Archive for Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Aunt Norie’s Sewing Room

December 6, 2006

As I cut out my pattern size seams, recently I recalled the problems we always had with seams ripping out. This was before the "three-sizes-in-one" that I was working with. I also recalled my jolly good friend and neighbor who, though she needed a 16, always bought a 14. She didn't use the whole 5/8-inch seam allowance, which of course spelled trouble right off. She had a problem with her seams ripping out, especially at stress points.

This also was before zig-zagged seam edges. You had to control those raw edges or they soon would ravel out during laundering. We could stay-stitch along the edges before sewing the garment pieces together or overcast (just a loop over and over) the finished seam, which made a bulky seam.

Then we had to carefully clip curved edges and press those seams open, all to control the bulk of the seam allowances.

Then came zig-zag. That was great. That was of course over 50 years ago and what a difference that made in the sewing world. Many of us got new machines. By the way, I'm still using that machine. It's now 47 years old and still going great.

That's of course why I often advise people to get a machine at a garage sale because the old machines never (almost never) wear out.

Most machines have measurements cut right into the metal throat plate, to the right of the needle. Note the numbers: 3-4-5-6. As you sew, keep your fabric edge lined up on that 5 and your seams will all be 5/8 of an inch.

Learn to use a thimble, if you haven't. It makes hand-sewing more fun, and you'll have no pricked fingers.

Pray for our brave young men in service. God bless.

-- Aunt Norie, P.O. Box 265, Tonganoxie 66086; auntnorie@bdc.net.

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