Perfect Patterns Style 39
Heirloom Sewing by Machine
~Lesson 3~
Hand Sewing and Finishing
With photos and instructions by
Marsha Olson
(printout is 5 pages)

To begin your hand sewing you will
need these supplies:
1. a white wax candle or block of beeswax
2. hand sewing thread of good quality
(15 or 16 inches is a good length)
3. the needle that came with your pattern
(or you'll need a size 10 or 12 sharp)
4. small sharp scissors

Hold the thread firmly on the wax
with your thumb. Pull the thread
starting with the short end and then
reapplying the longer end so the
entire length gets coated with the wax.

Use a hot steam iron to melt the wax
into the thread by laying the thread
on the ironing board, laying the iron
on top of the thread and pull the thread
out from under the hot iron without lifting
the iron. This insures that the wax gets
melted in evenly and keeps the thread
itself straight.

Trim one end of the thread on an a slant to make a sharp point for ease in threading the needle.

A single knot is all you need! Use a
delicate touch and don't pull the knot
so hard that it pulls right through the
fabric, hide the knot or backstitch
whenever possible.

The waxing and ironing of your hand sewing thread is to create a perfectly smooth thread and eliminate any small imperfections in the thread. Regular machine thread is very 'fuzzy' if looked at under a magnifying glass and this that can also cause your thread to give you problems such as knotting up and twisting when sewing. The more expensive the thread, the smoother it will be. Thread has a twist! When you are hand sewing, your thread will knot and kink less if you work with the twist rather than against it. The twist usually runs in the direction from the loose end of the spooled thread toward the spool. So when sewing by hand, thread the needle with the end of the thread that first comes off the spool. If you have cut a length of thread and are unsure of the twist's direction, look at each end. Thread the end that's pointed like a flower bud and knot the end that flares open.
If you have chosen the option of finishing your raw hem edges by hand, the trick to making very narrow rolled hems is to lay your needle along the raw edge of the fabric and with your fingers roll the fabric tightly around the needle to get it started. Start by anchoring your single knotted end about 1/4" down the side in the seam allowance, taking a single back stitch when you get to the rolled hem edge and going from there. I tried to take a photo of this step, but have yet to get a closeup that is clear enough to help. I will keep trying.
As you are sewing the rolled edge, pick up a single thread of the fabric and hide the length of your stitch inside the 'roll' of the hem to create a nearly invisible finish.

Trim Option For Your Camisole

To weave a ribbon through your picot edge lace at the top of the camisole, thread the silk ribbon through a large oval eye needle such as a tapestry (blunt end) or crewel (sharp end).
Anchor the ribbon on the back side of the work with a few hand stitches.

Weave the ribbon in and out of the
picot edges of the lace making sure
the ribbon doesn't twist or straightening
it after each weave.
Anchor the other end in the same manner as the beginning, trimming the excess ribbon after anchoring.

Finish by tacking a ribbon bow and streamers to the center front of the camisole so it looks like the camisole top has been gathered and tied at the front.

End Lesson 3

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