Posts tagged sewing basics
Posts tagged sewing basics
Hello there cosbunnies! I’m sorry I’ve left you for so long, but life crept up on me and held me captive in a cave for some time. But now I’m free and ready to continue with a run down of some of the stitches that will be useful for the sewing of costumes. Let’s get right down to it, shall we?
First, though, since this post will be about hand stitching, I’m going to explain how to thread a hand needle. For help on choosing the right needle for your project, here’s the supply post which contains all the information on hand needles. For help with the thread, here’s a handy link about that too!
Got your needle and thread? Great! Let’s get started:
And now that your thread is on your needle, we can start talking about what you can do with it!
There are many more decorative stitches as well, but these are the construction ones that are good to know. Next time I’ll cover what your machine can do! Keep sewing, cosbunnies!
Hello again cosbunnies! Today I’m going to be explaining about different kinds of sewing thread, so let’s just jump right into it.
Types of thread
When you’re choosing thread, try and choose a thread that has a similar texture to your fabric, like cotton thread for cotton or linen, silk for silk or wool, polyester for synthetics, etc. You also need to take the color of your project into account, so bring a swatch (a little piece of your fabric) with you to the store to match the color or, if you’re looking for a contrast, to make sure the colors work well together.
And that’s it for now! I’ll be heading to Kansas to visit my waifu the day after next, but I’ll try and start my first in a series of posts about different stitches tomorrow or in a few days. And remember, you can always still ask questions! I have a nifty tumblr app on my phone and I can answer on the go~
Hello cosbunnies! Last time I went over all of the hand tools you’ll want to have in your kit, so this time why don’t we discuss the crown jewel of sewing technology: the sewing machine!
There are several types of sewing machines on the market so I suggest doing some research on what you’ll be needing. Most beginning and intermediate cosplayers can get away with a standard home machine like a Brother, Kenmore, or Bernina. If you still live with your parents or have access to their sewing machine, you’ll want to take advantage of that parent’s (or grandparent’s) knowledge of their machine. If you’re really lucky they’ll have a Husqvarna Viking, Pfaff, or a vintage Singer you can use. If they’ve been properly cared for, they’re great machines. Lastly, you could hunt down a Juki industrial machine. This is a very fast machine though, and I don’t recommend it for beginners. It’s also really expensive though it lasts forever, and can only do a straight stitch (though I’m sure there’s other models that have an expanded stitch repertoire, I’ve just only used the basic industrial).
These are only a fraction of the machines available and if you’re in the market to buy one, I strongly urge you to do some research before you do. Here were my criteria for finding a machine:
Most machines come with all this stuff so even if you do find a cheap one make sure you take a look at all its features and some reviews, and even try out a floor model in a store if at all possible so you’re sure you’re getting what you need.
Now let’s take a look at how a sewing machine works. This is just a general overview of the features of a standard machine, since even though the models vary, they all basically work the same way.
It sounds complicated, but once you get used to your machine, sewing’s a breeze! Now let’s take a look at the kinds of needles and feet you can get for your machine.
Machine Feet and Attachments
Last but not least I want to touch on Sergers/Overlock machines. If you have any t-shirts, take a look at the inside edge of the hem. Chances are it’s been finished with an overlock stitch. This special stitch prevents the fabric from unraveling and reinforces interior seams. A serger is a great buy and most costumes will benefit from the piece edges having been overlocked. The machines come equipped with an interior blade that cuts the excess from the edge of the fabric as you overlock it to achieve that clean edge beneath the thread, but you need to be careful that you don’t cut off too much.
Even if having a serger is great, though, I’ve gotten by for years without one either by using an overcast stitch on my home machine (see above) or just by being careful while wearing the costume. It’s not a necessary machine to make a good cosplay, far from it, but it does help keep your costumes from needing repair longer and I recommend using one if you have the opportunity.
If you do decide to shop for an overlock machine, make sure you look up reviews and even try it out in the store if you can, just like you would if you were purchasing a sewing machine. This equipment is all too expensive not to make sure you know what you’re getting.
That’s it for now, cosbunnies. I’ll see you next time when we’ll cover different kinds of thread and some basic stitches!
What better way to kick off the blog than to start with an overview of common tools you’ll need to get your cosplay projects underway? No better way, that’s what! So let’s jump right in! Most, if not all these things can be found at your local Joann Fabrics, Beverly’s, or Hancock Fabrics, as well as any local fabric or quilting store and even Amazon.com.
Pins and Needles
Don’t forget a pin cushion! Either a tomato or a magnetic grab-it. I actually prefer the grab-it since you can just toss your pins at it without looking, but at least with a tomato you don’t risk stabbing yourself with poorly placed pins.
If you don’t have one, then I definitely recommend getting one. A Bernina 1000 series is a great starter workhorse machine and standard for a lot of the shops I’ve worked in, so you can find them used a lot of the time. Brother’s XL2600 is also a great machine if you don’t want to spend over $300.
I personally use a Pfaff 2023 ClassicStyle Fashion, which I researched for quite some time before settling on. It’s an electronic machine with several decorative stitches on top of its standard compliment and it can sew through at least four layers of denim with the right needle. It also has a built in walking foot, a foot that makes sure all the fabric gets fed through the machine at the same speed, which I find to be exceedingly helpful.
Whatever you do, though, don’t get a modern Singer. The company used to be fantastic but anything from something like the 1980’s and onward has been awful. The bobbin cases are now drop in, which means even the tiniest pull on the needle can keep it from hitting the bobbin and instead hitting the plate, jamming the machine and breaking the needle. I know this from experience; I had a Singer for my first several years of cosplay and it was just one headache after another.
I’ll cover sewing machines more in depth in a later post, but I figured I should at least touch on it in this one.
Last but not least…
You need something to keep all of this in, right? I really like the selection of sewing boxes at Joann Fabrics, personally, but this bit is totally up to you. For my first year, I kept everything in a shoe box! Just keep in mind it needs to fit all your tools, plus the thread and notions (bias tape, zippers, lace, etc) that you’d no-doubt be accumulating. Unless you have somewhere else to put that, of course, but I like to have at least my thread handy in my box so I can just pick it up and go to a friend’s house for a sewing party.
And that’s it for the supplies! Phew, that was long. I’ll see you cosbunnies next time!