Informational, sewing 101, tutorial

sewing notions

I just thought it would be fun today to do a little round up of sewing notions.  And before I get too far, this isn’t a complete list or a review of anything, just more of a casual type thing I thought might be fun to talk about.  And I’d love to hear any interesting tips or tricks you’ve picked up along the way.  I love hearing things like “my grandma taught me how to use ___ and it works really great”.  I had posted about the Zipper Ease product on Instagram the other day and there were a bunch of you that told me other tricks to use on sticky zippers.  How awesome is that?

Might as well start off with this product called Zipper-Ease.  I was excited that it’s made in Michigan.  It’s to help zippers that are sticky.  I find that sometimes certain brands of zippers are stickier than others.  I’ve used it on a few zippers just to try it and I think it’ll be really great when that perfect color zipper I need just needs a little help.

Sewline Glue Pen.  I just found this in my drawer of goodies.  I think I had purchased it when I was doing more paper piecing.  I’d love to know what you use it for.  Seems like a really great product.

Marking Tools. [Clockwise from top] My Hera Marker gets used fairly infrequently because I don’t do a ton of quilting.  I’ve used it a lot recently with my Cargo Duffles.  It’s great because it just leaves a crease for you to sew on.  Nothing to wipe of afterwards and for me it’s pretty easy to see where the marking is.  Next up is Clover Tailors Chalk, this one is new to me.  I’ve needed a light colored marking tool for a long time now and I think it’ll be perfect.  I purchased a Sewline Styla water soluble pen a few months ago.  I like the smaller point and how smooth it rolls.  I don’t think the color is quite dark enough sometimes, but other than that it’s been working great.  Last up for my marking tools is my Mark-B-Gone.  This one is my favorite.  It has lasted forever (I think 2 or 3 years?) and I use it almost every time I sew.  It’s felt tip is pretty wide after a lot of use, but it’s quick and leave a nice line.

Clover Fork Pins.  I just picked these up, too!  I’ve been curious about them for quite a while.  Perfect for quilting and patchwork or when you need to line up seams with a great deal of accuracy.  Hoping to give these a try more in the coming months.

Workhorses.  Yep, these ones really do their duty.  [From Top] My hem gauge gets toted along everywhere.  It’s a great little size for anywhere. I suppose it’s mainly for measuring hems, but useful for any kind of measuring.  There’s a little slider that you can use to make it easier to know where you need to measure.  Handy and cheap,  it’s one of my faves. Next is my bent and well loved chop stick.  This thing gets put through the ringer.  I use it for turning projects, it’s really great for pouches and poking out zipper ends.  I’ve also used it for random craft projects, such as mixing up glue.  Great,  huh?  ūüôā  My favorite scissors are these little Olfa snips I had gotten in the goodie bag at Sewing Summit.  They’re a great size and perfectly sharp!  These are one of the scissors in my house that is definitely off limits to everyone but me.  I’m greedy like that.  Oh, and I can’t ever seem to find them at any local stores.  If you know where to find them online leave a comment below! Lastly is a new seam ripper, again by Clover.  I actually love the one that came with my sewing machine, but a good seam ripper seems kind of hard to find.  I had a white Clover seam ripper but found it to be too dull, maybe I got a reject.  Anyway, I wasn’t terribly sad when I left it behind at a sewing meet up.  I’m hoping this brown one makes a good back up.  

Last up are my notions that hold things.  I couldn’t be without my Clover Wonder Clips.  They’re great for holding many thick layers together as well as being awesome when it comes to binding a quilt.  They’re pricey, but I think the value for outweighs the cost.  I also had my husband pick up some gigantic washers a while back.  I’ve been intending to make pattern weights like Jess did, but haven’t gotten around to it.  I just use them as is to weigh things down.  I also found that these make a really great marking tool to trace around for pocket corners.

Anyway, some of these are new to me and some I’ve used a long time.  I know there are lots and lots of other sewing goodies  out there, and I’m sure I forgot to include some of the ones I use.  I’d love to hear anything you love or don’t love about your notions, these notions, some other persons notions.  I’ve got a notion.  You know, spill it, I want to hear it!

Happy Friday!!!!

pattern, sewing, sewing 101

Road Trip Case: For sewing

Thank you so much for being excited about my new pattern (Road Trip Case).  I love being able to see all of you make things and feel really great about it!  If you’re making a Road Trip Case or already finished one, add it to the flickr group if you have a sec.  I’d love to see it.

I’m really excited about this particular case.  For me, I feel like it has just the right amount of storage space.  I realized after I had made a few for my kids that one for me would be fun too!  For the few times a year I travel with my sewing gear, all I had was a zippered pouch that I would stuff full and I threw the rest in a plastic grocery bag.  I know, cringe.  Well, this little case will be perfect for going places!

This is the alternate pocket version, so there are 4 pockets with two flaps, as well as a big see-through zippered pocket.  Because I knew this would be for sewing, I simply added a couple rectangles of felt to keep some pins and a safety pin.

I also hope this case gets used for embroidery and cross stitch projects.  I think it would be really useful for both those crafts and cannot wait to see one all loaded up with the essential goodies.

+ Fabrics +
Scissors from Yuwa (purchased from Sew Fresh Fabrics on etsy)
Interweave Chambray in Pepper
Zen Chic for Moda

Zipper from Zipit on Etsy.

Hope you have a great Tuesday!

sewing, sewing 101, Techniques, tutorial

Sewing 101: Supplies

I’m guest posting¬†over¬†at Pickup Some Creativity¬†with my supplies list too, so be sure to check out all¬†of Chris’ ideas and¬†guest posts with lots of great sewing advice and tricks!¬† She’s hosting Sewing 101 all month, yay!

I’m hoping this will be a great resource for those of you new to sewing (and maybe some of you that aren’t so new).¬† Here are a few of the supplies I keep on hand at all times (hopefully).¬† I used to find myself going to the craft store/fabric store all the time to buy basic stuff, but now that I know what things I typically make, I keep those ready to use in my sewing area.¬† Just a few other notes,¬†I always try and find a coupon to Hobby Lobby, Hancock fabrics (or Joanns), and Michaels when I know I need something.¬† It’s also¬†a good idea to be sure to stock up on thread and maybe even some buttons you like when they go on sale at 50% off.

Here’s what a find myself using over and over again:

  1.  Extra rotary cutter blades.  I purchase mine at Michaels with a 40% off coupon.
  2. 45mm Rotary Cutter.¬† I didn’t picture the self healing mat, but you must have one to use with the rotary cutter, they come in¬†lots of different sizes, but use a coupon!
  3. Smaller scissors for detail work.
  4. General scissors.  I do have a pair of dressmaking shears (scored big time as a gift), but I use the ones pictures here for everything, even cutting paper
  5. Seam ripper.  Enough said.
  6. Needles.¬† I’ve been known to go through 4 needles on a single step of a project before, so be sure to have a package handy.¬† I use 11 most often, but 14 and 16 are nice for making bags, etc.¬† Also pick up a few ballpoint needles for using when sewing with knits.
  7. Zipper foot!  My friend.  Also for making piping.
  8. Darning foot.¬† For free motion quilting.¬† I’ve used these on napkins, etc.¬† You can do really cool stuff with this foot, just think of it as sketching with thread.
  9. Walking foot.  Definitely buy one of these if you plan on making any quilts.  It allows the fabric to feed through evenly, even when there are many layers.  I use mine on bags, etc. as well.
  10. Chop stick, for poking out corners.
  11. Water soluble pen.
  12. Small flat head screwdriver for tightening the feet on my machine.
  13. Fray check.
  14. Elastic thread.
  15. Pins, definitely buy the nicest ones you can afford, it makes it so much easier to push through fabrics.
  16. Bobbins.  Keep a few extras on hand.  I rotate with about 8 bobbins, a must when you make a lot of different project.
  17. Clear grid ruler.  It would also be a good idea to get one of those handy suction cup handles to make sure your fingers stay out of the way of your rotary cutter.
  1. Glue gun.
  2. Elastic.¬† Sizes ranging from 1/4″ to 1″ in width.
  3. Spray starch.
  4. Velcro.¬† I have 3/4″ and it seems to¬†work well for a lot of different projects.
  5. Safety pin.  For pushing elastic through a waistband casing.
  6. Needle for hand sewing.
  7. Twill tape.  I think it can add a lot of detail to a project as well as being useful for a 1001 other things.
  8. Spray adhesive.¬† I used mine for my mail organizer, but I’ve also heard of people using it with making cards with fabric scraps.
  1. Cotton webbing.  Fun for tote bags and more, lots of fun colors to choose from.
  2. Grommets.¬† I like the special touch it adds to projects.¬† I have 7/16″ and 3/8″
  3. Thread, lots of it, especially white, cream, brown.  I like to use 100% cotton thread for quilting.
  4. Magnetic snaps.  For purses, clutches, etc.  I buy mine from BeingBags on etsy.
  5. Zippers, my favorite notion.¬† I only keep 14″ and 8″ zippers on hand.¬† If I need another length or an invisible zipper I make sure to buy it on my next trip to the store.¬† I buy mine at Zipit on etsy.
  6. Snaps/snap setter.¬† I use this brand, I really like the variety they have.¬† Size 16 covers most projects I’ve made.
  7. Buttons.
  1. Medium weight fusible interfacing.  I also have a bit of lightweight interfacing.  And it is handy to have some Peltex around (double sided fusible heavyweight interfacing).
  2. Iron on adhesive, great for applique.  I have Heat n Bond, but I think Wonder Under is the same stuff?
  3. Fusible fleece.  Great for bags, zippered pouches, give a nice padded effect and gives body.
  4. Cotton quilt batting.
  5. Polyester fill.  For making softies, your own pillow forms, etc.
  6. Muslin.  I use a lot for lining pillows and this is another one for 1001 other uses.
  7. Plain cotton canvas, great to use as a sew in interfacing for bags., etc.
I’m sure there are some goodies I forgot, so please feel free to leave any of your favorite essentials in the comments section!¬† I also want to note that these are the items I regularly use.¬† I did not receive any monetary compensation (or otherwise)¬†for my opinion on any of these products.