don't have that ugly "stretched-out-of-shape" look when you're done.

Press again.

You'll be so happy with your t-shirt that you'll want to hem every x-long t-shirt you own (and you'll wonder why it took so long to do it! LOL!) HAPPY HEMMING!

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MAGMATTIN's Photo MAGMATTIN SparkPoints: (124,626)
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10/29/18 12:34 A

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I needed this idea when I cut off my night gown. Thanks, I'll remember this for in the future.

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KARISSATX's Photo KARISSATX Posts: 602
10/26/18 2:27 P

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For you sewing newbies - always follow the directions on the pattern. If it says "press", you press; if it says "ease", you ease. And always lay out the pattern with the directional arrows aligned. Once you start to build confidence, you'll know when you can stray from the directions (and you can...sometimes). LOVE YA'LL!
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KARISSATX's Photo KARISSATX Posts: 602
10/26/18 9:58 A

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Alterations tip: When hemming slinky fabric, like a prom or evening dress, DO NOT CUT THE FABRIC OFF AT THE BOTTOM first. turn up to within 1/4" to 3/8" of the finished length, pin up the excess, and stitch a narrow 1/8" hem. THEN, carefully trim off the excess, and turn up the hem once more and take another 1/8" hem. MUCH easier than trying to trim the dress first, and hold a narrow hem in place as you sew. emoticon

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KARISSATX's Photo KARISSATX Posts: 602
10/26/18 9:55 A

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It can be anything -- a shortcut that you've learned, machine maintenance, an easier way to do something. I'm always excited to learn a new sewing tip!

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