Sunday, 14 April 2013

Seamless Seamstress ♥

What makes a good seamstress? I'm sure if we asked the seamstresses of the world there would be a million different answers! I think there are lots of things which make for a talented seamstress. For one there's experience, it's the time that you've been sewing for and honing your craft. It's like driving a car, you get your learners permit and then your provisional licence and then after some years your skills improve (although some people are bad drivers after many years too!). Sewing is the same really and I think no matter how experienced you are, you will always continue to learn ♥. I also think it comes down to the 'tools of the trade'; those items in your sewing room or little kit which make the process of sewing so much easier!

So here I'm sharing with you the items (some of them sacred like the sewing scissors) I have in my sewing kit - I won't include everything otherwise the post would be soooo long, but here's the top things I am always using out of my kit. ♥

A good pair of sewing shears - I love Mundial scissors, they make great knives and sewing scissors! I love these scissors as they cut beautifully and are a great fit for your hands. They come in both left and right hand versions which is even better. They also come with a plastic blade cover to keep little hands away. When I was little my brother cut up the loungeroom curtains and my mother was horrified. She'd spent hours making these velvet curtains (it was the 80's) only to find the light coming through when she pulled them closed; the lesson was learnt!

Snips - I love these, they are my favourite tool. Get a great pair as you will use them all the time and cheaper versions tend not to be as sharp. Snippers are great to trim threads and are quick and easy to handle rather than picking up chunky scissors. I have multiple pairs as I always forget where I put them.

Pins - sharp berry head pins are a must for pinning patterns and garments.
the more expensive the pins the better they are. To keep them nice and sharp use a pin cushion filled with sand to sharpen the heads when not in use.

Cutting mat, rotary cutter and sewing ruler - these are great to cut nice straight sleeves for some of my patterns. If you're cutting multiple pieces of fabric they're great too. Patchwork and quilting folk use the cutters constantly to cut all those nice geo shapes out. Remember that you pay for what you get.

The iron - washing and ironing fabric before it's used is a must! Ironing your pattern pieces, fabric and pressing your seams as you go results in a better garment being made. It takes extra time but you can definitely see the difference in your finished pieces.

Bias binding tool - if you ever need to make your own binding this is a great tool and it's cheap! There are bias binding machines out there now but I like this version as I buy most of my binding and make it if I need binding to match my dress fabrics. This tool allows you to thread the binding through and will turn the edges so all you have to do is press the fabric - no more burnt fingers!

Good quality thread - I can't stress this one enough! Good thread means beautifully finished garments that will last. Cheap thread will break and can cause problems with your machine. Gutermann makes lovely thread.

Bodkin - a great tool to thread elastic or ribbon through casings and nice and cheap to buy. Or use a safety pin but thread the pin the opposite way in, that way the pin won't prick you as you thread the elastic through the casing and it won't get caught in the casing either.

Sewing presser foot for zippers - I use my Pfaff zipper foot to no end - it's one presser foot I couldn't live without. Zips are so easy to put in, once you have a little practice you'll be zipping zips in no time! Generally all sewing machines come with the foot, it's the foot that is half the size of the general foot.

And that's about the list of my favourite things.  There's lots of other items out there to make the process easier. What's your 'favourite' tool you use all the time? Feel free to leave us a tip or trick that you like to use!

Happy sewing,

Kate x

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