Slow sewing, tailors tacks and such

Slow sewing.  Do you do it?  Or do you zoom through projects with the finished product firmly in your sights?

I certainly tend to the latter but over the last year or so I have started to slow it right down.  It can be stressful to always rush through sewing and that takes a lot of the pleasure out of it.  Plus I found myself making more and more mistakes for which the fixes, if possible, took more time to figure out than if I had done the job properly in the first place.

Just to be contrary (old Father Time is smiling as I type), while I do have sewing time most days it tends to be in smaller chunks before life lurches back into the mix, so I can achieve less in each sitting.  There’s always something you know.

Anyway, today I have finally started to try out tailor’s tacks.  Brilliant things they are too.  Naturally I didn’t have the time to finish them, but I will know exactly where I got to when I do get back into the sewing room.

I’ve read about these little beauties everywhere and they are certainly easier and more accurate than the way I transferred markings before.  Here I’ve used them for the dart lines on my bodice block.  Normally, I’d do this with a dot of chalk via a pin through the pattern.  But the chalk always gets rubbed off too soon and if I leave the pin in to mark later, I stick myself.  Blood isn’t a good way of transferring dart markings, in my view.

Do you use tailor’s tacks?

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17 Responses to Slow sewing, tailors tacks and such

  1. Anne W says:

    I always use tailor’s tacks.

  2. Zoom, zoom, zoom is my preferred sewing technique X)
    When I’m sewing and my partner has work to do at home he usually asks if I’m doing ‘angry sewing’ (i.e. super fast over knits) or normal sewing (i.e. super slow from having to put an invisible zipper in 28 times-this is why I don’t do much woven fabric). I don’t use tailor’s tacks I use either carbon paper or clover/burda’s white wax copy paper and a bumpy edged tracing wheel. I do admire the level of patience involved in any sort of hand sewing though.

    • Hah I do angry sewing too, perfect name for it, and usually when I’ve buggered up something AGAIN…. Then again I do angry hand sewing for the same reason as well, so not sure what that means.

  3. Sometimes I do, sometimes not. I now tend to snip or use tailors chalk!

  4. I use tailor tacks for things like tips of darts, circles, and snip notches in the seam allowance for dart legs. I haven’t found a method that works better for me. The downside is that I am forever finding little pieces of fluoro coloured thread around the house. One in the bathroom yesterday in a colour I’ve not used for months.

    • The thread I use for hand basting and (now) tailor tacks is old red cotton and I’ve only used it a couple of times but it has wound up in the kids clothes drawers in wee little bits. Says a lot for my vacuum cleaner I say. I like the idea of clipping in the seam allowance and tacks for the dart tips etc – something a few folk seem to do and its a good combo. Will try it next time.

  5. Lena Merrin says:

    I use tailors tacks, but only when there is no other speedier way to transfer markings – like pocket placements, for example. The dart lines I usually mark by snipping seam allowance. Tacks use up so much thread! 🙂

    • The only pockets I’ve done weren’t very good for many reasons though I’m sure my bad placement marking was a big part of it! For the darts, how do you mark the pointy end of the dart?

  6. Andi says:

    Tailor’s tacks are pretty much the only marking method I DON’T use — I found I was constantly pulling them out, and the thread tails were distracting as I was sewing. I do use marking pens, marking pencils, snips in the inseam, and the occasional chalk line. I found that my kids’ washable thin Crayola markers are the single best invention for marking on the wrong side of denim. The twill makes every other marker invisible except that one.

    As for those persnickety darts? I’m a philistine. I CUT OUT the darts on the pattern (I know! Don’t faint!) and mark the lines directly on the wrong side of the fabric. That gives a perfectly clear stitching guide to follow. Otherwise, I haven’t a hope in Hades of getting symmetrical darts.

    • You may be right about having to pull the damned tails out, but I’m a tack virgin so will see how I go with it…. Thanks for the tips about Crayola (I’ve got them coming out my ears!) for denim which I’ll try one day.

      What do you mean you cut out the darts? Anyway, I’m open to anything that works, so as darts and I don’t have a very long relationship I haven’t decided how best to handle them.

      • Andi says:

        You know how paper patterns have the darts printed on them with dotted or dashed lines? The newer ones anyway, I’m not sure about the older ones. Anyhow, when I cut out the pattern, I also cut out the dart along the dashed lines. Then when I lay the pattern on my fabric, I DON’T cut out the dart but I use it as a template to trace the v-shape directly onto the wrong side of the fabric. That way I can match up the lines exactly. Hope that makes sense!

      • Oh right that does make sense and actually sounds to me like a good pragmatic approach. I’m not falling off my chair, promise! I shall try that next time.

    • BTW I found this on an internet and thought of you! Cutting out the dart on the pattern isn’t sewing sin, apparently (!)…

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