Like most of our new readers who have gotten their hands on a new sewing machine you are curious with al the little bits and bobbles that were included in the box. The opening of your machine was like a Christmas morning with more and more items slowly being unveiled to you as you began…but what does it all do.
These are called feet. They help to hold down your project as it is going through the machine. These are only a handful of the available feet for most sewing machines. Here is a quick explanation of some of the reasons for these feet and there use if them.
Straight Stitching Foot — This is probably the foot that came installed in the machine. it keeps pressure even as the machine moves and is used in most piecing and projects. It does not handle well when there is too much in between the foot and the plate of the machine so keep the layers thin and small in amount.
Quarter-inch Foot with Guide — This is a great foot to use if you constantly find yourself making garments or having to do projects that call for the 1/4inch seam allowance. This foot is similar to the straight stitching foot but it has a built piece that is usually metal on one side. That little piece will not allow for you to place fabric past that point keeping your seem allowance consistent. But be warned it won’t help you if you force the fabric under. It is also not useful if you need to be able to twist and turn the fabric while sewing.
Edge Stitching Foot — Is very similar to the 1/4 inch foot with guide. It also has a metal piece, but this time on the underside of the middle of the foot. This takes the bottom layer of the incoming project, folds it up, then over, and finally lays it flat on-top of the top layer before sewing to make a clean sewn together edge. It takes some fiddling and can come undone sometimes…how frustrating! This foot also is not for this materials and layers as the foot does not have the space for it.
Satin Stitching Foot — This foot is made to work with satin materials. This will reduce friction which would have caused the material to either bunch up or stretch. Unfortunately if you try using it with any other material you will find yourself unable to get a grip!
Seven-Hole Cording Foot — This foot is useful if you want to string in elastic, string, or other soft forms of boning through your machine and lay a piece of bias tape over it to hide it. Super useful! Unfortunately it does not handle larger or thicker pieces well. You must also use the zig-zag stitch, no point in putting something in the middle if you are just going to sew it in the end.
Edge Joining Foot — Have to ends that need to be put together to finish your masterpiece. This foot will guide it in neatly for you and even trim off any unnecessary hangover cloth from the project. Feed in your projects wrong and you will cut off a wanted piece, having stiches on the wrong side, and in general have a sad project. This foot also does not take well to thicker pieces, you are better off doing those by hand.
Stitch Guide Foot — This is like the 1/4 inch foot with guide. Except now there is only your keen eyes keeping the project from going wonky. The great part is that you can use this to set whatever length you want. This foot goes unused for many reasons but mainly the plate underneath of the foot has a more comprehensive guide built in.
Hope that gets you started. Now onward one stitch at a time!
What the Batting!
The choices of batting can be quite astonishing and confusing if you are new to the craft. So here is a quick tip from one of our readers.
Batting is about what it will be used for in the end. If your item will need constant washing lean towards materials like cotton. If your item will come in contact with high heat materials that are man-made are better suited for the job. The weight of the batting will also tell you how warm it will be. The denser and heavier batting keep heat in more while lighter and fluffier batting will release more of the heat.
So choose wisely and keep the end goal in mind.
I will be showing you how I made my cover, but remember to make your own it is all about playing around and finding what you like.
Open gimp and then click file. Click on New. Make sure you switch the orientation and dimensions to the ones below.
Using the various painting tools set up a vivid, but simple background. Remember most magazines have pictures or empty space with words to fill up space, not colors.
I used the gradient tool with an invisible fade. This means it fades from red to nothing. Then you click a starting point and drag to get your end point. Stop when you like the look.
Next using the Rectangle Selection Tool make a box on the bottom. Most magazines have some kind of ribbon somewhere for information such as issue, volume, and price as well as space for a bar code.
Then using the Paint Bucket tool I set a color and set it to Fill Whole Selection. I then make that box on the bottom pink.
Great now for my main image. Open file manager and locate an image. Drag and Drop it into the project. I lost the picture for this but Click on Tools and find the Resize tool. While holding Control drag the corners inward. Make sure to do both sides or it will be off-centered.
For my project since the image is a blanket I am going to go back to Tools, Transform Tools and click on Rotate. Click on the images center and then drag your cursor around.
Now click on the cross on the top left of the tools menu. Now position your image. I want it to be off center since we will need more words and enticing details.
You are going to then right click on the bottom right. You want to do the layer with the picture. Find and click Merge Down. You will be doing this a lot, this will help the selection options from getting confusing. Be cautious once done it will be permanent down the road.
As you saw above I have already started adding a title. If you flick through the channels on the top right you get to one that shows you the different typefaces available. Look through and select one. Play around with the sizing and color. I wanted something that stood out from all the red, white and pink so Blue became my magazines color.
Most magazines have more than 1 Title. The largest is their shared title and the second one is to that specific issue. Change fonts and make it slightly smaller than the last one. If you get stuck on something try clicking the Rectangle Selection Tool and clicking outside of the highlighted boxes.
Now I merge the lettering down into the background keeping it there and in the back of whatever comes next.
Great back to that ribbon. I place the Issue number, Volume Number, and the estimated price of the magazine. You are going to want this to be bland, but not hidden. I used black color and a sans-serif font.
Once satisfied with the spacing and placement merge it down.
Now some magazines have multiple pictures or fun things to draw the eye. I will be messing around with the paint tools. Notice I changed the color to a different tint and shade of a color I have. Don’t deviate into too many colors.
On the upper right hand channels you can choose what tip your brush will use. I chose a large tip with no fuzzing. Play around see what you like.
My border for the text box complete I then insert a new text box. I stick to black to be eye catching without drowning the pictures in color. I use a thinner version of one of the earlier fonts, again too much can be very bad. I add things to entice people to look inside including what some of the articles might be about.
Another merge down.
One final look. Are you happy with it, does it need more or less on it. Great to save Click File then Export as.
Add a name and file type. Click export.
Export once more and you are done.
Hope you get a lot of subscriptions!