Friday, June 17, 2011

Sewing Basket Part III: Measure, Mark, Sew!



The third and final instalment in our three-part series talks about items with which to measure, mark and sew. These are the last things to go into the sewing basket.


If you missed the beginning, here are parts I and II.

The Sewing Basket, Part I Sharp Things
The Sewing Basket, Part II Pointy Things



Using a seam gauge in the beginning, of this method of hand sewing that I show you is important because you prepare the sewing projects for your child. A seam gauge comes in handy when marking the distance between stitches. Using a ruler, even just for a few minutes, helps firm up in the mind's eye the distance you want between stitches.




A Sharpie marker will mark on felt without the dots bleeding (running). 


It is very helpful to beginners when we grown-ups make little dots along the edge of the felt. Dots show kids where to poke their needles for each stitch. 


It's like making pre-school sewing cards, but instead of punching holes in cardboard and "sewing" with a shoelace, your child sews real stitches with real thread on dots that you have made.


The ultra fine marker is the best size, but fine is okay, too. In the photo above ultra fine is used on the red shape and fine on the purple, to show the size difference. Sharpies are permanent, so you may want to store it out of reach. 


When your sewist has progressed far, and is able to finish a project in one sitting, you should switch to a fast fade fabric marker. It makes dots that are visible while she needs them, and then fade away leaving the project dot-free in 3 or 4 days. A dot-less project is very important t some children.reach.






Thread is the final item we are going to talk about. For beginners you will need to buy a thick thread that resists twisting. Something in a 30 weight such as DMC’s Cebelia is perfect. 


It may be labelled crochet thread or crochet cotton. The important thing is that it resists twisting.


Thread used in sewing machines is too fine and knotty for beginners.


Embroidery floss separates into several strands and is very knotty.


For your child's sake and your sanity try to use Cebelia.


Here is a complete, printable shopping list:



If you have any questions please contact me. My email address is under the contact tab in the header.

 The Sewing Basket, Part I Sharp Things
The Sewing Basket, Part II Pointy Things
pin cushion tutorial          needle book tutorial

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