Monday, 27 August 2012

Great Modern Sewing Accessories

Here are some of my favourite modern sewing accessories. They're absolutely marvellous!

G.U.R. Sewing Machines sewing_feet ImageJanome Rotary Even Feed Foot
Top of the list. This wonderful little contraption means that you can sew thin fabric on your sewing machine, even if you don't have adjustable presser foot pressure! It makes all the difference in the world. You see, if you can't increase the presser foot pressure, the fabric swivels around when the needle is down, and goes to fast when you try to keep it taught, resulting in stitches worse than my hand sewing. (Try with paper for proof.)

But with this little wonder, you make up the height difference, and the rubbery tracts on the foot keep the fabric where it ought to be.

Clover - Pink With Eraser - Air ErasableVanishing Ink Pen
I like this for use with my rulers because it doesn't mark them and mess up my fingers like pencils and regular felt-tips pens do. It does vanish off the paper but you can simply draw over your vanishing ink with a water erasable pen.

This pen is also great for marking new lines on your toiles when fitting and designing. When you have finalised your designs your can transfer them or mark them permanently with a water erasable pen.

Examle Packaged - Olfa Premium Quiltmaking KitRotary Cutting Tools
These are wonderful for pattern work. You can draw and cut perfectly straight lines at perfect angles so they are great for length alterations to patterns.

I like to use a fairly small mat (18"x12") because it is easier to move around to put away than the larger ones.

These rotary cutting rulers are much, much better than a regular ruler because they are thick enough not to be cut with the rotary cutter. (My regular rulers got chipped.)

So there are my top 3 Modern Sewing Accessories (not counting a sewing machine and steam iron of course). There was another one, but I can't remember what it was now. Oh well.

Sabrina Wharton-Brown

Monday, 20 August 2012

Why "flat" collars sometimes stick up, how to prevent it.

Good collars have two pattern pieces: a top collar and an under collar. The Top collar is bigger than the under collar because it has to go over a higher "hill" (the roll of the collar -- I think it is called "turn of cloth") and also because you want the seam line on the outer edge of the collar to role underneath the collar.

If the collar pieces are the same size, the collar will stick out, almost like an Elizabethan Ruff (think Shakespeare).

But raising the top collar's neckline from the Centre Back round to near the Centre Front by 1/8" (3mm) makes it's neckline a little bit smaller than the neckline on the bodice. Surely this is wrong? But no. If you think about it, the collar will be inside the neckline, so to fit smoothly, it ought to be a tiny bit smaller (just like a telescope's parts). I suppose you could not bother with this adjustment in a very lightweight fabric such as with a voile blouse.

So, I would suppose that with thicker fabrics, like in tailored jackets and coats, and when you have a faux fur collar, the neckline on the garment ought to be bigger by at least the thickness of the fabric.

The "telescope concept" (yes, that'll do for a name) was really baffling me last night, but now I've figured it out it makes perfect sense, and I thought I'd share it with you. I hope it helps you as much as it does me. : )