JUMP-START YOUR PROJECTS When I buy a pattern, I usually cut out all the pieces roughly and read over the directions soon after I have purchased it. That way, I get a jump start when I begin a new sewing project. I still have to fit the pattern, but the pieces are ready for that next step. Another benefit is that I easily can access pieces of that pattern to use with other patterns. In that case, I make a copy of those pieces on pattern paper to add to the other pattern, and I return the original pattern piece to its envelope.
I also prewash fabric when I purchase it.
It saves a lot of time when I’m ready to start my project, and I have the satisfaction of seeing the results of my project more quickly.
STATIC-FREE PATTERNS To eliminate static electricity on pattern pieces, I rub dryer sheets on them and then lightly press them with a warm iron.
CHALK LINE FOR MARKING When I make pants, I leave extra fabric at the waist edge when cutting, so I can slip the unfinished waistline under an elastic guide around my waist and adjust until the pants hang nicely and the crotch is comfortable.
To mark the adjusted waistline on the pants, I use a chalk-line marker from the hardware store. It is a string that comes on an enclosed, chalk-filled reel (like a pull-out measuring tape); when you pull the string out, it’s covered with powdered chalk. I wrap the chalk-coated string around my waist at the edge of the elastic guide, and my marking is transferred all the way around my waist. It is easy to connect any missing areas with an air-soluble marker, giving you a perfect stitching line to use for adding the waistband or making a casing for elastic. The reel is refill-able, and if the blue chalk does not show on your project, you can replace it with lighter-colored powder.
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