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21 votes
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What is this tool in my sewing kit?

It's a seam ripper. You use it to pick up and cut stitches in a seam that you want to "unsew". To use it properly, poke the longer end under the stitch, then push it through so the U part cuts it. ...
Martha's user avatar
  • 1,818
17 votes
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How can I finish stitching those last few inches?

You have two options: Prettier - the Ladder Stitch, and Stronger - the Baseball Stitch. First, the Ladder Stitch. Quoting the linked site: First, poke your threaded and knotted needle through ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 820
16 votes

Permanently mark pin placement for shirt

Sharpie might work, but will have some bleed on the fabric when applied that may cause the mark to spread farther than would be covered by the pins. Additionally, while you want something "permanent" ...
Allison C's user avatar
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14 votes
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How can I stop my thread from bunching when using a sewing machine?

Are you absolutely sure the upper thread is threaded correctly, especially through the tension control knob? (I would go ahead and re-thread the machine, since it's cheap to do.) Other things to make ...
Martha's user avatar
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14 votes
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My grandma's fingers are becoming too old for knitting. What alternatives are there?

If she has rheumatic arthritis, the best thing she could do is continuing knitting and crocheting for short periods. Many movements that are done during physio therapy for arthritis of the hand are ...
Elmy's user avatar
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13 votes
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How do you choose a stitch length when straight stitching an arbitrary fabric?

Stitching lengths: 2mm is the short stitch length that should be used for lightweight fabrics, for satin stitching, and decorative stitching. 2.5 - 3mm is the average stitch length range ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
13 votes
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How are these pouches opened

1). The decorative bow could be on an elastic band that is closing the bag. 2). The bow is attached to a pin that is holding the bag closed. 3). There is a drawstring inside the bag at the close. ...
A. Staffelbach's user avatar
12 votes
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How can I hand-sew an "invisible" hem?

Yes, what you need is called a blind stitch to create a blind hem… and it can definitely be sewn by hand. Of course, hemming pants while you are wearing them is a bit more difficult, and it ...
Robert Cartaino's user avatar
11 votes

How do I keep ribbon ends from fraying?

I would like to suggest something I was told while I was working on my ties. What you could do is to use some clear nail polish, not a lot, to stiffen the ends of the ribbon. That should prevent them ...
Matt's user avatar
  • 11k
11 votes

How do I know when my sewing machine needs a service?

It never hurts to take a machine that is new to you in for a servicing, because you don't really know how it's been treated, and what it may need. At that time, it's not a bad idea to talk to the ...
bethlakshmi's user avatar
11 votes

How do I keep ribbon ends from fraying?

In most cases satin ribbons are made from polyester or similar "plastic" fibers. This means you can use heat to melt the fibers together: quickly run the flame of a lighter along the fraying edge. My ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 1,166
10 votes

What criteria should I be considering when looking at a second hand sewing machine?

Basic requirements For a basic sewing machine that does hems and maybe some simple garment sewing... I'd look for: Basic stitches - running stitch, zig zag, blind hem stitch Adjustable tension - to ...
bethlakshmi's user avatar
10 votes

What fabric would work well for a flag?

Most commercial flags are made out of nylon. It's lightweight, durable, and dyes well. Specifically, the flags on many sites are made from DuPont SolarMax™, which is supposed to be nicely color safe ...
Catija's user avatar
  • 3,506
10 votes

What to look for in a good beginner's sewing machine?

Most entry-level sewing machines should do fine for sewing apparel, and can even handle a few thicknesses of denim (reviews are good for this sort of info). I would recommend going for a well-known ...
user812786's user avatar
  • 2,375
10 votes

How to reuse a sewing pattern without damaging it

I regularly reuse my own patterns, as I myself have a few favorites that have been incredibly helpful to me. I use the technique I was taught in a theatrical costuming class: When cutting the pattern ...
Allison C's user avatar
  • 4,054
10 votes

How to crop a T-shirt without it fraying

T-Shirt fabric does not fray. Fraying is a property of woven fabrics; most t-shirts are made of a jersey knit that resists fraying. It may shed a few loose pieces, but it's a very resilient fabric ...
Allison C's user avatar
  • 4,054
9 votes

How do you choose a stitch length when straight stitching an arbitrary fabric?

The theory behind stitch length is pretty straight forward. The shorter the stitches, the more will be packed into each inch of stitching, creating a tighter seam. The longer the stitches, the fewer ...
Sara Lynn's user avatar
9 votes
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What kind of stitch makes up t-shirt seams on commercial grade clothing?

The stitches that you typically see on commercial t-shirt seams are an overlock stitch, which typically requires a special type of sewing machine specifically for this purpose (e.g., a serger).
Chris Young's user avatar
9 votes
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How can I convert a V-neck shirt to a square neck?

I recommend that you ignore the depth of the V in your v-neck shirt and cut the square where you want it to be (allowing for seams, obviously). Then, using the cut-out material, you can use it as a ...
Catija's user avatar
  • 3,506
9 votes
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Will lack of a zig-zag stitch be a problem for me?

Based on your planned usage of the machine, it likely won't be an issue for you. The common usages of a zigzag stitch are to allow give in a seam for stretchy fabrics (which you can handle with the ...
Allison C's user avatar
  • 4,054
9 votes
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What important tools does a small tailoring outfit need?

It sounds like she already has a basic "starter kit" for sewing. So, instead of getting her a comprehensive kit, I would try to focus on one or two high-quality items that would save her ...
csk's user avatar
  • 1,791
9 votes
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Corset making: which material should I use for the boning?

The most important question you need to answer is: How much strain does the finished corset have to withstand? If you want a drastic waist reduction via tight-lacing, the entire corset will be under ...
Elmy's user avatar
  • 13.2k
9 votes

How to crop a T-shirt without it fraying

Everything Allison C mentioned in their answer is correct, but if you don't want the t-shirt to curl up at the edge, you can try iron-on interfacing. The default interfacing is non-stretch and coated ...
Elmy's user avatar
  • 13.2k
8 votes

How can I splice the tail of my tie and have it not look terrible?

To prevent (actually: to minimise) fraying, you can use zig zag scissors known as pinking shears. And you can use non-woven interfacing. Make sure you choose a type that has a pre-glued side. You ...
Ji Ugug's user avatar
  • 1,999
8 votes

How can I splice the tail of my tie and have it not look terrible?

You need to stiffen the fibres so that the thread does not tear though them while you are sewing. Clear nail polish I ended up buying a small container and applied in all along the edges of the tie ...
Matt's user avatar
  • 11k
8 votes
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Can I use the potholder quilting technique to make a quilt out of t-shirts?

A traditional potholder quilt would use pre-assembled blocks, with the block edges finished (won't fray) and then sewn together to assemble the quilt. The blocks can be finished in one of several ...
Erica's user avatar
  • 4,376
8 votes
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Glue for sides of cross stitch work

You could try fray check. These glues tend to be thinner, which would give you a less noticeable and stiff edge. They are usually clear, but may yellow over time. If that isn't strong enough, you ...
user812786's user avatar
  • 2,375
8 votes
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How to make stitches invisible

You get the least visibility when you use the same colour of yarn as your fabric. But as a beginner, it will be easier when the yarn stands out from the fabric, which does make for the stitches to be ...
Willeke's user avatar
  • 2,936
8 votes

How to intentionally fray curved edges in fabric?

You have the right idea. Sewing near the edge but leaving the actual edge raw will achieve a frayed edge. Things to keep in mind: This will only work on a woven fabric, not a knit. Most importantly, ...
AKodsy's user avatar
  • 131
8 votes
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Are there cases where we do not reverse stitch when sewing?

To understand when to use backstitching, you need to understand the purpose of it in the first place. It's not just "a thing that is done," it is a technique to "lock" the stitches in place on a seam. ...
Allison C's user avatar
  • 4,054

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