The Right Tool For The Job

So I haven’t been doing too much work lately on my current project — my trip intervened (and I did manage to whip up a skirt with the Malaysian fabric I picked up at the State Department book sale; photos to come).

I brought it back out today, and I have two comments about tools.

The first is that making bias strips out of satin is a complete pain. The fabric is slippery, it doesn’t like to hold a crease, and I managed to singe both it and my fingers. What I need for this is a bias tape maker:

bias tape maker

With this little gizmo, you feed the flat fabric in one end, and it comes out the other end folded around — you just have to press the creases in.

The second comment regards presser feet. For the longest time, I’d had my zigzag presser foot attached to the machine for any kind of regular straight stitch sewing. I mean, no reason you can’t stitch a straight line with the zipper foot, right? Well, but I’d always had trouble with very tiny seams and topstitching. If I was stitching close to the edge, the edge would creep up into the little well of the zigzag foot.

I pulled out the regular straight stitch foot the other day, and it was a revelation. Perfect topstitched seams, less than 1/16 inch from the edge.

Um. Well. D’uh. That’s why they give you a different foot for straight stitching.


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