January 30, 2014

New Sewing Tools: bias tape maker and tailor's chalk

While making the Sorbetto I was happy to start using some new tools I got for Christmas. 

Left: Clover bias tape maker; Right: Triangle tailor's chalk.
Firstly, I finally bought a marking tool made specifically for sewing, instead of using white pencil crayons. This triangle tailor's chalk (from the lovely Fabrications) is MUCH easier to work with. As chalk, it goes on much easier and wipes off too. How very handy!

I also saw chalk pens at Fabrications, which I would imagine are neater - especially as the triangle chalk gets worn or breaks. Any opinions out there about the pros and cons of each marking tool?

The bias tape maker is also awesome! Bias tape is something I've used a grand total of once before, but I certainly plan to keep using it! It's basically a folded strip of fabric cut along the diagonal (bias) of the fabric weave. Because of this, it has more stretch and when used for binding edges or seams it can stretch to meet the shapes better than non-bias cut would.

Pinning on bias tape to sew the first side.

The edge of the shoulder bound by bias tape.
Buying ready-made is expensive and it can be hard to find a good match for your project. Although I have seen tutorials for good methods of making your own without the BTM thingamabob, I asked for these BTMs (in different sizes) for Christmas because I was pretty sure along with speeding things up, they would drastically decrease the amount of cursing I would be tempted to do during the process. I am still working on finding the balance of tension between tape maker and iron to get perfectly uniform widths, but even the worst tape I've made is still quite satisfactory.

I thought I had a picture of the BTM in action but I guess I don't so you'll have to go see photos from these super helpful tutorials on making tape using the piecing method and the continuous method. Doh, wish I had remembered about the continuous method before I made mine!

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