Today I’m introducing a new segment: Time-Saver of the Week. I’ll be featuring a different tool, tip, or technique that I’ve found that has made my sewing life a lot easier. *Confession: I thought about making this segment a Tuesday thing (Tuesday’s Tool, Tip, or Technique…), but that seemed like far too much alliteration for me.* I’m lucky to have such a sewing-savvy mum to point me in the right direction a lot of the time, and when I helped out at the last sewing show in Toronto she sent me home with a few new (to me, she’s used them for ages) tools to try out. So far, one of my favourites is definitely the Seam Stick. Coincidentally, the Seam Stick shows just how much of a family business A Great Notion really is: When I was a little kid my grandpa used to make these, and now that duty has been passed on to my dad.
The Seam Stick is designed to make pressing seams easier and more professional looking. It’s made of maple hardwood, and has one curved side and one flat side. Put the stick under the seam you are pressing (flat side down), and Voila! No seam-edge impressions! The curve is like magic – every garment or home accessory I’ve made in the past has had those pesky impressions, and I’ve always assumed there was no avoiding it! Here’s how I used it:
Yes, there are teeth marks on the Seam Stick in this next shot. My chocolate lab was apparently mad at me and took it out on the Seam Stick… She does the same thing with tupperware when my hubby leaves his lunch bag out. Only when we’re not home, of course!
Ta-daa!! No seam-edge impressions!
And now the even more exciting part, at least for me! I have found another use for this that is saving me LOADS of time. You may or may not remember, but I’m taking a little (ok, large) forced Sabbatical of sorts while my hubby works on his Doctorate degree, as I’m not allowed to work here in the USA since I’m Canadian. Well, one of the duties I’ve picked up (since I have loads of time, and my hubby is loaded up with work) is ironing his dress shirts. I hate ironing, perhaps because I’m pretty slow at it. Before realizing the Seam Stick could help make this chore a little faster, I had it down to about 25 minutes a shirt. Then I had a stroke of genius – I could use the Seam Stick to make ironing the sleeves a little easier (the hardest part for me), and therefore, quicker! Woo!! I’m pretty excited that my dress-shirt ironing time is now down to about 20 minutes or so! Don’t mind my ultra-cool ironing board cover. A new one’s on the wish-list. ;)
First, press as close to the edge of the sleeve as you can without actually ironing the edge:
Then slide the Seam Stick into the sleeve with the rounded side just under the crease that’s left over from step one, and iron:
And Voila! Those extra 5 minutes are pretty exciting to me!
Have you come across any great time-saving tips or tools in your adventures? Leave a comment with your favourite, and maybe it will get featured here!