I've been asked numerous times do I give sewing lessons? Yes, I have and I will. What I enjoy most is to share my best tips with those who are at the beginning to intermediate level in sewing and needle work.
Let's jump right in with sewing tips.
When first shopping for sewing notions or needlework supplies, the temptation to buy it all can be hard to suppress. There's only a few notions or supplies that are truly needed to get you going with ease. Save the extra gadgets for the future when you are comfortable with your machine, notions and skills.
1. Keep your sewing area to the back and left of the machine clear and free of obstructions to allow the garment or item evenly feed through the machine.
2. Learn to work with the basic machine feet that were provided with the machine.
3. Look for patterns that are "Easy" or, "Quick". etc. These are made for beginners in sewing.
4. Read all instructions printed on the envelope and pattern guide.
5. Cut all pattern pieces apart and press before beginning to pin. Put away those pieces you won't be using.
6. Keep your machine free of lint and dust; oil regularly as directed by the manual.
7. Use the internet to show you any "how-to's" you may need.
8. Whether cutting a pattern out or sewing at your machine, take breaks! Give your shoulders, neck and back frequent stretching.
As with sewing notions, needle work (crochet, knitting, embroidery, needlepoint) can suck up the budget quickly. Start with the simple basics, as simple as the pattern you are working. You can save money buy purchasing an entire range of crochet hooks or knitting needles - buying one at a time can be pricey.
Speaking of pricey - personally I haven't found a need after all these years of needle work to buy or use lighted crochet hooks. Ergonomic hooks are a bit more expensive but worth the money if you plan on doing needlework frequently. Wood hooks and needles or bamboo are quite comfortable and smooth to use. Many lines of needles and hooks are priced and made for novelty but in the end it's the consumer's choice. Look for what's comfortable to use and does not pick or snag yarns.
1. Posture is important when working with any form of needlework. Protect your neck and shoulders by sitting up straight, elbows bent and work raised to about chest height.
2. There are several types of heads on a crochet hook. Try several out until you find what works best for you.
3. Always make a gauge swatch before proceeding with your pattern.
4. Tape the edges of your canvas before working your needlepoint.
5. Work with inexpensive yarns and threads while you learn.
6. Choose patterns marked "Beginner" when first learning.
7. Learn basic stitches before working patterns. Making squares and rounds are a good way to practice stitches.
8. Keep a lotion bar or bottle of lotion handy as your hands will dry out significantly while stitching.
There are more tips and guides to be found on the site, or browse the internet when you are needing a quick answer to your questions. I am always available to answer any of your sewing, crochet or needlework questions - knitting is a little rusty :)
With these tips, your new notions or project supplies, I wish you success and inspiration, today and always!
I remember a time when a person could shop several fabric stores in an afternoon - brick and mortar stores. Now it's an afternoon, late evening or early morning browsing through the pages of online stores.
I found that living in a rural city can limit my shopping choices of many items, such as fabric. I know of two stores in our town that sell fabric, both having limited selections, so I taught myself to shop fabrics online. I've been purchasing fabrics online now for a little over ten years and want to share with my readers what I consider are the most important tips to buying fabric online.
There are a few favorite "go to" online stores I shop first before digging into the pages of more obscure sites (I am not compensated in any form for sharing these sites). What makes them my favorites? Prices, quality of goods, user friendly sites, and accurate images/descriptions of the fabric I need. Let's move forward with seven tips to buying fabric online.
1. Keep a swatch book. If you are a frequent flyer of online fabric stores, keeping a swatch book is a terrific idea. A swatch book will provide you with a tangible sample of fabrics to choose from while shopping. I've been building my book for about 5 years, making careful choices of what I include. Many online shops sell swatches for under $3.00, or you can cut a swatch from fabric you have already purchased. Most swatches come with all the info you need attached, so I try to apply this practice to swatches cut from fabric already on hand.
3. Follow pattern suggested fabrics. The pattern designer knows what fabrics will and will not work with the garment being made. If you are working with home decor, use keywords in your search such as "upholstery fabric" or "curtain fabric". If you are putting several patterns together, make careful decisions on the type of fabric you want to purchase.
4. Read product specs. There is a wealth of information to be gained from the specs. The fabric content, width, whether it's reorderable, cleaning instructions and more. Many times the specs will state what the fabric is best used for.
5. Keep a sample window open. It's usually a good idea to keep a sample of the color, dress or pattern you are working from open on your desktop. Working with a split screen is helpful while shopping online. Read how to work in split screen (Windows).
6. Know the shipping time. Assuming you are making a garment for yourself, once you have the pattern selected you'll want to purchase your fabric. Some companies are slower than others in shipping, and keep in mind where the fabric is shipping from. Shipping from overseas takes more time than shipping from Indiana. Knowing the shipping time is key to the planning of your garment.
7. Use the glossary of terms. An especially helpful part of shopping online is a glossary. For example there are numerous varieties of knits - which one to buy? Look for the glossary provided by the site or if one is not available use the glossary found on Day Dreams Tips & Tricks page.
What tips can you share with readers about buying fabric online? I invite you to share below in the comments. Until next time, I wish you success and inspiration, today and always!