Posts from the ‘Tools of the trade’ Category

Tuesday’s Tool

How’d you like yesterday’s blog post on My Favorite Thing’s?

Today!  Tuesday.  Tool time!  Get excited people!

Today’s tool is the STEAM IRON!

Steam Iron

Ok, ok, I know it’s not a very exciting tool.  Not as exciting as the dressmakers wheel or a ruffler foot, but possibly one of the most important tools a seamstress uses.  And it is only my second attempt at regular blog posting, so cut me some slack (pretty please)!

Fabric must be washed and dried, also known as pre-shrinking.  And when we wash and dry, especially cotton, we get a wrinkled mess.  In order to trace patterns, cut straight lines, and ensure the fabric and pattern are straight, the fabric MUST be ironed.  Additionally, many sewing tasks are made much easier by ironing a crease in advance of sewing, such as cuffs and hemlines.  It’s vital in creating bias tapes and self ties.  Pre-packaged tapes, ribbons, and bindings often have creases from the way they are packaged, and these must be ironed out before applying them to a project.  My iron is always on.  You can’t get around it….you have to use an iron.  And I’m really hoping that I get a mini-iron as a gift.  It’s perfect for ironing small detail items.  And hopefully I’ll burn myself less with a smaller iron!

If you are buying an iron for sewing, make sure it’s got good steam output.  Mine specifically says it’s a “steam” iron. It’ll make your sewing life so much easier!

See you tomorrow!  Make sure you send in your questions so I have something to blog about for Wednesday’s Weekly Question!


“My Favorite Things” Monday’s

Blogging.  After sewing, photographing, editing, posting, bidding, cleaning, and creating, there isn’t really time for blogging.  But, I want to.  I know a need to, right?  I sat down this weekend and tried to develop a blogging plan (Hey, wake up!  You can’t be bored yet!).  My blogging plan will go something like this:

  • My Favorite Things Mondays – I get to tell you about my favorite sewing things!  How I use them and where I find them.
  • Tuesday’s Tools – An overview of tools of the sewing/crafting trade, and mini-tutorial.
  • Wednesday’s Weekly Question – Where I (try to) answer your questions, about sewing, a specific tool or technique, my Cloth & Clutch business, real estate…you get the picture, just about anything (keep it PG people).
  • Thursday’s Tips – Don’t learn it the hard way, like I did.
  • Fabric Friday’s (and sometimes Freebie Fridays!) – Discussions about different fabrics, their uses, history, origin, etc.  It’ll be more fun than it sounds (I hope).

Here it goes!  These are a few of my favorite things……

Blanket binding!

Blanket binding

Blanket bindings are one of my favorite things.  Perfectly packaged, shiny and silky.  Add it to almost anything for a lovely finish.  Blanket binding, is just that.  Satin that is pre-folded in lengths that are suitable for attaching to the edges of a blanket for a silky finish.

But it has sooo many other uses!

Such as on the edges and waistbands of dresses, as ties, made into bows, you name it.

Puffball skirt with blanket binding waist

Binding on a blanket

Satin blanket binding trim

Another baby blanket with binding

Binding edge variance

The best part of blanket binding is that one folded side is ever-so-slightly longer than the other, so when you are sewing it on, you sew on the shorter side, and are almost guaranteed (usually) to ‘catch’ the other side of the binding in the stitch.

That means you don’t have to have it perfectly aligned in order to sew both edges on at the same time  I always put the short side of the binding on the finished or pretty side.  You usually want to sew as close to the edge as possible for a clean look.  Here are some basic directions for sewing on blanket binding.  These photos are all of products I make, usually custom, so check us out on Facebook, My Etsy Shop, or my website!  TODAY ONLY, B1G150% (mix n’ match) on all items with Blanket Bindings, including custom items (maternity/hospital gowns, puffball skirts, baby blankets of all sizes, ruffle leg pants).  Must be ordered and paid by 11:59pm tonight, 2/14/11! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Making of a Hospital Gown Part 2

If you missed part 1 you may read about it here.

When we parted last, I was off to preshrink the yummy paisley fabric   that will soon be our maternity hospital gown. 

Washed and dryed= preshrunk fabric.  TADAAA!  Preshrinking is a very easy, yet important part of the garment making process.  Cloth & Clutch garments are preshrunk and then washed and dried a second time after construction and before we ship it to you.  Why, you ask?  It’s part of our quality control and assurance process.  We want to make sure all seams are sewn properly, that stray threads are removed, and that the garment washes well. And then we iron it, again!!  See how much we love you?!

We’ve ALL purchased something that wasn’t preshrunk only to have it shrink up a couple of inches the first time you wash it!  AACKK!  No one likes high water pants or a too tight top.  A quality garment will be made with high quality materials  that are properly processed, including preshrinking!  Besides preshrinking the fabric, there are often other elements of a garment that need preshrinking.  For this maternity gown, we must also preshrink the Snap tape.

After preshrinking comes my LEAST favorite part of the whole process…..

Ironing!  Another very important part of the process, even if I don’t enjoy it. 😉  Ironing isn’t only to de-wrinkle the material after it comes out of the dryer.  We must iron throughout the entire garment construction.  It assists in making seams and hems even and flat, and corners sharp.  I am hoping the birthday elves bring me a “mini iron” for this year for working on small dress pieces, and other small projects.

But I digress….and it’s late, so we will pick this back up tomorrow:  Patterns, fabric scissors, and my favorite part….cutting the fabric.  See you soon!