Thursday, March 21, 2013

"No Sew" Sewing

I'd love to learn to sew, but as times are tight for us I can't justify taking the classes that are offered in my area. So, I've learned to "no sew" sewing by using an iron. My projects may not be top quality that I can sell, but with each one I do I get better and better, and ladies let me tell you, now days there are newer items out there that just make simple "sewing" so much easier. You can use the "No Sew" sewing for lots of things.
I use it when my husbands ties start to come apart at the seams in the back, or when the loop that he tucks the back of the tie in comes undone. I use it to hem my pants and skirts as needed. And it's great for DIY projects at home like homemade window dressings, table cloths, table runners, etc. 

Here is one of my most recent "No sew" sewing projects. Table runners for my wedding. 

I ended up with multiple runners with different sets of beads because our craft store here didn't have enough, but it worked out for the best. The colors still matched the color scheme really well and I had a lot of requests from friends and family wanting to take one home with them.

This was how it looked on the place setting individually.

and this was what it looked like while they were still in the process of setting up. We ended up with a technical error: the measurements were off. But I was still very pleased with how it looked and the runners work really well for home use on our kitchen table and on a table that sits at our front door.

Four items you'll need to buy.

  1. The fabric.
  2. Extra add ons (such as bead borders for the ends of a runner)
  3. Stitch Witchery
  4. Fabri-Tac (Came personally recommended by a lady who teaches the sewing class at our local craft store, and it works wonders on more than just fabric)

What items you'll need at home.

  1. An iron with a steam option.
  2. A large working space. (I used a full standing ironing board next to my kitchen counters)
  3. A bowl of water.
  4. A rag that can be ironed while wet without bleeding it's color.
  5. Tape measure. A tailoring tape measure works best for while your working, but when needing to do projects like window dressings I suggest one of the heavy duty tape measures. (You won't need this if you're just hemming or repairing a seam)

Then the rest is pretty simple. Get your measurements for the project you are doing. Keep in mind to factor in your hemming measurements. Like for window dressings you'll need about 6in-8in over hang at the top to form your rod pocket to put the bar through. Or if you plan to use something like loops, to keep in mind how much extra length the loops will add to your curtain. You'll also want to keep in mind the type of fabric, some shrink when you wash and dry them in a dryer which you'll want to do just in case before you being working with it. You can always trim the fabric shorter, but adding in length is harder.  (This is what happened with my runners, I forgot to add in about 4inches of extra fabric at each end for the hemming process, and I was in a rush since I waited till last minute to make them. I didn't wash and dry the fabric to shrink it until after I made them, so my runners ended up about 10inches short for the tables at the venue.) Once you know the measurements you'll be working with the rest is just following directions on the back of your iron on adhesive.

When working with Heat n Bond adhesives to attach things like patches and appliques and other "no sewing" lightweight craft projects, keep in mind some are "do not wash before use". I add patches at the knee's inside all of my son's jeans when I first buy them (Boy's tend to wear those knees out quickly) and I use the Heat n Bond because it gives me a wider more sturdy area to work with where as I use the stitch witchery more for narrow seams and hemming projects. Plus you also want to keep in mind the type of fabric when picking your bonding agent. Certain fabric don't like a lot of heat, while others need high heat and the same goes for bonding agents. Some use "low temp" bonding that activates quickly with little pressing time and some need "high temp" heat and/or steam with much longer pressing times.

Basically once you know your project, and you have all the measurements. It's basically just reading, and if you're not for sure about the fabric,  a little googling or asking a knowledgeable worker at your local craft store.

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