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Anybody else reinforce their clothing seams before wearing them?


scorpio616
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How well do sewing machines handle upholstery thread? I do all my stitching by hand and it rarely looks very good.

 

My issue tends to be with buttons.

 

Oh, I hear that, seems like as soon a I secure a button with new thread that won't break, the button decides to die.

 

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The holes on that button are way too close together. I prefer buttons with wider-spaced holes, as they are sturdier.

 

Also, buttons need to be attached by shanks. Either you use shank buttons (which I prefer. I have a bag of pewter shank buttons with sphinges* on which I use on my husband's trousers) or you sew buttons like that one on with a little "give" in the thread and wind the thread around itself after sewing to make a thread shank.

 

A shank gives the button a little room to fit the buttonhole fabric under it and puts less strain on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*plural of "sphinx," not even kidding

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I just recently broke out my sewing machine after having stored it for a few years. The biggest learning curve for me was thread tension. Oh, and I need to remember to buy more bobbins for it.

 

Finally, a lesson I have learned the hard way; thread brand does matter. I was finishing up a last minute gift, and ran out of black thread. The only brand I could find on short notice was Singer. Complete and total crap. The worst thread I've ever used.

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Singer sold its name years ago. Sewing thread under that name is worse than the junk that's in those dollar "sewing kits" sold at drugstores.

 

My favorite overall brand is Gutermann. Fabulous quality, whatever the fiber. I love Tire (a Japanese brand) for silk threads which never, ever snag in my machine.

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Upholstery thread will go through a machine, but you need a needle that can handle it. 

 

Thread today is just crap.   Coats and Clark has really gone into the toilet. I only sew with cotton, if I can find it.

 

What works well in your machine is going to depend on a few things. Age, for one. If you have grandma's 1960 metal Singer, it will handle cotton, silk, and cotton poly very well.  If you have anything made after about 1995 with a plastic body chances are it will like the 100% poly threads like Gutterman and Metrosene.  Different threads need different tensions, so if you change thread, you probably have to adjust tension, too. 

 

Always start a new project with a new needle.  If your thread is breaking or shredding usually it is a needle problem. 

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We have 3 sewing machines at our place for fixing clothes/project work. There's the old 1960's all metal singer that works like a tank but only has 2 options. Then I bought the Mrs. a newer singer sewing machine with more stitch pattern options. Which was taken to the singer repair shop 4 times within the first year. It may still not work as we haven't used it since it's last trip. and Finally we have a new Brother machine. Way more stitch options than the new singer (including an alphabet) for only $20 more and it's run just as well as the old singer.  Just something to keep in mind if you don't already own a sewing machine.

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For those with denim problems in the US, I highly recommend a company called Diamond Gusset.  the pants wear like iron (I kid not, I have pants over a decade old that barely show any wear.)  the expanded gusset in the pants also makes them wear less on the thighs and gives a significant amount of freedom of motion.  it usually takes me 15 years to wear a pair out, and then they usually go in the knees.

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I have the same problem as Kay. The fabric at the thighs wears out before anything rips.

Also have a sewing machine. Not that it helps the men, but circle skirts can be easier to make and you can make them with all kinds of waist bands. I even made one with a zipper, didn't come out perfect but wasn't bad.

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