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Sewing Tips and Tricks

Free denim? We are a short family. It is hard to find the 29 inch length jeans that my husband wears for work and play. I have become an expert at cutting off and hemming the 30 inch to fit. I decided if I had to cut and hem, why not buy the longest length possible 36 inch or longer. I now have extra new denim for patching or other crafts. I also do the same for my own jeans.

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By MaggieGrace from Pittsburgh, PA

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I used to do a lot of sewing and it was so hard to get the patterns back in the package, so just put them in a large baggie and it keeps them nice and neat.

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August 24, 2010

Use dollar store plastic or vinyl tablecloths to transfer sewing or craft patterns onto. They last a lot longer by doing this.

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Turning fabric tubes right side out can be very frustrating. I found a way that works great for me and is much safer than the turning tool I purchased, as it makes a hole in some fabrics.

Pullilng fabrid through tube with needle nose pliers

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One of my favorite hobbies is sewing. I create new items and also do a lot of repair for my family. Today, I could not find my seam ripper anywhere. While looking for it, I found a cuticle trimmer. This trimmer worked just as well if not better than a seam ripper.

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I found this at J Hittle in Louisville, Kentucky. I buy a lot of my supplies from them because I am not to be trusted in a fabric store. I can order just a few things. The sewing machine needle is inserted into the end with the flat side toward the back of the machine.

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Make large pattern pieces from inexpensive shower curtains. The pattern pieces will last much longer than paper patterns.

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November 8, 2010

If you're ever stuck with a tent, tarp or piece of leatherwork to repair and you don't have a thimble on hand, tape a coin to your finger to help you push that heavy needle through the heavy fabric or leather.

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November 9, 2010

Keep a hemostat in your sewing kit if you know a nurse you could get one from. It is handy for pulling/grabbing needles through thick fabric.

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Sewing heavy material like canvas can be as hard on the needle as it is on your hands. If, however, you rub the fabric well with soap before you stitch, the job will be a lot more comfortable and the needle will slip through the cloth without nearly so much danger of breaking.

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I am adding iridescent ribbon to the ruffles on my daughter's prom dress and was having a difficult time seeing to sew. I found that using a head-lamp, the kind that you strap onto your head for hiking, etc. is wonderful to use when hand-sewing.

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As I become a WOW (wise older woman), I find it easier to see if I mark the slot on a spool of thread (the little slot that holds the thread to keep it from unwinding) with a dot of red nail polish.

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Accidentally forgetting to leave an opening to turn a sewing project right-side out can be very frustrating. At a recent sewing class, the teacher gave me this fabulous tip to keep from sewing your project shut. Determine where you want your opening to be then mark the beginning and end of the opening with 2 pins.

Mark Opening for Turning a Sewing Project

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I put up a shelf above my sewing machine and attached a 24 inch light from Walmart to the bottom of the shelf for additional lighting on my sewing project.

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Another use for rubber shelf liner is to place a scrap piece under your sewing machine. This is handy and keeps my sewing machine from moving while I'm using it.

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When using thread, take a dryer sheet, and run it up and down it. The thread will have less knotting.

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April 9, 2009

When sewing if you need to rip out your work, when you are done run a lint roller over the thread and all the little pieces come right out.

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Those little pins for sewing and holding fabric together are so small!

Sewing pins with duct tape tabs on ends for seeing more easily.

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