Hand Stitches22.140 Page 1Stitch Best UseRunning, • GatheringBasting • Secure fabric layers that wont be subjected to stress • Decorative purposes in lieu of machine topstitching • Baste temporarily in preparation for machine or hand sewingBackstitch • Hand-set a zipper or attach trim • Use whenever strength is importantCatch • Hem heavy or bulky fabricsStitch • Secure facingsDiagonal • Same as for bastingBasting • Useful for slippery fabricsOvercast • Finish raw edges, especially loosely-woven fabricsSlip Stitch • Close seams on stuffed animals or pillows • Attach linings
Hand Stitches22.140 Page 2Stitch Best UseTailors Tacks • Mark fabric for construction: darts, folds, match points, etc.Whipstitch • Join one finished edge to anotherButtonhole/Blanket • Overcast edges • Make hand-stitched buttonholes • Decorative or functional depending on closeness of stitchesFrench Tack • Secure facings • Join lining and garment hems at side seamsPrick/Pick Stitch • A variation of backstitch used as decorative element along a garment edge or parallel to a seamlineBlind Hem Stitch • Hem a garment 6/08
Sewing with Minkee-like Fabrics4.320 Page 1The term Minkee is a trademark of Benartex Fabrics, but youll also see similar fabrics calledMinky, Minkee and Minkie. All of these names refer to a polyester microfiber plush thatssofter than soft, and perfect for robes, sleepwear, quilts, baby blankets, childrens toys, andanything else snugly and lush!Fabric Notes Securely pin the pattern pieces to theMicrofiber plush fabrics are usually 60"- fabric, as layers may shift easily due to thewide knits, so theres no need to worry lush plush texture.about raveling. Theyre available in many Cutting microfiber plushes is simple usingdifferent textures, from flat, dots, ribs, either a rotary cutter or scissors. For easierdiamonds, stripes and swirly plushes to handling during construction, add to thecurly longer surfaces sometimes referred to original seam allowance to make it at leastas "poodle." 1/2" wide if the pattern doesnt alreadyThe fabrics come in solid colors, polka dots, have that width. This helps to minimize thestripes and prints, and they can be single or seam edges curling while sewing.double sided plushes. Some flatter piles are Shedding Solutionsembossed with design motifs. Because of the soft pile fibers, this fabric isBecause the plushes are polyester, theres very messy to sew, so keep a lint removerno need to preshrink fabrics before sewing. handy. It helps to take the cut piecesHowever, if youre combining plushes with outside and shake them vigorously toother fabrics that do shrink, pre-wash them remove loose cut pile before sewing.all before cutting. Its also important to keep the sewingCutting Cues machine clean while sewing plush fabrics.Microfiber plushes will stretch. Like most Clean the bobbin case often during yourknits, there is more stretch crosswise than sewing spree.lengthwise. Follow the pattern guidesheet S-t-r-e-t-c-h Seamingfor layout, but be sure that the greatestamount of stretch goes around the item, A size 80/12 universal needle works well forespecially for garments where fit may be most microfiber plushes. If your machinedependent on some stretch. balks or you have problems with skipped stitches, try a ballpoint needle instead.Plushes have a nap. Color shading willoccur if adjacent project pieces are cut in Pin seams every inch or so to keep themopposite directions. To minimize the chance from stretching and curling, and place pinsof cutting discrepancies, mark the top of at right angles to the seamlines. To helpeach pattern piece with an arrow, then be control the fabrics stretch, use a walkingsure to place them in the same direction on foot on the machine to help keep the twothe fabric. seam layers of aligned.
Sewing with Minkee-like Fabrics4.320 Page 2On a conventional machine, use a slightly longer than Pressing Issuesnormal stitch length for sewing seams—about 3.0. If the The plush textures of this microfiber fabric are easilyseam needs to have flexibility, use a narrow zigzag damaged with pressing, particularly if the iron is toostitch. To prevent seams puckering as you stitch, use the warm. Its easy to obliterate the texture completely iftaut sewing technique: Hold the fabric firmly both in the temperature is too hot.front of and behind the presser foot as you sew—dontstretch it, just hold firmly. Finger-pressing works well, but if you must press with a warm iron, do so from the wrong side and cushion theA serger is ideal for stitching plush seams, as it trims the plush on a folded towel or needle board to avoidexcess seam allowance and finishes the edge at the flattening.same time. Differential feed can be used to help keepthe seamline from stretching as you serge. Embroidery EssentialsTrim off the excess seam allowance width as you sew if To embellish a microfiber plush project with machineyoure using a serger; otherwise, stitch on the seam embroidery, use a cut-away stabilizer to keep theallowance, then trim the extra width with scissors. stitched motif from distorting. Select designs with some openwork or light fill in keeping with the fabric weight, as opposed to heavily filled satin stitched areas. Designs should have goodHold It! quality understitching to help flatten the pile beforeIf pinning doesnt hold the seams securely while you sew, covering with the fill stitching.try water-soluble basting tape between the layers, but onlywithin the seam allowances. This narrow tape will hold the Most importantly, use a topper on the fabric surfaceedges in place while you sew, then wash out later. before you embroider to keep the plush fibers in check, and to keep them from poking through the design stitching. Water-soluble stabilizer or a permanent color- matched topper both work well for this purpose. 10/08