January 5, 2014

List of sewing tips:

Here is a list of sewing tips from multiple designers over at Two Peas. I thought it may come in handy... Enjoy!

I like to use two different zig zag settings:
For wide, but close zags: Set width at 4 and length at 2.5.

For a zigzag that is clean and even: Set width at 3, length at 3.

For straight stitching, I use a bit less than 3. Don't want stitches too short--because of tearing, but I do like the detail of something less than four-it also makes it easier for turning corners when you use a shorter length.

There is a control for whether your needle will be going down right in the center of the foot or off to either side. Make use of this when using straight stitch as border and wanting to control how close to edge your stitch is.

Also consider "stitching in the gutter": when you straight stitch right where the edge of the over-layed paper hits the paper underneath.

Instead of sewing on the actual layout I would sew a part of the page (say a strip of paper on the side)and THEN adhere that strip to the page. That way if I messed up I could just re-sew a new piece.

I also practiced on cardstock and wrote down the settings next to each sample stitch.

Fool around with fancy stitches-some will tear the paper because there are too many needle pokes, others will look FABO!

Use clear thread in your bobbin and you never have to switch it out when changing thread color. Wind 2 bobbins with white so you can just swap it out when you run out of thread instead of rethreading the whole machine.

When stitching on glossy photos keep a scrap of paper under the foot as you go so it doesn't leave "tread" marks on your photo.

 One more thing I thought of, not sure if everyone else does this or not. I adhere my paper before sewing so it doesn't move and get crooked. Just be careful NOT to sew through adhesive!

Keep separate needles for paper and for fabric...paper dulls the needles much faster than fabric. Also, if you sew on paper a lot, be sure to clean out your machine in the bobbin area more often...the paper leaves more "dust" than fabric. I have a small, soft long-bristled brush that I use to reach into the unseen places of the bobbin area to keep it clean. Sometimes I borrow dh's can of pressurized air to blow out the dust.

Also, if you are only sewing the edges, you can use an adhesive in the center of the pieces to hold them in place. But, if you plan to sew through the adhesive (which you CAN do), then make sure you are using a titanium needle. Those titanium needles are made to go through sticky stuff and the thread won't break. If you don't use a titanium needle to sew through adhesive, your thread will break and it is a mess.

Use washi tape on the back of layouts to hold down loose threads.

Just to add to all the other terrific advice -use light gray in your bobbin. The stitches will still stand out, it just won't be as visible as white. It's a trick that was shared with me at a quilting class, so I can't take credit.
I prefer to use upholstery thread when I'm sewing on paper/cardstock (along with the longer stitches). For me, it makes cleaner corners, doesn't "skip" as much as the thinner threads, and makes a stronger "appearance." **However, if you're using this thread, don't do the back-stitching at the beginning and end...it's too thick and is too obvious on your layout/card. Instead, finish the stitching, then take a large needle and pull the front threads through to the back, and tie a knot and cut off the excess. It keeps the front stitching looking clean and neat, and ensures it won't slip out.

1 comment:

Julie Bonner said...

What great tips Nicole!! Thanks for sharing :)

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