welcome To The One Thimble Blog
I have been absolutely bursting to share the line up for Issue 4 with you! Check out the talent!!! This issue is going to be huge!!!!
I’ll be showing you all the patterns they’ve contributed over the next week or so, but for now be sure to check out their websites to find out more about them!
Today we have a guest Blogger. Paisley Hansen who you can find here https://twitter.com/PaisleyHansen talks about some tricks to improve your sewing!
Sewing 101: Hack Your Way to Better Projects
Sewing, like any skill, requires practice to master. Although you may not be able to jump in and create fashions ready for the runway on your first day, there are some tricks that can make even your novice projects something to be proud of.
Cotton and fleece fabrics are some of the easiest to work with. Cotton comes in light-, medium- and heavy-weights so you can use it for everything from a light summer dress to a simple quilt. Fleece doesn’t unravel and works well for blankets, jackets, scarves and anything else requiring a heavy but soft fabric.
- Pull a few feet of fabric off the bolt and feel the texture and check the drape to ensure it will work well for the project you have in mind.
- When buying fleece by the yard, verify that the color reaches all the way to the selvage and the dye is consistent throughout the yardage.
- Beware pattern fabric if you are piecing together a more complicated item. It can be difficult to match up pattern lines when you are first starting out. Instead, choose a solid color or a non-repetitive pattern, such as flowers, and skip the fancy chevrons and stripes for now.
Getting Started Tips and Tricks
You have your fabric but you aren’t quite ready to sew, yet. The fabric and your machine need a little TLC so they both perform smoothly. Taking the time to prepare both helps you avoid some of the common frustrations that plague the novice.
- Getting the thread on the needle sometimes poses the greatest challenge to any sewing project. If you don’t have a nifty needle threader available, try spritzing the end of the thread with hairspray. It stiffens the thread so it’s easier to stab it through the tiny needle hole.
- Pins are a vital part of any sewing project because they keep your fabric in place until it passes through the machine. Insert the pins perpendicular to the fabric edge instead of placing them parallel. Your sewing machine needle easily passes over them instead of hitting and bending the pin, or worse, breaking the needle.
- Prepare your fabric ahead of time! Most new nonsynthetic fabrics require washing and preshrinking, otherwise your project will come out of it’s first wash smaller and misshapen. Run a simple basting stitch around the edges so it doesn’t unravel first. After washing, iron it well so wrinkles don’t mess with your measurements.
Notions, Trims and Extras
A bit of bias tape that provides a clean edge without a hem, or some decorative stitching to add pizazz can make your beginner projects look like the work of a seasoned pro. A few tips can help you pull off these maneuvers without ruining your project.
- Unfold your bias tape and line it up so the edge of the fabric is even with the center fold of the tape. Sew the tape in place and then fold it over the edge before topstitching it completely in place. Any uneven stitches end up on the back side of the project, and your clean stitches are on the front.
- Button holes can frustrate the beginner, and it doesn’t help that each machine performs this task differently. Read the directions and practice on scrap fabric before making the real thing. If buttonholes still seam out of your league for now, use a hook-and-loop tape closure and sew decorative buttons on by hand.
- Don’t forget interfacing. This thin material goes on the inside of the fabric to give it some weight. A bit of interfacing can keep your buttons from sagging on a thin cotton fabric, or help stabilize a bit of embroidery or applique.
- Avoid going overboard with the decorative stitches. Once again, practice all the stitches on your machine on scrap fabric first. Each stitch may require a tension adjustment before it looks correct, so practice on the same weight and type of fabric so you can verify the tension is right.
I was speaking to a friend recently about hemming tricks and hem guides and I realised that some people may not have noticed this little bonus that Laura from Ellie Inspired included with her Stardust pattern in Issue 3 or known what to do with it. So here’s a super quick guide to using a hem guide.
1. Print out the hem guide on card stock.
2. Cut along the outside solid lines.
3. Lay your garment with the wrong side facing up.
4. Put the hem guide on top.
5. Fold the garment over the top until the edge matches the appropriate hem guide line.
7. Stitch your hem as normal.
If you love this idea but you prefer to use a different hem depth never fear, you can make your own hem guide for different hem lengths by ruling lines on a piece of card stock.
Organising the Collaborate for a Cause Charity Auction is one of my “other projects”. Collaborate for a Cause happens just once a year and takes over for a little while, but for the rest of the year I channel my passion for handmade into One Thimble!
I am so blessed to have so many fantastic handmade businesses getting involved each year and helping Collaborate for a Cause to grow to exceed my wildest dreams. Without so many businesses embracing this idea and working so hard to rise to the yearly challenge to
collaborate, create and donate
and for the wonderful admin team who work tirelessly behind the scenes there would be no Collaborate for a Cause.
I would love your help spreading the word about the Collaborate for a Cause Charity Auction and for you to show your support to the participating businesses. Even if you’re not able to bid, take a look through the auction album and be inspired!
A Selection of the Items included in this years auction.
To see the full album, find out more about the businesses and collaborations involved and to place your bids please visit here http://goo.gl/oKam7n
Background to Collaborate for a Cause – Reprinted from One Thimble Issue 3:
“If you haven’t already figured it out, one thing you need to know about me is that I’m passionate about sewing and handmade business. “Finding” handmade has been a lifechangingly positive experience for me and I want others to have the same sense of joy that I have found doing what I love. Too often it’s easy to get pushed off track by competitiveness and negativity. Collaborate for a Cause (C4AC) aims to combat that. I believe that by working together handmade businesses can strengthen & grow their own businesses as well as the handmade community as a whole. By getting to know your “competitors” as “peers” and “colleagues” you can redirect your energies to reaching new customers, developing new product lines and get rid of the anxiety that comes from always being on guard against others in the handmade community.
Many people working in their own handmade business, work from home, often with small children
and it can be a very isolating experience which can give birth to misunderstandings. If you don’t have someone who understands the business you’re in, to talk over worries and concerns, it can be easy for misunderstandings to fester. By making friends with others in the same boat you can gain a cheer squad to bounce ideas and concerns off and you can do the same for them.
Collaborate for a Cause was born out of these ideas of helping people in the handmade community network while raising funds for charities they’re passionate about. It is an annual Facebook based charity auction, which gives people the opportunity to network and make friends with people in the same industry. Working with someone on a joint goal is a wonderful way to get to know them and hopefully forge partnerships and friendships beyond C4AC. Handmade businesses partner with each other to create unique, handmade pieces that are auctioned to raise funds for charity.
The aim of ‘Collaborate for a Cause’ is to promote friendship, understanding and fun throughout the
Facebook handmade community, while raising important funds for charities.
What sets it apart from other charity auctions is that it lets donors select their own charity recipient and that each donated item is a collaborative effort between two or more handmade businesses. Since 2011 the Collaborate for a Cause charity auctions have raised over $100, 000, but perhaps even more importantly it has given birth to lots of networking opportunities and friendships.”
Our friends from Pattern Revolution are hosting a One Thimble Sewing Challenge. Entering is easy all you need to do to enter is sew a pattern from one of the One Thimble e-magazine’s (27 patterns to choose from!) and share your project! The winner will be chosen randomly and will pick up these fabulous prizes!
Entry is open to people from any country! To enter visit the Pattern Revolution blog here http://patternrevolution.com/blog/2014/6/25/one-thimble-sewing-contest for all the details!
I can’t wait to see your creations!