Saturday, April 21, 2012

Stitch by Stitch - Part 1

If no one else has a nominee for easiest book to follow then I do- read through the entire first part last night and have been impatient to start on the first mini project!

The book is divided into Parts, then Chapters.  Part 1: Getting Started has three chapters: Tools and Materials, You and Your Machine, and Fabric.  Most of the materials are things I had on-hand and a few I have never even heard of but Ms. Moebes gives very detailed descriptions and uses for each item on the list and even includes things that are helpful but not at all necessary (like tube turners, for example, instead of using a safety pin or a needle).  She goes on to explain the different parts of sewing machines (with illustrations) and explains fabric in a detail I have never seen.  For the first time, I understand what the nap of a fabric is.

Throughout the different sections, Ms. Moebes gives sound advise for people who are beginning, returning, or experienced sewers.  Like the introduction, the first part is full of humor and wisdom, chiding people to not let their machines rule them and explaining why it is important to cut a straight edge!

Feeling inspired and itching to start my projects, I decided it was time to dig through my fabric box.  Sadly I didn't take pictures, but it may be a good thing that no one but me got to see the mess!  That fabric box has traveled with me since high school (so around 10 years!) and I never bothered to keep tags on the material.  Intelligent idiot young me thought, "Surely I'll remember!"  Ha.

Two hours later and my box is sorted into groups: cottons, denim (yes, I know its cotton too but its heavier so I separate them), fleece, flannel, satins, knits, and misc.  Most of the miscellaneous bag is full of costume materials, for dolls so the pieces are fairly small.  I love cloth dolls and making doll clothes for barbies and 18" dolls, generally period specific.  There are so many neat clothing syles out there and making a dress for me takes a lot longer.  Plus, the dolls don't complain about corsets!

Once the box was organized, I overhauled my sewing supplies and sorted out what will be my "Basic Sewing Supplies" as Ms. Moebes deems the kit in her book.  I put them into a kaboodle- a real one that used to be a makeup box, but it works great for sewing supplies.

The box contains:
Shears, Scissors, Two sizes of Seam Rippers, and a 45mm Rotary Cutter

Some of these are tools I used when I took my first sewing class in the 8th grade!  And they still work!
White pen, white pencil, yellow chalk pen.

I have a lot of pins- Tpins, safety pins, large ball pins (white) small ball pins (colored), and flatheads.  Along with hand sewing needles and machine needles (not pictured).

And yes, for those of you paying attention, the safety pins and small balls are in dice boxes!  The silly things are amazingly useful and the pins stay inside.  I keep all of mine and anyone else's if they'll let me.

And of course there is measuring stuff.  This is the only tape measure in this box but I have a blue measure in the jewelry making supplies and a purple retractable measure in the knitting supplies too.  Its hard not to have one.  The simple size gauge is in here, along with the bias tape maker, needle threader (I hate threading them myself!), and the hem guide.  The hem guide is new, but amazing- you use it to press a hem before sewing.  The metal guide not only gets hot and helps press the hem into place, it has measurements so you can make sure the hem is the proper width and a curved side for curved hems!

My other new toys are these: a self healing rotary mat and a clear acrylic ruler.  The ruler is great- those funny looking dots are gripping spots so the ruler doesn't slide around on fabric.  They make straight edge cutting so much easier- I've wanted one for years and never got the courage.   The heck with that- I've got 'em and I'll use them.  In fact, as soon as the dryer finishes I'll get to use them for the first mini project: My Stitch Sampler.

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