Friday, February 10, 2006

Intro and Tips

Hi! I’m Carly of Knit, Lola, Knit! I’ve been sewing regularly since High School and started knitting about 4 years ago. I just got a new machine for Christmas so I’m excited to be doing more with it. I think I inherited my crafting gene from my mother, who is also an excellent seamstress. For my skirt I’ve decided to use Simplicity 5503 and a medium weight denim (see a pic here on my blog). I probably won’t start sewing until after I finish my project for the Knitting Olympics at the end of Feb. but I’d be happy to answer questions and help others before then!

So, YaiAnn asked for some tips. Everyone does things differently, but here are some things I’ve found helpful and some links to more tips and help!

Preparing to Sew:
If you plan to wash your skirt ever, it's a very good idea to "pre-shrink" your fabric, by first washing it. You can just wash and dry it as it calls for on the bolt, or as you would wash something of a similar fabric. This is especially important with cotton as it shrinks a good deal. After you wash your fabric it’s a very good idea to iron it, as it will probably need it. Then fold it again as it came on the bolt, with the grain, to ensure that your pattern pieces are cut correctly with the grain. This is especially important if your skirt is cut on the bias.

Tips for cutting:
If you are using silky, sheer or slippery fabric I’ve heard some good ideas to facilitate easy cutting. Tissue patterns and scissors like to slide on this kind of fabric which makes it hard to keep straight lines while cutting. You can iron on light weight fusible interfacing to the tissue pattern pieces themselves to make it more stable for cutting. Also, this might be very obvious to most of you, but don’t cut any of the lines for your size until after you pin it to your fabric, then cut through the tissue and fabric together. This will ensure that you get the most exact cut, although sometimes it’s necessary to reuse a pattern piece and then it’s important to cut right next to the piece without cutting the pattern piece anymore.

Here are some links to helpful threads and sites
Threads Magazine Online has many great tutorials and videos I find very helpful when I’m stuck:
* Articles with help for basic sewing
*Articles with tips for sewing with different fabrics
Other sources:
*Thread on Glitter with answers to general sewing questions
*Video showing easy way to trace and make darts from your pattern
*Lots of great help over at Craftster too!

Happy Sewing everyone!
*edited for spelling and link corrections