The Basic Sewing Essentials

If you’re just getting started in the wonderful world of fabrics and sewing, or even if you have experience already but could use a little help, it can often be a difficult to get everything that you need together to ensure that your project goes off without a hitch. After all, there is so much sewing paraphernalia available that choosing the right things to get started can be a bother, particularly if you are working to a budget.

With that in mind, we have decided to compile a short list of the things that you definitely need to have when you get started.

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Sewing Machines For Beginners

So the time has finally come and you’re ready to really get to grips with your new hobby. You’ve been sewing by hand for a little while and think you’ve gotten the hang of it, so you’ve finally splashed the cash and come home with a brand new sewing machine.

Exciting times! However, before you start using it there are a few things that you need to know about your new toy if you are going to make the best use of it. Here we present a beginner’s guide to sewing machines for those who have never used one before. Of course, just bear in mind that every machine is going to be a little different, so we are going to look at the things that are generally standardised across all of them.

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Achieving the Perfect Fit When You Sew

One of the many frustrations that people have with modern clothing is the lack of proper fit that they provide. As they are made to set standards, it is rare to find an item that truly clings in all of the right places and provides that comfortable fit that means you rarely ever have to adjust.

Of course, one of the best ways to get around this is to sew your own clothes instead. This can range from crafting your own designs through to simply making changes to an existing garment so that it suits your body type better.

Here we will take a look at some of the tips that will help you to achieve that perfect fit. Continue reading “Achieving the Perfect Fit When You Sew”

To Pin Or Not To Pin: Which Straight Pins Are For You?

As any experienced sewer will be able to tell you, a god set of straight pins is absolutely essential if you are going to get the job done right. In fact, they are right up there with your needle and thread in terms of things that you need to ensure you get the accuracy and quality that you are looking for from your sewing. However, there are also a whole bunch of different pins available, with all of them serving their own purposes. It can be a little bit intimidating for the sewing newbie, so here we will be giving you a brief breakdown of the different types of straight pins that you are likely to run into. Continue reading “To Pin Or Not To Pin: Which Straight Pins Are For You?”

Using Fabrics For Backdrops, Banners and Exhibitions

Choosing the right fabrics for your exhibition or any other staged event is vitally important. Select the wrong ones and you run the risk of your event coming off as cheap, which in turn can lead to potential visitors deciding to give your exhibition stands a miss. A lot goes into the design of a great stand and it is means the merging of everything from the company’s marketing message through to the branding and the materials used to create the stand in the first place.

All of this combines to form the first impression on the visitor, so we thought we would provide a little bit of help with at least one of these factors. Backdrops, photography screens and much more can be incorporated into an exhibition stand. Continue reading “Using Fabrics For Backdrops, Banners and Exhibitions”

Keeping you cool: Top Ten Fabrics for Summer Clothing

Summer is on its way and we are already feeling the heat thanks to what appears to be one of the warmest Aprils in recent memory if early indications are anything to go by. With the warmer weather comes a complete change in wardrobe, which the ardent fabric lover will relish as an opportunity to try out a few new designs to add to their summer clothes collection. With the heat most definitely on, it is crucial that you choose the right fabrics for your project, so here we aim to look at the top ten materials that are perfect for summer clothing. Continue reading “Keeping you cool: Top Ten Fabrics for Summer Clothing”

Four Tips to Consider When Buying Any Fabric

While there are plenty of tips floating around the net relating to what you should look for in particular types of fabric and how to take care of them, at times it is nice to just get a general idea of how to purchase a decent fabric, regardless of what that fabric may actually be.

With the following list we aim to share a few tips on how to get the most out of your money, regardless of which fabric your money is going towards. These tips can be applied to practically any purchase you make on this site and are useful to keep in mind as you head towards the checkout. Continue reading “Four Tips to Consider When Buying Any Fabric”

What to do with fabric you no longer need

It’s practically inevitable in almost any sewing or creative undertaking you partake in with fabrics that you will be left with bits and bobs left over that you have no idea what to do with. For some the simple solution is just to throw them away, however this is a waste of money and doesn’t consider the possibility that, somewhere down the line, you may end up finding a use for the leftover bits of fabric.

Of course, if you only have tiny slithers left then it is probably best to get rid of them unless you have something very specific in mind that might be able to incorporate them, but in cases where you have a decent amount remaining why not consider the following options instead?

Keep it for later

You never know when you might need a random piece of fabric for another project. For example, you might end up using it for a patchwork quilt or decide that you want to create something like a piece of artwork that will require the use of multiple types and patterns of fabric.

Furthermore, keeping the leftover fabric provides you with a little something to work with should you need to make minor repairs to the piece that you created using the fabric originally. Simply put, keeping your discarded bits and pieces in storage can have unexpected benefits down the line.

Practicing

We all have to start somewhere and, for those of us who don’t, it never hurts to get a little extra practice in using a technique we aren’t familiar with. Your discarded pieces of fabric are ideal for practicing new techniques with or for introducing somebody into the world of fabrics and fashion by giving them something to do where they don’t have to worry about getting things wrong.

Furthermore, having a stock of unwanted fabrics gives you something to play around with when you want to trial a new idea but you aren’t sure exactly how it’s going to go. Rather than wasting money on new fabrics only for the idea to not come out as desired, give it a crack with your leftovers and see what happens. You never know, you might even like the eventual result enough to keep it!

Trade it

If you’re particularly lucky you may have a local fabric exchange in your area where people come to exchange fabrics they no longer need for fabrics that they actually want. Engage with the local community and find out where these trades can be made, whether it be through a physical event or social media.

Furthermore, if you have friends with the same interest you can do the same with them. They will all likely have a little something left over from previous projects that they no longer need so get in touch and see if they would like to have a little something of yours in exchange for theirs. You may even come up with some ideas between you on how to use the spare fabrics in each of your collections.

Handling Vintage Fabrics

With vintage clothing becoming ever-more popular amongst fashion, it is a good idea to understand exactly how best to handle the various fabrics that can go into making vintage clothing, especially if you have picked up a legitimately old item rather than purchasing something that has been created in a vintage style.

vintage retro shirts

With that in mind here are a couple of tips that should help your new find last longer and ensure that you get plenty of use out of it. Continue reading “Handling Vintage Fabrics”

Sewing Tips for Beginners

We all have to start somewhere! If you’re reading this post it is probably safe to assume that you are new to the world of sewing and are eager to get stuck in and start working with a whole host of fabrics to create those amazing ideas that you have floating around your head.

Don’t be too hasty though. A lot of fabric can end up getting wasted if you try to jump right in rather than taking it slow and learning properly. Here’s a couple of tips for the budding tailor or seamstress.

Start small

Before you get to the really cool stuff you will want to practice your technique on a few smaller jobs. That way if you mess up it won’t really matter and will most likely be able to fix the problem in short order as your skills continue to increase. Trust us here, there are few things worse when working with fabrics than getting halfway through a big project and making a mistake.

Work on little things, like tears in the pockets of trousers or reattaching buttons, before you really get started. That experience will serve you will once it comes time to move onto something a little more substantial.

Learn the patterns

Sewing isn’t simply a case of putting thread in a needle and poking it through fabric. There are a wide range of sewing patterns and techniques to learn, all of which will become useful to you as your experience builds and you start working on more complex problems.

Don’t be afraid to spend time practicing a particular stitching technique, even if there is no final product. Getting it right is the most important thing and you will be glad for the practice once you are working on something. Any spare piece of fabric will do for the job so save some cutoffs and just experiment with the patterns you know or have just learned. Have a little fun with it and you will have them down in no time at all.

Machines vs Needles

Perhaps the biggest question for any sewer is what equipment should they use for a particular job. Both sewing machines and needles have particular advantages and disadvantages and many people find they work better with one than the other.

It’s becoming something of a laboured point but it still rings true. The best way to find out is to practice on both and see which one sticks. Obviously for those working to a budget a needle and thread approach is much more cost-effective, but if you do have ambitions to move on to larger projects in the future it is certainly worth investing time and money in a sewing machine. In essence it all boils down to just how intensive you are going to get with your new hobby.

That’s what it all boils down to. For many sewing is a hobby so perhaps the most important tip for the novice is to just enjoy it. Don’t pressure yourself or get upset of you get a pattern wrong. Everybody does. Just relax and practice and you will be working the seams in not time at all.