Sewing Tips Newsletter
by Jenny T.
I am worn out today! I’m still recovering from this holiday weekend. I had a lot of fun goofing off with my family and friends… sleeping in…. eating… going to the pool… even a little golf! But now, I’ve gotta get off my tired butt and get motivated! Do you ever have those days?
Ok, so this week, I thought I’d go out and find some really cool presser feet for my sewing machine. There are some really amazing feet available that do all kinds of neat things!
They’re not exactly a bargain… so I chose 6 that I felt any sewer would enjoy… and really want! I had a lot of fun with this project, and I hope you learn and enjoy it too!
In this issue:
1. 6 Amazing Presser Feet That Every Sewer Needs
2. Ask Jenny T. Now
3. What’s new in Simple Sewing Projects
4. Sewing Tip from one of our readers
And now… on to this week’s sewing tip!
Sewing Tip #7: 6 Amazing Presser Feet That Every Sewer Needs
We all have our standard presser feet for our sewing machine… but there are few feet that I found to only be super helpful… but really cool! I’m going to share with you 6 presser feet that every sewer needs… or at least want really badly!!
The video for this lesson is at http://www.HowToSewWithJennyT.com
1. Blind Hem Foot
You may already have this foot. Some machines come with it. You use the blind hem foot to sew an invisible hem… it’s terrific! You end up with little tacks on the face fabric… barely noticeable… and all the stitching is inside the garment or window treatment. I use the blind hem foot for any hem that I don’t want the stitching to show. There are videos on http://www.SimpleSewingProjects.com that show you how to sew a blind hem stitch using the blind hem foot.
2. Ruffler Foot
The foot creates a ruffle by gathering the fabric in neat pleats… and then sews the ruffle to a flat piece of fabric. This saves you so much time! Normally, you have to gather the fabric first… which isn’t much fun… and then pin and sew it to your fabric. This nifty foot does it all for you… and you can adjust the foot to create different levels of fullness. Awesome!
3. Rolled Hem Foot
Ah yes! This is the magical presser foot that a few of you have asked me for help with. This neat little foot makes hemming a snap! If you’re hemming light fabric… making light weight projects… you are going to love this foot. It makes sewing small hems really fast. Now, I do have to tell you that this foot takes some practice to master. I’ve made a video for this foot on http://www.HowToSewWithJennyT.com
4. Binder Foot
Use the binder foot to bind an edge using bias tape or custom made bias strips. This reduces binding to one step. The binder presser foot is not recommended for corners… so, sadly, you can’t use a binder foot with quilts. But you can use it with garments. I would have loved using this foot to bind the waist edge on my skirt.
5. Walking Foot
This is the presser foot of all presser feet… in my opinion. One of the most frustrating things that happens when sewing layers is the fact that the bottom moves faster than the top. This can cause all kinds of problems especially with quilting. Quilters, you know what I’m talking about! A walking foot feeds the top layer of fabric at the same rate as the bottom layer. This isn’t fool proof, but your results will be much better than without it.
6. 1/4″ or 5/8″ Presser Foot
Ok, I’m listing 2 feet here… but they do the same thing. The 1/4″ presser foot is used mostly by quilters. Most fabric piecing uses a 1/4″ seam allowance. Using the edge of the presser foot gives you a 1/4″ seam allowance. The same goes for the 5/8″ presser foot. This isn’t a well known presser foot, but if you sew a lot of garments, you’re going to love this one! This presser foot is made with a guide and allows you to sew even 5/8″ seam allowances!
Discover video and audio of even more sewing tips, how-to’s and resources by visiting HowToSewWithJennyT.com. You’ll even be able to subscribe to these weekly sewing tips and how-to’s and receive them through your iTunes or podcast player.
Ask Jenny T Now
While you wait for the next sewing tip, be sure to visit AskJennyTNow.com and submit your sewing question. Your question maybe answered in my next podcast or newsletter!
Question from Peggy: I have a Roman Shade completed for my window and have hung it however when I raise the blind the pleats don’t fall as you would see them normally. They actually bag in the center and you can’t see any pleats at all. What is wrong here?
Answer: I am willing to bet that you only sewed your shade rings to your lining. This is a very common mistake, because sewers don’t want to stitching on the front of their roman shade. But here’s the thing, you MUST sew the rings through all layers of the roman shade. This is the only way to keep the fabric from doing what it wants. It’s the rings that create the pleats… so the rings need to be on the fabric too. And yes, there will be tacking on the face fabric.. but this is normal. There’s a free video on http://www.SimpleSewingProjects.com that shows you how to sew on a shade ring for your reference.
Question from Rose: Jenny, I know your sewing is predominately home dec but since you have started “wearables” I have a question. I am trying to make a birdcage veil for my future daughter in law. When I look at these veils at the store, they seem so easy to make but when I try to figure it out, I am at a loss. Am I overthinking this project?
Answer: Well, I haven’t actually made one before… but if I were to attempt one… I would make a simple rectangular tube that will slide easily over the cage. Then sew a 1/2″ casing at the top edge. String some cord through the casing and draw tight. What do you think?
Question from Lynn: Hi Jenny! Laura asked you how much to charge for making curtains, and you replied $15 per sf. Is that including their fabric and lining or in addition to fabric and lining?
Answer: Great question! Forgot to specify… what… you can’t read my mind? (kidding) The $15 per square foot is for the labor. You then add in the cost of the fabric, lining and materials. It’s up to you if you want to mark up the fabric or not. I would pass on the savings to the customer in the beginning… until you become more experienced working with customers and costs.
Question from Caroline: Hi Jenny T! I am a beginner and am currently attempting to sew a box beanbag cover. I am using your very helpful video on ‘How to Sew a Box Cushion’ to help with the basics. I have begun by cutting 6 identical 18″ squares from my fabric. I have an 18″ zip that I would like for the bottm of the beanbag and i intend to pipe the top square seam. Again your video on ‘How to sew a welt cord’ was perfect for this. So i have the general idea, the tricky part for me is sewing all the bits together to create the 3D box. Any help you could offer would be amazing, Thank You in advance x
Answer: I think you’ll find the latest video series on sewing a piped box cushion extremely helpful. http://www.SimpleSewingProjects.com
Question from Alissa: Jenny, Thanks so much for your resources~ Love them! I’m an experienced sewer. However, I’m in need of sewing guidance for sofa slipcovers. Do you have any guidelines?
Answer: To all of you that have asked for slipcover instructions… hang tight. It’s my next online class. As soon as the Swags and Drapes class is finished (in about a month), I will start a sofa slipcover class. Your ideas on this class are welcome.
Question from Priscilla: Hi,Jenny. Love your site! I have been doing needlepoint for thirty some years. I have made several Christmas Stockings, and have to pay huge amounts to a “finisher” to have them finished. I also have been sewing for years, gowns to roman shades. Do you have a method for turning my needlepoint canvas into a Christmas stocking? I have attempted it and just wrecked the canvas from ripping it apart a million times! HELP!!
Answer: Hmmm. My first thought would be to sew the canvas to some light lining first. And then hand sew it to your stocking fabric using a blanket stitch. READERS: Do you have ideas for Priscilla?
Question from Sharon: I’m sewing the lining to a fairly heavy drapery fabric (kind of a worn out velvet)…which fabric should be on the bottom as I am sewing?
Answer: I always prefer to sew with the lining side down. I would use a walking foot if you have one to help move the heavy fabric through at a faster pace. Most importantly, if you choose the lining side down… always sew with the lining side down.
Question from Carol: Hi Jennifer ..Although I am a seamstress here in my home town I have never had much call to use one special foot :Rolled Hemmer. I usually end up using my serger for the rolled hems. But I took it out again and tried it. On wedding gowns when you have the seams at the side I know that they have to be trimmed back. But how do you get it started and to end as just getting the material into that certain slot is always a chore for me. Is there any TIPS or techniques that you may have for me .
Answer: Hang on. I will be posting a video by Tuesday or Wednesday of this week of me using this foot. Hopefully, I’ll be able to share some ideas on this. This video will be posted both on http://www.SimpleSewingProjects.com under Jenny T.s Sewing Review and on HowToSewWithJennyT.com in the video podcast.
Question from Bernie: What do it mean when a pattern says-on the (grain)or against the (grain)?
Answer: The grain is basically the weave of the fabric. There are threads that run down the length of the fabric and threads that run across the fabric. The grain is the direction that is parallel to the selvege edges. So, when you position your pattern, you want the arrow pointing down the length of the fabric and the line to be parallel to the selvege edges. Against the grain means to have the arrow pointing at a 90 degree angle to the selvege edges. I show you these exact steps in my video series for sewing a skirt. Visit http://www.SimpleSewingProjects.com and click on Jenny T.’s Sewing Review.
Visit AskJennyTNow.com and submit your sewing question today.
What’s New This Month In SimpleSewingProjects.com
1. Project of the Month: How To Sew A Piped Box Cushion. (*For Super Sewer Members Only*)
2. Window Treatment of the Month: How To Sew A Slatted Roman Shade. (*For Super Sewer Members Only*)
3. The online class “How To Sew Swags and Drapes – A Live Case Study” is available for you to sign up! Please visit http://budurl.com/sewswags for more info and to sign up. Week 2 will be sent out to class members tomorrow.
4. Jenny T.’s Sewing Review: Using a ruffler presser foot, a rolled hem foot and a binder foot
5. How To Sew… : How To Sew Custom Welt Cord (piping)
Gain immediate access to all this exciting content plus to all of the archived sewing projects and how-to’s.
Here’s the link to subscribe to SimpleSewingProjects.com: http://budurl.com/freessp
I hope to see you in the member’s site!
Sewing Tip from Debbie
Hi Jen, For sewing sheer fabric why not use a blind sticher with mono thread and NO problems after you get it ajusted for the fabic and don’t forget the tention. But even on a straight sticher no big deal with pins every couple inches apart or more if you think you need them. Don’t forget to pull the fabric in front of you and on the back side of the presser foot and it will not scrunh up. If it should be a bit short on side hems or where ever push pin it down and strech it a half inch, iron with steam and let it sit. It will grow. Thanks Debbie
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