Posts tagged "Sewing

Tag Archives: Sewing

Why threading a sewing machine isn’t a problem – for some!

Daunting for some – not for others.
Why sewing just got easier…

Sewing machines: we can’t live without them. Some sewists love their machines – others find them a little frustrating. But this needn’t be the case. Even something as potentially frustrating as threading a sewing machine and winding the bobbin is for some a pleasure and for others a chore.

Find out how to ALWAYS make this task a pleasure…

The Apartment Therapy website offers very helpful advice for those in the “frustrated” camp, suggesting that the correct threading of a machine “opens up a world of creative possibilities”, but does acknowledge that “the process might seem intimidating”.

The wikiHow website provides a wonderfully helpful series of videos showing two different methods:-

  1. Winding the bobbin
  2. Threading a sewing machine

– a total of 17 videos that explain it all!!!

It’s very well presented and it needs to be, because, as the website states

“For new sewing machine users, threading the machine can seem daunting, and even put you off the task of sewing altogether.”

How to avoid ALL the above

(Hint – it’s method 2)

So far, we’ve identified two types of sewists – with regard to threading at least – the “Happy” camp and the “Frustrated” one. The challenge is to find the most pain free way of getting from “Frustrated” to “Happy”.

Method 1 – review your instructions books several times, plough through all those marvellous online blogs and helpful videos. This may well result in you having to forget that night out, lunch with friends, the kids’ homework or walking the tortoise for a while. But what the hell – just think of the sense of achievement that you may well get after all those painful hours of study or confusion.

Method 2 – buy a Jaguar sewing machine. No really – it’s that simple!

It’s thanks to that wonderful Digital Quick-threading System (DQS). Just guide the thread directly from the spool to the needle area through a single groove and thread the needle by simply pressing the threading lever.

Free up more tortoise walking time – buy a Jaguar DQS405 sewing machine »

Our favourite quilting tips

Everything from fabric choice to photographing your quilt…

We love quilting! It’s such a terrific worldwide passion, with thousands of people improving their techniques over decades as they brush up on their knowledge. Which doesn’t mean that you have to find everything out for yourself of course – which is precisely why we thought we’d share some of our current favourites with you…

As the song goes, “Let’s start at the very beginning…” – which is indeed a very good place to start!

How to choose the correct fabric

A great starting point is a recent post by Mary Kate Karr-Petras called Workshop Wednesday: How to Choose Fabric for a Quilt on the McCall’s Quilting blog.

Mary Kate recognises a position we’ve all been in – being daunted by the process of selecting suitable (and desirable) fabrics and the self-doubt that can result. Predetermined palettes provide a bit of a safety net, but sometimes they take the spontaneity or even creativity out of the process, leaving the end result as a potential disappointment.

So what she has done is assemble a number of videos that can really help to get those creative juices flowing – and they include

  • Best Fabric for Quilting
  • How to Read Fabric
  • How to Choose Quilt Fabric.

Getting to grips with zips

Now we’ve got you nicely warmed up, we thought we’d tackle one of the more difficult areas for quilters – the dreaded zip. Panic not! Help is at hand in the form of a really helpful article and video Zipper tips for quilters on the Quilting Digest website.

The video features Jennifer who provides and excellent zipper overview and shows her “no-hassle” sewing methods.

The bit that we really like is where she uses adhesive tape instead of pins to held everything together.

“Nothing can shift, making it simple to get perfect alignment of the fabric next to the zipper.”

The bit about effective use of the zipper foot is also particularly useful.

Puffy Blocks

Some of us hoard a certain amount of special fabric – just hoping for that inspirational pattern that just might surface one day.

This particularly splendid example from the Quilter’s world website is called Puffy Blocks Puffy Projects. The example given is based on a pattern by Chris Malone which was perfect as the author had plenty of pre-cuts saved as well as a whole container of 5″ squares.

The best bit of advice is to try a new technique by making a small project or part of a larger one first before diving in.

“I’ve found that most UFOs (UnFinished Objects) in my studio are projects that I really didn’t like once I’d worked on them a bit. I could have saved myself a lot of trouble if I’d simply played around with the concept a bit before jumping in.”

Photographing your wonderful quilts

You spend age making your wonderful work of art and want to show it off! You can’t always cart it about to show to friends and interested parties, so you do the next best thing – take a photograph. The trouble is, it’s often not a very good one, so people’s response to your masterpiece may be disappointingly lukewarm at best.

Not surprising really, so what you need to do is brush up on your photography, not your quilting!

And surprisingly, there is a website that can help you with this – Shoot That Quilt! It’s aimed at the non-professional photographer, so it’s decidedly un-technical.

The article has many useful sections, including

  • Hanging the quilt
  • The lighting setup
  • How to shoot closeups.

And a plug for our wonderful sewing machines!

If you have got to the stage where your next quilting purchase is a sewing machine, a wonderful Jaguar machine may well be the best place to look. Jaguar are an internationally recognised, high quality Japanese producer that works with most major brands. Unlike many other suppliers, Jaguar produces all of its machines in its own factories.

They also stock a wide range of sewing machine feet and overlocker feet.

Can you turn a sewing passion into a business?

Advice and examples of sewing entrepreneurship

Many of us have from time to time wondered if our sewing passion could lead us on the greater things – most notably being able to give up the day job, or at least earn a little extra from our number one pastime.

The simple fact is that hundreds of people have succeeded in realising this potentially exciting ambition. Temper this however, with the thought that in all probability many more have failed.

So we spent some time having a rummage about in an attempt to highlight some initial hints and tips that might just encourage you to do some research – and find out whether you can turn your passion into an income generator.

You’ll notice by the way that we never use the word “hobby” when it comes to describing sewing – it’s much too important for that!

Start small and work your way up

The excellent LoveSewing website really hits the nail on the head with an article “How to make money from sewing…”

“Even if you haven’t mastered all the more advanced techniques you can start by sewing up simple purses, bags, pin cushions or little soft toys. Spend some time creating unique designs.

“You can sell these little gifts and accessories at craft fairs or on a handmade marketplace like Folksy.com…” 

What makes a good “sew to sell” project?

An excellent question – well answered by the So Sew Easy website. Stephanie Woodson from from Swoodson Says has compiled a really good list of considerations, including

“Shipping – can be expensive on large, heavy or valuable items. Smaller items that can go in a padded envelope and be inexpensive to send may sell better.“

Enjoy what you’re doing!

SewMyPlace comes up with some nice ideas in the aptly titled “6 Ways to Make Money Sewing” – and there’s one piece of advice in particular that we think is really important. Make sure that you really enjoy the type of sewing that will be required.

Otherwise you may as well go back to the day job!

“After all, the whole point of making money sewing is being able to earn some cash while doing something you already love to do. So you should choose a sewing business that allows you to do the types of sewing projects you most enjoy.”

This article contains lots of relevant stuff, including the type of sewing service that you might light to consider providing.

Choose your speciality

All of which brings us very neatly to the Assemble & Earn website and their article “Introduction to Starting A Sewing Business From Home.”

“What you decide to sew will also depend on the the kind of equipment you are starting out with and whether you are working on your own or with someone else.”

They flag up suggestions like alteration and repair, custom sewing and designing.

The real life success stories

It’s all very well people banging on about “how to do so-and-so” or “top ten tips to become a millionaire in 20 minutes” (to be fair we haven’t found that one yet lol), but the best and most inspirational example are the people who’ve been there. Done it. Worn the T shirt – and in this case probably made the T shirt as well.

We’ve got two for you here – one bang up-to-date and one a couple years older that we also love.

Debbie Shore, “Derbyshire’s TV sewing superstar”, according to the Derby Telegraph. She has so much energy and get-up-and-go that she was always going to be a success – even being Zippy’s girlfriend on Rainbow!

The wonderful This is MONEY website features an inspirational report on Helen Dickson, who started Bustle & Sew who “…realised her passion could become a commercially viable business after her daughter left home and she finished a full-time job working for the local authority.”

The right tools for the job?

And we couldn’t finish without a subtle plug for our wonderful Jaguar sewing machines and overlockers, which, like the Jaguar 377 offers automatic threading.

The Jaguar 377 offers the perfect sewing partner for precision sewing, offering you the ability to use a variety of built in different stitches, enables you to create a variety of sewing projects with ease, making it ideal for beginners and more experienced textile crafters.

Four tips for the more experienced sewer

How sewers can get even better with their sewing machines!

Sewing is an interesting activity – even a passion with many of us! Joining a sewing group is a great idea – sharing tips, techniques and generally letting the excitement rub off on each other. 

Not all of us can get together with groups of sewing ninjas on a day-to-day basis, so the next best thing is to get together online. We’ll be running an article soon highlighting the sorts of common interest groups that could just help you get over a particular problem – or even to help you spread the sewing love!

In the meantime, we’ve come across four tips from around the world that may just help you take the next step on your sewing journey.

Techniques and projects that may just help sewers to move out of their comfort zones…

Underlining

This will help some of you intermediates – according to the Craftsy website there are a number of compelling reasons to get to grips with this more advanced technique. There are four other excellent tips in the same article by the way.

“Depending on your garment fabric there are many reasons to add underlining to your garment. For a lightweight silk the underlining can add strength and reduce wrinkles. Used in a wool dress, the underlining can eliminate the need for facings. Underlining adds a supporting structure and lets the outer fabric be the star.”

Learn from industrial sewing

The Colette blog is one of our favourites – and we love Sharon Blair’s article 15 things home sewers can learn from industrial sewing.

As the title says – you’ve got 15 pearls of wisdom to go at here – including

“Perform similar operations at the same time and sew flat. Sew the details first. Set these aside. Then start assembling the garment. Complete as much as you can before joining side seams. Sewing in a tube is more time consuming than sewing flat.”

Keep up your quality control

Eight interesting tips can be found in the blog article by Shelley from New Vintage Lady – Tips for making you a quality sewer on the Curvy Sewing Collective website.

Shelly makes the really important point that if you are going to improve, you have to eradicate the “that will do” or “that’s good enough” state of mind.

“We have all been there. That zipper stitch is a bit crooked, or that collar is a bit too long on the left. Fix those problems. Take the time and get out your seam ripper and fix them. The moment you suffer from ‘good enough’ in your sewing is the moment you won’t improve.“

Take the stress out of being a sewer!

We love sewing – it’s fun, it’s a passion, it’s a way of life! Which doesn’t mean that things don’t get a little tense when things go wrong.

So do what you can to eradicate the tension.

Jenny Hellström makes us smile. A lot. Which is why we’re finishing this particular blog article with Very hot tips for sewers.

And our favourite? You might say our “tip of the day”… 

“Tip 4. Do the robot dance between the sewing machine and ironing board to make sure to get all the sewing aggressions out of your system.”

I’ll bet you didn’t know that sewing could help your dance floor routine – did you?

Check out our wonderful sewing machines

Well – we are very proud of them! Thanks for stopping by!

Jaguar sewing machines »

Jaguar overlocker machines »

Five essential quilting tips

Avoiding the pitfalls and concentrating on the enjoyment of sewing…

We love the internet! There are so many useful hints, tips and cautionary tales for all of us who love sewing. 

We thought we’d round up just a few of our favourites as an indication of the wonderful array of help and guidance that anyone with a computer, smartphone or tablet can access.

So here, in no particular order are five of our current favourites.

1) The lurking safety pins!

Before you start work – watch out for those safety pins warns the Dummies website.

“If you have pin basted your quilt together, you must remove the safety pins as you approach them. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to stitch over a safety pin. Not only does stitching over them make them difficult to remove, but it’s dangerous! You could easily break your needle, sending a fragment of the needle into your eye.”

2) The quilt sandwich

No – it’s not an excuse for an early lunch, but some invaluable advice from the wonderful Linda Matthews Creative Cloth website which shows how proper preparation can really brings huge benefits and time saving – and help ensure that your quilting nears perfection.

“Before you begin machine quilting, you should ensure that your quilt is properly sandwiched and basted. Time taken for preparation beforehand will prevent problems occurring during the machine quilting process.”

3) Hide your mistakes!

One of our go-to websites is of course Craftsy. They have an excellent article 10 Beginner Tips for Successful Free-Motion Quilting – some of which show you how to ensure that you have a marvellous end result – even if you might be lacking a little confidence.

“By using multicolored “busy” fabric prints, all you will see is the texture of your quilting rather than any less-than-perfect stitches. Choose a thin (50 weight or less) cotton or polyester thread for machine quilting in a color that blends in with your quilt top.”

4) Picking the right quilt colours

Deciding on a really effective colour scheme for a quilt can sometimes prove to be really challenging. Paying close attention to the fabric is a great way to start, according to Nicole on the Mama Loves Quilts website.

“Fabric designers have already done the hard work of selecting colors that go together beautifully. Letting the fabric be your guide in color selection makes it easy to choose a color scheme for a quilt.”

5) Why should you make your own quilts?

Jessica Skultety starts an excellent tutorial on making large quilts on your home machine with six reasons why you should make your own on her excellent Quilty Habits blog.

“You will finish a quilt from the very beginning to the bitter end. That is a huge accomplishment!”


Get in touch with your hints and tips!

Let us spread the joy with our fellow sewists by emailing us details of your favourite tips. We will of course include information about you and a link to your website – and add it to our Twitter and Facebook pages as a thank you!


The Jaguar range of sewing machines and overlockers

Of course we’d love you to indulge your passion for sewing on one of our wonderful sewing machines. If you’re ready for a new machine, bear in mind that all Jaguar machines feature the Digital Quick-threading System (DQS).

Just guide the thread directly from the spool to the needle area through a single groove and thread the needle by simply pressing the threading lever!

Jaguar Sewing Machines » 

Jaguar Overlockers » 

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