There are a few old sewing kits around that have the little black and white, two hole button included. You know the one, it had thread, needle, and two small buttons to replace on your shirt. Have you ever wondered how the maker of the emergency sewing kit knew what buttons to include? Why does your Tailor seem to always have the right size and match for the button you lost? It seems there are standards (regulars) in the button world, but no hard rules to use them. Well, then how do you know what to choose?
The first thing you probably want to think about is what do you have in mind for buttons? Will this idea work for the garment or item? Ask yourself if you need sturdy, thick buttons - or will light and small suffice? Do you want decorative or plain? Big or small? Functional or faux? Have you ever stood in front of the buttons rack and stared for minutes, taking them all in view at once? It can be mesmerizing and overwhelming.
I've done a bit of searching on the question, "How many types of buttons" exist, and not one strong answer was found; some people answered four; most say thousands! I'm pretty certain my own button box has thousands (Above: just one small bag of my "gem" buttons.). I don't know how many types there are, but if I have to name a few:
Shank, Toggles, Flat, Frogs, Poppers (Snaps). Some flat buttons have ridges, some are beveled - so that's not really flat, right?
Let's toss another twist in the answer; styles of buttons. Oh, there are so many styles! Gems, pearl, covered, branded, plastic, glass, wood, shell, metal, and cloth. Some have two holes, some four with no absolute rule to be followed (Thank goodness! I can't imagine having to remember which button goes with what!)
So, you can see there are some decisions to be made before you make your final choice. There are times when a random button may do in a pinch (when mending in emergency)., but you will ultimately change the button to the original set or create an entire new look with the change of buttons.
What ever you choose, I wish your decision to be made with success and inspiration, today and always!
If you know Day Dreams Sewing and the owner, me, then you are quite familiar with my view on giving to others. Giving to others never goes out of style and it never gets "old" to me. Looking at communities, groups, organizations, etc. that need help is a good way to spend a few minutes break time. Please read on about a few of the groups who need seamstresses and crafters of all types to help prepare their items for giving hope and help to people in need.
Don't just Give. GIVE!
Who Are They?
Who are the groups that are looking for creative helpers? Where do I find them? How do I reach them? These may be a few of the questions asked when the decision has been made to give back - or create for free.
Where to look? Search online for interest groups using key words that you associate with (i.e., crochet for charity, sew for charity, etc.) You don't need to be involved in a local group - creative giving of any form can be as individual as you!
Places to Create For
Start Your Own
It's a good feeling of satisfaction, or encouragement when there is a big smile on the face of someone you just helped. In my work, there are situations that I won't charge the customer, or give a substantial discount just because it's the right thing to do. There are a few organizations in the area that I give my services to when I can. Fixing a zipper, mending or patching clothes for them is not a huge effort on my part, but it's surely appreciated by the recipients!
Do a quick search online for sewing for charity. I bet you will find plenty of sites to choose from! You can always check in with your local hospital or clinics, Lions Club, Rotary Club and others and ask if there are items that are needed for their donations that you can sew, crochet, knit or lend other talents. Make sure you are not duplicating another group's efforts. It makes more sense to give in other projects or join the same one, rather than trying to compete.
My favorite idea is a fashion show fundraiser. Think of all the wonderful outfits that can be sewn and auctioned off for a charity of your choice! Or, rather than sew from scratch, what about a fashion show revolving around repurposed garments? Let the imagination flow!
I think you get the point by now. Giving back is always in fashion and it can be focused around fashion. With that, I will close and wish you success and inspiration, today and always in all you do!
Too many times I hear, 'I have a sewing machine but don't use it. I did once and it got all (insert tech verb here), so I haven't used it since." Yikes! Don't give up after the first few tries - I'm getting ahead of myself. Patience - that's a practice I need to work on when I'm not sewing!
First practice (or best practice) of sewing: Patience. I bet you guessed that. Sewing can't be rushed. Sewing should be approached with patience or you will spend hours seam ripping, threading and re-threading the machine, fixing bobbin jams and replacing machine needles.
Break your project into achievable time blocks.
Second practice: Confidence. Knowing your machine and tools for sewing is a solid confidence builder. When I purchase a new machine I read the manuals, and then read while looking over and learning about the machine. As for patterns, do I read the entire layout pages, terms, and review the pattern? I do review the pattern to make sure all the pieces are there, review the steps (sometimes they through a curve ball in the instructions!) and read all the pattern pieces. Approach your project with confidence that you know your machine and raise your confidence level with sewing by knowing what to expect from the pattern.
Knowledge is Power. True; however, let's not take that statement to mean you need power as seamstress (unless you plan on developing a fantastic identity and costume to be an Avenger!). Take in the form of your skill set for sewing. What can you do confidently? What do you need to practice. with? Do you know your machine and can you confidently run a straight or zig-zag stitch? Can you set the tension properly or stitch length/width?
Techniques and steps to follow are as important as the traits above. Below are a few examples.
Physical Care is an excellent practice to keep up with. Sewing places a large amount of strain on your neck, shoulders, back, hands and knees. Taking stretch breaks is good for you physically and mentally. Stretch your back, shoulders, knees, etc. Walk away from your sewing area when you need to stretch. You won't be sitting at the machine for an hour sewing; however, 15 minutes of sitting in the position to sew at a machine can be toll heavy. A few tips:
Keep It Clean. Your sewing area should be kept clean. Pick up pins and needles as you drop or find them. Pick up dropped threads (they clog a vacuum brush), pieces of fabric and other items. Don't keep food anywhere near your sewing project - this goes for drinks as well. If you do have a drink, keep it away in an area that will prevent spoiling the garment.
Keep your machine and tools clean! They are investments to protect the same way you would protect and care for a vehicle or other valuables.
That sums up some of the best practices for beginning sewing that I recommend. What practices would you add? Share your thoughts in the comments - I'd like to hear from you.
With that, I wish you success and inspiration in your new sewing adventures, today and always!