3.04.2013

dirty little secrets

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We've all got our own little secrets, right? Things we're not necessarily proud of? I'm not talking about that time I got caught cheating on a science test in 6th grade (though I'm still pretty ashamed of that) or the fact that despite the persistent arguing from my rational self I am still watching the t.v. show Smash. And enjoying it...

No, I'm talking about our sewing secrets. Things we do (or don't do) that we wouldn't necessarily holler from the rooftops about. Well I'm here today to share one of mine:

I, Sallie Oleta, use glue to hold things in place when I sew.

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I can't be the only person that does this, right? Right...?!? I mean, it's kind of genius, if I do say so myself. One of my favorite places to use glue is on patch pockets. It makes everything so  much easier! Rather than pressing all your edges in 1/4 of an inch and praying to Lady McCall the Goddess of Home Sewing that everything stays put while you tentatively edgestitch it in place (a nerve wracking experience in itself) I just swipe a bit of fabric glue along those turned in edges to hold them down and then dab a bit more glue on the corners of the pocket to tack it in place on the body of the garment I'm sewing. It's sticky enough to stay where I put it, but not so permanent that I can't peel it up and reposition it if need be.

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I used glue when I sewed my jeans, and my husbands shirt, and I'm using it now as I work on my silk habotai shirt. I often say that sewing with silk habotai is like sewing with butterfly wings. And I'm not trying to be poetic. Seriously, the stuff has no weight and it flutters and shimmies around if you even sniff at it. This can make cutting it and sewing with it a bit of a hair-raising experience - not to mention trying to sew precise seams. Pinning it is useless because the pins are too heavy for it. Therefore - I glue. Don't judge me!! 

Please note, if you decide, like me, that this idea is pretty damn genius (and not crazy and sacrilegious) you shouldn't just grab for your nearest squeezy bottle of Elmers and go to town. They make glue sticks that are specifically for this purpose. The glue doesn't gunk up your needle (if used within reason) and it washes out. So no harm, no foul if you get a bit overzealous. Glue away, fools, glue away.

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On another note - I've been happily plugging away on my shirt this weekend, but the action got stalled when I got ready to sew on my interfaced pieces.  After a bit of consideration I decided to interface my collar, collar stand, button placket and cuffs with cotton batiste because I like the sort of soft drape it gave. However I noticed (after painstakingly hand basting all my pieces together, of course) that the batiste made my fashion fabric brighter than the non-interfaced pieces. A mistake I should have been able to predict and avoid, but I think I ignored my senses and plowed ahead because I wanted to use what I had at hand. Now I'm wondering if the brightness issue will bother me too much and if I should just suck it up and buy some silk organza and go the traditional route. Or something fusible...

On the other hand, after looking at these pictures I wonder if I'm just being crazy...?

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Mister Muscles was no help. What do you guys think? Plow ahead with the batiste, or go some other route? And what dirty little sewing secrets do you have?

xx

41 comments:

  1. Sal, OH THAT I HAD A GLUE STICK WHEN I WAS MAKING THAT TOP. The pockets were a FUCKING disaster. I tried to baste them but the silk was so thin I couldn't remove it so then sewed on top of the basting and it makes me mad looking at it. After spending an embarrassing amount of time on it I realised a glue stick would have been handy.


    As for embarrassing habits... how about yelling at my cat? You guys all post cutey patootey photos of your kitties on your sewing tables but I yell at mine and squirt him with a water bottle when he does it because a) I'm an asshole and b) HE's an asshole, and will get his little claws in stuff and make really aggressive eye contact with me while knocking my scissors off the table. Am I a bad cat person?

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    1. Not at all Heather - that's exactly what I would do, we're it that I had a cat! Thanks for the giggle :P

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  2. glue is totally legit! i've recently read davin coffin's "shirtmaking" and he swears by it. haven't tried it myself but i plan to buy some if i can ever remember when i'm at the fabric store...

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  3. I don't think the show-through looks that bad and if it were my project I would l probably just charge on.

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  4. Hahaha!! NO you are NOT a bad cat person!! My cat is a total asshole as well! Totally relate to the aggressive eye contact while knocking scissors off the table thing! And I should note that the only reason my cat was allowed anywhere near that blouse is because he doesn't have any front claws (NOW who's the bad cat person?) but he's got a killer set of teeth and he knows how to use them. Especially on my ankles.

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  5. Thanks Amber! I'm definitely considering it...

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  6. WooHoo!! Sweet Validation!! Yeah, it's kind of a lifesaver.

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  7. Don't feel judged, I think it's inventive! Besides, whatever makes our lives easier and our sewing better gets a thumbs up from me. I started sewing a blouse with a very similar pain-in-the-butt kind of fabric a couple of months ago and sort of left it unfinished because it would flutter all over the place and it got annoying. That's my secret, that I've had the same unfinished garment hanging for almost three months. Don't look at me, I'm so ashamed.

    From these photos I would say go ahead and finish it this way, but it really depends on the lighting and how the transparency on the non-interfaced pieces looks. If the difference is more noticeable in person then you might want to change your approach - as long as you don't leave it unfinished for the next few months like I did. haha.

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  8. I am so excited about this!! I am about to work on a silk top and it just *feels* safer to know that there is a way to try to control that beautiful slippery shit. I am down with it as legit. As for the batiste, I don't see too much of a difference in the photos, so I say keep going as planned.


    My sewing secret? I have used a marker on my fabric to mark the pattern. Okay a big fat black sharpie. Completely not washable. Terrifying and exhilarating at the same time :)

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  9. I couldn't tell that they looked brighter... I'd go ahead with it, and just try silk organza (most amazing product ever!!) next time.

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  10. not dirty, brilliant. now to find some glue to use.
    and i can't tell any change in brightness in the pics.

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  11. asewingodyssey.blogspot.co.ukMarch 4, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Glue?!? Wow! I'd never have thought about using clue...how inspired, clever, not dirty ;o) Can I ask though, why you don't just pin the pockets down etc? Is it because the material is so fragile and slippery? I'm loving the look of the blouse and I can't actually see lighter bits...!

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  12. the Garment FarmerMarch 4, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    I've heard of using glue, and on a few occasions I sure wish I had some on hand! There are times when pins just don't cut it. One time I accidentally bought iron on hem tape, and I went ahead and used it on a circle skirt I was rushing to finish--and my dirty little secret--I loved it. It was so quick and easy. But that was a Halloween costume, and I would NEVER use iron on hem tape otherwise ;)

    As for your darling blouse, I would say go with the organza if the cotton is bothering you. I have a slightly sheer blouse that the neck facing shows through on, and it bothers me a lot!! But I think a collar, button stand, and cuffs are different than facings. It's ok if those things appear a little more solid. I think facings are like undergarments--they shouldn't show through. So, yeah, it's totally your personal preference ;) The blouse is looking gorgeous in your photos!

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  13. Is it water based? As in it washes out? If yes, I'm so getting some of this.
    Curious on the interfacing... I would got with organza. It's a little less opaque than bastiste so less likely to show through? More importantly, I hope you've got enough of that gorgeous fabric to do so!

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  14. This, good lady, is revolutionary! I have never heard of this but I am about to start sewing with silk so I need a glue stick STAT!

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  15. MPBoldness Peter revealed this tip to us on the out last NYC meet-up! You are in good company! I really want to make my hubby an anniversary Negroni, this reminder might actually led it to happen!

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  16. Yep, fabric glue sticks are the best!

    Now here's something that'll make you feel good about your glue use: I have been known to STAPLE.

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  17. You're a genius & I love you :) xo I'm going to get a glue stick right now ^_^ Also habotai is so angelic isn't it? :)

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  18. I certainly won't judge. If it works - why not. Now I'll be looking for fabric glue sticks!

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  19. Um...THANK YOU! I was always told glue would gum up your needles and destroy sewing machines. I imagine some really goopy glue (who would use that anyway?) would but this seems fine and I've always wondered about it. I'm totally using this on my next zipper. If I can ever stop sewing buttons!

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  20. I'M going to get me some glue. If it's okay for Sal, its okay for me. Can't wait to see the top finished!

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  21. if glue is your dirty little secret, then you live a pretty mundane life.


    I'm all for detail but girl, I can hardly notice a difference in color.


    Still looking.... nope... I don't see anything. Nada. Plow away...

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  22. I've read about gluing from other wise sewers in the past but never committed myself. It's been promoted to the list.

    I am not bothered by the color change - I would move forward 'cause that's how I operate.

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  23. I'm glad you shared. I will have to add that to my notions box. Your top is gonna be great.

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  24. Glue is genius and I'm going to get some. I've been meaning to for ages but keep forgetting .... damned annoying.


    Oh and the blouse - make it as is unless you're bothered particularly. I think its gorgeous and the difference where the batiste is minimal.

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  25. Well you know glue won't faze me! That's all I EVER used - glue, safety pins, double sided sticky tape - anything that didn't involve a needle and thread. You continue to amaze me. Where did you come from?

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  26. never even thought of that, thanks for the idea.. go cheating! i love that blouse so much, can't wait to see it finished

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  27. It's quite the lifesaver with zippers! I can say that this has not gummed up my needle, but I do try to use it sparingly just in case.

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  28. Oh girl! I love it!! Office supplies... sewing supplies... it's all good!

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  29. I think I remember something on Peter's blog about it and it was a bit of "Phew! I'm not crazy!" moment! It's very helpful for making sure everything stays put on the Negroni (or any shirt pattern, really) especially with plackets and cuffs, etc.

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  30. Well I always feel like, even when I press the living hell out of my pockets, the turned in edges have a way of scooting around on slippery fabrics. And pinning them in place can cause for inaccuracies in placement (the pin pulls at the fabric) On more stable fabric I wouldn't have a problem using a pin, but on the delicate silk it just doesn't seem to work as well as I would like. It might be a confidence thing too, I'm just not super confident in my ability to edgestitch and keep the silk from shimmying around out of control.

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  31. I once used a sharpie to mark something on a fabric that I thought would be too heavy to show and it totally bled through! So I'm with you there! Although that's not one I generally make a habit of ;) Also - totally get yourself some glue! If for no other reason than it makes you feel more in control!

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  32. This is going to be so pretty! I can't imagine how I'd get those pockets neatly sewn any other way. I've used glue on my collar stands before. It's so hard to topstitch that inside part neatly. But how cute is your cat? It makes me nervous just seeing that--caught one of mine in a "bath" of chiffon once. Can't say what happened to the chiffon.

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  33. I really look forward to the finished product! I'm orking on a similar shirt myself, in a more subdued "nude" tone, and I'm a bit worried about how the buttonholes are going to come out, since the fabric is quite thin. I did interface the button placket, so we will se. I'm curious to know how it works out for you and if you use any tricks...
    Love the colors of this by the way, good job on the dying!

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  34. Using a glue stick on patch pockets is brilliant! I'll have to find some of that glue. I love how this blouse is turning out, and I agree that it's hard to see a difference in brightness in these photos. I know what you mean, though. I made a shirt with this exact problem, and though I do wear it, I still see the difference in brightness every time. I think you should fix it if you think it will bother you forever, especially if you suspect it may make you not want to wear it. If not, forge ahead!

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  35. Glue is a great idea! I'm loving the look of the top, and the batiste looks great! I think it's normal for the cuffs/collar/placket to be a little brighter when you're making a sheer top. I really, really like this!

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  36. That is the best idea I have ever heard! I have some fabric glue. it's not in glue stick form, but it should work I think...

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  37. definitely genius and Not but NOT a dirty little secret.
    recently I underlined with batiste and must admit to doing the lot because of the color change. But that was me and this is you.

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  38. I don't mind the color change from the batiste, but then again, it's hard to know over the internets. I'm so late to the game that you've likely already decided what you want to do about it. I also like using fabric glue and glue sticks - I have them in my sewing corner. But, I'll admit to not knowing that you can get a fabric glue stick. Might have to discretely pull that glue stick out of my sewing drawer before anyone sees....

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  39. I use a kid's glue stick (no special fabric temp glue). Works like a charm and comes right off in the wash.

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  40. Hehe! For what it's worth, I can't see any brighter sections where the interfacing is, go forth Sallie! xx

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