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Tips and Trends

Check out these tips and trends: 

Faux Leather Sewing Tips

With soft, sophisticated pieces the leather trend this year, we thought we would share some tips for working with faux leather.
  1. Practice first - every stitch leaves a permanent hole, so practice your stitches beforehand.
  2. Donít use pins - instead, consider paper clips, binder clips, invisible tape, or quilt binding clips work well for leather.
  3. There are many seam options If using plain seams, glue the seam allowances down with leather adhesive and use a wallpaper roller to seal them shut.
  4. Cut out pattern pieces one layer at a time. Trace the pattern pieces on the wrong side and use a rotary cutter for most of the cutting. 
  5. If you are using patterns, be sure to transfer all markings on the wrong side of the fabric. Stay away from traditional transfer paper and marking wheels, and consider marking pens or tailorís chalk.
  6. Because the raw edges of leather will not fray, no added seam finishes are necessary.   Raw seam edges can remain unfinished or can be exposed for a great organic look.
See the Faux Leather Tape colours available to order

Black Velvet Ribbon

The latest in hair accessories straight from New York.  The elegance of a thick velvet bow wrapped around a loose ponytail.

This beauty look is easy to replicate simply wrap a wide black velvet ribbon effortlessly over a swept pony tail.   

We have an extensive range of colours and sizes available, contact us today. 

Tips for Using Freezer Paper

Freezer paper has many uses:
  • Use freezer paper to help you cut shapes out of fabric.  Draw a design on the dull side of the freezer paper and cut it out. Iron the paper (shiny side down) onto a piece of fabric, then cut around the design. You can reuse the same shape over and over Ė just peel it off and iron again! This is a great way to create easy applique pieces for quilting, too.
  • Use it as an embroidery template. 
  • Use it as a paint stencil. 
  • Extend the life of your sewing patterns. Pull out enough freezer paper to completely cover a sewing pattern piece, and position the freezer paper with the shiny side down. On the dull side, use a pencil and ruler to help you trace the pattern outlines and markings onto the freezer paper, then cut them out and use them. 
  • This standard household item can be cut into an A4 size, use the shiny side of freezer paper to the wrong side of fabric and cut fabric to size. The freezer paper will provide enough stabilization to allow the fabric to run through the printer. It will help you print on fabric. Allow the ink to dry and peel away the paper. Set ink with a hot iron. 
>> QP9990.5 Freezer Paper 45cm x 5m 

Fashion Trends to look out for...

From boxy shoulders to sky-high platforms, here are some  fashion trends to look forward to in 2017.
Pink Will Reign Supreme
While pink has certainly made its presence known, weíre sure the bubblegum shade will continue to reign supreme.
Stripes Galore
Get ready to see stripes in all sizes and colours on everything from chunky sweaters to knit dresses.Pleats add movement, style, and class.
Strong Shoulders
Get ready to cover up in voluminous sleeves and architectural shoulder pads reminiscent of the Ď80s.

Caring for Your Scissors 

Sewing scissors are one of the most important tools in your sewing kit. 

Invest in a good pair of sewing scissors or shears and take care of them with regular cleaning and sharpening so they will cut fabric with ease.

Also wipe the blades after each use.  Some fabrics are abrasive and can damage the metal on your scissors, so use a cloth to wipe away any lint after each project.

Use these tips to keep your sewing scissors in the best shape possible so you can use them for years to come.
Check out more tips 

Which Batting Should You Use?

Batting is the soft layer between the quilt top and the backing. It gives the quilt dimension and definition as well as offering warmth.   The batting you choose should complement the nature and use of your finished quilt. Here are some of the options:

Bamboo or Bamboo/Cotton Batting is made from 100% bamboo (or a 50% bamboo and 50% organic cotton blend) and is very breathable and ideal for machine quilting. 

Cotton Batting because itís made from natural fibres is favoured for its soft texture and comfort. 

Cotton/Polyester Batting is an 80% cotton and 20% polyester blend. It has the benefits of cotton, but with more loft. 

Polyester Batting holds its shape and thickness compared to other fibres. Polyester fibres are preferred for cots and bedding. Polyester is thicker but lighter, keeps you warm without the weight. Itís non-breathable but resists mould and mildew. 

Tips for Working with Knits

Donít stretch the fabric, adjust the pressure foot to the lowest amount of pressure

A zig zag stitch is perfect for sewing knits - the back and forth motion adds extra slack to the thread - or use a Serger.

Use the right needle, Universal needles can handle most knits but thread breakage is a sign you need to switch to a jersey or ballpoint. 

If you prefer a straight stitch to a zig-zag try a twin needle.  

Ideas to Spring Clean your Sewing Room

Even if youíve had your sewing room set up for years, itís worth it to reorganise every once in awhile.

Having a dedicated, organised and inspiring sewing room makes diving into a sewing or quilting project much more fun.

Youíll want good light, enough space to spread out patterns while youíre cutting and plenty of storage opportunities for your fabric stash and tools.  Try using a Pegboard to make the most of limited space.  Organise fabric in­­ a way that makes sense for you Ė possibly by colour for easy mixing and matching.

Donít forget to surround yourself with inspiration!  Use embroidery hoops to display your favourite fabrics. 

The Health Benefits of Knitting

Iím sure you already know knitting has incredible health benefits, it makes people feel good in just about every way. 

So next time someone says you spend too much time knitting, remind them of all the health benefits you are gaining!

  • Can help people manage long-term physical pain, or depression 
  • Is relaxing, thereby reducing stress and anxiety
  • Connects people and increases their perceived happiness
  • Improves concentration 
  • Can reduce the risk of dementia 
  • Offers a break from a technology-saturated world
  • Makes people happy! 

Tips for Leather Tape

Leather is again popular this winter, donít forget we have a range of Mokuba Leather Tape.  (This tape is artificial leather.)

Here are a couple of tips for sewing whether using real or faux leather, use a fresh, new needle in your sewing machine and pins will leave permanent holes, so they are pretty much out of the question, try paper clips or binder clips instead.  

Needle Storage Idea

If you struggle to find the right needle for each job in your collection, why not try this simple storage idea.

Simply label small slide boxes with the needle size and type.  Stick them to the wall and when you need a needle, simply push and slide the box open, very easy. 

Faux Fur Trends this Season

Faux is the new chic when it comes to fur and anyone can wear it and pull it off.

Faux fur is the trend to rock this winter season. Not only is it cozy and super-stylish, but itís warm and guilt-free, too.

Adding a faux fur trim and pom pom balls to a winter coat, will instantly update your outfit with a posh and playful edge. 

Remember faux fur can be used almost anywhere, handbags, hats, cushions the options are endless!

Knit and Crochet Trends

Check out these trend predictions for this year.

1. Big Yarns: Fast finish projects - this year weíll be seeing more chunky knits & fast-finish crochet projects

2. Oversized Fashions: Flattering everyone

3. Scarves: The #Scarfie hashtag has exploded with people sharing their scarves, shawls and cowls on social media

4. Colour: Bright and bold colours

5. Fur Trim: See it, make it, wear it


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