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Friday, April 27, 2012

Repairing Rips in Pattern Pieces

There's nothing more annoying that cutting out a purchased sewing pattern with great care and ending up with a rip while you're pinning the pattern piece to your fabric. Or when you're removing the pattern piece from the fabric. However you end up with a tear, torn pattern pieces can be easily repaired in very little time.

The first instinct of many people would be to grab the nearest roll of tape and just tape up the tear. This works, but only as long as you don't apply any heat. Traditional tape melts when ironed, ruining the pattern, your iron, and and fabric the melted tape happens to touch. Instead of using any old tape to repair rips in sewing patterns, purchase paper bandage tape. This tape will hold your pieces together, but it can also handle heat. You can iron the taped areas just as you can the rest of the pattern. Keep a roll of paper bandage tape handy for repairing tears in pattern pieces.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Building Your Own Ironing Board

This week I was ironing fabric by the masses. I have a lot of sewing to do as graduation season approaches. A lot of girls need their grad dresses. But I quickly found myself frustrated by the small size of my oversized ironing board. I never can get enough raw fabric on the board to save myself any amount of real time. I also can't find an ironing pad large enough.

So I deciding to make my own ironing board. I took a large piece of plywood and layered wool on one side to create a 1-inch pad. I covered the entire thing in a solid cotton fabric that was large enough to stretched over the wool and around to the underside of the board. I secured the cotton with hook-and-loop tape. This would allow me to remove the cotton and wash it if necessary.

Finally, I took the board and positioned it on two large construction sawhorses. I could have used anything, but I had two sawhorses that weren't being used for anything. I didn't attach the board to the sawhorses, simply because I wanted to be able to take it down and store it when I wasn't using it.

Now I have a large ironing board that accomodates most of my fabrics and really any pattern piece. Problem solved. Crisis averted. Ironing large pieces of uncut fabric is no longer a cause of frustration while I'm working. And it didn't cost me anything, because I had all these things around the house somewhere.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Steadying a Moving Serger

I was over at a friend's house the other day, talking about sewing and demonstrating projects, when she pulled out her serger. As she used it, it virbrated and jumped all over the table. Mine never does that. It took me a moment to notice the difference. My serger is steadied with ... kitchen sponges.

So I shared my tip with her right at that moment, just like I'm sharing it with you now. To keep your serger from vibrating and boucing on your work table, get two rectangular kitchen sponges and cut them in half so you have four squarish pieces of sponge. Wet the sponges and wring them out until they're dry. Place one piece of sponge under each corner of the serger machine. The sponges will cushion the vibrations and keep your machine steady. No more bouncing!

This is a simple but effective tip for keeping a serger steady. It can also be used to steady other types of machines, including your everyday sewing machine.