(Fogra 39) Job:02-28051 Title:RP-Textile Artist Handbook
#175 DTP:225 Page:140
138-151_28051.indd 140 3/6/12 8:54 PM
(Fogra 39) Job:02-28051 Title:RP-Textile Artist Handbook
#175 DTP:225 Page:141
138-151_28051.indd 141 3/6/12 8:54 PM
Sewing, Quilting, and a ppliQ t he t extile a rtiS t'S Studio h andbook
The Sewing Machine
The sewing machine was invented for speed and ef-
ciency and can do amazing things. Of course, ver y de-
tailed work and precise pattern matching is best done
by hand, but almost everything else can be done on a
basic sewing machine that can execute a straight, re-
verse, and zigzag stitch. Be sure to review the instruc-
tion manual to understand how your machine works.
Even the most basic sewing machines will have
these important features:
Power switch
Foot, knee, or touch pad control to start and stop
the machine
Bobbins and bobbin winder (Youll want to wind
different color threads onto a selection of bobbins.
The bobbin sits below the needle and presser foot
in the bobbin case.)
A needle that lowers and rises to create stitches
Several presser feet come with a sewing machine,
usually a general-purpose foot, a straight stitch
foot, and a zipper foot. The presser foot keeps the
fabric in place while the feed dogs (on the base of
the sewing machine) move the fabric forward.
Thread spool pin and thread guides to hold the up-
per (or needle) threadthere will also be a thread-
ing guide printed on the machine or illustrated in
the manual. It is very important for the thread to
follow the correct path.
Tension and stitch regulators or dials that you ad-
just to change the thread tension, stitch type, stitch
length, and stitch width
Reverse stitch button or dial
Balance wheel, which turns as your needle moves
up and downyou can use the wheel to manually
control your needle.
With a sewing machine, there are two threads (as
opposed to sewing by hand, which uses only one
thread): the needle thread and the bobbin thread. The
two threads interlock between the fabric layers. The
key to successful sewing is knowing how to work your
machine, so keep the instruction manual handy.
LEFT Draping is the method of creat-
ing a garment by tucking, pinning,
and pleating fabric over a dress form
to sculpt a garment.
RIGHT Shown here is a serger, which
can be used to finish edges.
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Sewing, Quilting, and a ppliQ
The TexT ile ArT isT 's sTudio hAndbook
You will need storage for fabric because all sewers
hoard fabric! It needs to be far away from the wet
area of your studio. You’ll also need containers and
labels. The tools needed are few, but they are small
and should be kept in labeled drawers, tins, boxes,
and the like. Whatever storage method you choose, it
just needs to be organized! Revisit chapter one (page
19) for some pointers on organization.
The Basics of Hand Sewing
To stitch by hand, simply thread a hand needle with
an 18 inches (45.7 cm) length of thread and knot one
end. Keep your stitches uniform in size and don’t pull
the thread too tight or leave it too loose. Knowledge
of the following four stitches will allow you to do any
hand sewing, but there are many more that you can
learn over time. Some of the following are also used
in embroidery and for decorative stitching.
Straight or Running Stitch
A straight or running stitch is basic for hand sewing.
It is the quintessential stitch formed in equal lengths
either for construction or for decoration.
Basting Stitch
A basting stitch is a very long, loose straight stitch
used to hold something in place temporarily. Use it to
quickly stitch something together to see what it will
look like. It’s easy to remove the stitches by snipping
and pulling the thread. A basting stitch can also be
used to gather fabric.
ABOVE Here is a basic stitch sampler
that is a great way to practice
stitches, but also a great way to
remember them for future reference
or to show others.
(Fogra 39) Job:02-28051 Title:RP-Textile Artist Handbook
#175 DTP:225 Page:141
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