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Sewing Resolution for the New Year: Be More Precise

Use your machine to accurately mark edges to be turned and pressed. Use your machine to accurately mark edges to be turned and pressed.

Here's a quick tip from us at Mood Fabrics on how to dramatically improve the appearance of your finished garments: Stop eyeballing and measure everything.

You know what we mean when we say eyeballing, right? You're pressing and turning under a seam that's supposed to be 1/2 inch but you're not using a sewing gauge to measure as you turn and press--you're just eyeballing it and telling yourself it's probably close enough. Or you're laying out a pattern and assuming that the grainline is perfectly parallel to the selvedges--because it looks that way to you.

This way of eyeballing as you sew is so 2012, readers. For 2013, strive to practice more precision sewing. Don't trust your eyes alone anymore, no matter how accurate you think you are at eyeballing. By using measuring tools as you work you'll save time--because you'll get it right the first time and won't have to rip seams when something is wonky--and your finished garments will look so much more professional.

Want to know a fast and easy way to add more accuracy to your sewing? Whenever you need to turn under and press an edge, trying using your sewing machine to mark the distance that needs to be turned. For example, you're attaching a lining to a dress or a jacket by hand and need to press the edges under 5/8". Just stitch along the lining's edge at 5/8" using a long stitch, then turn and press under using the stitching line as your rule. So much faster than pressing along using a sewing gauge; just make sure you press so your stitching line isn't visible. I do this now anytime I have to turn and press--it's fast and accurate.

Here are some of the measuring tools I rely on to check accuracy. Here are some of the measuring tools I rely on to check accuracy as I sew.

Mood is steadily trying to beef up the line of sewing notions we offer, both in our stores and online. We know there are a gazillion types of sewing tools out there--tell us here what tools you like for accuracy or anything else sewing- and construction- related. And Happy New Year from all of us at Mood Fabrics!

8 thoughts on “Sewing Resolution for the New Year: Be More Precise”

  • Dora

    Will you ever carry the large sheets of wax marking paper?

  • Sewer

    I've sewn by machine or basted fold lines in the past. With the machine, I use a short stitch, the length used for stay stitching.

    Maybe Mood carries the following, but I' d like to see in stock:

    Horsehair canvas (the real kind that Steinlauf and Stoller carries)
    Various sizes of cording
    Petersham ribbon

    • Sewer

      Another method for pressing a fold line is to take a piece of oaktag, draw a line with the required measurement and then press up to the line.

      • Sewer

        Or -- I couldn't remember this -- for a 1/2" fold, you chalk a line for 1" and fold up to the line. Whatever it is, you chalk a line double the length of the final fold. It's too hard to fold right on the line.

  • Lisa

    Hi Meg,
    I know this might be a little off topic but was it you that posted on facebook the American Girl doll clothes sewn from mood fabrics? If so, I think they are AMAZING and I'm inspired to do the same for my little girl. What patterns did you use? Also, the gold fabric (brocade I'm guessing?) you used for one of the dresses I didn't see online. Is it something that's sold only in the store?

    • Meg

      Hi Lisa! Thanks for the compliments! I used four different Simplicity doll patterns, all from the current catalog. Now keep in mind that I've been sewing with Mood fabrics for nearly eight years, so I have a fairly decent scrap stash from Mood, and that's what I used for my niece's doll clothes. A couple of the fabrics were current from the store or online, like the dress in the left corner and the pink gown, but all other fabrics used are no longer available. Gotta use up my scraps, you know! But best of luck to you in sewing for your daughter's dolls. My niece gasped when she saw the doll clothes I made, she was so thrilled.

  • Cissie

    I have been using the Frixion pens for marking. For the most part, they disappear completely when ironed but of course, you should always test first.

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