Friday, July 29, 2022

Friday Fun Fact: Pin Safety

Today I'm talking to you about pin safety.

Don't put pins in your mouth.

I know, it's second nature to so many sewists, but it's just not a good idea!

A couple reasons: first up, it's just not sanitary. We've lived through more than two years of a pandemic and I think we're all getting better about not spreading our germs around willy-nilly, or putting stuff in our mouths that has probably (definitely) been on the floor.

Second, and much more seriously: you could inhale it. Stories abound of folks who've inhaled or ingested pins and caused serious damage to themselves!

(Seriously, click the link and read the article. How good is your health insurance?)

So what to do?

Keep lots of pin receptacles around! You have plenty of options from cushions to dishes and magnet trays.

We have a cute new ring pincushion that's perfect to keep nearby as a pin-in-mouth deterrent! Get it here!

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Treadlette Tuesday: Marina's English Paper Piecing

It's Treadlette Tuesday, when we share projects, inspiration, and ideas for you from our lovely Treadle Yard Goods employees, The Treadlettes!

Today we're sharing Marina's latest project!

Can you believe these sweet little coasters are entirely hand-sewn? It's easier than you think!

Marina used the English paper piecing technique, and created a small project that's easy to finish and perfect to learn on. She's teaching how to make these in a class coming up in August! 

Friday, July 22, 2022

Friday Fun Fact: Smoothing Selvages

Does your selvage pull in when you're laying out fabric?

This is a common annoyance with knits, but it can happen with wovens too. Fortunately there's an easy fix.

If you're having a hard time making your fabric lay flat, check the selvage. Are wrinkles leaning in toward the selvage like in the photo above?

Grab your scissors and start making snips! A short snip is all you need - about half an inch in. Make snips every half inch along the entire selvage.

Use the TIPS of your scissors for this! No need to use the whole blade and risk an accidental big chop.

After you've snipped, your fabric should lay flat. Check out the difference in the bottom photo!

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Treadlette Tuesday: Rebecca's Remy

 It's Treadlette Tuesday, when we share projects, inspiration, and ideas for you from our lovely Treadle Yard Goods employees, The Treadlettes!

You might know by now that Rebecca LOVES the Remy Raglan pattern. I've lost count of how many times she's made it!

This version, on display in the store now, is made from a very interesting linen that has a geometric pattern and a shot weave.

She also added bust darts for a little extra shape and contour in the fit.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Friday Fun Fact: Bias Tape!

Today I want to talk about bias tape!

It's such a common notion and we've probably all used it. But what makes it bias tape, and why is it so magical?

Bias tape is not just folded strips of fabric. The strips have to be cut on the true bias.

Fabric's straight grain runs parallel to the selvage. The cross grain runs across the selvage. And the diagonal is the bias!

While any direction at a diagonal to the grain is bias, only the 45 degree angle is the TRUE bias!

And what's so special about the bias? Because of the way the threads lay at angles, bias strips go around curves. This makes it work for binding hems, armholes, and necklines in a way that straight-grain pieces just won't.

Look for a future Friday Fun Fact on how to use bias tape, and even how to make your own!

Right now at Treadle we have a fantastic selection of locally-made bias tapes! We've got single and double fold for all your needs. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Treadlette Tuesday: Michele's Marcy Tilton dress

Today's project comes from our fearless leader, Michele!

She used Marcy Tilton pattern Vogue 9112 and a variety of linen fabrics to make this awesome dress!

Sometimes if you only have a scrap or a remnant of a special fabric, you highlight it like Michele did here. She took the bright linen plaid and combined it with a coordinating solid and a flax-color neutral that makes her unique fabric pop!

Do you like the idea of mixing fabrics? Check out our Collage Dress class!

Friday, July 8, 2022

Friday Fun Fact: Beautiful Gathers!

It's Elizabeth here to tell you about my favorite way to sew perfect gathers!

Gathering is crucial for cute ruffles, but it's also a great technique for making skirts 

First, it helps to have different color in the bobbin and the spool. In the sample below, I used yellow and grey.

Lengthen your stitch length to the highest setting.

Stitch two parallel rows on either side of the seamline. So if your seam allowance is 5/8", sew at 1/2" and 3/4".

Don't backstitch, and don't cut the thread tails. Seriously, leave the starting and ending tails LONG!

Grab one set of threads and gently pull to create the gathers! Spread them out evenly to the adjoining piece and pin the hell out of it.

Finally, sew at the seamline, right between the gathering stitches! You can remove the loose gathering threads later.

There are a lot of ways to create gathers in fabric, but I find that this method really gives you the nicest look. Sewing in between the two rows creates perfect, tiny ripples that lay smoothly and evenly.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Treadlette Tuesday: Elizabeth's Indian cotton blouse

 It's Treadlette Tuesday, when we share projects, inspiration, and ideas for you from our lovely Treadle Yard Goods employees, The Treadlettes!

Elizabeth (that's me!) made this summer blouse that's her new favorite!

I used all my favorite sewing techniques on this lightweight Indian cotton. French seams are everywhere I could put them and I hand-finished the inner cuffs, collar, and front bands.

The pattern is Butterick 6816. I blended sizes between the bust, waist, and hip and made a full bust adjustment to make this blouse fit me just right! 

You can get this awesome fabric here! (and it also comes in this beautiful bittersweet tone!)

I'm already planning another version in a different fabric!

Friday, July 1, 2022

Friday Fun Fact: Scissors

Today's fun fact was suggested by Treadlette Rebecca! She wanted to talk about scissors.

Scissors are one of humankind's oldest technologies, and originally were made of a single curved piece of metal which acted as a spring.

Later, the hinged style was introduced - the painting above from c.1565 clearly shows a hinged scissor style similar to a modern pair.

Today we have so many specialized scissors for every purpose - shears, trimmers, pinking, applique, thread snips, and more!

A note on left-handed models: there are actually two kinds. One simply switches the handles from a typical rightie setup, while another (such as Kai's "True Lefty") actually realigns the blades for a better cutting experience.

You can learn more about scissor history here!