Sewing and mending

(The Freeman) - August 20, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Make a small swatch book of the fabrics you have at home, and take it with you when you shop for clothing or other fabric. Tape or glue small silvers of your fabrics to index cards (several will fit on one card), along with the amount you have. Staple the cards, together with a "cover" card and stick them in you purse. Next time you shop, you can choose new clothing or fabric to coordinate with what you have already invested in. You're more likely to use the fabric if it goes with something else.

Save time with a sewing kit

Make yourself a good quality sewing kit so you'll be ready for those unexpected repairs. Cut a three-inch by 10-inch strip of felt, heavy fabric, or paper, and fold it in half to make a rectangle. Thread one needle with a length of white or ivory thread, another with dark gray or black thread, and another with light to medium brown thread. Knot the ends of each thread, and wrap them around the cloth or paper rectangle, sticking the needles in last to hold the thread in place. Add four straight pins to the kit by threading them onto the cloth or paper. Put the kit in a top dresser or on a closet shelf, and store a pair of small scissors with it. Next time you need a quick repair, instead of rummaging around for matching thread and a needle, you can fix it in a couple of minutes and be on your way.

A measurable difference

Measure your fabric before you store it, and write the amount and width of the fabric on an index card cut in half lengthwise. Tuck the card into the folds or roll of fabric. Next time you want to use a certain piece, you'll know whether you have enough yardage without opening of the fabric and measuring it again.

The law of averages

Survey your patterns, and figure out the average amount of fabric you need to make a pair of slacks, a skirt, a blouse, a slim dress, a full dress, and any other clothing you make for your family. Write these average amounts on an index card, and stick it in your wallet. Then when you see the right fabric, you can buy exactly the amount you need.

Fabric at a glance

The best way to store fabric waiting to be made into clothing or household items is to roll it up. An open bookshelf or a box turned on its side makes the perfect storage area for your rolled fabric. Fold and roll the yardage to fit the depth of your shelves or box, then secure each piece with a rubber band. You'll know at a glance whether you have the right green or that perfect shade of pink.

On pins and needles

Save scraps of soap and wrap them in cloth for a pin cushion. The extra lubrication will help the pins slide more smoothly through your fabric.

- From Fix It, Clean It, And Make It Last By The Editors of FC&A Publishing (FC&A Publishing)



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