4th Day of Christmas – 2013

Dec 28

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Day 4 of our 12 Days Of Christmas celebration!

[Giveaway Ended - Congrats to Cheryl M. She won my 4 favotite sewing supplies!]

Sewing is definitely a fun and rewarding skill, but sometimes there are parts of the process that can just frustrate me beyond belief! I absolutely love it when I come across a product/tip/or trick that solves some of these frustrations… Fraying fabric, tiny hems, tangled bobbins, and stepping on lost pins in the carpet were some of my top dilemas to solve early on and now I can’t imagine my sewing journey without these fun finds!

Today we are giving away … 4 of my favorite sewing supplies to one lucky winner! All items are brand new and happen to be different colors but you can see mine in the background of the image below :)

  • Grabbit – A magnetic pin cushion. This is just so fun to swipe over the floor or table top and quickly pick up all the pins at once!
  • Wonder Tape – double sided transparent, perfect for tiny folds, hems, and applying velcro!
  • Fray Check – Love this for delicate fabric edges!
  • Bobbin Saver – Perfect for keeping bobbins organized!


Day 4 Sewing supplies

To enter simply respond to this post and complete one of these sentences (depending on if you are an experienced seamstress or new to sewing and looking for some time saving tips and tricks):

“My favorite sewing supply or trick is [insert name] because [tell us why] … “


“My biggest sewing challenge is [insert name] because [tell us why] … “


Comments must be left (on this blog post) by midnight (pacific), today, 12/28/2013.

One entry per person.

No purchase necessary, void where prohibited.

The winner will be chosen randomly from the comments received and contacted through the email provided in the comment.

We will choose a winner and modify this post tomorrow to let everyone know who won.

Okay, good luck, and if we’ve forgotten anything we will modify and/or update this post as needed.

Merry Christmas,

Cinnamon & The Liberty Jane Team

Ps. Congrats to Mitzi, she won yesterdays giveaway – the 3 LJC tees!



  1. Hope Francis /

    My favourite sewing trick is taking care when pressing seams, press the seam open, then with the seam down, press the seam allowance to both sides, before pressing open from the right side. This gives a very flat seam and a professional finish.

  2. My favorite sewing supply or trick is? Well Cinnamon, you have covered a lot of them, I would say make sure you always use the proper needle in your machine for the fabric you are working with. I use a twin needle for knits to get a nice stretchy hem that won’t break:)

  3. Jennifer Stiff /

    Fray check is my favorite too! I don’t know how I ever sewed without it. I use it on everything! It is great when you are making gathers.

  4. I have a large and small hemostat in my sewing basket and I use them more than any other tool. They are wonderful for pushing out the turned points on collars and corners. They also work very well when I am pressing tiny pieces as you can insert them inside the piece you are pressing and slide the hemostat as the iron steams the piece in front of them (keeping your fingers away from the hot steam as you press). I also use them to draw elastic through tiny waistbands, to pull my needle through a thick fold of fabric and many other things. You can buy them at the fabric store and online and it is a great investment. Happy sewing!

  5. Mitzi Thornton /

    My favorite sewing tip is to use a sidewinder to wind your bobbins. It always frustrated me to have to unthread and rethread the machine everytime I needed to fill the bobbins. That frustration is gone with a sidewinder to do the bobbins!

    • Dolly Walter /

      I’m not familiar with a sidewinder. How does that work because I hate to get interrupted to wind another bobbin.

      • a sidewinder is a seperate little machine that winds bobbins for you.

        • The side winder is a great tool– you can wind several bobbins of the same color of threads. I find this very time saving, than stopping to wind a bobbin every time you run out of thread– ;)

  6. Kathy Thomason /

    My favorite sewing supply is my Seam Ripper! Although I’ve been sewing for years, I still make mistakes so I keep my seam ripper close at all times.

  7. Melanie Leigh /

    My favorite is my seam ripper, I have one at each of my machines and I can’t survive without one. Even after almost 50 years of sewing I still make mistakes.

  8. Sheilah /

    My favorite sewing supply is my 1/4″ seam foot. It keeps my seam allowances true and I can then concentrate on other details of my project.

  9. My favorite sewing techniques — press all seams as you sew. Press curves over a curved wooden of fabric pressing form. And grade seams to reduce the bulk.

  10. Fran Boyle /

    My biggest sewing challenge are buttonholes, their alignment and keeping them even. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated!!

    • Brenda Sweeney /

      Do a test stitch out of the button hole on the same type of fabric that you are using. I find it helps to use a tear away (use most) or some time wash away or sometimes just note book paper. this stitch out shows you where the button hole starts and ends. Also before you start, mark where you want the button hole to start with a marking tool that will go away.

  11. I tend to make mistakes, so….my seam ripper is always handy.

  12. Barbara Willis /

    Quarter inch foot because it helps me get consistent seam allowances.

  13. Kristie Dowling /

    Biggest challenge – Zippers! I can never get them in straight enough for me. Today I’m attempting my first invisible one in a long AG Party Gown. Hope it looks better!

  14. Debbie Oates /

    My favorite sewing supply is the twin needle. I can’t believe I’ve sewn for years and never heard of it until this year! The hems of my t-shirts look so professional now. Thanks Cinnamon Miles!

  15. my favorite sewing trick is for the big cones of thread. I insert a regular spool of thread into bottom of cone and then place on top of my machine, Then I dont have to buy a special cone holder.

  16. My biggest challenge has been AG doll slippers. I’ve only made one pair, modifying a shoe pattern so that the upper only goes halfway back to the heel, then using elastic to be more closely resemble the commercial Julie slippers. Cutting those tiny soles evenly is hard enough, and then trying to align them with the top, catching every layer, around sharp curves, really challenged me. (I used 2 fleece layers, each with interfacing for the sole and 2 fleece layers, with one interfacing, for the upper.) I’m not pleased with the workmanship of this project.

    • Practice, practice, practice, Jan K. I’ve made several pairs of shoes for AG dolls and while I’m still 100% pleased with the results, every pair has been easier to make and looked better than the pair before.

      • . . . still NOT 100% pleased . . . .

        Sorry, my fingers got away from me, I guess.

  17. My favorite sewing supply is a very good quality, very sharp scissors for cutting fabric and pattern pieces. Never realized how important and frustration relieving one is until purchasing one after many years with a ordinary inexpensive scissors. Investment in good supplies really does make sewing easier and more fun.

  18. Linda Armstrong /

    My favorite new trick is to use the clear elastic to stabilize knits for hemming. In my doll clothes I use the clear elastic straps in Goodwill gowns that I buy to make AG clothes. Thrifty and makes a beautiful hem in knit wear for dolls!

  19. Sophie T /

    My biggest sewing challenge is sewing with elastic threat for shirring because I don’t trust my very old sewing machine!

  20. Lesley from NE /

    My biggest challenge is actually finding time to sew! =) I have three children under the age of 8, so I keep pretty busy just doing stuff around the house! =)

  21. My favorite sewing supply is the little clear square box I have for my bobbins. My biggest sewing challenge is sewing with satin.

    • Brenda Sweeney /

      Look up info on embroidery stablizers they have ones that I use in sewing and also check up on the Pellon at Jo Anns

  22. Samantha Place /

    My favorite sewing item is my magnetic straight edge. It makes sewing seams quick and painless. My biggest challenge is sewing knits. No matter what I do they come out wavy.

  23. Gail Meucci /

    “My favorite sewing supply or trick is the Grabbit magnet pin cushion because it is so handy to pick up the pins/safety pins that I remove when I’m sewing. It helps with gathering any pins that have gone astray with just a swipe. It stays close to any project I make using pins.”

    • Marilyn /

      I was told in a class to set a very slight zig zag stitch when sewing knits. I found this to be helpful.

  24. My biggest sewing challenge is bound button holes and pockets because I’ve only done a few garments that needed them in my 60 years of sewing and never got very good at it. Practice makes perfect???

  25. My biggest sewing challenge is pockets and zippers. I always seem to break a needle when putting in a zipper. And pockets are always a challenge in placing them in the right place no matter how many times I mark them.

    • Brenda Sweeney /

      Do a old time sewing just hand stich the zipper in with long but firm stiches to hold it in place I also hand sew the fabric together before I put the zipper on top of it. Stitches are easily removed and worth the extra time. Try it

  26. My two favorites are Fray Check and my seam ripper. I also like Hem Tape, Biggest challenge lately was sewing the moto jacket. Even with a heavy duty beedle, it’s not working too well.

  27. Kathi Martin /

    My biggest challenge is putting in a zipper! Why, I have no clue! If I don’t put the seams in straight then I hate it and it always seams that it’s not straight! I do buttons instead….

  28. Kim Corliss /

    I use fusible thread in the lower looper of my serger for easy hemming on doll clothes. Just fold, press and topstitch – very neat and easy!
    Kim C

    • Jude Clark /

      I’ll have to try that. Thanks for the tip.

    • Dolly Walter /

      I’ve never heard of that! And I’ve been sewing since I was a child. I will have to find some and give it a try. My eyes and hands don’t work as we’ll now as they used to.

  29. Kathleen Gallaher /

    My biggest challenge is getting collars to lie flat and neat. Even on larger items (not doll clothes) but especially doll clothes!

    • Carol P. Meadows /

      When cutting out the collar pieces, cut one piece a little wider along the edge that it sewn into the garment. Start from nothing on one side, gradually increase to about 1/8″ on doll collar, 1/4″ on people collar, then gradually taper back down to nothing on the other side. When you sew the collar in, keep the two edges together…now when you fold the collar back, it lies perfectly smooth!

      • Carol P. Meadows /

        Should have said, hold the wider of the two pieces so it’s on TOP when sewing the collar in!

  30. cecilia /

    My favorite sewing supply is the seam ripper, because i’m always using it to change or modify my designs when something doesn’t go right!!

  31. Carole Schneider /

    My biggest challenge has been working with chiffon type fabric. That stuff slides and stretches all over the place!

    • I have used spray starch to temporarily give chiffon some body and temporary spray adhesive like sulky is marvelous for slippery fabrics.

  32. My favorite sewing supply is steam-a-seam lite. Makes sewing hems super easy and attaching small items that are hard to pin in place.

    My biggest challenge is sewing Velcro onto the back of T-shirts as one side always stretches more.

    • Iron steam a seam to the back of the Velcro, then iron onto the garment. That holds the Velcro in place and keeps the fabric from stretching. Works like a charm on knits!

  33. sandra meese /

    My favorite sewing supply (especially for doll clothing)is FRAY/CHECK!! I sewed a doll Christmas outfit out of velveteen and without it the seams might have pulled out after some use of putting the outfit on and off.

  34. My favorite sewing supplies are my collection of threads. I always have the right color and type at the time I need it.

  35. My biggest sewing challenge is sleeves. Mostly because I haven’t had any practice doing them, but they confuse me.

    • Brenda Sweeney /

      Just sew out sample of doing just one side of a top to get the fill of doing the sleeve u can always hand baste the sleeve to fit it in.

  36. My favourite sewing supply is my sewing awl. I use it to hold down fabric just in front of the foot so my fingers don’t get sewn through (that really hurts) and to help guide tiny corners just up to the foot. It can also help to hand press open seams and to hold them open when ironing so I don’t burn my fingers. Once I got the hang of holding it just right so I don’t sew over it, I can’t believe how much help it has given me.

  37. Betty Frederick /

    My favorite sewing tool is my iron. I press seams open, hems down and the finished product. However, I do use Seam Fray a lot also.

  38. Heather Kalfayan /

    My biggest sewing trick is actually the internet. I am just learning to sew so going online and looking for tips and suggestions when things arent going well has been a huge help for me

  39. My favorite sewing supply or trick is Freezer Paper for printing doll pattern pieces because I then simply cut them out and iron onto my fabric without PINS — no sticking yourself and you can iron them on many times. Cut Freezer Paper to 8 1/2″ x 11″ — it’s 18″ wide, so cut off 11″ & then cut the 18″ into two 8 1/2″ pieces, wasting only 1″. Iron shiny side down to a piece of printer paper just along the leading edge that runs through your printer. Store pattern pieces in a Sheet Protector in a 3-ring notebook, making notes on piece itself or separate sheet as to alterations needed, fabric/lining/trim swatches, etc. to keep you organized! If you cut several sheets of FP ahead and store flat, you’ll be ready for your next sewing adventure using that new pattern! ;~)

    • Brenda Sweeney /

      Great IDEA

    • Jude Clark /

      Great idea!!

    • Rhondda Fanning /

      My favourite tool is my loop turner . I use it for turning fine rouleaux for spaghetti straps , thicker rouleaux for belts , handles for bags or for turning much wider bias or straight grain strips for belts or trims etc .

      Thank you everyone for sharing ideas . I have learnt so much . I have just saved some of these tips to i- Pages for future reference .

      Thank you Cinnamon for giving us the opportunity to help each other .

    • You win. Best idea so far!

    • You can buy freezer paper sheets that are 8 1/2 x 11.
      Saves all that cutting out of freezer paper

      • Thanks so much, Brenda, Jude, Diana & Karen, though this was something I learned online. I can’t recall the original post, but wonder if it may have been here last year?!
        Thanks to you too, Erin — I did not realize they were available in pre-cut sheets which would truly save a LOT of time — I’m going to look for them now! Truly appreciate everyone’s input here — what a treasure trove of valuable info!!!

  40. Linda D /

    My favorite supply is my stitch ripper. I work at two different places, so I have one at each. It’s the one thing that I just couldn’t improvise. It’s so easy for a stitch to go astray now and then and, when it does and it topstitching, that stitch just has to come out.

  41. Dana Woodfin /

    My biggest sewing challenge is following older patterns. I am still new to sewing and I have noticed older patterns are way more technical in the wording.

  42. My favorite sewing trick is, use three lines of stitching when making gathers. The gathers end up beautiful and even. A little extra time for a much better looking finished project

    • Fran stroud /

      This was one I learned this year and it has made a world of difference. I don’t mind gathers anymore.

  43. My favorite sewing tip is to iron, iron, and iron after every step. It will make such a difference in the finishing project.
    Another thing is to keep your machine clean of dust and lint. You don’t want something inside the machine to catch on a thread and mess up your project.

  44. Tracing paper! tracing patterns out of books and magazines is only 1 use. I trace my original patterns to keep them nice, trace patterns to embroider, the uses are endless. This is just a couple

    • Jude Clark /

      This is also a great way to deal with those patterns that come in several sizes without having to cut the pattern up or get stressed out trying to cut around it.

  45. Melissa Nitterright /

    My biggest sewing challenge is time, because to see everything must be taken out and put back away…as I don’t have a sewing room and I do have a very active and curiouse 2 year old.

  46. My biggest challenge is button holes. I’m so glad AG uses velcro closures. I love your designs.

  47. I have been sewing since I was 8 years old, but the magnetic pin cushion and bobbin saver have saved lots of time in the past 10 years. About a year ago I learned about 1/4 inch clear elastic and now I cannot imagine sewing without it. When sewing with light-weight knits, I use it for hems and even seams. I was happy to find a marvelous source (10 yards for $1.50): homesew.com

  48. Terry Knuffke-Tolbert /

    My favorite sewing supply solved one of my biggest challenges. My husband made me a thread board with ribbon bar. Before I had shoe boxes thread..boxes for serger cones, boxes for regular machine thread, and then boxes for embroidery machine thread. Mike used a peg board to put all this thread and the bobbins on. He put a couple removable bars to put ribbon spools on too.
    This keeps everything so much neater in the sewing room and means I can find thread faster and quit buying duplicates of rarely used colors.

  49. My biggest sewing challenge is details….because when sewing small items (i.e. doll clothes) the details are so important to me and I am a perfectionist so, with an old sewing machine the small stitches are something I want to get right.

    • Jude Clark /

      I know what you mean. Until I retired I didn’t have time to be as particular. Hopefully now I can pay attention to detail.

  50. “My favorite sewing supply or trick is [insert name] because [tell us why] … “ If you are cutting more than one of the same outfit. I stack my fabric so I can cut multiples at the same time.. saves lots of time

  51. Carol P. Meadows /

    my favorite sewing supply is my goose-neck Ott light because I need a LOT of light, since my eyesight is not so good as it used to be!

  52. My favorite sewing trick is using aluminum foil on my pinking shears because it sharpens them quickly. Just cut through a couple of layers of aluminum foil, multiple times and you’ll be surprised how this improves their performance!

  53. My biggest sewing challenge is a lack of knowledge – there are just so many things I’m not sure of. I really hope to improve that!

  54. my biggest sewing challenge is sewing with velvet. no matter what I try it always seems to slip and I have uneven seams. I also give lessons and I tell them other then the sewing machine, your best tools are sharp shears and an iron.

  55. My most frustrating part is burning my fingers trying to press those tiny hems or any hem. I crease the hem then stick pins through them into the ironing board. Pulling the pin out as the iron approaches. It takes extra time so if someone has a better plan would appreciate it.

    • Try using glass head pins. They do not damage the iron and are easy to just iron over!

    • Karen Blackburn /

      Cover your finger tips with the fingers cut off a pair of old gloves, or use the rubber finger tip covers you can get at office supply stores.

  56. My biggest sewing challenge is resizing patterns because one of my granddaughters has an American Girl doll and the other has as Bitsy Twin doll. My patterns are for AG dolls. I don’t actually own either doll so for Christmas I wasn’t able to “try them on as I went”. I did have measurements so that helped. As it ended up the tops were OK but the pants could have been a little larger. I will try again.

    • I had the same problem… because my granddaughter lives in another state…I bought a bitty baby and AG 18″ doll from ebay, the cheapest ones I could find. Only the body is needed so it doesn’t really matter what condition the doll itself is in. But beware if you love dolls you might get addicted to having them around and find yourself buying new ones.

  57. My biggest sewing challenge is being afraid to just see. I always freak out about doing it wrong but hey that’s what seam rippers are for right?

    • *sew not see!

      • Jude Clark /

        Yeah. I feel like I’m being wishy-washy and can’t make up my mind because I often put off a project because I don’t want to hate it and end up wasting my time.

        • Monya Duvall /

          My biggest challenge is just making myself get started. I guess l’m afraid it won’t come out good when I see the beautiful things other people make.

  58. My favourite sewing supply is my pinking sheers. They make trimming curved seams so much easier and my seams always lay nice and flat when turned.

  59. I have 2 favorite sewing supplies…my double needles because they have a neat, professional finish, and fusible hem tape because I’m lazy and it saves me tons of time:)

  60. My biggest sewing challenge are buttonholes! That is mostly because I have an old (but sturdy sewing machine) that does not make buttonholes easily or quickly. I also have little or no self-confidence when I have to do buttonholes. Whew!

    • Brenda Sweeney /

      Read all the comment on this site and re read them when all has posted today lots of answers

  61. My favorite sewing supply is:
    My iron because it makes sewing so much faster and easier. I love to press things in place of using pins.

  62. Lori K. /

    My biggest sewing challenge is sewing knits because I haven’t figured how to keep the fabric from stretching while I sew on my new machine.

    • Linda Armstrong /

      Lori, try using clear elastic or even stabilizer on your hems, etc. You’ll find less stretch when you stabilize it.

  63. Rosalind Carey /

    My biggest sewing challenge is putting on binding. I can never get it right though I try and try!!

  64. My favorite sewing tool is my electric seam ripper. Actually it’s a Wahl hair trimmer and it makes seam ripping a piece of cake. So much easier than using a seam ripper. One of the best $10.00 purchases I’ve ever made.

  65. My favorite sewing supply or trick is neutral thread so saving time instead of changing threads.

    My biggeat chanlenge is zippers, making them look great.

  66. Cathy Neal /

    The walking foot for my sewing machine ! Love how it works sewing knit fabric !

  67. Cheryl Root MacMillan /

    I’m new to sewing and daunted by the wording on patterns, so I typically just design and sew stuff myself. To make that possible, my favourite sewing tricks are to a) learn from youtube videos and pictoral tutorials b)make my patterns out of Ziploc bag plastic and Sharpie marker so I can press them right against my model (whether it be doll or daughter) c) make a few of the same thing (to solidify my skills) and give extras away. At this stage of learning, my favourite sewing tool is probably my stitch ripper, though that is being used less and less!

    • Cinnamon & Team /

      Hi Cheryl! Guess What? You are the winner of my 4 favorite sewing supplies! Congrats!! We will contact you by email with all the details :)

      • Huge CONGRATS to you, Cheryl, on today’s win — enjoy those great sewing tools! Happy Sewing in 2014 too!!!

        • Cheryl /

          SOO stoked! Really excited about these supplies and also thankful for all the tips I learned from you all!

  68. My favorite sewing item is a good, sharp pair of scissors….because, they make life so much easier!!!!

  69. My favorite sewing supply or trick is when you do drop pins or needles on the carpet and you cannot see them, I grab a magnet from my fridge and wave it around on the carpet. This is also great for if you dropped a lot of pins. If you do not like to get on your hands and knees though, you can use a tool grabber from the hardware store that has a magnet that extends on a key chain!

  70. My biggest sewing challenge is detailed hand stitching because I have arthritis in both hands which makes it difficult and painful to make tiny stitches.

  71. My biggest sewing challenge at the moment is getting a workspace set up that is comfortable for my back so I can sew for longer than a few mintues at a time.

    • Marilyn Clarkin /

      You can use PVC(plumbing tube it is white/grey). Cut the tube about 12-19″ and put on the bottom of a folding table and it will be the right height. I currently have all my sewing room at pub table height it makes a world of difference.

  72. Jennifer G /

    My favorite sewing supply is Clover wonder clips. These little red gadgets are wonderful at holding fabrics together. Thanks for the giveaway!

  73. My biggest sewing challenge has been trying to put caning in the hem of my grand daughters Mrs. Claus dress hem. I got so frustrated after the third try , I pulled it all out and left it that way. It would not stand out without curling back on itself!. It turned out fine without it anyway.

    • Linda Armstrong /

      Rather than caning in the hem of the Mrs Santa outfit, you might try using about a thick (20 lb test) fishing line in your hem.

  74. My biggest sewing challenge is to make the inside of my garments more professional looking. The seams always look messy. I am going to try the fray check and I am going to look for one of those bobbin organizers if I don’t win. Thanks for the fun contest!!!!

  75. Susanne Ascue /

    My favorite sewing supply or trick is the ez steam double sided fusible tape] because when you try to sew two fabrics together in a small item like velvet and satin all it does is shift all over, no matter how many pins you use, but if you use this tape instead of pins, you’ll never have that problem again!… “

  76. sherry mattson /

    My biggest sewing challenge is making my daughter’s prom dress because she wants it just so (pun intended) but wants fabrics that don’t work with the pattern and wants strapless but no boning. ugh!

  77. My favorite sewing supply is the hemmer foot on my sewing machine because it makes hemming really easy and quick especially when hemming doll clothes.

  78. Trish S. /

    My favorite sewing supply/trick is using Wonder Tape and Aleen’s double stick hem tape. Both are amazing and work better than expected. I created a Halloween costume and Christmas parade costume without sewing a stitch!! And it was super fast too.

  79. Jude Clark /

    My biggest sewing challenge with doll clothes is the tiny sleeves and hems. I struggle with getting the hems turned and sewed without using up all of the fabric. My fingers just can’t hold on and sometimes pinning and ironing just doesn’t cut it. Also, working on the machine with armholes that don’t fit so that I keep catching other parts of the fabric in the seam is extremely frustrating.

  80. Patti Bukowski /

    My biggest sewing challenge is having straight hems that are neat and tidy. Mine just don’t seem to be all that straight or all that neat. And a neat hem really does make all the difference in taking an outfit from “okay” to “cool”.

  81. Winter Boomershine /

    My favorite sewing trick/supply is patience! So many times I just need a deep breath, maybe a five minute break or a cup of tea. When I come back to my sewing challenge, the solution seems simple.

  82. One of my biggest challenges while sewing is working with stretch fabric. My sewing machine likes to “eat” my fabric when sewing it.

    • Try using a walking foot next time. It keeps the fabric from getting caught in sewing machine and also keeps the fabric from stretching.

  83. Ellen Bierlein /

    My favorite sewing supply (and the tricks I do with it) is Wonder Tape! I use it to hold velcro on the backs of my outfits so it’s even when I sew. I also cut a small piece and stick my snap half on to line the snaps up. If you use a tiny bit of tri-flow on the needle, it sews right thru the tape with no stickyness. I use a tiny piece to hold buttons, trims and bows in place to sew them on. The stuff is WONDERFUL!

  84. My favorite sewing trick is gathering with placing one long thread on the fabric and then zigzagging over it, making a very clean, nice gather for skirts and such.

  85. Diane O. /

    My biggest sewing challenge is Zippers. Though I’ve been sewing for over 50 years, I have never been able to master the art of the zipper so I avoid any pattern with a zipper.

  86. Lindsay /

    My favorite sewing supply or trick is a SEAM RIPPER because I am a perfectionist and I feel I can relax a bit more when I know I can easily redo a seam. I often need it less when I have it easily available because I sew better when not worried about being perfect the first time

  87. sherelyn nichol /

    “My biggest sewing challenge is gathers because i have a devil of a time getting them even without “areas of overlaps“

  88. Sonya Hemmings /

    My biggest challenge lately has been adjusting to the scale of sewing tiny doll clothes vs. regular size people clothes. But it’s so fun!

  89. My favorite sewing supply is the sidewinder that winds my bobbins, I have trouble retreading my sewing machine.

    My biggest sewing challenge is I am just now learning to sew and I’m 63 years old, but it am having fun and I am going to learn and open my business in 2014 with the help of Liberty Jane Clothing.

  90. My IPad is my best sewing buddy! I have inspiration, sewing tips, tricks and instruction, and the latest in supplies, patterns, and fabrics at my fingertips! Other than that the rotary cutter, tweezers, and a sharp pair of scissors tie for first place.

  91. My favorite sewing trick/tool right now is the twin needle! I love sewing tiny detailed jeans and the twin needle sews perfect double rows!

  92. My favorite sewing supply/trick is elastic thread. It is great to use when sewing stretchy fabrics. Also, it is great for smocking.
    (You use elastic thread in the bobbin only. It gathers as it sews.)

  93. My favorite sewing trick is using a square of fleece next to my sewing machine because it catches all of the little thread pieces like a magnet!

  94. My biggest sewing challenge is sewing with knit fabrics because the fabric always catches and my machine eats the fabric.

    • I sometimes use an iron on knit stabilizer, freezer paper or tear away stabilizer – helps keep the machine from eating the knots :)

    • Also try using a walking foot next time. It keeps the fabric from getting caught in sewing machine and also keeps the fabric from stretching.

  95. Valnora /

    My biggest challenge is sewing on black with black thread as I just cannot see where I am sewing.

  96. My biggest sewing challenge is sewing button holes because my mom did not like to sew them so she never taught me how to. As I became an adult I’ve always avoided sewing things that needed button holes.

  97. Dolly Walter /

    My biggest frustration with sewing is finding time and space. Because of catastrophic live changes my bedroom is my office, my craft room, my sewing room and where I sleep!
    My favorite sewing tool is a pair of long curved oriented tweezers which are good for holding close to the pressed foot, turning collars, holding thread to thread your needle, etc. couldn’t work without it!
    My newest favorite tool is all the wonderful information I am getting from these posts! Thank you!

  98. Lynne Neave /

    My favourite sewing supplies are my hand sewing needles to tack and ensure the garment looks just right before stitching together and finishing off with steam-a-seam lite and fray check where necessary for a garment I am satisfied with.

  99. “My biggest sewing challenge is sewing on sleeves because the material gathers funny and it’s hard to cut it correctly

  100. My biggest sewing challenge is working with thin stretchy materials or thin t-shirt materials. They seem to want to bunch up or not move under the presser foot.

    • Try using a walking foot next time. It keeps the fabric from getting caught in sewing machine and also keeps the fabric from stretching.

  101. Jasmine /

    My favorite sewing supplies are twin needles, as they can create a beautiful double-stitched hem. My biggest sewing challenge is getting a straight hem or fold on my projects.

  102. Theresa /

    My favorite sewing trick is to use a bobby pin to turn a spaghetti strap or button loop. I found this hint on a BlogSpot and it really works! For those of you struggling with buttonholes, maybe you could substitute a button loop…

  103. One of my favorite things is plastic tubing cut to fit my bobbins…cheaper than buying bobbin keepers and I have problems with any slinky fabric. No matter what I try, I always have problems.

  104. Rachel K. /

    My biggest sewing challenge is getting my machine to work right because it’s old (or needs maintenance, one or the other or both)…

    I probably would say button holes, but I don’t know how to sew those…

  105. My favorite sewing trick is using gathering stitches (which I just recently learned from Cinnamon’s book!)…they helped make perfect gathers in a Harajuku skirt I just made for my daughter’s AG doll!

  106. My favorite sewing trick is using wonder tape because of sewing tiny pieces it helps to me that all I have to do is sew because it is all together and I don’t hsve to use pins.
    The hardest thing for me to do is pleats and I think it is because I am left handed.

  107. Jeanne Marshall /

    My biggest sewing challenge is tiny hems because the pins never seem to hold the hem exactly where I want it. I sometimes sew it by hand then use the machine.

  108. My biggest sewing challenge are zippers and buttonholes – I need to get over my fear of them. :)

  109. Cindy P. /

    The quarter inch foot for my sewing machine. Without it I’d never sew a consistent 1/4″. I’m especially thankful for it when sewing doll clothes.

  110. Carol Derby /

    My biggest sewing challenge is finding time to make all the doll clothes I want to. I have a number of Liberty jane patterns that have not been made.:(

  111. Deb McKenna /

    My biggest challenges are zippers and button holes….working on small doll clothes make them even more changeling

  112. My favorite sewing technique is fray check. I use it to secure surger threads and on the ribbons of my doll dresses.

  113. Michelle P. /

    “My favorite sewing trick is to iron, iron, iron because clean folds allows for clean stitches.

  114. My favorite sewing supply or trick is using a sharpie to mark on my sewing machine where the seam allowance is – you can use different colors of the fine line ones and when that project is finished – rubbing alcohol will remove the color sharpie from the plastic on the sewing machine case

  115. Jess Beery /

    My biggest challenge is definitely button holes…I hate having an adorable little outfit “ruined” by a buttonhole catastrophe. It seems like no matter how many practice holes I do, or how careful I am, I’m never completely happy with how it looks. Being a perfectionist probably doesn’t help things either… ;-)

  116. My biggest sewing challenge is zippers. I can never seem to get them centered and have the flaps even.

  117. jennifer tumblin /

    My biggest sewing challenge is arm holes. I can’t get the notches right so there isn’t any bunching. I am new to sewing but I have a new machine so I am ready to begin practicing! This set would definitely help!!

  118. My biggest sewing challenge is remembering where I stored a certain fabric. I’m still hunting for a piece that had butterflies on it.

  119. Cherie LeMay /

    My favorite sewing supply is duct tape. I know that may not make sense but it is a quick fix when things happen and I know I can count on it to hold things together til hems or other mishaps can be properly fixed. It’s durable and can withstand a washing and has yet to fail me when I need it in a pinch.

  120. Annette /

    My biggest sewing challenge is knit! I use a walking foot, zig-zag stitch, everything, and I still can’t get it to look right. Ugh! Guess I’ll make that my goal for 2014: learn to sew knit!

  121. Jennifer Grillo-Foster /

    My favorite sewing supply is my daughter. I have moderate to severe arthritis and she helps pin hems for me.

  122. Becki F /

    “My biggest sewing challenge is Becki Fisher because I am new to sewing and can’t seem to get it, 2014 will be my year!“

  123. Stephannie innes /

    My biggest sewing challenges are too many to list because I am new to it. I have made two pairs of Jammies and two dresses for my daughters newAG doll that Santa brought.

  124. Marilyn /

    My favorite sewing supply is the outgrown clothing of my granddaughters. I use them for doll clothes. I have used screen printed Ts and jeans to make new outfits for my 18″ dolls. Such fun.

  125. Hi, my biggest sewing trick is to help get a crisp point when turning corners (lined items) is to take a safety pin and carefully pull the fabric out of the corner point a little more.

    My biggest sewing challenge is getting a nice flat hem line on very round or staggered hemlines.

  126. I love my clover little iron for doll clothes, the regular iron is so big in comparison to the doll clothes and ironing is a big part of getting good results in sewing.

  127. My favourite sewing supply is my tube of hot iron cleaner because I don’t have to let the iron cool when I’m right in the middle of a project; I just swipe the iron with the cleaner and run it over a rough terry rag. The goopy build up (from interfacing and iron on labels) disappears. Hurray! No more scorch marks on your one of a kind creation!!

    • Fran stroud /

      I totally agree. I buy it every time I go to a town. 50 miles one way. I’m going to check amazon in a few minutes to see it I can order some.

  128. Heather /

    My biggest sewing challenge is sewing perfectly straight because I like to speed through it to get it done even though I end up doing it over again anyway.

    • Try using a walking foot next time. It keeps the fabric in a nice straight line for you.

  129. durelle /

    I use alot of fusable bond when making accessories for my dolls. Like purses (fabric fused to card stock.

  130. Mary Harrison /

    My favorite sewing supply or trick is a “Martha Stewart bone folder”. I use it to press small seams by rubbing it over the seam several times and I also use it when I make pointed collars. I insert it into the collar where the pointed end would be and push gently until the collar comes out just the way I want it. I think it is a great tool!

  131. My favorite sewing item is the super soft Velcro. I cut it in half length wise when I use it and it is not so stiff that it affects the look of the doll clothes.

    My greatest challenge is having my own work space. I have five children and space is always a challenge. Someday I will have a sewing room. Which makes me happy to think about and sad at the same time because that means that my children have grown up and moved on. Until then I work fast and clean up quickly. :)

  132. Allison B. /

    My biggest sewing challenge is time. I don’t have enough to do the projects I’d like to do, so I often try to rush, which ends up making everything take longer. You would think I would learn after all these years…

  133. Myra in Sweden /

    My favorite sewing supply is the Grabbit pin cusion because my hubby used to always complain because he was my human “Grabbit” pin cushion. My daughter and I would laugh because if we couldn’t find a pin or needle on the floor we would let her daddy in to find it (with or without socks on)!

  134. My favorite sewing supply is Fray check! I use it a lot! When I have to snip corners to turn I put a drop of fray check to reinforce it, I put fray check on ribbon when I cut it, I’ve used it to repair things that are fraying and sew over it, it holds great!
    My biggest challenge is collars, I hate collars, I never seem to get them centered just right, no one else seems to notice but I do.

  135. My favorite sewing supply is thread – without it sewing wouldn’t exist.

  136. My biggest sewing challenge is learning the quirks of my machine. I bought it new and taught myself to use it, but there are days when I’ve goofed something up so bad that I can’t figure out what I’ve done. For example, winding the bobbin: I’ve had it look wonderful and I load my machine and start sewing, then suddenly I have a snarled tangled mess of threads and fabric. Or when I’m sewing on a new fabric weight/ type and the material bunches something fierce because I’ve got the tension set wrong. It’s a work in progress and I love the patterns at Pixie Faire because they’re concise, well written, easy to follow and have step by step photos. Lol. That really helps. My goal is to use one pattern to learn a new skill. For example, I’m trying to learn button holes, so Le Marais Jacket, here I come.

    • I was frustrated with the same problem thinking it was my bobbin or tension. Then read about the importance of a sharp and proper size needle for fabric. Even though changing needles and re-threading can be a pain, since I started doing it I don’t have the problem any more. Another part of the equation is thread, be sure to use the same thread (from same spool) on bobbin. Using an all polyester thread also helps when sewing knits as it has a little more stretch than cotton/polyester.

    • I’ve had that happen. I finally figured out that when everything snarls up on the bobbin side, it is usually becuase I have incorrectly threaded the machine, or because the top thread has slipped out of one of the items that helps set the tension correctly. When my thread snarls up the first thing I check is the threading pattern of the machine.

  137. sheila foery /

    “My favorite sewing supply or trick is my Elna serger because it makes the BEST tiny rolled hems perfect to finish doll clothing and maybe my rolling knit presser foot a MUST along w/ a ballpoint needle to work with knits :)

  138. Carol K /

    My biggest challenge is fit – I have a variety of 18 inch dolls and most of them are different sizes, so I have been trying to learn pattern fitting.
    My favorite “sewing supply” is having two sewing machines. It is great having the second machine so I don’t have to change thread in the middle of a project. I often have two projects going with different color thread- love it.

    • I have two machines too and use them for the same reason! I love just being able to scoot between machines instead of changing the thread.

  139. Among the obvious thread but I have found that for applying velcro to the back of the outfits I use a glue stick to set it in place and press it then stitch the velcro on. Sure I have to clean the needle once in a blue moon because of this but I can get that velcro sewn on so nice this way.

  140. Candice Lacy /

    Since Cinnamon covered most of my tricks, I’ll do the other one…

    My biggest sewing challenge is lack of organization in my sewing space. It usually looks like a “fabric bomb” went off and spewed sewing supplies all over. This is generally the result of constantly being asked to sew something for someone else, so I push the stuff I really want to sew aside, and, well, sometimes I don’t get back to it.

  141. My best sewing tip that I learned through unfortunate experience is to measure the buttons before sewing the buttonholes. Literally, a stitch in time does save nine!

  142. Mimi Sutton /

    My favorite sewing supply is my little foot for making 1/4″ seams both in quilting and sewing doll clothes. Makes is so much easier to get even seams all around.

  143. My biggest sewing challenge is that I have so many cute embroidery designs to put on the dolls’ clothes that I can’t make up my mind which one to use. I end up leaving them plain so they have more mix & match possibilities!

  144. using a hem tape on light weight knits because it saves so much time

  145. Jennifer T /

    My biggest sewing challenge is patience. I’m so excited to see the finally result that sometimes I don’t take the time to do simple, but necessary things such as ironing, pinning, or hand basting. I learned my lesson well last spring when sewing my daughter’s prom dress. Stop, read, iron, and on as necessary.

  146. My biggest sewing challenge is sometimes just getting the bobbin tension right on my sewing machine. Everything seems fine but then it stops and I turn it over to find clumps and clumps of thread! Grrr! I got a new sewing machine, though, and this problem, touch wood, has been eliminated. :)

  147. Carolynn Greene /

    My biggest challenge is zippers because I can never get them to look just right.

  148. My biggest sewing challenge is finished the project because I don’t know the best way to finish the outfit. Velcro, buttons, or snaps I’m always afraid I will ruin the wonderful thing I’ve just sewn.

  149. My biggest sewing challenge is finding time to sew because the day just doesn’t seem long enough, and trying to get my sewing room set up.

  150. Ny biggest sewing challenge is putting zippers in doll clothes.

  151. Crystal Drummond /

    Sewing clothes because I tend to second guess my abilities until I take the plunge then I find thing easier than I thought

  152. My biggest sewing challenge are buttonholes.

  153. My biggest sewing challenge is paying attention to detail because I like to rust through project just to get them done. But I’m finding out that the more I pay attention to detail the more I enjoy my projects in the end.

  154. My biggest sewing challenge is understanding the patterns, because I guess I just don’t get all the sewing lingo. But I keep trying and trying until I find a way that works for me. So I guess my favorite sewing gadget is the ripper, I use mine ALL the time :)

  155. I’m always looking for ways to make my sewing more efficient. I change needle size often and found that the needles were all loose on the table and I did not know what size they were anymore. So I took a magnetic knife holder and screwed it to the wall in front of my sewing machine. I put a package of sewing machine needles on the holder with a space, then another size package and a space, etc. In the spaces after the package, I put the loose needles. That way I always know what size the used needles are. I can also see how many new needles I have left so I never just run out!

  156. My biggest sewing challenge is getting started, because I don’t have much confidence or experience with sewing.

  157. My favorite sewing supply is a notch cutter because while making doll clothes it is a MUST. I was having problems with getting the curves to lay flat. I ordered a notch cutter and problem solved! The first time I used it, I knew I had found the answer!!!

  158. Rebecca George /

    Thanks for all the great tips. Gathers that are even is my biggest challenge and I now have some new tricks to try!

  159. Julie Lewis /

    By biggest challenge in sewing is zippers! I never learned how to put them in until recently, I would always avoid pattern with zippers when sewing clothing for my children.

  160. “My biggest sewing challenge is fraying edges because it ends up making the hems too small. I try to use non-fraying fabrics, but sometimes you can’t get around it.

  161. My favorite sewing notion is a pair of blunt nose tweezers. I use them for everything – holding the thread to thread a needle, turn a belt or sash inside out, tie a knot and bow in a satin ribbon, holding a seam in place to sew it, pull pins out as I sew, anything that requires smaller fingers than mine! I keep two pair handy at all times- I couldn’t sew without them.
    My biggest sewing challenge is buttonholes. I’m going to buy a new buttonhole foot for my newer machine and see if it’s any easier – the old one just doesn’t work right all the time, very frustrating!
    BTW- I love all the LBJ patterns and can’t wait to get some new ones this coming year!

  162. My biggest sewing challenge is finishing edges because I do not know how to use a serger although just recently bought one. I am hoping to find a class.

  163. Bonnie Neff /

    Well my favorite thing is probably steam a seam 1/4″. use it all the time. The things I have problems with the most is piping because it is so time consuming.

  164. My biggest sewing challenge is sewing hand-knitted items to fabric (like if you wanted alpaca lace sleeves or a little picot edging for a skirt, for example). I can never get the stitches to look very good and hand-sewing it just proves to not be strong enough.

  165. Ginger Benedict /

    My favorite sewing supply or trick is keeping several threaded needles handy because of all the gathering in sleeves and skirts. Keeping several threaded needles ready to go saves me time as I like to do gathering by hand.

  166. linda peterson /

    My favorite is the clover bobbin tower. Its the best.

  167. My biggest sewing challenge is making garments that are trendy but well constructed,

  168. My favorite sewing product right now is steam a seam because I can cut a strip of it and iron it onto a thin strip of Velcro. It makes sewing Velcro onto doll clothes so much easier.

    My biggest sewing difficulty is finding time to learn a new to me embroidery machine I inherited.

  169. Barbara Martens /

    My favorite sewing supply or trick is to line dress bodices rather than tying to deal with “mini facings” on doll clothes. It gives a much nicer finish and is so much easier.

  170. Judith Martinez /

    I have lots of favorites but one supply I didn’t discover until I’d been sewing for at least 20 years is a bodkin! I can’t believe I used safety pins for pulling elastic through for so many years.

  171. disappear ink marker is my favorite tool for marking where buttons, snaps or trim goes.

  172. Fran stroud /

    Wow thanks for many great ideas. My current tip is my supply wall I painted 1/4 sheer of pegboard and bought (Lowes) every kind of peg board hook I could find. Screwdriver holder for scissors etc. I hang everything there. Rotary cutters are up high so grands don’t try them out. Steam a seam, rulers, and all small goods hang. A set of shelf brackets holds sleeve board. Under the peg board is shelf about 12 inches wide. It holds travel size ironing board. All of this is right behind sewing machine so I can use it easily. My challenge is finding enough hours to sew.

  173. AGTriviaMaster /

    I am newer to sewing, so my biggest challenge is sewing with knits. They always stretch when I use them, and using tissue paper is tough when I use a zigzag stitch.

  174. Jessica /

    My favorite sewing supply is my seam ripper because it is the perfect size for opening buttonholes and keeping near the machine as I work. I really should have several especially since the last time some kids broke it, I got behind in my projects before I could buy a new one!

  175. Lori-anne Mcdonell /

    My favorite sewing supply item is my roller cutter and mat. Makes preparing patterns so much quicker and easier ! And neater

  176. Carolyn H. /

    My favorite sewing trick is ironing the hem before sewing it. Saves a lot of frustration!

  177. Melanie /

    My biggest challenge is hemming circles (or anything else cut on the bias) because, well, they’re just plain a nuisance! Fortunately, the only time I do it is for my daughter’s doll and neither of them minds. :)

  178. My favorite s sewing trick is to use a serger especially on knits. It’s also my greatest frustration being a novice on the machine

  179. My biggest sewing challenge is sewing knits. I can get the thicker ones all right, but thin knits still make me feel like a complete novice.

  180. Pretty Fairy /

    My biggest sewing challenge is sewing in zippers because it’s difficult to keep it even and nice looking.

  181. My favorite sewing item is the pin grabber, I have one at each place that I’m working and can just kinda throw the pin at the grabber and it catches.
    My biggest challenge is remembering to sew a sample of the doll outfit to make sure it fits before I sew up several off them.

  182. Veronica P /

    My biggest sewing challenge is finding the time to make all of the wonderful Liberty Jane patterns I have on hand. There just aren’t enough hours in the day!

  183. My biggest seeing challenge is the tiny cuffs on sleeves. My fingers ate too big. Tweezers and hem tape help.

  184. Diana Simkins /

    I love to sew! But I spend as much time at the ironing board as I do the sewing machine. Pressing seams and such gives such a finished and professional look.

  185. Karen Martin /

    My favorite sewing notion is my sesm ripper. My seams must be sccurate or I get very frustrated. I have been sewing for almost 50 years and would not be without one.

    • Melinda /

      Can’t do without a seam ripper, for sure! Has lots of uses too, like cutting open a buttonhole.

  186. My greatest challenge with sewing is taking the time to do everything as nicely as possible!! I just get so excited about seeing the end result I often hurry through a project too quickly and try to cover mistakes as I go!! Am working hard at changing this!!

  187. Melinda /

    My favorite sewing supply is WonderUnder made by Pellon and used to bond fabrics together. It is used for applique because you can trace/draw on the paper backing, iron it to one fabric, cut out, then iron to second fabric. I just discovered this wonderful supply this year. Love it!

  188. Rhiannon /

    My biggest challange is putting in sleeves- especially tiny ones! I also have trouble sewing together gathered edges. I always seem to get them stuck in the seam.

  189. Jane Whiteley /

    My favorite sewing trick: When sewing tiny or intricate details, use a little wooden pointed stick to guide the fabric very close to the sewing machine needle. With this, I don’t have to worry about hitting something metal with the machine needle and having the needle break or shatter in my face, accidentally sewing my finger, or having my project slip.

  190. My biggest sewing challenge has been trying to make American Girl doll clothes for my daughter’s dolls. The hems are so small!!!

  191. It’s all a challenge sewing these tiny clothes. I’m going to go back and write down all these tips.
    My favotite tools are the small rotary cutter and my mat. With the pattern on freezer paper, ironed onto the fabric, I can cut it out quickly and easily.

  192. My favorite sewing supply or trick is my SA Curve Ruler because it’s so easy for drafting; adjusting seam allowances, and measuring.

  193. My favorite sewing supply is my thread catcher because it keeps my sewing area tidy while I’m sewing.

  194. Claudia Allred /

    I have seem rippers everywhere. I carry one in my purse, in my desk at work, in my kitchen and a few in my sewing area. They can be used for MANY uses.

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