Posts Tagged ‘Sew’

An Interview with a Repair Specialist, Penny, owner of Specialty Outdoors

Penny, owner of Specialty Outdoors updated her web site a few weeks ago.  We caught up with her to ask a few questions about her sewn products manufacturing  business.     How did you get started in the sewn product business? I was first exposed when I took a job with back pack company MountainSmith, run by entrepreneur Patrick Smith, in the early 80’s.  The company was in his garage when I started there, doing a little bit of everything with the job title of “Sewing Supervisor”. I was with them as they moved into their first facility and into national distribution.  More of Penny’s story can be seen at “How Did You Get Into This?” Penny and her husband and two children are very involved in sports of all kinds such as  road and mountain biking, snow skiing, hiking, camping, whitewater boating to name a few.   What education or training you would recommend to anyone in your type of business? Certainly having background or training in basic business management practices, especially how they relate to small/home business is essential.   What gets you up and excited about your business each morning?  I love the people I get to meet and their stories. They are so happy that I can solve their problem for them. This customer had burned the sleeve of her jacket right by the cuff.  Penny had to find fabric that blended with the coat fabric and mend the sleeve.   The repaired cuff looks like it was never damaged.           What is the least favorite part of your business? The administration involved with logging in and tracking items as they move throughout the system, plus the packing and shipping to return completed items.   What do you see as the turning point in your business when you knew you were going to be successful?   When I was able to set up pick up and drop off location in town,  that really underscored that I was a local fixture for my services. Also, when I got my first factory certification from The North Face.   What is the best new product that has become available in your field recently? Sergers that will do cover stitching have been a great innovation for small sewing businesses. They are very specific in the range of use they have, but make for a very professional finish in certain situations. Also the availability of “Sew Free” adhesives for welded seam construction has made my job easier….
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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About A Sewing Machine?

Image via Flickr I learned to sew on the treadle machine then switched to a converted treadle machine then a machine that looks more like today’s sewing machines.  At the beginning I thought that if I had a better machine I could sew better until I finally learned that it is the sewing machine operator that creates the magic, not the machine. Learning to use a sewing machine starts with the basic: HowStuffWorks “How Sewing Machines Work” http://home.howstuffworks.comFri, 01 Feb 2002 00:00:00 GMT Sewing machines turned a tedious task into something fast and easy. Learn about the inner workings of sewing machines and see expert reviews and prices for sewing machines.   I have been sewing for over 60 years so reading the blogs on how to select a sewing machine should be easy but I was wrong.  I would start reading and about the 2nd or 3rd paragraph I was lost.  I decided to go back to basics on how the sewing machine works.  If a person knows how things work, finding a machine that works for them AND being able to make minor repairs to the machine should be easier.  Sew n sow has an easy-to-follow blog: sew n sow: Learning to sew – your sewing machine http://sewensow.blogspot.comFri, 17 May 2013 07:14:00 GMT Now I’m not going to pretend I’m an expert on sewing machines. But I’ve sewn my whole life and I know a bit about them that I’m happy to share if you want some tips on what you need, without being overwhelmed with lots of … Image via Flickr As with most of my articles and blogs, I spend hours researching the internet for good articles and web sites.  Every so often I find the PERFECT blog:  She’s A Sewing Machine Mechanic: Sewing Machine Tensions http://shesasewingmachinemechanic.blogspot.comSun, 17 Feb 2013 02:00:00 GMT Sewing Machine Tensions. Lets talk about tensions. When a machine comes into the shop, no matter what the problem is, the customer will usually say, “it’s the tension.” If the timing is off, “it’s the tension.” If there’s a burr on …   Once you have your sewing machine set up and have had a chance to enjoy sewing seams, SewDaily has a tip that makes me smile.  I didn’t learn this trick until I took my first sewing lesson from a woman who was very strict: That’s Not a Sewing Machine! That’s an Iron! – Sew Daily – Blogs … http://www.sewdaily.comWed, 22 May 2013 09:00:00 GMT If you really want to learn how to…
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Side, Back, Center and a Celebration of the Zipper Inventor

Although the first patent for the zipper was issued in 1851, it was many years until the zipper was widely used:  Zipper anniversary: 10 bits of trivia to impress the pants off you – CBC.ca http://news.google.comMon, 29 Apr 2013 11:24:09 GMT CBC.caZipper anniversary: 10 bits of trivia to impress the pants off youCBC.caThe concept of a zipper got its start when an American, Elias Howe, earned a patent in 1851 for his Automatic Continuous Clothing Closure. His idea was ahead of its time, b …   I found many clever shortcuts and new methods on inserting a zipper, first the Invisible Zipper:  sewing 101: the easiest zipper – see kate sew http://seekatesew.comWed, 25 Jan 2012 14:10:00 GMT If you’ve never sewn an invisible zipper, it might surprise you that it is the easiest kind of zipper to sew in. Yep, the easiest! Plus, it look so nice on your garment, the zipper just looks a like a seam! So neat and clean.   If you have ever struggled with sewing a zipper into a lined dress, imagine simple instructions without machine sewing and hand sewing: Sewing a zip to the dress fabric and lining at the same time | Sleek … http://www.sleeksilhouette.comWed, 13 Mar 2013 18:00:38 GMT Hey,. After my post on my first designed dress (!) I mentioned that I found a way to sew the lining and dress fabric to the zip at the same time without the need for hand sewing. Helen suggested that I show how I did this, so here … This clever blogger sews a lapped zipper:  Lapped Zipper Tutorial — Gold Coast Sewing Classes http://goldcoastsewingclasses.comMon, 18 Mar 2013 00:06:12 GMT HOW TO SEW…. A lapped Zipper. Tools required: Dress zip. Thread snips. a couple pins. measuring tape. Instructions: Put zipper foot on machine and needle all the way over to the left. Zipper foot should be on left hand side. Inserting a centered zipper:  Sewing a Centered Zipper Sewing a Centered Zipper. Become a better fashion sewer at http://www.fashionsewingblog.com Subscribe to FashionSewingBlogTV today at http://www.youtube.com/…   Do you know how to repair a zipper?  LifeHacker is here to help: How to Fix Every Common Zipper Problem – Lifehacker http://lifehacker.comMon, 14 Jan 2013 14:00:00 GMT Zippers haven’t changed much since they were first invented, and neither have the problems we all have with them. From stuck zippers to teeth that just won’t clinch, here’s how to fix all the problems you’ll run into with … I hope we have covered the zipper for you!  One…
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Stitch Length, Seam Finishes And More

Image via Flickr The questions we are receiving from our customers require more than verbal descriptions.  Instead of making videos or step by step photos to demonstrate the techniques, I have located many excellent tutorials on the internet.  To read the full article please click on the underlined title. On unlined garments, seam finishes prevent raveling and can add special touches. Sergers are nice but not necessary and in some cases a serged seam will show through to the right side. Seven Lovely Things: Hong Kong Seam Finish Tutorial http://sevenlovelythings.blogspot.comMon, 22 Apr 2013 10:30:00 GMT I actually used these seam finishes on the dress I am working with now (I am almost done with it, just need the hem and some embellishments) For me, sewing has a set of “rules” and I like to follow them. My top 3 Rules For … Excellent instructional video on Hong Kong and faux flat felled seams plus fancy additions from a Designer:  How To Sew Posh Seam Finishes Lesson with Ron Collins Ron Collins demonstrates 3 of his posh seam finishes – Hong Kong, flat felled and inside seams — all of which you can do on your sewing machine. http://www…. Many of the newer machines have fancy embroidery stitches and seam finishes.  This article may take the confusion away for you:  Sewn Seam Finishes » Woodrow Handcrafts http://www.woodrowhandcrafts.comSat, 04 May 2013 01:20:38 GMT Have you ever wondered what all of those stitches on your sewing machine are used for? Some are used for construction and others are used for finishing and…   Do you ever wonder what stitch length you should use for each fabric or garment? I learned many, many years ago that the smaller stitch length worked better for me so for the past 50 years the stitch length I have used is approximately 8 – 10 stitches per inch which is number 2 on the stitch dial.  The vintage sewing machines had the stitch setting according to the number of stitches per inch  This writer has done a helpful comparison between the number stitch dial and stitches per inch:  Stitch Length on Vintage and Modern Sewing Machines http://susanscloches.blogspot.comSun, 10 Mar 2013 14:41:00 GMT Occasionally I need to know a vintage sewing machine’s stitch length compared to a modern machine’s. I’ve not found much information on it, so I sat down with a couple of sewing machines and tried to figure it out for myself … Image via Flickr   Ease stitch length is not the same as a gathering…
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Quantity or Quality or Repurposing?

Image via Flickr Quality or quantity?  Many advise to buy the best quality fabric you can afford if the garment is basic and something you will wear many times.  A few more suggestions from Sew Chic: Its Sew Chic: Can you Spot a Quality Fabric? http://sewchicpatterns.blogspot.com12/17/12 Understanding quality of fabric thoroughly would take up a whole text book, but let’s just boil it down to the most critical points to know. Some of the fabric information you need to know is listed on the fabric bolt, you know, that … Image via Flickr Why not repurpose fabric by buying garments at the thrift stores and making new items?RuralMom.com: How To Find Quality Fabric at Bargain Prices #DIY http://www.ruralmom.com1/12/13 We use fabric for crafts and sewing for many variant reasons. Some just love to create clothing and accessories because they can make them as unique as they like. Others sew to save money on clothes, or to make a living. Image via Flickr Speaking of repurposing fabrics, Wardrobe Surgeon has suggestions for finding quality vintage fabrics: Where to buy vintage fabric « Wardrobe Surgeon http://wardrobesurgeon.com2/13/13 I just love getting my hands on great quality vintage fabrics that have survived for years in good condition, but they are not always easy to find, so today I thought I would share some of the places I buy vintage fabrics from! More thrift store hints from Saucy Glossie:Thrift Store Secrets | Saucy Glossie http://www.saucyglossie.com3/20/13 Happy first day of Spring! Yesterday my thrift store shopping segment aired on the Ricki Lake Show and I wanted all of you guys to be able to see it in case you missed it on TV! I put together three outfits and each look was … Enjoy! Judith Judith@fabrics.net

Cashmere Special Price!

Image via Flickr   Cuddle up with your cashmere throw made with real cashmere wool. Special prices created just for you just in time for holiday gifts! Two yards of cashmere equals a 72 by 60 inch throw big enough for a family. One yard equals a 36 by 60 inch throw. Just round off the corners using a bowl for a pattern then finish the edges with a serger or blanket stitch using contrasting thread or matching thread.   Imagine a cashmere shrug to warm your winter day. Use a pattern from one of the pattern companies or online directions like the “How to..” examples that are found on YouTube. HOW TO SEW EASY SUMMER BOLERO, SHRUG,CARDIGAN AND CAPE www.meshalo.com www.etsy.com Join My LIVE SEWING CLASS beta.powhow.com www.meshalo.blogspot.com twitter.com youtube Tglashen youtube MeshalofashionTV youtube Meshalostyletv facebook Meshalo Glashen Another shrug for your cashmere fabric, this one by Meshalo Glashen. How to Make a Shrug www.meshalo.etsy.com Join My LIVE SEWING CLASS beta.powhow.com www.meshalo.blogspot.com www.meshalofashion.wordpress.com www.meshalopinupgirl.wordpress.com youtube Tglashen youtube MeshalofashionTV facebook Meshalo Glashen facebook Meshalo fashion Enjoy!

How to Sew Boucle Fabric

Sewing Boucle Fabric The weave of boucle fabric can be loose or tightly woven. Between the two, loosely woven boucle is harder to sew. To work successfully with the fabric it is necessary to adjust your hand- and machine-sewing techniques to better accommodate the fabric. How to Sew Boucle Fabric 1. Using a walking foot or roller foot on the sewing machine will greatly help when working with boucle fabric. This helps you in moving the fabric as you sew and the roller foot prevents the needle from catching on the open weave. 2. Adjust the sewing machine stiteches at 2mm or 12 stitches per inch. If needed, adjust accordingly. Using a wide zigzag stitch will also help as this kind of stitch is less likely to catch on the open weave. 3. Use size 70/10 -90/14 sharps and universals for the sewing machine. 4. You can use any thread like cotton, polyester or a blend of them. 5. Pin pattern pieces to the fabric as you usually do and don’t forget to hand-stitch the hem using 5-7 hand sewing needles. 6. Sew accordingly.