Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Top Tip Tuesday

Keep your sharps sharp!!

Both your body and mind will thank you for ensuring all your tools are kept sharp from cutting tools, such as rotary cutters and scissors, to needles, both for machine and hand stitching.

Your body will thank you by being put under less stress and strain which if you do something repetitively can soon build up to manifest itself, whether that be in your thumb joints, wrists, elbow or shoulder.

Your mind will thank you because things will be more precise, need less rework and there is nothing quite like the joy of cutting fabric with a new rotary cutter blade!

Machine needles should be changed regularly, but I do not subscribe to the maxim of a new needle for each new project.  You know how much you sew and how much wear and tear a needle gets.  

Some signs that you may need a new needle are:
  • skipped or misaligned stitches where before they were great
  • a difference in the sound of your sewing machine because a blunt needle is having to force its way through the fabric
  • you hit a bulky seam which could have affected the straightness of the needle

You may choose to change your needle when you give your machine its regular TLC, see my last tip here.

Again how regularly you change your hand sewing needles depends on the amount and type of sewing you do.  I had a gorgeous sharp little needle for sewing on my binding and I because I liked it I kept using it and using it and using it!  I didn't really stop to think why my hands were getting so sore with each quilt being finished.

Scissors are a hard one - do you replace them or get them sharpened?  I know when I lived in New Zealand there were scissor sharpening services locally to me and the difference it made was amazing.  I haven't found any near me in the UK but I haven't been doing much dressmaking to get my good fabric scissors blunt!  Do you have any near you?

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