Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Question & Answer Roundup

I received several excellent questions, more than 20 to be exact. I received the majority by email. I will post five of them today. I will continue to post more in the days to come.

How can you do a mitered hem on say a shirt where you have a "V" corner and you want to get a perfect corner?

Like this:

or this:

I was wondering, in your opinion, what would be a good sewing or cutting table to get when one has space limitations and to prevent back strain? Meaning, should it be below the waist, waist-level, or something else?

For sit-down work, try a 24-inch to 26-inch height table such as a folding card table.
If standing to cut, you'll need extra height: about 30 inches for sewers under 5 ft. 4 in.; 33 in. to 35 in. for those 5 ft. 5 in. and above; and up to 37 inc. or more for taller people. Try a height slightly lower than you waistline. You can experiment by boosting the card table with books.
Typically the best height for a cutting surface is a standard kitchen work surface. You don't want to be bending over it. Three inches below your elbow would be ideal. You can wear shoes to get to the proper height.
Many people use the dining room table or the floor, but neither of these is ideal and will cause back strain. So if space is an issue, you could actually place your cutting board on your kitchen work surface to do your laying and cutting of patterns and fabric. If this is not an option and you have it in your budget, there are several ready-made tables available to home sewers that fold up or down and don't take up much space when collasped. Then you could use a fold-up card table for sewing that can be put away when done.

Can you tell me where I can find plus size vintage patterns?

Check out these sites: Mom's Patterns; Lanetz Living and Out of the Ashes. They all have ways to (a) search by bust size or (b) use the search terms "plus size."

Carolyn over at sews a few vintage plus size patterns. You may be able to scroll down through her older posts to find her sources or even ask her.

Booty Vintage on Etsy specializes in larger size patterns.

Marge at Born Too Late Vintage has plenty of larger sized patterns.

Also try . The sections are organized by size; so you can jump straight into something that will fit.

Patterns from the Past has patterns for patterns for above 40-inch bust. Some of the patterns go up to a 48-inch bust.

Eema-le at has some plus size 80s patterns in her Etsy shop.

You can also try Ebay. When searching Ebay for a pattern, it's really helpful to put the bust size in the search; for example, "vintage pattern b44."

How do you quickly cool a hot iron when you want to change heat settings from cotton to synthetic, for example to prevent scorching or melting your project?

It's so simple. Just use the burst of steam function which works instantly to remove excess heat from the iron. Much more effective and less messy than using a damp terry cloth towel.

How do I keep knit fabric from bunching when I sew?

Place strips of tissue paper on top of the seam, then sew. This will also prevent skipped stitches.


  1. I needed that first tip badly! Thanks a bunch.

    We are moving to San Antonio.

  2. Hi Trudy. Thanks for the work and effort in posting these questions. It's almost like an everything you wanted to ask, but were afraid :). Thank you also for the camera recommendation. So far, Cannon seems to be the choice of fellow bloggers. :-) THANKS!

  3. Good stuff , really enjoying your blog!


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