Pressing Mitt

8:36 PM

Pressing Mitt: a mitten like tool that helps in pressing very tight curves and hard to reach places. You can use your hand to help make the shape you need, but you are protected from the heat and steam of the iron.

An oven mitt works well too as long as there isn't grease all over it.



8:23 PM

Clapper: a pressing tool made of wood specifically helpful in tailoring techniques. A clapper is used to press things flat.

With a hot iron, shoot a bunch of steam onto an area of the item to be pressed (usually a seam, collar or other sort of edge). Immediately place the clapper on top of the area just steamed and hold there for 20-30 seconds or so. The clapper holds in the heat and moisture and helps the fabric to stay flat.

*Note: the tool pictured above is a clapper and a point presser combined. The clapper is the bottom portion of the tool--basicially just a piece of wood.


Sleeve Board

8:14 PM

Sleeve Board: a convenient pressing tool that makes pressing sleeves and other smaller items easier. It's like a mini-skinny ironing board.


Tool Tips

7:43 PM

If you're new to sewing, or you've sewn before and given up because it has become too frustrating, let me let you in on a little secret. Your tools will make a huge difference in your experience.

Think about it. What is something you do every day? Cook? Well, if you have the wrong size bowl or pan, you may find yourself spending a little extra time to make things work. Then, if you tack on dull knifes, a messy kitchen, lack of some ingredients and dingy lighting, does cooking sound fun anymore? No. If you know me, you may think this is my excuse for not liking to cook... and yes, I sincerely believe that's part of it. Of course, nausea and increased sense of smell while I'm pregnant not only doesn't make cooking fun, but unbearable.

Anyway, my suggestion to you is to set yourself up to give sewing the best chance you can. Don't feel bad if despite your best efforts, you still are not passionately in love. I can cook in a nice kitchen and like it, but I still can't honestly say I love it. Everyone has their own passions and interests.

Here are some essential things I wouldn't skip in beginning to sew:

  • Use sharp scissors that cut through fabric easily. 
  • Use long thin pins that make the process nicer. (I use quilting pins that are longer than 1 3/4")
  • Have pretty fabric on hand that makes you happy when you look at it. 
  • Do your research on which sewing machine needles work best for the type of fabric so you're not breaking your needles all the time. 
  • Have your machine tuned up so the tension is right and it sews smoothly. 
  • Do NOT use the thread in little sewing kits they sell. It is extremely weak and will not work in your machine.
  • Read a few basic instructions in the manual before you begin. This will help you get to know your machine better.
  • Make sure you have the tools for a basic beginner sewer.(for a complete sewing kit list, click here)
    You don't have to go crazy... especially if you're just starting (although, I would say that a Bosch mixer, nice knives, a ventilator, a gas stove and more storage would probably motivate me to cook more). Nice used machines can work just as well as the new ones with all the bells and whistles (AKA: crazy embroidery options). $8 scissors can cut fabric pretty much as well as $40 scissors. You get the point.


    Sewing Kit (for Starters)

    7:42 PM

    To begin sewing, you need some tools. Here is a list of the tools you would need if you are just getting started (aside from a sewing machine and an iron). For some tool tips, click here.

    For the beginner:
    • One pair of sharp shears. Get a new pair, label them and guard them how your grandma guards hers.

    • Pin cushion

    • Pins 1 3/4" or longer. I use quilting pins because they are nice and sharp, thin, long and easy to work with.

    • Hand sewing needles in various sizes (make sure they're Sharps)

    • A few safety pins

    • One flexible measuring tape

    • One seam ripper (as much as I wish we didn't have to use this, it is essential) 
    • Black and white thread
    • A few extra bobbin spools (Make sure they fit your machine specifically.)

    •  Press cloth (this is just a white piece of cotton about 18"x18")
    For a printable list, click here.


    Seam Roll

    7:41 PM

    Seam Roll: a pressing tool helpful in pressing smaller curved seamss. It makes pressing darts and small seams easier as well as zippers and some areas of collars. Sometimes, I use the ends of a seam roll to press smaller tight curves.



    7:40 PM

    Ham: a pressing tool that is helpful in pressing curves. Can be used to press curved seams open or flat and can be used to help press a piece of clothing- place ham where a curve or bump would be in the body.


    Seam Ripper

    7:09 PM

    Seam Ripper: a tool used to take out stitches. Slide the little point under the stitch, and cut the thread on the inside of the hook. Continue pulling out the stitches until they all have been removed.


    Seam Gauge

    7:05 PM

    Seam Gauge: a 6" long metal ruler with a sliding guide. Seam gauges are helpful when determining a seam allowance, marking a hem and various other tasks. It is very convenient because it is so small.


    Point Presser

    7:02 PM

    Point Presser: a pressing tool made from wood that has a sharp point sanded into one end. Point pressers are helpful in making very crisp points. ie: collars and pockets

    Pressing your seams open always helps make crisp edges, but sometimes, it is impossible to press a seam open on a small corner (like the points on a collar). A point presser makes this job possible.

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