Know Your Threads

Published 08/03/2011 by Donna Kennedy

All thread types aren’t the same! Here is some info on some basic thread types.

  • Dual Duty by Coats&Clarks is a polyester wrapped in cotton and some see more breakage than others  in usage.
  • Gutermann is a good brand and is also available in cones of serger thread
  • Metrosene is a good brand and is also available in cones of serger thread
  • Sulky brand thread is used for machine embroidery
  • Robison-Anton is an embroidery thread available in polyester and rayon and is used for machine embroidery
  • YLI Wooly Nylon is a specialty thread for use in serger loopers.  It’s especially good for very stretchy fabrics like swimwear materials and leotards.
  • Maxi-lock cones are for use with sergers, can be used in general sewing also. May see some breakage in general sewing as it is a 2 ply thread.
  • Within several of the above brands you will also find categories such as thread for quilting, topstitching, upholstery or heavy duty thread, silk thread, and so on.
Thread Spools

(Image by MissMessie on Flickr)

Sharpening Your Scissors

Published 08/01/2011 by Donna Kennedy

If you own Ginger scissors, you can go to Ginger’s website to find information about sending your scissors back to them for sharpening. For a fee they will sharpen, reset the blades, and ship them back to you.

If you have a different brand, or would rather stay local, try the “Sharp Shop” on Charleston. Although I have not used them, I’ve been told about them from everyone from a hairdresser to a meat cutter, and that’s good enough for me.

The general consensus among those who frequent the fabric stores is NOT to use the sharpening service that comes around intermittently.

Fiskars Scissors

(Photo by comedy_nose on Flickr)

Sewing Supplies for eBay Prices

Published 08/01/2011 by Donna Kennedy

EBay is a good source for supplies, fabric, and notions. Emerald City on EBay is a good source for fabric.

Many of you have asked for links to some of the various items I have shown you when out shopping, so here they are: I’ll list typical retail for what you could expect to pay full price at Jo-Ann’s. Many of these are significantly less, but do take shipping into consideration before you order. Be aware that a lot of these are available on eBay at “buy it now” prices which are usually pretty good. You are responsible for anything you may choose from eBay, I just know I’ve done well there.

These are sample links only, you may need to do your own eBay search.

Clover Seam Ripper – $10

Clover Awl (not available at Jo-Ann’s)

Fiskars Rotary Cutter 45mm blade (suitable for right or left hand person) – $16 Blade can be turned over for a left-handed application. There are many to choose from on eBay, this is simply one link.

Fiskars 8 inch BENT handle – Bent is important if you do a lot of pin/pattern/fabric cutting.

The majority of scissors are typically for right handed folks unless indicated otherwise. Here is a pair of Left handed ones. Often scissors for left-handed folks are able to be found at a reduced price.

Pinking Shears – can be found typically for $30 and up. Good for fabrics that fray in lieu of a serger. These are Fiskars; Gingher Pinking Shears can be found for $30 to $60.

Thread Clippers (or nippers) can be found for just about any price point. You can even find them at the 99 cent store (the purple logo). Personally, I don’t care for them, but that doesn’t mean you won’t like them. I would rather have a small pair of scissors at the machine. Here is one eBay listing; they can be also found listed with Fiskars and Gingher brands.

Gingher 4 inch scissors – $25+ (among my favorites) but watch the price – they can be had for less if you buy them right on eBay! They can be also found with bigger loops for the arthritic fingers and are very kind to sore hands!

Gingher 8 inch bent handle

Gingher Spring Action – VERY kind to the hands that tire easily-typically around $40

Gingher Kitchen Shears – LOVE THESE and they come apart for cleaning (don’t put in dishwasher).

Gingher Appliqué Scissors – certainly an option at present, but I would like everyone to look at them so they are aware of them.

Gingher spring action embroidery shears – another option, probably $25 to $30 at Jo-Ann’s.

Gingher G-4C embroidery scissors – Useful as the tip is curved to allow for close cutting, can be used for machine embroidery as well.

Gingher double curved machine embroidery scissors – about $35

If you go to Ginger’s website, you can find information there about sending your scissors back to them for sharpening. For a fee they will sharpen, reset the blades, and ship them back to you.

Nancy’s Notions

Published 02/02/2011 by Donna Kennedy

Nancy’s Notions

Hi Everyone! Try the above link and add it to your favorites/bookmarks. Nancy’s Notions is a really good site to use for ideas and for purchases of some items. Intermittently she will offer free shipping.

Anyway, for those of you who aren’t certain what size needle to use for what fabric, this link will take you to a list of recommendations for different fabrics. Many of you have gotten the Singer pink pincushion that lists the amount of time a needle should be used and what size, so open this and print it for your own use!

Nancy’s tip of the week are always great to read and you will find yourself implenting some of them in your projects.

See ya soon! (please turn on the heat soon someone!!)

Donna K.