Darlene's Thread: Top 10 Sewing Tips You Need to Know

by Partner DarleneCahill on ‎10-21-2010 03:11 PM (400 Views)

Editor's note: Catch Darlene tomorrow, 10/24 on Suzanne Runyan's Holiday Host Pick show!
Happy Oct-Sewer-Fest!
Thank you all for being a part of our National Sewing Month! There were wonderful callers sharing their testimonies and oodles of  tips and tricks to learn. Sewing is a life skill that can serve you well! Sewing develops dexterity and problem solving skills. It also helps you to think in reverse order which can help you to eliminate obstacles before they happen! Yesterday, I discovered that my travel agent sews...a lot! By bringing up the topic of sewing in casual conversation you may find a new friend with whom to share ideas!
Before you begin your next (or first) sewing project, keep in mind that using the finest materials available will yield you the best results. You know the difference between chocolate chip cookies made with real butter and those made with margarine? Or a fresh egg omelet compared to carton eggs? Or real whipped cream on your hot apple cobbler vs. the canned stuff? By now, you get the picture. Using the best fabrics you can find along with the best quality threads and trims will give you the most professional results.
Here are 10 more very important sewing tips to remember:

1. Make sure your machine is threaded properly.
The answer to most poor machine performance complaints and frustration is a simple re-threading remedy.
» Shop sewing machines
2. Have plenty of light on your work area.
Eyestrain leads to headache pain. If you’re sewing on dark fabrics or at night, it’s worth moving a few lamps to light your work area well.
3. Measure twice, cut once.
The old adage pays off when you’re getting ready to cut costly yardage. Before you begin, be certain that the grains are lined up with your pattern pieces, that there’s enough fabric for all the pieces in your project and be sure to match notches if you’re working on a repeat design or plaid.

4. Have plenty of sharp scissors standing by.
Nothing puts a damper on cutting faster than a nick in your scissor’s stride that chews the edges as it cuts. Sometimes scissors just need to be tightened to cut better so check the screw. Having multiple styles of scissors in different areas will save you time. Use small clippers by the machine for snipping threads and larger shears in your cutting area.
» Shop more: Sewing scissors
5. Pre-launder all washable materials before cutting.
Considering the labor of love that it takes to complete your project, it would be a shame to have it shrink or twist out of shape after the first laundering. Remember to also iron the washed fabric before cutting.
6. Press all seams from the wrong side.
This will force your seams to lay flat giving your finished project a more professional look.
7. Use appropriate needles for the fabrics.
Size 11 for chiffons, satins & silks. A size 14 for cottons, wools & linens, a size 16 or denim needle for canvas & denim, a leather needle for leather and don’t forget to include some assorted ballpoint tips for all of your stretch knits.
8. Pre-wind a box of bobbins.
If you have your bobbins already filled, you won’t be forced to stop in the middle of a technique to rewind an empty bobbin. A good rule of thumb is to have two or three of each color ready to sew. If you purchase pre-wound bobbins, make sure that they are the exact size your manufacturer recommends.
9. Use the correct presser foot for the function.
The appropriate foot design can make all the difference in your finished result. Most sewing machines generally offer an extra foot assortment. For blind hems, use the blind hem foot, for appliqués, use the appliqué foot, and so on.
10. Wear a smile while you sew!
You may be surprised to hear that your mood is generally reflected in your sewing. It’s remarkable to see the difference in your results if you're feeling a bit irritable, bossy or grumpy. Somehow it manages to come out subconsciously by way of over manipulating the fabric as it feeds through the machine. Sewing machines today have well calibrated feed dogs that automatically pull the fabric through at precise intervals depending on the settings you have chosen. Simply guiding the materiel while you sit back, relax and enjoy your unique creation will keep that smile on your face!
Check back for my next blog post where I'll be sharing tips on how to applique, embroidery, and recycling old clothes into new styles!
Sew your dreams,
Read more from Darlene Cahill:
» Choosing the Right Scissors to Make the Cut
» Which Sewing Machine is Right for You
» Sewing Ideas & Tips: How to Get the Look for Less

More Sewing and Crafts from HSN.com:
» Shop Sewing New Arrivals
» Stay steady and organized with a great sewing table
» Shop all  crafts and sewing supplies

by Admirer 2 tigriss Admirer 2 on ‎10-22-2010 10:58 PM

It would be nice to see a sewing machine foot edition where you demonstrate what each foot produces. This way we can have a lovely library of images, tips, and a catelog for us to work with along with any questions we have regarding the use of those feet with particular situations to use them in.

by Solid on ‎10-23-2010 01:49 AM

Great presentation on the last minute on Oct 21st! Can you post on your next available blog or answer here how to make the napkins you showed? I heard you used wing needles but didn’t get to see which kind of stitching you use. Can you name it so I can find it on my regular futura or Singer Confidence 7470? Thanks!

by tbirdtammy on ‎10-23-2010 12:44 PM

I just found out that there was a singer Special value that was not supppose to be on. I looked at my program guide and I did not see that you had a show until the next day. By then the new embroidery machine sold out. Will it be coming back to HSN for those of us you miss the show.

by SewThankful on ‎10-23-2010 12:58 PM

Hi Tigriss,
Thank you for watching our sewing airings. I like your idea and will move it to the top of my list for early 2011. There are so many ways to use each one of the feet, I hope I can fit it all in one volume! I'll keep you posted so please check back frequently!

by SewThankful on ‎10-23-2010 01:01 PM

Hi Solid,
So glad you got to catch a few airings of the new Singer Futura Quartet. The 'hemstitching' is done with a wing needle and the hemstitch. It is solid down the middle with horizontal stitches intersecting the center line. Looks like one side of a railroad track. It's that simple.Test the stitch for width and length on the fabric you use. Batiste and light linen work great for this! Stitch along the folded raw edge for a flat finish that can't be beat! Happy Hemstitching!

by SewThankful on ‎10-23-2010 01:09 PM

You're not alone so take heart. The Futura Q will be back shortly after the new year so hang in there... you'll be glad you did. The extra large hoop combined with the multi-hooping feature takes it head and shoulders above the rest! You can watch the presentation on dot com as soon as the product comes back in stock. We'll make a posting here when it's coming back on air so please check back! Thanks for writing.

by Admirer 2 sewingaddict Admirer 2 on ‎10-23-2010 08:37 PM

If one owns a Futura already and has the software, will the software work with the Futura Q?

by LindanTexas on ‎10-23-2010 11:58 PM

Darlene, today I ordered the VuPoint Magic Wand scanner especially to use with my Singer CE-150 embroidery machine. I got the idea to scan an old 1849 marriage license that belonged to my great-greatparent's and stitched out old photos of other ancestors to make heirloom quilts for my two sisters. I am going to be putting some fab embroidery strips between the panels. Won't that be great? When you do your shows in the future, this might be another idea to use for digitizing. Thanks.

by Jacque1944 on ‎10-24-2010 03:01 AM

Hi, Darlene...I just purchased the Future Q. I already have the SES 2000. Can I use the editing and cross stitch software on this machine? When will your DVDs and book be available?

by babygirll on ‎10-24-2010 07:37 PM

hi darlene my name is lovern, my grandmother birthday ia noverber 15, and i was wondering if and when there will be any singer stylist 11 computerised sewing machine and serger set,.. be avaliable please please get back to me soon

by Jeanjohn on ‎10-25-2010 05:49 AM

I just wanted to tell you Darlene that you have brought me back to sewing and every time I go into Joanne fabrics I think reuse recycle repurpose...and I really get my creative juices flowing, as you say all the time..after becoming a widow 3 years ago I needed something again in my life besides my dog and cats so I thank you for being such an inspiration to me, .did I mention that I own many of the singer machines all purchased from HSN and am very excited to get the new Singer Futura Quartet

by BETH797 on ‎10-26-2010 06:50 PM

Darlene – On your presentation of the Singer Talent Sewing Machine, there was a beautiful stained-glass poinsettia mini quilt in front of the machine. Do you have the instructions, or can you tell me where to get a pattern for that? It was GORGEOUS & I would love to sew it on my new ”Singer Futura Quartet” !!
BTW~ When will you be back? Nov.? Dec.? We just can't get enough. One more thing, please - what about your DVDs ? ?
Thanks so much & God bless.

by sewnew on ‎10-26-2010 07:08 PM

Hello Darlene,
My husband just ordered me the Singer Quantum Stylist as an early Christmas gift and it is wonderful!! Some friends of mine & I are starting quilting classes next week & I need to know if the quilting foot is the same as the 1/4" foot?
I'm wondering will I need to buy the 1/4"?
Also, I would love a DVD for this machine...is there or will there be one?

by materialgirl57 on ‎10-26-2010 09:46 PM

Hi Darlene,
I purchased the Singer Futura 4 in 1 & am in total anticipation...
can't wait to get it !!!!
I do need to know if any thread package comes with it or do I need to purchase specific SIZES of spools...I have hundreds of various sized spools & also need to know if these can be used ???
I would also like to comment on how fantastic your presentations are!!!

by tbirdtammy on ‎10-28-2010 01:08 PM

Have anyone received theere new singer futura quartet yet, I missed the presentation and can not wait for the machine to come back in stock. Please let me know how you like your new machine

by SewThankful on ‎10-28-2010 04:22 PM

Hi Material girl,
If you have 40 weight polyester embroidery thread then you're set to begin embroidering as soon as you get your machine! There are different spool caps to accomodate different sizes and thread nets for the slippery or very full spools. Make sure you read the instruction manual since the protocol in setting up this machine is specific. Thanks for your words of encouragement! Enjoy and let us know how you're doing!

by SewThankful on ‎10-28-2010 04:25 PM

Hi sewnew,
So happy for you and wanted to thank you for ordering first from us! There are three feet included that you will find useful for quilting. The walking foot, the darning and embroidery foot (sometimes referred to as the Jumping Jack foot) and the 1/4" seaming foot. Please check with Singer regarding educational DVDs for this model. You may reach them by e-mailing talktous@singerco.com Hope you love your new Quartet!

by SewThankful on ‎10-28-2010 04:28 PM

Hi Beth 797,
The quilt stained glass pattern is from Nancy's Notions. You can find them on-line and request a catalog or order on the web. I can be more specific if you write to me from my website or facebook. I'll be back the Saturday after Thanksgiving and Dec 6&7. My DVDs are going to turn into Webinars in early 2011 so I'll keep you posted and hope you can attend! Happy Sewing until then!

by SewThankful on ‎10-28-2010 04:30 PM

Jean John,
Your motivation and green self expression is an inspiration for all of us! So happy for you that you have all the tols you need to sew your dreams. I'm posting my Darlene's Dozen Quartet tips and tricks so please check back to make sure you have a smooth ride in your newest SINGER! Your viewership is appreciated so much! See you on air!

by SewThankful on ‎10-28-2010 05:01 PM

HI Jacque,
So happy that you picked up on the Quartet before it sold out! Lucky you! You will not be able to use the Editing or the Auto-Cross stitch on your new quartet so hang on to your SES2000. You'll love them both. I'll be starting webinars in early 2011 so stay tuned!If there are particular topics you would like to see covered, please drop me a line.

by SewThankful on ‎10-28-2010 05:04 PM

Hi Lindan,
That is sooo cool! I love that idea! The photosticth will stitch cepiatone too so it can look very vintage. Now you got me inspired to get to work on one of my own! Thanks so much for sharing your creativity!!! Have a beautiful day!

by SewThankful on ‎10-28-2010 05:07 PM

Sewing addict,
Unfortunately you may not cross-use the software between Futuras. They are each unique and cannot even live on the same computer. You will be getting a new library of built-in designs, a new AUTOPUNCH, a new HYPERFONT and a new PHOTOSTITCH along with the usual DRAW package to use with Autopunch so you may not even miss your old software. Hope you like it!

by SewThankful on ‎10-28-2010 05:14 PM

Hi BabyGirl,
I have good news for you as long as your grandmother can wait a few weeks. Currently scheduled there are 100 units slated to be in stock for the Dec. 6&7th shows but remember that it's first come first serve. Check dot com every day from Nov. 22nd on to make sure you secure one before the airings.I don't have a schedule yet of what machine will appear in each hour so check the web daily. Your grandmother will love her new machine...and I'm sure she loves YOU! A LOT!!!! Cheers~

by sewbug on ‎10-29-2010 12:31 PM

hi, i enjoy all your sewing shows. have purchased many machines from your airings. Just wondered if you will be bringing back a felting machine any time in the future. guess i missed it when it was on. thanks

by ohioweaver on ‎10-29-2010 06:49 PM

I too purchased that Futura machine and all the goodies. It came in one week, I have set it up and I am sooooooo excited! One question though, Darlene showed that SUPER SIZED snow flake and I have one troubling question: the size of hoop needed to do that?? The large hoop that comes with the machine does not look large enough and I've read those Hoop it all ads that offer large hoops but they cost a couple of hundred dollars! Where are those hoops and not so expensive???

by ohioweaver on ‎10-30-2010 12:01 AM

Can anyone tell me exactly what she used to make that giant metalic snowflake shown? What size hoop did she use to make that program repeat 4 times??? Most of all, was the snowflake done that size be re-hooping four times?? I can't sleep till I know how this was accomplished on the machine I bought because of that demonstration!!!

by SEWINGHAPPILY on ‎10-30-2010 08:20 PM

ohioweaver you hoop four different times. Its like a gps system you do one section then the next and so on till it's done. Hope this help. :-}

by materialgirl57 on ‎10-31-2010 08:55 AM

tbirdtammy,I received my Singer Quartet & already have a tote bag in the making for my daughter-in-laws birthday!!!
I haven't got into the embroidery yet,but I have to tell you this machine is amazing so far !! I have been a fan of Brother for years...but, I gotta say that Singer'Hit the nail on the head ' with this one. I don't think it can get any better than this!!!!!!!!

by sew2so on ‎10-31-2010 09:26 AM

I used mine for the first time yesterday. I only used the sewing feature but I am in love. I returned the 150 model in July and this one is a real keeper. I woke up at 6:30 A.M. on a Sunday to play.

by cap99 on ‎10-31-2010 12:49 PM

Hi Darlene,
I received my futura quartet and so far the sewing is fine. The problem I am having is with the embroidery unit (one of the main reasons I bought the machine). The unit does not fit snugly against machine and the thread constantly breaks. Is my unit defective? I
really want to keep the machine but I am quickly becoming frustrated with the problems. I am very disappointed right now. :smileysad:

by cap99 on ‎10-31-2010 04:20 PM

I know that I just posted but I am just wondering ifanyone else having problems getting the singer quartet embroidery unit to go onto the machine? Mine clicks into place like the manual says but does not ever fully connect to the machine. I'm sure that is why I'm not getting anywhere with my embroidery. Please let me know if it is just a problem with my machine or ifI could be missing a step.

by cap99 on ‎11-01-2010 03:30 PM

I just spoke with the Singer representative who helped me fix my embroidery unit. Apparently, some of the units were shipped with an extra piece of plastic(in an area you would never think to look) which prevented the unit from fully attaching to the machine. I works perfectly now and I am so pleased that I won't have to send it back.

by SewThankful on ‎11-02-2010 10:21 AM

Hi Materialgirl57,
I'm doing a Happy Dance and celebrating that you love the Quartet too! Thanks for writing~~~

by SewThankful on ‎11-02-2010 10:24 AM

HI Sew2so,
Every day that's a Quartet SEWING day is a GREAT day! Make sure you upload a Picture of what you've been working on so we can all cheer you on! Today I'm making new water bottle carriers for my cruise vacation. Keep us posted! Bravo~

by SewThankful on ‎11-02-2010 10:29 AM

Hi Sewbug,
Thank you for your question. I just adore my felting machine and as much as I believed it would be a smash hit for everyone's sewing arsenal, I think it may have 'hit the stage' before it's time and unfortunately there are no plans to bring it back in the future. However, pick one up anyway! Get your surface embellishment sew-on! You will not be sorry. It's a lot of fun, creatively stimulating, promising unique and interesting results for the artist in you!!!

by SewThankful on ‎11-02-2010 10:35 AM

Hi Cap99,
So glad you reached out to the customer service at Singer! Yes, there's a small piece of plastic in the left rear that 'rolls' over to the right to expose the embroideery connection hole. As far as the threading, move the tension to "E" for embroidery and use the thread nets on your spool if needed to help control the thread feed into the tension discs. Also, always thread while the presser foot is in it's UP position to ensure it will lay in the discs properly. So glad it's fixed!

by SewThankful on ‎11-02-2010 10:38 AM

Hi Cap99,
Thank you so much for letting us know that your mystery has been solved. It's a lot like a new car... most of the same features but all with different controls and it takes a bit to learn how each feature reacts. Thanks for your patience...it's well worth the learning curve. Now you can enjoy your new Quartet for years to come! Drop us a line and let us know what you make! This is the place to CROW!!!! Happy Sewing~~

by tbirdtammy on ‎11-02-2010 11:44 AM

Since I missed out on the Singer Quartet when will it air again and are there any singer show line up for Nov.

by SuperSewer on ‎11-03-2010 07:01 PM

Dear Darlene,
I purchased the Futura CE250 last year in march when you had a great special. Could you confirm what was included in the package, specifically all the bonus software and special functions. I would really appreciate your reply.
Thank You SuperSewer

by littlesisrunt on ‎11-04-2010 02:04 AM

I purchased the Singer Futrua Quartet 4-in-1 machine. I also ordered the Singer/ Futura Tutorial CD for CE-150,CE-250 & CE-350 so I would be able to use my machine. When I recieved it I put it in to learn everything but it doesn't seem to be the right one. Did I get the right one? If not what one should I have ordered?

by littlesisrunt on ‎11-04-2010 02:16 AM

What does the 1/4 inch foot look like for the Singer Futura Quartet?

by CraftsRsewFun_1 on ‎11-04-2010 11:09 AM

Hi SuperSewer, I know that Darlene will answer, but in the meanwhile you can check the videos on Ytube and may find out which one was the one for the one you bought and have an idea of what it was supposed to bring. I bought a Singer 7470 once and later one I realized that it didnt' bring exactly what was shown at the show. Well Good luck!

by k9clother on ‎11-07-2010 09:39 PM

I love my futura quartet. My only concern is the hoop size. It seems like a huge jump between the sizes. The small hoop is very small and the large hoop to big for the clothing I do. Any hope of getting something in the middle soon? I had the 250 and it's hoop sizes are more user friendly for me.

by brendy63 on ‎04-30-2011 05:41 PM

Good afternoon
I purchased the Singer Futura CE200 in 2008 and have had nothing but problems with it. I also noticed that after they aired this machine, that they discontinued it. The problems that I have had from day day one is 1. The Installation Disk - which I was finally able to install, 2. The thread breakage.....wow soooo many problems with that. 3. Trying to insert a new bobbin in the middle of embrodiery project. The machine does not return where it left off. HELP

by danona on ‎06-07-2011 10:45 PM

Hi Darlene,
I’m comparing Singer Futura Quartet SESQ-3000 to All-in-One SES-2000, to determine which is more appropriate for my needs.
First of all: could you briefly highlight what you think to be the most significant differences, from a project range perspective?
I also have a specific question regarding buttonhole patterns. SES-2000 has four additional patterns (96-99) not available on SESQ-3000. Do I still have a way to sew those buttonhole shapes with Quartet? How?

by Timetosew on ‎08-24-2011 07:05 PM

Hi brendy63,
I have the same machine and I joined the Quantum Futura yahoogroups because I had been reading about so many problems with the machine. I have had mine for 3 years and have not used it. The members really seem to be able to help and I hope this helps you.

by charles355 on ‎11-12-2013 10:51 PM

I want to ask an unusual question.  I have owned 4 singer machines over the years and have been extremely happy with all of them. I am curious as to why all the machines used on quilting or sewing programs are all non-singer machines. Is singer considered a machine for a home sewer and the other machines are the choice of professionals? As far as the consume'rs buying guide, can u tell me how all the other machines stand up to singer in quality and features. Do u as a professional soley use singer? I am just curioius. Imperticular, I would like to know how Baby Lock and Phaff machines measure up to singer? As I said I am just curious. I love my singer. Please, I would appreciate an answer. Incidentally, the singer I have now is the One Plus.

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