Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Peter's 30 Sewing Dos and Don'ts - Borrowed from Burdastyle

I just came across this blog entry over at the Burdastyle Website and I cannot agree more. This list covers all the things that I've painstakingly learned in my 20+ years of sewing. If you're new to sewing, I suggest you heed this advice. It will save you loads of time and anguish! No need to have one of those "I feel like throwing my sewing machine out the window" moments that I used to have when I was first sewing.

When native New Yorker Peter Lappin bought his first sewing machine two years ago to hem a pair of thrift store jeans, little did he know he was initiating a journey that would bring him fame and fortune. While awaiting his fortune he stays busy writing “the world’s most popular men’s sewing blog,” Male Pattern Boldness, and now contributing to BurdaStyle.

Peter’s SEWING DO's
1. DO sew only projects you’re excited about.
2. DO start an important project with a fresh sewing needle.
3. DO clean your sewing area and the bed of your sewing machine thoroughly (I use rubbing alcohol) before sewing with light-colored or white fabric.
4. DO give yourself a break between projects.
5. DO keep your sewing area clean — or cleanish.
6. DO consider sewing with a vintage sewing machine, if only for the experience (you might prefer it).
7. DO keep a spare sewing machine (you’ll stumble on a cheap one at a thrift store eventually).
8. DO pre-shrink your fabric if your fabric is apt to shrink in the wash.
9. DO press as you go.
10. DO learn how to maintain your sewing machine.
11. DO organize your sewing notions so you know where to find them next time you need them.
12. DO invest some time figuring out thread tension for your sewing machine. (It’s basically just two disks and a spring.)
13. DO create a dedicated sewing space.
14. DO learn from your mistakes.
15. DO share your sewing knowledge with others.
16. DO talk up sewing when you can — young people need to know it exists.

1. DON’T sew when you’re feeling exhausted.
2. DON’T rush. Another day won’t make a difference and you’ll be wearing your project (hopefully) a long time.
3. DON’T sew for others unless the idea brings you joy.
4. DON’T buy the cheapest new sewing machine you can find at Walmart, Kmart, etc.
5. DON’T use cheap interfacing.
6. DON’T fall for every bell and whistle available on a new sewing machine; you’ll never use most of them.
7. DON’T iron with a dirty faceplate.
8. DON’T beat yourself up is your garment doesn’t come out the way you’d hoped.
9. DON’T sew under poor light.
10. DON’T put water in your iron if you’re ironing a fabric that’s water-stainable (ask me how I know!).
11. DON’T keep every last fabric scrap for the fantastic quilt you will (never) make someday.
12. DON’T forget to clean out the fuzz beneath your throat plate periodically.
13. DON’T overlook refurbished machines; they’re just as good as new imo.
14. DON’T set unreasonable standards for yourself.
15. DON’T force yourself to finish a project you’ve lost passion for.
16. DON’T hoard sewing notions!

So what do you think? 
Is there anything you’d include on your do and don’t list Peter has missed here?
Feel free to add some of your own in the comments section below!

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