I am a beginner. I have been learning how to sew for a few years now and realized a couple years ago that there were 2 things that really helped me in the sewing room. The most important tool or appliance (besides the sewing machine) is my iron and the 2nd must have is stitch witchery.
Even though I do not iron my clothes (because I am a lousy at it), I do iron my fabric and hems that I sew. I can tell you that this extra step of ironing the fabric and the hem you need is crucial to easier and better sewing. The second tool or necessity to have is stitch witchery (stitch witch) which you iron to fuse the fabric together. Note: if you do not have a sewing machine, stitch witchery can be a great product for keeping a hem in place.
You are probably wondering why you should use a sewing machine after ironing the hem with the stitch witch. My answer is simple – it is a substitute for needle and thread and will not stand up multiple wash/dry cycles. Stitch witch is great and I always have a roll handy but I have found (from my experience) that you need to hem the item with your machine or by hand to have it withstand multiple laundering.
Now I use the hottest setting for most fabrics such as denim, cotton, and even some linens with the stitch witch because I have a basic $10 iron and to be honest I do not know any better. I like to use hottest setting to get the wrinkles out of the fabric and to press my hem before adding the stitch witch. Yes, this is important to note- iron out fabric and then iron your hem and let it cool before cutting and ironing your stitch witch in place.
It is using an extra step for hemming but I cannot use pins. I find pins to be time consuming and clunky to work around when doing hems. If you run over pins with your sewing machine needle you can bust it even risk injuring yourself when a piece of metal flies into your hand or face. Been there and it hurt having a needle fragment lodge in my face!
Another bonus of using stitch witch is you can sew much faster knowing your fabric is not going to come undone or the pins fall out. There are experienced seamstresses out there who do not need to go this extra step of using stitch witch. However, they will tell you an iron is a must have for the reasons I described above.
I have many things to learn about using a sewing machine and being self taught I take my time and learn from my mistakes. I do love to create and sew and during the winter months I hope to get a lot more practice in.
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