23 May 2009

Turning Tricks

This is my first installment in my Sunday Simple Sewing Series. I plan to share elementary sewing tips to support some of my readers who are just learning to sew and feeling intimidated by basic techniques in books and patterns. It is certainly easy to take for granted many of the basics which I have grown up knowing how to do from sewing with my mum at a young age. So the plan is this: YOU comment or email me and let me know what you want to learn about next week!

I chose this Simple Sewing technique after chatting with a friend who was frustrated while making a doll for her daughter. She felt that the time involved in turning the arms and legs was longer than she anticipated. Curious, I asked her how she was turning them. I discovered that she was doing it the hard way. Trust me, I know the frustration in that. It was only last fall that I registered the difference in turning methods and that this seemingly basic sewing task can be made into a time-consuming project if you're not careful.

I brought along a pile of birds to keep my hands busy on our long car trip. They were ready to be turned, stuffed, and hand-sewn along the tail.

This is the bird turned the WRONG way.

Turning this bird the wrong way will take you about four times as long. Once you get to the fat belly, you'll be using your turning tool to stab the bird repeatedly as you make little to no progress for several minutes. Instead, you want to start turning from the SEWN end, like this:

Just tuck the sewn end in just a bit and use your turning tool. I like a wooden chopstick the best.

Then use the pointy end of your turning tool to shape the seams and any points. In this case, the beak. Done!

I hope this saves you a few minutes of time. Please leave your comment or send me an email and let me know what you'd like to learn next time.

1 comment:

beagoodmom said...

I bought a set of turners at Jo-ann on a lark. I did not know if they were worth it...but they soooooo are. Its a hollow tube and a wooden stick in a variety of sizes. Hollow tube goes in, poke item back into tube from the other side, item flows thru inside of tube and right out the other end. Takes like 3 seconds. Love em.

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