Thursday, June 16, 2011

Learn from my mistakes - 2

If you're anything like me, you obsess every new sewing project. You want to jump right in and get it done as fast as possible. But when you do it fast you tend to cut corners and do a sloppy job. Then you're disappointed in the end. There's a couple things you can do to ensure a well sewn project every time.

1. Iron, iron, iron. I used to skip ironing when I was younger and I can't even understand why now. It may take time and effort to do it right, but it makes the sewing so much easier and it looks 100 times better!

2. If you're using a pattern, make sure you cut out the triangles and mark important circles/squares/center lines/etc. I admit I still cut corners and I don't mark every single line, but I still mark the important things with a fabric marker with disappearing ink. I tried to skip this with a project just last week and screwed up. You'd think I would have learned by now :P

3. If you're not using a pattern, measure twice, cut once. Actually measure 3 or 4 times (or more) and make sure your estimations are right. I don't know how many times I've jumped into cutting, only to have my project be an inch short or too tight. A big mistake I remember making was this mermaid tail for Elise's first Halloween:


I could barely fit it over her legs! I had to start all over again. And because it was too small, I couldn't reuse the fabric. What a waste!


Here's the finished product :) Nice a roomy and warm for a little munchkin!

Take the time to do your project right and you won't be disappointed. No one ever looks back at a project and thinks "I wish I wouldn't have done such a good job" ;)

Learn from my mistakes - 1

I want to add a little more content to my blog, so I'm going to start writing about mistakes I've made or simple ways to help better your sewing/crafting skills. First up is the biggest mistake I've made, because I think about it every time I sew. If you have cats, or any animals really, LOCK UP YOUR THREAD. Anything long and stringy, thread, yarn, elastic, ANYTHING. Put it in a box with a tight lid and put it out of reach. Put all trimmed threads into a garbage can with a lid or tuck them way down into the garbage. Never leave your machine unattended with the needle threaded, and tuck bobbin thread under a lowered presser foot.

About 5 years ago my cat, Logan, somehow got into my thread stash that I thought was out of reach. I'm still not even sure how he did it, but he managed to find and swallow a piece of thread about 6-8 inches long. I had no clue until the following day, when he started throwing up. We assumed he had a hairball, but by the evening he wasn't looking so good. I took him to the vet first thing in the morning where he immediately found the thread still sticking out under his tongue. I had checked his mouth, but not under his tongue! He needed emergency surgery right away, and $500 later he was on his way back to normal.


I am crazy about thread lock up now. I relaxed a bit sometime last year, and started leaving my thread on the machine again. I walked downstairs one day and discovered thread trailed halfway across the basement. Luckily none of the kitties swallowed any. I'll never make that mistake again!
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