NSC LIVE! July 2016

In this month’s live event with Nicki LaFoille, learn about everything from grading patterns to sharpening your seam ripper. Nicki also provides great information on how to fix common stitch issues like skipped stitches or thread tangles on the wrong side of your fabric. She also explains different types of sewing machine feet are and how to use them.

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67 Responses to “NSC LIVE! July 2016”
    • Christy SD

      Have you tried an actual ruffling foot? I can’t live without mine. You can also adjust your serger and run your fabric through to get a uniform ruffle.

      Reply
  1. Marcia

    I have a large number of patterns that are not my size. Can you name me some good reference works on how to up or down size a pattern to fit?

    Reply
    • kathy

      try using Nancy Zieman’s book Pattern fitting with confidence. old book is called Fitting Finess

      Reply
    • Debra

      Pattern Fitting with Confidence by Nancy Zieman is a great book! I’ve used or for years and the technique is solid!

      Reply
    • Andrea

      If you google Surefitdesigns. Glenda Sparling will help you with her tutorials. Sign up to be a member. I never buy commercial patterns anymore, she has kits where you can make your own blueprint of you body measurements, then you can apply your commercial patterns to the blueprint just for the design. The kits are dresses, trousers, shirts, Childrens, Jeans etc. Once you have her kits you can design anything you like + use all your commercial patterns. Good luck Andrea

      Reply
    • Beverly Easterling

      I use Magic Fit patterns that enable me to make a fitting shell that actually fits me. I then take the details from the patterns by lining up the center front of the commercial pattern with the center front of the Magic Fit Pattern and then line up the neckline. Works like a charm and I always have a pattern that fits with the design details of the pattern. Necklines with collars are easy to adapt – the stitching line of the bodice neckline and the stitching line of the collar from center back to collar termination point must equal. When the pattern tells you to ease in the collar you are actually easing in the difference of seam allowance due the neckline being a concave circle and the collar being a convex curve. Hope this is useful. Magic Fit also has a wonderful French Curve ruler that has slots for the 5/8″ seam allowances.

      Reply
  2. Janet Russo

    I would like to know how to do a outside zipper. I have seen a lot of pretty zippers and want to know how in put them in a dress.

    Reply
  3. Cora Mae

    How do I decide which stabilizer to use with different fabric weights when embroidering?

    Reply
  4. kathy

    nancy Zieman’s book is the best for pivot and slide help for resizing patterns

    Reply
  5. Jane Alderson

    Expound on the curved ruler…???? What is it used for, what does it look like, what are alternates?

    Reply
    • Debra

      It is best to hoop it, however if you are running a decorative stitch as a border and it is small and doesn’t move except in an up and Down manner you can go without hoopin. You will still need to put some type of backing to support the stitches.

      Reply
  6. Loyce

    I am wanting to make some sheer curtains for my bedroom windows. They aren’t very long or wide but I need some advice on how to measure for them. I just want them to be gathered on a rod. Also what material would be good to use that would be machine washable?

    Reply
    • Beverly Easterling

      Your sheer fabric needs to be 3 times the width of the rod that you are using them to hang on. Many years ago I worked as a home interior decorator and 3x the width of the rod is standard fullness. You can still use any fabric. If it is really sheer you may want to go fuller. If the windows are short you can turn the fabric sideways and use the width for the length. That way you will have no seams and washing will be a breeze without fear that the seams could ravel. When washing curtains wash them in the washer and hang them up wet. The weight will take out any wrinkles.

      Reply
    • Debra

      Try putting your thread spool in a plastic bag and then in the freezer for a few hours before using it. It moistens it a bit and makes it more pliable.

      Reply
  7. William

    I don’t know how to sew. Where do I start ? Would terminology be first or hands on?

    Reply
    • Andrea

      Google Surefitdesigns, This lady has the best tutorials & kits to get you started, with dvd’s & she explains everything to you, step by step. Her kits are Dresses, Shirts, Trousers, Childresn wear, Mens shirts. You measure yourself up then design your own blueprint pattern, once you become experienced then you can design your own clothes. It was the best thing I ever did going to her seminar when she came to Australia. I have never looked back. I don’t buy commercial patterns anymore I just look for nice designs then apply it to my blueprint. Her dvd will teach you how to do it. I wish you well in learning to sew. Andrea

      Reply
    • IBeverly Easterling

      We here in Florida have a program for children “Each One Teach One”. We teach children by giving them a 18″ x 18″ piece of muslin, show them how to thread the machine and let them try out the stitches on the machine. I would bring in a big box of thread and tell them to use as many colors as they want on the piece of fabric. To them it is a game but it is really a pass/fail situation. If they thread the machine correctly it works. If not it does not work.

      Reply
  8. Doris White

    I want to finish woven light weight fabric seams, what a your suggestions for the seam finish.

    Reply
  9. Karen Garey

    How can you beef up a fabric that is too thin for your apparel project, ex. a skirt , other than a lining?

    Reply
  10. Louise Pelletier

    Every time I make pijamas for my grandchildren they are too big what should I do?

    Reply
  11. garnette

    Just getting back to sewing after many years. What’s the best reference regarding types of fabrics, what needs to be prewashed, special handling w/ machine, etc.

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    • Andrea

      Now it doesn’t I just made a beautiful dress with ruffles & sewed the edge with Gold Metallic thread, if you want your thread to stand out more, sew it with another thread, polyester which is a similar colour. So put both threads through the same needle. My ruffles looked fantastic. I had plenty of comments on how good it looked. Sewing it on its own didn’t stand out, but with a yellow thread with it made the gold stand out really well. All the best Andrea

      Reply
  12. Donna Hoenicke

    When doing embroidery on machine ..Do you always need to iron on the stabilizer?

    Reply
  13. Nailah sweatt

    Great info…but in normal speaking rate cant write as quickly as i would like. Can you repeat or say twice as u go, so we can get all info down on paper, Thanks so much.

    Reply
  14. cookie

    What can I do to keep my quilt from puckering and the backing from sliding? I basted th entire quilt horizontally and vertically and I tried stitching in the ditch but it continued to pucker and slide.

    Reply
  15. Zhane

    I’m wondering is it better to use small stretch zig-zag stitches to sew knits or use a serger to sew knits? I find when using the first option the fabric stretch and I hear the threads pop.

    Reply
  16. Rebecca

    Regrets but did not hear input on this question? Does metalic thread harm the sewing machine…does the metal wear on machine elements?

    Reply
  17. Karen

    What are your favorite places to buy fabric and do you know what happened to all the $1.00 fabric they used to have available at Walmart?

    Reply
  18. Danielle

    What do I use at the shoulder seams, etc to keep knits from stretching ??

    Reply
  19. Shannie

    Can embroidery really be done on a home sewing machine or is an embroidery machine needed?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Cindy. I am not sure where you are located, but Snuggle, Cuddle and Minky fabric can usually be found at your local fabric store. For me, that is Joann fabrics. If you don’t have a local shop and would prefer online, Fabric.com has a great selection. Here is the link:

      https://www.fabric.com/find?SearchText=minky

      Reply
  20. Linda

    I’m having an awful time trying to put a neck in a t-shirt. Are there any tips you can offer?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Linda. I like to bind the neck esges of t-shirts. To do this, cut a bias strip about 2″ longer than the neckline, fold one short end 1/2″ toward the wrong side. Align the strip right sides together with the shirt and stitch, lapping the remaining short end over the folded end. Then turn that to the wrong side and stitch in the ditch or edgestitch on the strip using a triple stitch.

      Reply
  21. Susan

    Hi I’ve asked the same question 3 times now. I’ll perfectly understand if you don’t know the answer to it but I would really appreciate it if you could email me back to let me know either way. My question was… I have 2 sided material. 1st side is suede & 2nd side is fur.(not real). I’d like to make a 2 sided coat. How do I hide the seams? I’d really like it if you could email me back. Address is saasca09@gmail.com

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Susan. I apologize that we have not answered your question before. I would recommend hiding the seams by covering them with a strip of fabric. This means if you have stitched your seam and ‘pressed’ it open on the wrong side, with fur now showing on the suede side, you would cut a strip of fabric to stitch over it with the suede side up. You may need to trim down the fur in both the seam and in the strip of fabric you use to eliminate some of the bulk. This is the technique I use, and have recently been using it in a faux leather project. I have sent you an email with this answer along with a quick sample of what I mean. I hope this technique works for you.

      Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Noella. Twill tape can be used to bind straight edges. I would only recommend using bias tape if you are binding something with a curved edge.

      Reply
  22. Mary Beth

    You mentioned tracing original pattern. I used to use blueprint tracing paper to trace patterns in different sizes while keeping the original intact. Can’t find any resource for that type of large roll of paper anymore. What do you use to trace patterns on?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Mary. I actually use tissue paper. It is very easy to find and fairly closely resembles the actual pattern pieces, it is just slightly thicker which can make it last longer.

      Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Mary Ann. A seam ripper can be sharpened with steel wool or by using a tool called a bead reamer, which looks like a small rounded file. These can be found at most craft stores that carry beads.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply