Tape?? Really? Yes! More specifically, masking tape or painter's tape! Painter's tape is my personal choice, because it is sticky enough to stay put on most fabrics, but it doesn't leave any sticky residue on fabric or sewing machine, and it doesn't pill your fabric! Now I'm sure you are wondering why in the world you would be putting tape on your fabrics, right? Well here are 5 reasons to raid your painting supplies for your sewing!
1. Mark the bottom right side of your fabric: Sometimes, I pick out fabrics that are verrrry similar on the right and wrong sides, or it is hard to tell which way the grain is after I have cut out a square for a pillow cover. Close inspection can usually solve this dilemma, but sometimes I forget to closely inspect my piece, and I end up with two pieces of the same fabric, sewn together, that look like two different colors because one is upside down! Putting a piece of tape in the bottom right corner, on the right side of the fabric when you cut it makes it easy to see the proper orientation at a glance.
2. Create a custom seam gauge: Most sewing machines have handy little guides on the right side of the needle plate to help you keep a consistent seam allowance. But if your machine doesn't have these, or if you are sewing with a seam width that isn't marked (5/8" anyone?) you can lay a piece of tape along the width that you do need! This is also great for beginner sewers and kids who find it easier to follow a bright green line than an indent in the needle plate.
3. Sew in a straight line! How many times have a tried to sew a straight line only to have the fabric shift, or my attention shift? Too many. But using a long piece of tape is the perfect way to ensure that you are staying on the straight and narrow, even in the middle of your fabric. This is especially great for quilting straight lines!
4. Sew darts: Get perfectly straight darts every time when you use a piece of tape to create a straight path to sew between the notch and the point. I used to draw a line in chalk, but tape is so much easier to remove!
5. Make Bias Tape: Tape is a great way to cut out perfect bias strips even on slippery fabrics! The key is the have the same size tape width as the bias strips that you want to cut. Simply lay your tape in diagonal stripes, and then cut them apart and voila! you have perfectly straight strips on the bias, and you can keep the tape on until you are ready to use it, which has the added benefit of keeping the fabric from fraying!
6. Label your pattern pieces: Is that the left sleeve or the right....? Question no more! I like to label those tricky pattern pieces that are hard to tell apart after cutting them out. A great way to label without risking your magic marker disappearing, or your chalk smearing.
7. Mark your fabric: I like to have a variety of ways to creating the sewing pattern marks on my fabric. So along with disappearing ink, and tailors chalk, and thread basting, I also have tape in my arsenal. So if I need my markings to last a long time, or if the fabric doesn't respond well to chalk, I can use tape!
What is a PDF pattern? How do I use it? These are good questions! Downloadable PDF patterns can be intimidating to those of us who have never used them before. But once you know what to expect, they are a breeze!
Nowadays, you don't have to go to the craft store and pick from a narrow selection of patterns to suit your needs. There is a wide world of patterns from indie pattern makers available online. They can be downloaded immediately, printed at home, and pieced together by you!
PDF stands for Portable Document Format, and simply means that it should open on anyone's computer without changing format. When you buy a pattern (or use a free one) you will have to download the file to your computer, and open it in your PDF reader. Then you are ready to print.
When you print your PDF pattern, make sure that you set your printer guidelines to “actual size” so that your computer doesn’t change the size of the image. Also, make sure that you are printing on the correct size of paper. Most patterns will be compatible with both US Letter and A4 but be sure to check.
My patterns will include a picture like this in the instructions. It is an overview of where all the pages go. This is what we are aiming for when your pattern is all put together. Refer back to this picture if you aren’t sure you got it right. Use this picture and the numbered and lettered diamonds on the edges to make sure that your pages are laid out correctly. A1 will match with A1 and so on.
Now, we will start putting the pages together. Take both the pages with A1’s on them, cut the extra side of the first paper off, and then tape it on top of the second page so that the diamond, and all the pattern lines match. Now do the same for the rest of the pages!
After you have everything taped together, you can cut out your individual pattern pieces.
creative business owner. designer. hoosier. crafter. runner. sewer. swing dancer. outdoor enthusiast. entrepreneur. wife. material hoarder.
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Madeline Stage email@example.com
"Never give up on a dream because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway."
- Earl Nightingale