"Well now they have thought about just about everything," he said then.
I think the point here is that no matter how much you think about sewing there is always something new to consider and, potentially, a new way to solve an old problem.
With just three days into the new year, here are some of my personal favourites:
1. Yoga band instead of an elastic waist. Obviously highly appropriate for yoga pants or leggings (make sure the band is sizeable, like say a cut width of at least 6 1/2" or a finished width of 3" for an adult). Would be perfect for maternity wear or those of us who have past maternity influenced waistlines.
I have mentioned in a previous post that I used this technique for Billy's jammies and can report that since the fabric I used is a good recovery cotton/lycra, they stay up very well and are super comfortable:
2. Sewing clips. I first saw these used in bag making to hold stiff and multiple layers together under the sewing machine needle when obviously mere pins wouldn't do the job. I really liked these little units when I tried them myself. I bought a ton of them for very little on Amazon and was surprised at how easy they were to remove as I sewed - I just pressed down on the top (coloured side) of the clip on the bed of the machine and kept a bowl beside me to toss them into.
In garment sewing I have found the clips super useful for sewing knits and holding them still with some strength. Elastic or neckbands (or yoga bands) for instance or just for seaming.
Here they are in action on the seam of a ponte skirt:
3. Finally, and I promised this a while ago, I tried and am sold on, Eloflex thread by Coats.
First here are my observations on this thread:
- It really is stretchy. I was surprised how much so. As a result I was concerned that winding the bobbin action and high speed sewing could extend the thread before it got to the fabric and that once there it would relax and consequently pucker the seam. Anticipating this I wound the bobbin really slowly and sewed with a slow but steady pace to prevent that from happening. This seemed to work.
- It is a slightly stiff thread, and a 2 ply that has a tendency to unwind. This made getting it into the eye of the needle a bit tricky - took 4 tries - and I was aware of a few loops as the thread approached the tension disks but these seemed to work themselves out before the seam. After much sewing I had the thread fray above the needle only once and this was after I did some start and stop sewing. Since it was only once after a lot of stitching I felt this did not outweigh the benefits of the thread, and that I could deal with this in future with some steady sewing. I am also wondering if this might be one of those threads that some machines might like more than others but really since I did my test sew on a 60 year old machine to fully test it I am not sure about this. Of course I used a knit needle for my sewing.
Here are some pictures to show how I used this thread:
Straight stitched knit hem from the outside. Kind of nice to have this as a hemming option as the straight stitch of course won't over work the fabric and produce wavy hems.
A seam in my laser cut ponte near the hem where it gets lacey. I didn't want to serge because I figured that would make the seam too obviously although I did stitch twice since I was trimming the seam allowance close.