intermittent posts on sewing, knitting, gardening, healthy eating and other random topics from two sisters

As a very new sewist, I probably shouldn’t risk the hubris of giving tips. But some things that work for me:

As a good little seamstress, I change my needle. I don’t start a new needle with every project, because I’ve heard 2-3 hours of sewing (or maybe I’ve heard 8-10 hours?), and seriously, an a-line skirt takes about 45 minutes of actual sewing. But I check More Fabric Savvy or Fabric U to try to use the right needle for the fabric.

But right now, I have three projects going at the same time, and only one machine. So I used to scribble on my needle cases to keep it straight what I have done, but it would wear off. New idea! Pin the needle through a scrap from the current project when you take it out the machine. I’m not sure how this will work when I want to add another project, but it’s definitely helping me keep straight what goes where.

Second tip! Make practice projects. I bought a yard of beautiful purple silk dupioni, and I’m making a very simple totebag as a gift for my mother, but it’s teaching me the basics about sewing with dupioni and underlining with silk organza on a pretty low-stress, unruinable project. So that’s pretty handy.

Also, I use to really hate the cutting out part of sewing. Hated it. Blocked me from getting things done. A rotary mat and cutter, while expensive, have totally improved that step.

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