Sew, What's New?

Curating sewing and quilting talent, techniques, and tutorials, since 1997.

So when I started to sew, maybe age 6, I was all about the machine. I didn't want to do anything by 'hand'.

Sewing by hand was for babies. Hand is a four letter word. It is to be avoided, until all else fails. To this day, I will spend hours trying to figure out how to do something by the machine, when if I had done it by hand it would be finished. I am all about finding the tools that help me.

When I was first married (26 years ago) we didn't have much money. The sewing machine I had did one stitch. A straight stitch. I wanted a machine that did button holes so bad! I hated doing them by hand. They never looked as nice or as finished as one done by machine. But alas, we could not afford a new machine, especially since there was nothing wrong with the one I had.

But one day my husband came home with a new tool. It was a micrometer that he bought second hand at a pawn shop for $60.00. Now 26 years ago, that was a hefty amount of money to plunk down on a tool that he already had one of.  But his explanation was that it read inside diameters vs outside diameters.

Pishhh. To me a micrometer is a micrometer. He had one. He said "It's a tool, I need it."

So after some quiet stewing, I found and bought a button h*** attachment for my straight stitch machine. And when he came home that day, I showed him -my- tool. And all he said was, "If you are going to do a job right you have to have the right tools for the job. If you can find the tool, get it."

Needless to say, I have found many a tool for my sewing and he is great with it! Now, if I just had the time to become an expert on them all.




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Comment by Gloria Allender on April 22, 2011 at 5:42am
I don't mind hand sewing, but I do love all the nifty things my sewing machine does. I love the idea of the 'practice' book. I think I'll put that into 'practice'.
Comment by Susan Ferriola on April 21, 2011 at 2:11pm

It is so true! We have to make time to practice using the bells and whistles. I have started (though its not very full) a notebook with my hints and tips about the different sewing feet and tension levels needed for different fabrics, etc.

I actually got the idea from a lace sampler book I saw in the Museum in Old Salem. (the attached photo is not the same book - but it gives an idea) And I thought, hmmm I need to do that with my crochet. Then I thought, I need to do that with my serger! Then I thought, I need to do that with that flower foot - because I always forget how to use it.

Like I said my book isn't that full, but I have actually referred back to it , as I find my memory is not was it was when I was 20.



Comment by CoraKiceniuk on April 21, 2011 at 10:39am
Ah well my husband is a mechanic. I can tell you the thousands that went into those tools. I feel guilty buying 1 item. I did get a Janome machine for my birthday present. I picked the cheaper model as I don't need all the bells and whistles. I just wanted to update the old beast. Now the old beast is not replaceable. It can handle very heavy work. I talked to a sewing machine repairman about machines. He actually knew the old Dial N Sew. He said you will never be able to replace that machine. He actually said if you need it repaired bring it to me alone. So I guess I cant replace the old one but some of the new bells and whistles are nice. I haven't taken the time to explore all the do dads. My fault entirely. You know how you can get lost in a second if you don't fix you mind on a purpose. Well that's me. After 38 years of nursing, this body is tired and I am more apt to get lost in a moment. I need to find a way to direct myself. Your profile picture has me thinking about a bunny. Ha ha. Now I just have to sit down and do. But first to get lost in the pick-ups, or as my friend from England calls it, PICK-FORDS. Keep on giving sage advice.
Comment by jodijean on April 20, 2011 at 12:09am
i could NOT agree more!!  having the right tools definitely makes sewing faster AND more enjoyable.  i got tired of fiddling with my sewing machine and a double needle ... so i bought a coversitch machine and it hems like a DREAM (i sew mostly knits).   and then i bought a hemmer attachment which makes it even better since it folds the fabric so all i have to do is sew ... and the binder attachment i could not live without ... oh the little things in life that make it so much more enjoyable.  good for you ... and yes i AGREE, hand is a four letter word!!
Comment by Angee Barbe on April 19, 2011 at 6:08pm
I love the quiet reasoning!  Brilliant, just brilliant!!!!

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