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Sally answers your sewing questions

Over the years I have been asked many sewing questions.  I always try and respond to them through my column.  But the questions are stacking up.  So for the next four weeks I am going to address the questions and answer them.  If you have ever asked me a question, I hope it is included in my columns.  If you have questions, leave a comment on this website.

Question::  I learned on my grandmother’s sewing machine and now I am ready to invest in my own.  What should I look for in a sewing machine?

Answer:  First of all, know your budget.  Figure out what kind of sewing you want to do.  Be sure and look at different models and brands within your price range.  Most importantly, buy from a local dealer.  If you run into trouble, you are but a phone call away.

Question: How do I take good care of my sewing machine?

Answer:  First of all, cover your machine.  This will protect it from dust and especially pet hair.

Change your needles often, not just once every century.

Plug your machine into a surge protector. Read the book that came with the machine—now there’s a thought.

Question:  I bought a secondhand machine and have no manual?  What can I do?

Answer:  Go to your local dealer and perhaps he can get one.  Otherwise, go online and download the manual.

Question: What is the difference between a serger and a sewing machine?

Answer:  A serger is most commonly used for seams in knits and for seam finishing.  Bottom line: a serger will make a seam while trimming and overcasting the edge—all in one step.   A serger cannot backstitch, make buttonholes, embroider, or do traditional topstitching.  You can do without a serger, but you can’t do without a sewing machine.

Question: Do I need pinking shears?

Answer:  If you have budget restrictions, this could wait.  But these special shears make zigzag cuts for finishing seams and hem edges.  This would make a great gift idea for someone to give to the happy seamstress.

About Sally Cowan (49 Articles)
After Keeping You in Stitches for over 45 years, Sally enjoys her memories of events that happened on her way to retirement. Author of 6 books, lectures, teaching, and TV host on PBS and now has time for her many cats and Snuggles, the dog. She also loves playing trumpet in the Anastasia Baptist Church orchestra.

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