“Using What Works”

Usually, when one begins their sewing journey, they concentrate in one area.  For many people today that area is quilting. For others it is garment sewing and for still others, home décor.  There are many companies today that sell notions and tools marketed to specific sewers, such as quilters, but their products should be thought of as much more universal.  While my parents were teaching me how to sew, I was lucky enough to have them instill in me the thought that you use what works; whatever that may be.  I have carried that thought through the years and use my notions and tools in a very eclectic manner.  Garment sewing tools get used in my quilting, home décor tools in my garment sewing and quilting tools in all of my sewing.  Case in point:  this weekend my nephew got married and I needed an outfit that was, according to the invitation “afternoon wedding casual”.  I decided to make a top and pants that included both lace and embroidery.  As I was sewing the top, I needed to fold over the front band to cover the seam used to attach it to the top’s front.  The directions asked me to slip stitch the band over the seam by hand, but because I was running short on time (me…. making something at the last minute…..no way!), I decided I would stitch in the ditch on the front by machine and catch the back of the band in that sewing.   If I used pins to hold the band in place, I would have a slight bulge in the fabric where the pin went into and out of the fabric.  I was afraid I would miss the edge of the material on the backside if I did that, so I decided to use quilting clips to hold everything together.

The clips held everything in place, keeping everything flat.

They held everything firmly, they created no bulges and they did not snag the material.  Perfect!  I was then able to use my Pfaff Sewing Star foot so I could see well and I slowed the machine slightly so I could watch the ditch carefully.

Because everything was held so securely and so flat, I was able to keep my needle in the ditch with no wavering. This is how it looked from the front…..
…and this is how it looked on the back. I was able to catch the front band all the way down the front and cover the seam. No hand stitching required!

Bottom line:  I was able to stitch exactly in the ditch on the front while catching the edge of the material on the back since the material saw no distortions from pins.  How might you use tools of your own in a different way?

The finished top from the front. The lace is a free hanging overlay.
This is the embroidery I added to the back. It is from the Husqvarna Viking embroidery collection #263, “Line Art Flowers”.