Hi everyone! I had 'technical difficulties' last night while writing up my post (my husband accidently gave away the power cord to the laptop and the battery died while I was working on this post!), so I apologize for getting today's post up so late in the day! Back to our usual schedule, shall we?!
It's my turn to host the All That Scraps Make It Monday segment today and I'm sharing something I love to do on every card I make - sewing!
For me, sewing on cards gives them a much more finished look and I love the look of them all clean and crisp! I have heard a lot of stampers say that sewing on paper can be a little intimidating, but honestly, I find it a lot easier than sewing on fabric because paper doesn't move and stretch under the pressure foot like fabric does. I think once you're comfortable with sewing on paper, you'll never want to go back! Shall we get started? Ok then!
Here are all the pieces to my card that I'll be assembling once I've sewed on my panels. I'll be sewing the base of the card and on the tag. Both have been matted to some kraft cardstock. It's much easier to sew two pieces of paper together then it is to sew on just one sheet of paper. I find the bobbin thread doesn't want to pull through to the top when I sew on two layers. It's a good idea to adhere the patterned paper to the cardstock in a few places to prevent it from moving, but avoid places where you'll be sewing because I have that needles do not like glue! Sometimes it's unavoidable (like when you're sewing a border die to a panel), but the less glue you can use, the better.
The two things I always use when I sew on a card are these sewing needles and a seam ripper. Sewing on paper will dull your needles quicker than sewing on fabric, so changing out your needles regularly is a good idea. I have tried a few sizes and prefer this size over the others. It keeps your needles holes small so you'll notice the thread before the gaping holes in your card! I also can't live without the seam ripper! I use to cut my thread off the machine and for pulling the thread through to the back side of the panel, which I'll explain later.
I usually start sewing in one corner of my panel, or sometimes, especially if I'm using the zigzag stitch, I'll start somewhere where another panel might cover it up, so that I don't have to end exactly where I left off! With the pressure foot up, I'll guide my needle down with the big wheel on the side of the machine down, until it touches the cardstock about 1/8" off the two sides. When I've got it in the right location, I drive the needled into the panel and drop the pressure foot to lock the panel in. Then I start sewing to the next corner of the panel. Here's a tip: Stop the machine about two or three stitches before the next corner of the panel and 'walk' the stitches as close to the next corner as you can get it. This way, you won't sew past the corner. When you get a more comfortable with the machine, you can lift the pressure foot up and slide your panel over so that your last stitch lands exactly where it should, about 1/8" off the end of the panel.Once you're at the next corner, leave the needle in the paper and lift the pressure foot off the paper. Then turn the panel 90 degrees, drop the pressure foot and begin sewing the next edge of your panel. That way, you get nice, clean corners without cutting any corners.
Continue this method along each side of the panels until you're back at where you started. I'll use that last tip to line my last stitch up with the first needle hole so that the stitching looks seamless. I then trim my thread, leaving about 3-4 inches. Now, there are 4 threads hanging off the panel; two on the front side and two on the back side. With the back side facing you, pull the two threads hanging off the back and you should see two loops appear at the base of the threads. These are the last stitches from the front of the card. Using the seam ripper, pull these two loops through until the two hanging threads on the front side are now hanging on the back side of the card. Tie a knot, trim the excess and you have a beautifully stitched panel!
I use the same method to sew around shapes and nested panels, only I have to sew really slow to make it around the curves without losing control of the machine. When I say slowly, I mean I apply a tiny bit of pressure to the pedal and manually turn the wheel on the right hand side of the machine to help ease it through each stitch. It's painstaking, but I think it's worth the effort.
Here's my finished card with the sewn panels! I used one of those adorable little Meoples I Want Candy` kids on it as well as the ticket die and a ticket stamp from the Sweet Treats Logo's set. I hope this has inspired you to try sewing on your next card!