Monday, 10 March 2014
Saturday, 1 March 2014
Hello! You're having a greeeeeat weekend are you? Hope you are! So I got a mail some two weeks ago from a delightful/talented lady by name, 'LavieonRose' and long story short, she wrote this interesting piece as a contributor to the blog. Enjoy!
Must-Have Sewing Equipment
Needles – Although there are dozens of types of sewing needles there are five basic types that should be in every sewing kit:
Sharps – these are medium length and are the most commonly used
Betweens – also known as quilting needles, they have a smaller rounded eye and due to their smaller length they are used for quick stitching.
Crewel or Embroidery – they're the same length as sharps but have a longer eye for embroidery threads.
Ball points – they're used to sew on knit fabric thanks to their rounded point.
Chenille – they are shorter, thicker and have a large eye. They're also used for embroidery and they allow several strands of floss at the same time.
Threads – Whether you're sewing by hand or using your machine, choosing the right type of thread is essential. The choice of course will depend on the type of fabric you are working on, and the thread should match its size, weight, properties and content. The most commonly used is the all-purpose polyester (matching the color of your fabric, naturally) although there are many other types such as cotton, heavy-duty, silk, wool, metallic and designer threads.
Sewing machine - Of course, having a sewing machine is too one of the essentials. Although they're generally quite costly they also last quite long, and in some occasions they're even passed down from generation to generation. Since they're so durable they can also be found second hand, what you should keep in mind when you buy one is that if you've just started out choose a basic model, and that the best ones are those which are entirely made of metal since they will last longer. Whether you already have one or you've just acquired it, it's very important to have it serviced to ensure its mechanics are working properly and that your mistakes will be your responsibility and not something wrong with the machine.
Sewing pins - These are too very useful when it comes to sewing. They may all look the same, but the truth is that there are different types and sizes. The most common type is the hemming pin, which you can find in different lengths, thicknesses, types of heads and tips. The other type of pin you must always have in your sewing kit is the safety pin, which are called like this because the risk of getting stuck (like it commonly happens with a hemming pin) is far less likely; these can also be found in many sizes and thicknesses. It can be very useful to make a pincushion to hold them so that they will be easier to pick while you work. The ideal pincushion has an elastic strap that allows you to place it on your wrist.
Scissors - When it comes to sewing, scissors are your best friend! They are an essential part of your knitting kit and they differ according to the kind of fabrics and the kind of cutting you require. Anyone who's a professional sewer has at least 5 types of scissors:
Shears - which are the largest type, generally 6 to 9 inches long.
- Pinking shears - used to finish edges of fabric.
Scissors - usually less than 6 inches long and used to clip corners and cutting excess seam.
Applique scissors - which have one regular and one rounded blade.
Snips - very small scissors, used to cut threads while sewing.
Measuring Tape - Sewing and knitting is a matter of measures, especially when you have to start from scratch and sew a whole project. In order to make your life easier and follow any type of pattern, measuring tapes have inches in one side and centimeters on the other, and they are usually very inexpensive and are nowadays made of fiberglass to ensure that it will not break or stretch.
Thimble – Pay attention to this piece of equipment, because many unexperienced sewers take it for granted and think it's not important at all. The problem with most sewers that have never used a thimble is that they feel extremely clumsy sewing with one and end up taking it off; so it's actually quite convenient to learn how to use one especially when you're sewing embellishments or strong materials such as jeans or other tightly woven fabrics. Can you imagine pushing your needle through a thick piece of material without a thimble? Chances are that after the fifth time you do it you will have to stop and think about cutting off the finger you used to push it through. There are many types and models of thimbles, you just need to find the right one for you!