I’m the first to admit, I sometime (ok, too often!) skim over the recommendations for proper sewing and embroidery. You know, like changing the stitch length when sewing specific fabrics. Or choosing the right needle for the job. And yes, I’m often (too often!), disappointed in my initial results. My personality profile is I’m a starter; I like to jump right into a project without reading directions (good thing, cause the directions don’t often exist until I write them). But even when designing and creating an entirely new project, there are steps that I could take that would ensure success. And eliminate some frustration on my part. You know, it’s hard to change your personality. It’s just my first instinct to jump in and get going. When in reality, I should, ahem, exhale, evaluate, gather the necessary supplies and then start.
Those lessons were reinforced this summer when I was making the wedding dress. If you remember, I couldn’t drive during that time, so my fabric trips were scarce and I really had to have my supply list complete. Also, satin and rayon were not fabrics that I typically worked with in my sewing room. So I did my research and made a list, and another list and another list. You know, I was laid up for six weeks, there was lots of list making!
The smartest addition I made to my sewing room during that time was Schmetz’s Needle Chart. At a glance, it told me what needles I needed for the massive (I mean, memorable) project and, once secured and lightly used, the chart told me what needle I was holding in my hand. Its colorful rainbow is a welcome addition to an unused shelf in my studio.
Unused shelf? You’re astonished, I’m sure! But remember, my Stitching Sister Marie Zinno purged my sewing room a couple of years ago and I’m proud to say, it still looks that way! Back to the needle chart: it also happens to be the last thing I see when I walk out of my studio – a great reminder when I’m need of a new pack of needles.
The wedding dress required three types of needles: Stretch for the satin (it had 10% Lcyra), Microtex for the Bemberg rayon lining and Embroidery for the embroidered ribbon and label.
Since I worked on the fabrics at different times, it was easy to switch them out. That’s when the color coding really helped!
You can download the chart for your sewing room. Just click here and scroll down the page a bit to locate the chart. The arrow in the illustration below is pointing to the download link – you have two sizes to choose from – one for your sewing room and one for your handbag.
Here’s your assignment this week:
Schmetz needles are available at retailers nationwide. Whenever I’m in my local sewing machine dealer, I make sure I pick up a new pack of needles. I’m building my stash so that I’m prepared for future projects. How about you? Do you have trouble planning properly? Do you jump right in and then regret it later? Or do you approach projects with caution and prepare accordingly?
Leave a comment and one lucky winner will win a SCHMETZ Sew Essential Combo Pack. That’s three packs of SCHMETZ Embroidery needles with the ever popular Grabbit® Magnetic Pincushion and the free SCHMETZ Info card. $24.95 US Retail.
The winner of the last assignment answered the following question:
Have you ever felt a moment of relief like this? Leave us a comment telling us how you celebrated a big accomplishment and one of you will be randomly selected to win a $20 gift card to Designs in Machine Embroidery!
The winner is:
Darlene Bares: “I have a problem saying no. So when someone asks me to do something whether its sewing or an embroidery project. I’m burning daylight because most of the time it’s last minute. I just enjoy the feeling of accomplishment and seeing their faces when its done. That’s enough for me.”