ThriftyFun News February 11, 2005 - Sewing Tips

ThriftyFun News
Sewing Tips

Volume Seven, Number 7 February 11, 2005


This week's issue contains sewing tips, articles and information. If you have any sewing tips to add, feel free to submit them on the contest form.


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This newsletter contains:

  • Knotting Thread
  • Cleaning the Sewing Machine
  • Making Your Own Pattern Pieces
  • Marking The Right Side Of Fabric
  • Button Sewing Tip
  • Duplicating a Pattern without Tracing Paper
  • Using Clothing Material for Crafts
  • Organizing Sewing Notions
  • Durable Sewing Patterns
  • Raising the Table for Fabric Cutting
  • Organizing Thread
  • Coffee Filters as a Tearaway Stabilizer
  • Keeping Sewing Machine Needles Handy
  • Hand Sewing Tip

  • Thread Multiple Needles
  • Problems Threading a Needle?
  • Replacement Cuffs
  • Make Sturdy Sewing Patterns With Leftover Holiday Wrap
  • How Do You Know If You're Using The Right Thread?
  • Do It Yourself Sewing Machine Repair
  • 8 Steps to Optimize Your Sewing Time
  • "Sewing Room Salvage
  • Save and Sew!"
  • Free Patterns at
  • Sewing Shortcuts are Boon to Seamstresses Short on Time
  • Organizing Your Craft and Sewing Supplies
  • Sewing With Leather and Suede
  • Sewing Information Sheets
  • Dictionary of Fabric Terms
  • Sewing Tips for Sewing Darts

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In our newest contest we are giving away a $30.00 Gift Card at one of the following stores: Home Depot, Jo-Ann's Crafts or If you are the winner, you get to choose which gift card! We figured it would be more valuable if you pick out your own prize, that's why we have decided to go the gift card route. This contest will end on January 15th.


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Sewing Tips

Knotting Thread

To knot thread... hold your thumb on the thread as it lays across a needle facing you, cut end to the right, then with your left hand wrap the thread around the needle two or three times (depending on how large a knot you want) then hold the thread that you wrapped around in your left hand and slide down the needle and down the thread until the knot is formed. Cut off excess thread beneath knot. It's a slick fast way to knot your thread for hand sewing!

By wiseinhimmer

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Cleaning the Sewing Machine

Use canned air to clean out your machine instead of blowing lint and fuzz because your breath contains moisture and is not good for the machine. :)

By wiseinhimmer

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Making Your Own Pattern Pieces

To make a pattern piece yourself if you use the NON-IRON interfacing it makes a great pattern and doesn't rip as easy.


By wiseinhimmer

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Marking The Right Side Of Fabric

I use safety pins to mark the right side of material when it's hard to tell because straight pins will fall out. This saves time and I know at a glance which side is which!

By wiseinhimmer

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Button Sewing Tip

When sewing on buttons, especially on heavy jackets, use dental floss or 4 strands of thread that has been waxed with beeswax. This will make the button threads much stronger.

By Karole

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Duplicating a Pattern without Tracing Paper

If you would like to trace off a craft pattern and don't have any tracing paper, just take a pencil and shade the back side of the paper with the pattern below it, and then trace around the pattern. The pattern will be duplicated. This may not work on everything, but you can trace onto another paper or a piece of wood with this method.


By Harlean

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Using Clothing Material for Crafts

If you end up with a clothing item you would never wear but like the pattern, think about using the material for pillows, quilts, etc. You can also stock up on material from clothes for quilts at bag sales from thrift stores or yard sales.

By Melanie

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Organizing Sewing Notions

Keep ribbons, lace, ric rac, seambinding, etc. on a piece of cardboard and place in a snack bag to keep neat. I prefer to use the generic snack bags since they do not have a colored zip strip. I keep mine filed neatly in the bottom of my sewing box.

By C. A. McWilliams

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Durable Sewing Patterns

If your going to use a sewing pattern more than once (thats why we buy them) iron on interfacing/fusable web and you be sure not to tear the pattern pieces when pinning and cutting out fabric. However, you will not be able to fold the pattern to fit back into the envelope (can you ever get it back in anyway?) LOL


By Dee

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Raising the Table for Fabric Cutting

If you must use your dining room table as a cutting table when you are sewing, you probably get a back ache from leaning over the table. My mother did a lot of sewing, and she found a solution for this problem. Go to your pantry and gather up 4 cans of vegetables of the same size. Set one under each table leg. This raises the table to a more comfortable level.

By Harlean from Arkansas

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Organizing Thread

To keep your cross stitching, embroidery, or other craft thread from tangling up when not in use simply cut up a plastic milk jug into small squares, put notches on the sides, and wrap your thread around. It keeps your thread together and you reuse your milk jug.

If you cut the squares small enough, you can store them in old, unused slide boxes.

By Heidi

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Coffee Filters as a Tearaway Stabilizer

Coffee filters can make a wonderful substitution for tearaway stabilizer when doing a small hand or machine embroidery project.

By Patti

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Keeping Sewing Machine Needles Handy

When sewing heavy fabrics (e.g. jeans) on the sewing machine, keep the little box the needles on a piece of Blu-tack on the front of your machine. That way you will know at a glance where the right needle for the next job is.

By Lizaixi

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Hand Sewing Tip - Thread Multiple Needles

When starting a large hand sewing or needlework project, thread several needles when you begin. Then you won't have to stop and keep threading needles as you work.

By Linda

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Problems Threading a Needle?

Do you have trouble threading a needle? Try holding the needle & thread against a contrasting background-a dark colored if you're threading a light-colored thread, and a light -colored surface if you're threading a dark-colored thread. It really helps your depth perception.

By joesgirl

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Replacement Cuffs

Use the ribbed part of socks as replacement cuffs on jackets, rather than purchasing new ones from the fabric store.

By Syd

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Make Sturdy Sewing Patterns With Leftover Holiday Wrap

I use leftover holiday wrapping paper all year long in my sewing room. I hate working with flimsy tissue paper patterns so I lay them out on the white back of the wrapping paper and transfer them with a sharpie (it bleeds through the tissue). The new paper patterns are easier to fold and store and last through many more foldings than tissue. And I don't have to pay for special pattern tracing paper!

By Amy Bird

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How Do You Know If You're Using The Right Thread?
By Sarah J. Doyle

Excerpt from "Basic Clothing Construction"... Thread type is chosen for its compatibility with the fabric's structure and fiber content as well as the type of project being worked on.

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Do It Yourself Sewing Machine Repair
By Reuben O. Doyle

Your sewing machine is a wonderfully useful machine when working properly, a frustrating, confusing monster when it's not. Oddly, a vast majority of machines sent to repair shops for repairs, could be repaired at home with little or no technical knowledge.

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8 Steps to Optimize Your Sewing Time
By Sarah J. Doyle

1. Be prepared

Gather and purchase all of the supplies necessary to complete your sewing or craft project ahead of time. Having to stop in the middle of the project in order to run out and get a forgotten essential item is time consuming and irritating.

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"Sewing Room Salvage - Save and Sew!"
By Sarah J. Doyle

A collection of sewing room salvage items should be an organized part of your sewing room. Fabric scraps, buttons, zippers, ribbons, yarn and trimmings should be systematically saved so you don't waste time searching for them, nor spend extra money replacing something you have but cannot find.

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Free Patterns at

If you knit, crochet, cross-stitch, quilt, etc. you can download free patters at By Robin

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Sewing Shortcuts are Boon to Seamstresses Short on Time
By Sarah J. Doyle

When a deadline is near, shortcuts can mean the difference between it being wise or foolish for an expert or novice to undertake a sewing project. For those home sewers who dislike detail, or those whose temperaments demand that a project must go quickly, shortcuts can mean the difference between continued interest or giving up sewing completely.

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Organizing Your Craft and Sewing Supplies
By Rachel Paxton

If you're a weekend crafter like me, you probably have a lot of crafting odds and ends laying around that get all jumbled together depending on what project you're working on at the moment.

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Sewing With Leather and Suede
By S. Denise Hoyle

Once you've decided to sew with real or fake leather or suede, the next step is knowing how to choose the correct leather or suede for your project.

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Sewing Information Sheets

Here's a list of topics at the same site with Discontinued Pattern Sources, Applying Sewing Trims to AllOver Lace, Applying Lace Appliques, Sewing Elastic Buttonloops to Wedding Dresses, Sewing Bead Fringes and Drops, Embellishing Lace with Beads, Pearls & Sequins, Sewing Fabric Roses, Sewing Horsehair Braid Hems, Estimated Fabric Yardage Requirements, Fabric Yardage Conversion Information, A Guide to Needle Selection, Fibers, Fabric Descriptions and Fabric Care, Washing Information for Quilters

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Dictionary of Fabric Terms

Here's a great resource when you are wondering what a Panné Velvet is or other fabrics. It can help when you are trying to find the right fabric for the job or which fabrics could be substituted.

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Sewing Tips for Sewing Darts

Have trouble with darts? Here are step by step instructions with drawings.

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