6 Reasons You Need a Serger

Sergers. The thought of them either make you super excited or make you want to run away screaming in terror (I promise, they aren’t that hard to thread.) Honestly, though, for someone who sews garments, they are the ultimate sewing want. There are so many things you can do with them. I am in love with mine so much, that I made a list of all the reasons I think you need one in your life.

6 Reasons You Need A Serger

6 Reasons You Need a Serger

  1. Sergers make sewing with knit fabrics a breeze. Do you love stretchy fabrics? Does the idea of sewing with them on your regular sewing machine make you feel physically ill (No? Just me?) A serger is amazing with knits for one major reason: differential feed. While that sounds like something your mechanic might tell you needs to be replaced on your car, a differential feed is just a fancy term for saying that the two parts that feed in the fabric can move at different rates. If you’ve ever tried to sew knits on a regular sewing machine without a walking foot, you will understand why this is important. The differential feed keeps the fabric from being overstretched.
  2. Sergers give a clean, professional edge on all seams. One of the coolest things about a serger is how it cuts off the fabric as you sew. The thread is then looped around giving a nice clean edge that won’t ravel in the wash. Look inside any ready to wear garment you own and chances are the seams are all serged.  This will give your garments a more professional look (which is a must if you are sewing to sell.)
  3. Sergers are faster than a sewing machine. This is partly because they make the seam and finish the edge in one swoop.  Depending on the finishes, you can even sew an entire garment with your serger without even touching your regular sewing machine.
  4. Sergers can create beautiful rolled hems that are perfect for delicate fabrics. Every serger also has the ability to create a rolled hem. Rolled hems are especially helpful for fragile or slippery fabrics and are often used for special occasions or lingerie.
  5. Sergers can make stronger seams than a traditional sewing machine. Because a serger uses at least 3 or 4 threads, the seams they create are much stronger than those created with a regular sewing machine. That makes those garments you spend all that time making hold up longer.
  6. Entry level sergers are cheaper than ever. The price of a brand new serger has come down a lot in the past several years.  In fact, you can get a brand new Brother 1034D on Amazon for pretty cheap.

Still not convinced? Don’t have the money to shell out for a new serger quite yet? While you can’t get all the cool features like rolled hems or differential feeds on your regular sewing machine, you can fake a serger edge with a side cutter sewing foot for less than $10 on Amazon. The edge is not as crisp as a serger, but I used one for a few years before I decided I had to have a serger in my life.

12 More Bad Sewing Habits You Need To Quit Doing - So guilty of number 5!

12 More Bad Sewing Habits You Need to Quit Doing

A year ago today we wrote our viral post 15 Bad Sewing Habits You Need to Quit Doing.  That post has had over 170 comments at the time of this writing.  It was so popular that we thought we would follow it up with another post.  So without further ado…
12 More Bad Sewing Habits You Need To Quit Doing - So guilty of number 5!

12 MORE Bad Sewing Habits You Need to Quit Doing

1. Using your teeth to cut your thread

Broken teeth, appendicitis, dentist trips. Holy smokes! This was the number one thing people commented and said was a bad sewing habit of theirs that they had to break.

2. Not ironing your fabric before you cut your pattern

OK this may only apply to those of us that prewash and put the fabric away as a wrinkly mess. (Please tell me I’m not the only one!) I once cut out a dress from lining without ironing the fabric first and ended up with a dress an entire size too big.  Whoops!

3. Getting in too much of a sewing groove (AKA not paying attention)

This totally happened to me the other day. You would think a fashion designer would know better, but I was listing to music, enjoying some kid-free time, and cutting away. And then I realized I had completely laid out the fabric wrong and not paid attention to the grainline.  Have you ever cut two left pant legs because you were in a groove? Yep, me too.

4. Knowingly using the wrong needle for a project

Admit it. You do this. You do this more often than you care to admit. Ok maybe I’m just talking to myself here, but I have totally used a stretch needle on woven because, eh, I don’t care that much and I’m in a hurry. Please let me know I’m not the only one that’s done this.  I do normally regret it later when my seam looks terrible.

pins photo

Photo by gosheshe

5. Thinking, “I’ll just hem this later”

And there is sits for 6 months (or more!).  This bad sewing habit is also a cousin to, “I’ll finish this hand stitching tomorrow.”

6. Setting anything on your cutting table that does not directly relate to the project you are working on

This is by far the quickest way to turn your cutting table into something that slightly resembles that tv show Hoarders. Seriously, how does all that “stuff” pile up so quickly?

7. Not changing your rotary blades often enough.

This is one of the bad sewing habits that I am the most guilty of! You know what happens. You get a tiny knick in the blade, but it still works 50% of the time.  And that knick is small.  It just misses one thread or two and if you press harder it works fine. Before you know it every inch you blade isn’t cutting and you know it needs to be replaced, but you just keep using it and you don’t know why. When you finally do replace it you wonder what in the world took you so long and remember how nice it is to have a nice fresh blade on your rotary cutter.

pins photo

Photo by dhendrix73

8. Sewing Over Pins

Now this is a topic that is much debated in the sewing world. But if you’ve ever hit a pin just right and had it go flying at your face, you will understand exactly why this is a bad sewing habit. One perk is that it normally only takes this happening once or twice before you decide that this is a habit you must break (you know, next time you sit down to sew something.)

9. Taking too many sewing short cuts

Understitching? Eh, topstitching is close enough. Grading those seams? I’d rather keep sewing. Basting? I’m sure if I put enough pins, it will turn out fine. And then you look at what you just did and all you can think is, “Why didn’t I take the extra step?” For the record this is the point in the project that you and your seam ripper become BFF’s.

10. Letting those little threads/ fabric scraps go everywhere but the trash can

Does your dog wear thread in his fur like its an accessory? Does your daughter hoard little pieces of scraps she finds randomly all over the floor? When you are at the grocery store, does the person behind you say, “Ma’am, there’s little pieces of red thread all over your back.” Just me? Ok moving on.

thread photo

Photo by sarae

11. Not snipping your threads after every seam

In my head, its easier to just wait until the end of a project and snip everything all at once. As I’m sewing I actually repeat this to myself in my head as I see all those loose threads. But you know what happens at the end of a project? I forget spots. Then later when my daughter is wearing the garment I notice all these threads randomly hanging. My New Year Resolution for last year was to cut these threads after every seam. I would love to tell you I succeeded, but…

12. Trying to take on too many projects at once

OK this might just be a me thing, but I tend to think I can make no less than 75 things any given week. And I’m not talking about 15 minute projects. No, I mean dresses with 1.5 miles of ruffles with more pin tucks than you can count. Oh and did I mention I need to drive to the fabric store to get materials too? Then before I know it I have a million half used supplies and a ton of unfinished projects. I have sewing ADHD.

So tell me, did you fair better this time? How many of these are you guilty of? Let me know in the comments. And if you have anymore bad sewing habits that are not on the list, tell them to me!

 

 

 

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape

There is a secret to perfect bias tape that not many newbies know. I know when I first started sewing, I would marvel at how other seamstresses would add bias tape trim and it would look so perfect!  I wanted to know how to get those results, but every time I tried to add it on, I failed miserably. Well, fear no more! You too can end up with bias trim that makes other people wonder how you did it.

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape

The first time I applied bias tape, I wrapped it around the edges and sewed it on in one swoop. If you’ve ever done this, you know that a majority of the time it looks like you sewed it in the dark. While it is quick, the result is terrible. It makes things look more “homemade” than handmade. The real trick to bias tape is to not only apply it in steps, but also apply the right side of the tape to each side of the fabric. Confused? Don’t be. It’s easy. Let’s get started.

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

Bias tape (the commercial stuff anyway) has a longer/wider side and a shorter/narrower side. This helps you catch the entire tape when sewing it on in the final step. Keep on reading and you will see what I mean.

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

We are going to sewing on the wider/longer side first. Open up your bias tape and place the right side of the bias tape to the wrong side of your fabric. Align the raw edges and then sew the bias tape on using the fold as a guide for your seamline.

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

Now refold the bias tape back down towards the raw edge…

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

…and flip you fabric over to the right side. Continue to refold that bias tape around towards the front of the fabric. All raw edges should now be enclosed in the bias tape. You re now ready for the final step.

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

Sew the bias tape along the fold to close it. Now since you took your time to apply it, you back should look like this…

The Secret to Perfectly Sewn Bias Tape - This tutorial is super easy to follow! I can't wait to try it out next time I sew something with bias trim. Pin for later!

Ta-dah! Like magic! Now everyone will wonder how you got those stitches in so perfectly. And you can tell them its because you can sew like a boss!

Want to practice your new found bias tape sewing abilities? Several of our pattern feature bias tape like the Holiday Cutout Dress & Top or the Alice Pleated Dress.

The Alice Dress & Top releases next week! Be on the look out for sneak peeks on our Instagram!

What is your next project you plan to use bias tape on? Let me know in the comments!

 

5 Sewing Articles Every Seamstress Should Read in 2017

I am one of those people that likes to soak up knowledge like a sponge. And in this day and age, you can find out the answer to almost anything on the internet.  That’s especially exciting when it comes to fun things like sewing. We wrote several articles this year that you are going to want to put on your reading list for 2017. I thought the best way to showcase our most popular sewing related posts was to put them all in one spot so you could easily pin them and refer back to it later.

5 Sewing Articles Every Seamstress Should Read in 2017 - Must Pin for Later!

5 Sewing Articles Every Seamstress Should Read in 2017

Let’s do a countdown to our top 5 articles on the BSD blog:

5 Sewing Articles Every Seamstress Should Read in 2017 - Must Pin for Later!

5. Is That REALLY My Size?

With the release of our first woven pattern for women, the Paradise Island Shift Dress, I wrote a detailed article discussing size as it relates to your bust. I see so many women sewing the wrong size when what they really should be doing is making a bust adjustment (or do yourself a favor and just buy a BSD Ladies Pattern where the bust adjustments are included.)

5 Sewing Articles Every Seamstress Should Read in 2017 - Must Pin for Later!

4. 10 Things Only A Seamstress Can Understand

Seamstresses can be a rare breed. We do and say things that others would give us the side eye for. How many of these seamstress only things can you relate to?

5 Sewing Articles Every Seamstress Should Read in 2017 - Must Pin for Later!

3. Tip & Tricks 4 Printing PDF Sewing Patters: Printing Your Pattern

Turns out a lot of people are confused at how you can buy a PDF document and end up with life sized (or person sized) pattern pieces.  This article is part of a series that discusses the ins and outs of PDF Sewing patterns.

5 Sewing Articles Every Seamstress Should Read in 2017 - Must Pin for Later!

2. 10 Mistakes Beginner Sewist Make

You don’t know what you don’t know right? That’s why we wrote an article just for those that are new to the sewing world. Check this article to see if you are doing any of these newbie sewing mistakes.

5 Sewing Articles Every Seamstress Should Read in 2017 - Must Pin for Later!

1. 15 Bad Sewing Habits

Even experienced seamstresses have picked up a bad habit or two over the years.  How many are you guilty of?

What other articles are you looking forward to reading? Anything you wish you knew but haven’t been able to find the info on?  Let me know in the comments and you might just spark our next blog post!

Gabriella’s Winter Coat Sew-A-Long: Day 8 – Final Details, Button Holes, and Buttons

Day 8: Final Details, Button Holes, and Buttons

Today is also a catch up day.

Welcome to Day 8 of the Gabriella’s Winter Coat Sew-A-Long! Are you still with us? Day 5 was a mid sew-a-long catch up day. If you need to go back, here is where you can find Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 6, and Day 7.

Today will be fairly quick to finish. If you have never sewn button holes before, don’t worry, I will be showing you how in detail. Today will be steps 35-39 of the pattern instructions.

Final Details

Follow steps 35 & 36.

With the main side up and beginning at the bottom of the right front placket (the right when you are facing the coat), top stitch at 1/4″ up the placket, around the neckline, down the opposite placket, and around the hem of the skirt.

TIP: Since the layers are a little thick, use a medium-long stitch length for top stitching. If you have to lengthen your stitch even further when going around the neckline due to there being more layers there, do so.

Make sure to move the hood out of the way of your stitching so you don’t sew it down.

top-stitching Read more

Gabriella’s Winter Coat Sew-A-Long: Day 2 – Cut Material, Create Hood Pattern, Interface, and Prepare Bodice

Day 2 – Cut Material, Create Hood Pattern, Interface, and Prepare Bodice

Welcome to Day 2 of the Gabriella’s Winter Coat Sew-A-Long! Find Day 1 here.

Today we will be cutting our material, creating our hood pattern, interfacing the pieces, and preparing the bodice for construction. These are steps 1-5 in the pattern.

Cutting the Material

Cut your main, lining, and interfacing pieces using the instructions on the pattern pieces. Compare the pieces you have to the cutting guide on page 11 of the pattern to be sure you have everything. There are a lot of pieces to this pattern! Take your time cutting out all of the pieces. Accuracy when cutting leaves less room for error when sewing.

TIP: If your material is dark and you are having difficulty tracing it, rub chalk off the edges of your pattern piece to create an outline. You can also use baby powder on a sock to rub the edges. Another use for chalk is to write on your mirror image pieces in order to more easily see which is which. It should all come off when shaken vigorously.

Gabriella's Winter Coat Sew-a-long Day 2: Shows how to add a hood to any coat pattern. This tutorial will be useful for future projects. Read more

10 Mistakes Beginner Sewists Don’t Know They Are Making

I would say a majority of the people that I talk to today are self-taught.  First off, can I just say you rock?  Sewing can be complicated and even a bit scary at time, but you guys figured it out all on your own.  Way to go!  Me? My grandmother taught me to sew at the tender age of 9.  She was picky, guys.  About everything.  There was lots of ironing, lots of hand sewing, and very little time sitting in front of an actual sewing machine.  My 9 year old self just wanted to sit at the sewing machine and rev it to its full potential like a 16 year old driving their dad’s sports car. Which brings me to my list…

Wow, I didn't know some of these beginner sewing mistakes! I'm so bad about number 1!

10 Mistakes Beginner Sewists Don’t Know They Are Making

1: Driving Too Fast

OK, honestly, this isn’t really just for beginners.  I am super guilty of a lead foot. But the faster you sew, often times the wonkier your seams are.  And no one likes crooked topstitching

2: Not Paying Attention to your Seam Allowance

This is huge guys. I know using a 1/2″ seam allowance over a 1/4″ seam allowance may not sound like much, but it can easily make the difference between a garment that fits and one that doesn’t. Be sure to figure out the seam allowance that is included in the pattern and stick to it.

3: Not Using a Specialty Foot When Needed

Did you know there are speciality feet that will help you get near perfect edge stitching? No? How about one that will make installing a concealed zipper a breeze? How about a foot that will do a beautiful rolled hem on your sewing machine? Or a walking foot that will make sewing with knits so much easier? Specialty feet can positively impact the quality of your finished product.  I am a little addicted to presser feet to be honest.  I’ve found great luck with buying them off Amazon.  I own this kit, and it’s my favorite (and an amazing deal too.)

This is a great list of beginner sewing mistakes. And I am so in love with this sewing pattern!

4: Not Using a Quality Pattern

OK, OK.  As a pattern designer, this is a bit of a shameless plug since the above picture is of our very own Sweet Lilly Pintuck Dress pattern, but it is so true!  Nothing kills your confidence like spending all day making something and having it not fit. You think, what did I do wrong? But sometimes, that problem may lie with the pattern itself. If the pattern designed drafted it wrong, even Martha Stewart is going to have a hard time.  I highly recommend using patterns that have been tested and have great reviews.

Wow, I didn't know some of these beginner sewing mistakes! I'm so bad about number 1!

5: Not Measuring your self/child/friend/model/person

I always hear, “Well my daughter is 4 so she would wear a size 4.” or “Well she wears a 6 in ready-to-wear so that’s what size I’ll make.”  That’s a recipe for disaster.  Here’s why. Does Gap fit the same as Express? What about H&M? Ralph Lauren? J.Crew? Nope. They all use their own measurement chart.  Pattern designers are no different.  Plus, even if you measured two months ago, measurements may have changed by then.  If you are going to spend hours making a garment, spend two minutes to measure first so you can be positive you are making the right size.

6: Ignoring Grainlines

Those little lines with the double arrows may seem insignificant, but ignoring them can really warp your project if you aren’t careful.  The reason is that the grainline is the direction that the fabric is the strongest. If you cut something on the bias that’s not meant to be cut on the bias, it can make a garment stretch and warp. (And for those that don’t know, the grainline is parallel to the selvage.)

Wow, I didn't know some of these beginner sewing mistakes! I'm so bad about number 1!

7: Not Using the Right Needle

Using the wrong needle can cause major problems with your project.  It may seem like you could use a universal needle with everything, but it may be too dull for heavier fabrics like leather and too sharp for stretchy fabrics like knits. I like to order my needles on Amazon. They are cheap, you can get a variety and can order in bulk.  Which will be perfect to prevent next mistake…

8: Not Changing the Needle Often Enough

As I mention in my 15 Bad Sewing Habits post, It is often recommended that your needle should be replaced after every project.  Now I don’t usually replace until every 3 or 4 project, but a lot of people don’t even replace that often. A bad needle can cause lots of sewing stress.  If I’m having a tension issue, its often because my needle needs to be replaced.

9: Ignoring The Pattern Instructions

I’m not talking about when you are personally trying to hack a pattern. I know, this is another one of those pattern designer rants, but hear me out for a second. Sometimes, even when the instructions seem off, there is a methods to our madness. I’ve helped customers out that have had problems with their projects that could have easily been solved if they just followed the directions. While a beginner might think things like basting and stay stitching seem pointless, they are important for a quality, well finished garment.

10: Not Trying New Techniques

I know good seamstresses that won’t sew anything with a zipper because they’re scared. The same can be said for any type of technique: buttons, blind hems, knit fabrics, welt pockets, etc. If you never try anything new, how will you get better? While elastic closures and straight seams are great when you are first starting out, you never know how proud you will feel about that beautifully installed zipper, if you never even try to sew one.

 

I know I promised 10 mistakes, but I’ve thought of two more as a bonus!

Wow, I didn't know some of these beginner sewing mistakes! I'm so bad about number 1!

BONUS 11: Trying to Make Something Outside of Your Skill Set

This seems contradictory after my last point. I’m not talking about growth here. I’m talking about trying to do something so advanced that the average seamstress would run in fear. I see in sewing groups sometimes new seamstresses that have never sewn a garment before wanting to make a wedding dress which is often 7+ layers of fabric and using high-end couture sewing techniques. Know your limits. Nothing will make you feel frustrated more than a project that is far more advanced than your current skill set. And you never know, one day you might make sewing couture gowns look easy.

BONUS 12: Not Ironing Enough (Or At All!)

This is the biggest mistake I see seamstresses make. Nothing can make your garment look more homemade (and not in a good way) than not ironing. In truth, you should be at the ironing station longer than you are at the sewing machine. Iron your fabric and every seam, and you will see a huge difference in your finished project.

Alright, fess up.  Which one did you not know about? Know any other mistakes that I’m missing? Let me know in the comments.

10 Things Only a Seamstress Can Understand

10 Things Only a Seamstress Can Understand - Man I can relate to a lot of these since I started sewing!

I never realized it, but apparently us creative types think differently than the rest of the world. For some reason I cannot understand, the rest of the world doesn’t get excited over $2 a yard fleece fabric or finding the perfect buttons for the dress you are making. This sparked a thought… what other things can only a seamstress understand?

10 Things Only a Seamstress Can Understand

10 Things Only a Seamstress Can Understand - Man I can relate to a lot of these since I started sewing!

1. The fear of someone else using your sewing scissors for something other than fabric.

You know that panic you get when you see your husband use your prized Gingher sewing scissors
to cut the tag off his new shirt? Its the feeling you have right before you think of all the different ways you might retaliate for this horrendous offence.

2. The problem of having thread, EVERYWHERE!

You stand in line at the grocery store. You happen to glance down at your shirt and realize that your shirt looks like it was attached by a thread spool.  Apparently this is a problem that only happens to seamstresses.

10 Things Only a Seamstress Can Understand - Man I can relate to a lot of these since I started sewing!

3. The feeling of pure satisfaction when you finish your project right before the bobbin runs out.

You won. You showed that bobbin thread who was boss!

10 Things Only a Seamstress Can Understand - Man I can relate to a lot of these since I started sewing!

4. The love hate relationship you have with your seam ripper.

Your dear, beloved seam ripper.  She is there for you in your time of need, but you wish you didn’t need her quite so often.

5. The feeling of pride when a complete stranger says they like something you’ve made.

Who is amazing?  YOU are amazing!

6. The feeling of elation when you tell that complete stranger that you made the item they are ogling over.

Not only do you know that you are amazing, now THEY know that you’re amazing.  Just give them a few moments to pick their jaw off the floor so they can bask in your amazingness.

10 Things Only a Seamstress Can Understand - Man I can relate to a lot of these since I started sewing!

7. The joy of getting a new sewing machine/serger/sewing tool.

You’ve been drooling over it forever! And now it’s here!  Yippee!!

8. Feeling like a little kid at Christmas when that custom fabric you ordered finally shows up in the mail.

Because you only ordered it what feels like 5 million years ago. Now to wash it and fold it up all pretty so you can stare at it on your fabric stash until you finally get brave enough to cut into it (which by the way, that may never happen.)

9. The annoyance when you see something sold in the stores that was made in china and the stripes don’t match.

Ugh. How can anyone not be annoyed by that?

10 Things Only a Seamstress Can Understand - Man I can relate to a lot of these since I started sewing!

10. The confidence that you get when you make your stripes (or pattern) match.

That’s because you can sew like a boss!

Did I forget one?? What else are thoughts that only seamstresses have? Let me know in the comments and your response might make a future list!

Sell Clothes on Etsy: Featured Boutique Lindley Lou’s & GIVEAWAY

We started this series a couple weeks ago and it was a hit, so we are doing it again! I know a lot of seamstresses are interested in selling clothes on Etsy, but they aren’t quite sure how to go about it. The best way to find out more is to talk to other shop owners.

This week we have Lindley of Lindley Lou’s boutique.  I was so excited to sit down with her and learn more about her shop as well as get a few tips she might have for other shop owners. Lindley’s style is full of fresh colors and lace details. Learn more about her boutique below:

Sell Clothes on Etsy

What is your Shop Name: Lindley Lou’s

What is Your Shop Link? https://www.etsy.com/shop/LindleyLous

How Long Have You Been Selling on Etsy: I began selling handmade bows in 2010, so almost 6 years!
What is Your Best Selling Item: My best selling item has to be custom nursery sets.

What is Your Favorite Thing to Make for Etsy: Oh gosh, that’s a hard one! I have too many favorites! The Sweet Lilly Pintuck Dress is one that is so beautiful and timeless, that one is one of my absolute favorites!

What is your Best Tip for someone wanting to get started selling on Etsy: Find what you love to make and stick with it! You will be amazed at how much your craftsmanship can grow in a short amount of time.

Sell Clothes on Etsy

Tell Me Your Funniest Etsy Story: In the beginning, Etsy didn’t have these neat options for sizes and colors. I listed a car seat cover and at the bottom of the listing I asked the buyer to specify what print in the note to seller area upon checkout. She requested the, “damask print.” It was a local order and I met the lady to give her a sweet damask car seat cover set. As I explained how to put it on the car seat and handed her the bag she asked, “this is cute… But, what is this?” While handing her bag back to me. I panicked!! I could feel my face turning red thinking I had met the wrong customer in our local Target parking lot! As it turns out, I had pictures of TWO different damask prints in my listing and I did not realize. She wanted one print and I made the other. Thankfully, she was very sweet about it and allowed me to meet up with her the next day with the correct damask print.

Tell Me One of Your Favorite Customer Stories: I love to see my items being worn or displayed in a nursery. It makes me happy to know the items I have created are liked by my customers! To have that reassurance by getting a great Etsy review or a tag on Facebook, it’s great! It really makes this momma happy!

What is your most Challenging Thing About Running an Easy Shop? My most challenging thing would have to be time management. My husband and I are renovating our home and I have had to move my sewing room upstairs, then downstairs (to be closer to our little ones), and we have just talked about possibly moving everything back upstairs to renovate my current sewing space. Between three kids ages 4, 2, and 1 I can still find time to make it work and do what I love.

Sell Clothes on Etsy
Favorite BSD Design you sell in your shop with a link: Sweet Lilly Pintuck Dress. https://www.etsy.com/listing/262084358/sweet-lilly-pintuck-dress

I think one of the best things about an Etsy boutique, is you get to make money doing what you love. And that’s the ultimate dream, right? To do what you love and get paid for it?  Thanks so much to Lindley for sharing her boutique with us.  If you want to open your own store on Etsy, you can sign up through this link and get 40 free shop listings.

Sell-clothes-on-etsy

Lindley graciously decided to giveaway a handmade skirt made from our very own Isabella’s Banded Skirt Pattern!  You can win by entering the rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you own or know of an amazing Etsy store you you would like to nominate for this series? If so, let us know by contacting us!

15 Bad Sewing Habits You Need to Quit Doing

15 Bad Sewing Habits You Need To Quit Doing

Bad sewing habits. We all have them. I compiled a list of 15 bad sewing habits that you need to quit doing. Some of them I never commit. Some I am super guilty of doing all the time.  How will you stack up?

15 Bad Sewing Habits You Need to Quit Doing

15 Bad Sewing Habits You Need To Quit Doing

1. Putting pins in your mouth

I have to admit, when my grandmother told me this as a kid, I used to give her all the eye rolls.  It wasn’t until I saw this story that I thought that maybe there had been some wisdom in her advice.

2. Not cleaning out your sewing machine

Did you know that your machine can catch on fire if you never clean it? It also can get so much lint build up that it simply stops working.  And that’s a bad sewing habit that will make you sad.

 

bad sewing habits

3. Using your sewing scissors on something other than fabric

Now an experienced seamstress will know better, but someone new to sewing may not.  Using your sewing scissors on anything other than fabric will dull them quickly.  And if you’ve ever tried to cut with dull scissors you will understand why you would want to protect that from happening with your life.

bad sewing habits

4. Not measuring your model often enough

While this is huge when sewing for children, it is equally important for adults.  If your child grew, or you add or lost a few pounds, your garment may not fit. This is a bad sewing habit that I am often guilty of due to pure laziness.

5. Not measuring your print square

This goes right up there with not measuring your model. As I talked about in this blog post, if your print square is off, it can cause major fit issues. And do yourself a favor and measure the square before you spend all the time taping the pages together.

6. Cutting on the same spot of your cutting mat over and over

This is a bad sewing habit that can cost you money!  While its tempting to always lay your fabric on a certain area and cut at the same place every time (especially when cutting the same size over and over), cutting in the same area can weaken your self-healing cutting mat and shorten it’s life.

bad sewing habits

7. Having bad posture while sewing

I’m the world’s worst at slumping while I am sewing. It can be a major pain in the back if you aren’t sitting properly with your elbows at right angles while you are sewing. This is especially true if you are working for several hours this way! Be sure to supply a nice comfy chair in your sewing room, have your machine at the proper height, and sit up straight.

8. Not using a fresh needle for each project

This is another thing my grandmother used to tell me that I thought was ridiculous, but I’ve noticed a huge change in my stitch quality since I’ve started doing it.  Plus, if you buy your needles in bulk from a place like Amazon, you won’t feel so guilty about changing your needles so often.

9. Not un-threading your machine properly

Did you know that the proper way to un-thread your machine is to clip the thread at the spool and then pull the cut thread from the needle end instead of just pulling it all through the machine when you take the spool off? Doing it the wrong way can mess up your tension disks on your machine. I must confess that this is a bad sewing habit that I do a lot. Pulling that spool out without clipping the thread first is just so darn easy!

bad sewing habits

10. Not taking your machine in for maintenance

This goes along with #2 and is especially important if you have a computerized machine.  There are plenty of great authorized repair shops out there that will give you excellent customer service and take great care of your baby.  Plus, it is often cheaper to maintain a sewing machine than it is to repair it once it’s been broken due to lack of maintenance.

11. Not laundering your fabric

Fabric, especially quilting cottons or knits, can shrink.  And sometimes they can shrink a lot!  Don’t put in all that time in effort to sew a beautiful garment only for it to not fit (or be horrible misshapen) after the first wash.  Always launder your fabric in the manner you plan to maintain it after the garment it sewn.

bad sewing habits

12. Not ironing your seams

Or not using your iron period! If you are sewing properly, you should spend more time at the ironing station than you do at the sewing machine. It seems tedious, but I promise, you will notice a huge change in the quality of your work if you break the bad sewing habit of not ironing!

13. Not following pattern directions

Of course as a pattern designer I’m going to suggest you read the pattern. Now that’s not to say that you might have a technique you prefer over the one offered in the pdf sewing pattern. But at minimum you should be reading through the instructions once. Because a quality pdf sewing pattern has been tested, the instructions might include something you didn’t think of if you decide to go off on your own. I will admit, this is a super bad sewing habit of mine!  I get in a sewing groove and often forget to read anything.

14. Procrastinating

We all do it. You are sewing your homemade Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve because you waited until the last possible second to get them done.  Procrastination can ruin the joy of sewing. Not to mention it can make you sloppy and make you commit other bad sewing habits because you are trying to rush. Always be sure to give yourself plenty of time to finish your projects.

bad sewing habits

15. Buying new materials before checking your stash

This has got to be my #1 bad sewing habit of all time!  I love buying fabric.  I mean, who doesn’t? But I can’t tell you how many times I have bought something only to come home and find out that I had a near identical fabric waiting in my stash to get a little love. So always check your stash first before buying new fabric. Unless of course the new fabric you find is to die for. Then buy it and please send me some too.

Ok, be honest! How many bad sewing habits do you have? Just one or two?  Do you do all of them?  I sure hope not!  Do you know of any other bad sewing habits that were not on the list?  Let me know of any others you thought of in the comments section!