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Conversational Threads

What’s your pet ‘hate’?

moira | Posted in General Discussion on

I often wish there was a way not to have to go back and snip the tail threads from the beginning of a seam. The ones at the end are dealt with by the machine’s thread cutter, but not the ones at the start.

I wonder what others consider to be the tedious little things in this otherwise much-loved occupation of sewing.


  1. Sancin | | #1

    I hate threading and changing thread on my sewing machines.

  2. suesew | | #2

    I hate to sew that second row of gathering stitches. Isn't one row enough? Never!

  3. Ocrafty1 | | #3

    Having to pick up all of those little threads that end up on the floor! For some reason, they never end up in the trash can next to where I sit.  I aim well, but they float away and end up all over the room.  I have carpet on most of that floor and it is a royal pain trying to clean up before the next project.

    And having DH or my son interrupt my sewing to get something they can't find or be a gopher; when they could just as easily do it themselves.  I keep telling DH we've lived here 20 yrs.....move in.  OOOOOOH!!!


    Edited 1/17/2009 11:13 pm ET by Ocrafty1

  4. MaryinColorado | | #4

    Interuptions when I am in my sewing "zone"!  I'm going to make a "Do not disturb, enter at your own risk" sign one of these days. 

    Fitting this alien figure, I don't know when or where it came from, seems to have arrived somewhere around 50! 

  5. canardlysew | | #5

    I hate zips.
    I have a very old but reliable sewing machine. A 1956 HG Palmer Princess,which doesn't have any foot attachments for zips, so its the most difficult item for me to work with.

    1. starzoe | | #6

      Consider inserting zippers by hand-sewing. Looks great, surprisingly strong using the prick method, i.e., only a little dot of thread shows up on the right side and a small stitch on the back.

      1. canardlysew | | #14

        Thank you for your help, I very much appreciate it. This morning I happened to accidentally find the video in this website for a way of sewing the zip in a far more practical and easier way than what I was taught at school back in the 60's. Pinning and tacking, then sewing the zip into the garment in one movement. I majored in unpicking at school.

        1. starzoe | | #15

          Yes, some techniques have changed for the better but it's a good idea to keep some of the old ones, just in case....different solutions for different problems.

          1. canardlysew | | #19

            I'm at the stage where I love to explore new sewing techniques and be able to improve on the old ones that I remember, and this website is helping me so much. Thank you.

    2. sewornate | | #25

      I am not familiar with the machine you have, but I know generic feet can be gotten for most machines.  You need to know the style shank your machine has (short shank, long shank or slant shank.)  Places like Sewing with Nancy or Clotilde usually carry these. 

      1. JeanM | | #26

        A zipper can be put in with a regular foot, as long as it is narrow.  My mother did it all the time and I saw a man do it on his television show.  Just keep the pull out of the way.  When you get to the pull again, keep the needle in the fablic and  lift the presser foot and move the pull again.  A zipper foot certainly makes it easier, but it can be done with a narrow, standard foot.

        1. canardlysew | | #27

          Thank you JeanM for your reply. These days my sewing machine is almost as old as I am and with the technique shown on the threads video its so much easier now.

      2. canardlysew | | #28

        My machine is a 1956 H.G. Palmer Princess, and I think they became obsolete in the late 60's or early 70's. It has basic sewing with no extras, and I think its one of the first portable machines that came out at the time.

        1. sewornate | | #29

          Here is what I mean.  Presser feet generally come today in three styles--slant for singer, short or long shank.  See the diagram I am enclosing.  If there is a screw or other means of removing a presser foot, you may very well be able to get feet for your machine.  I have purchased used machines and cleaned them up and replaced or added parts and sold them to new sewers for what I had in them.  (I like to encourage beginning sewers.) 

          If you know what kind of shank your machine has, you can find a foot for it.  There are also companies that sell replacement parts even for obscure machines.  I would be surprised if you could not find a zipper foot for your machine. 

  6. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #7

    I hate the mirrors in my sewing room. They always lie. Each one shows a different me. None of them is flattering. One always makes me look fatter. One makes me look shorter. And one just looks plain wrong. The best one in the house is in the bathroom, but it is a menace and you have to stand on a step stool to get even a partial picture of the fit. I have auditioned thousands (it seems) and still have to find one that gives a fairly accurate picture(reflection.) And no it is not in my head! tee hee Stores can get good mirrors, why can't I? So I resort to my camera and my computer. Cathy

    1. moira | | #8

      I can relate to that one! There are days for choosing which mirror to use and which to avoid! What amazes me is that some people don't have a full length mirror in their houses at all. I think I have five, which might seem excessive, but I wouldn't like to go out without a full length check-up.

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #9

        I cannot fathom going out without a full length check. No toilet paper stuck in weird places, or things tucked in the wrong spot for me! Plus I need to rid myself of pet hairs! tee hee, Hmm, Fairy Studio Godmother, if you are watching, If you could possibly ding me a magic mirror, full length, at a reasonable cost, it would be appreciated. My birthday is in a couple of months..... Thanks. Cathy

        1. User avater
          JunkQueen | | #16

          Cathy -- re: No toilet paper stuck in weird places, you just HAD to say that didn't you. LOLOLOL Gawd, every time I think about my TP escapade with it running from my ankle to my knee under the pantyhose, I just cringe....

          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #17

            Tee hee, sorry, did not realize when I typed that....I had a similar mishap myself, only it was in highschool. Mortifying to say the least! Cathy

        2. KharminJ | | #18

          Hey, Cathy ~

          If you want to help the Studio Fairy along, check out resale shops! I picked up a 3'x 5-1/2' mirror (unframed) for $15 last year, at a charity resale place! 'Twas a little scary to transport, and will cost a small fortune to frame it (eventually), but it's a thick enough glass that I'm not worried about it warping for now.

          That find was sheer luck, but people are always changing out mantel mirrors for art, and many are "big enough" if hung sideways...

          Happy Hunting!Kharmin

          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #20

            Oh lucky, lucky you! That is exactly the type of find that I was hoping to get, but so far no luck. I will keep looking, after all, it is the hunt that is part of the fun, right? Cathy

          2. User avater
            rodezzy2 | | #21

            details, details, details.

          3. Teaf5 | | #24

            I found inexpensive, large mirrors in the large home improvement/hardware stores. They had nice frames and much thicker glass than I saw anywhere else but were were on sale for 29.99. Also, in our area, at lot of people are replacing those huge mirrors in their bathrooms (the one in our master bath is about 12 feet long and 4 feet high!) or those mirrored closet doors for more traditional designs, so there may be some at recycle yards, too.

        3. Ceeayche | | #22

          Your fairy Studio Godmother is watching and taking note!

          By the way, try getting a mirror from your local glass maker.  My mom did that and had it framed to coordinate with her bedroom.  It's heavy but it's a fabulous mirror and we teenagers always were popping in her room for a last check before we left. .... Hmmm maybe mom was sneakier than I thought!

          Edited 1/28/2009 4:07 pm ET by CHL

          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #23

            OK, You are smart lady! Never thought to look there! Cathy

          2. Ceeayche | | #30

            Yes.  It's cheaper. They can cut and bevel it to your unique specifications.  They will even frame it for you!  I also learned the same place will create glass shelves... thicker and cheaper than you can buy in the box stores (learned that after a game gone awry shattered a glass shelf that we needed to replace before parents returned home). 

          3. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #31

            Definitely will remember that. Bonus would be custom size as well. I am not gonna ask about the replacement shelf. Nope, not gonna go there. Cathy

          4. Ceeayche | | #32

            suffice to say:  a lot of fun was had by all.  and the shelves were back in place before their plane landed-- just a minimal amount of blood shed!  I think mom wondered what motivated us to wash everything up there while they were on vacation.  But she never asked, and to my knowledge all of us stayed mum!

          5. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #33

            Smart mom.  There are many things moms know are just better left alone. 

            I always wondered if I really got to do everything I wanted to or if my parents were such good parents that I just THOUGHT I did.  I do know there was one thing that my parents orchestrated when I was 15 that it took me about 30 years to finally have an epiphany about it...... 

          6. Ceeayche | | #34

            okay do tell!

        4. jane4878 | | #41


          If you can find a frame or even an old window--most glass places will cut a mirror for it.  My husband makes the frames--and I've never had a crappy mirror from a glass shop.  You can even attach the mirror directly to the wall with clips.


      2. starzoe | | #10

        Just looking at what appears on the street in the way of clothing, I can only assume that a good number of the population have never been near a full length mirror. We have a high population of seniors. The women mostly are well put together, up to date, neat and presentable. I can't say the same for the men, too many of them wear baseball caps, oversized, droopy jeans and runners. The odd man will be with his fashion conscious lady and he is perfectly turned out - wonder why?

        1. Ocrafty1 | | #13

          My DH belongs to the first group. My sisters have dressed their DHs for years.  I guess it depends on the guy and how much they want to please their lady. They 'brought them up the way they wanted them.'  My sisters never go out in sweats, even if it is to walk out and get the mail. Every hair must be in place (one is a hairdresser).  They are very concious of who might be seeing them...come to think of it, so do thier hubby's.  I like to look good, but if I've been working in the yard, or have a bit of flour on my nose and need to run to the grocery store...who cares! 


    2. Teaf5 | | #11

      As frugal as I am, I can't imagine keeping a mirror that doesn't make me look good! Even when shopping for a $5 door mirror, I'll pull out a few, line them up, and choose the one that reflects best. While I realize that my flattering mirrors are probably "lying" to me, at least if I walk out of the house feeling good about myself, I'll be more likely to stand tall and smile, which is probably more important anyway!

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #12

        This is why those mirrors are up in my studio and not in the regular part of the house! They ended up where they are least used, and are only for checking out the most basic fit. In the meantime, I am constantly looking for better ones. I think I "inherited" these from my MIL when she lived here before. Making do with what I have I guess. Cathy

    3. mantuamaker | | #36

      Personally, everytime I look in a mirror this fat old lady jumps right in front of me and I can't see a thing.  Photographs, too.

      1. User avater
        rodezzy2 | | #37

        That's the same thing that happens to me ..... giggle.  I don't know where she comes from.  he he

      2. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #38

        You too hunh? Do not know where she came from, but the woman I seem to remember me as is a few lbs lighter and lots less grey hair also. Tee hee, gotta get a handle on that imposter me thinks! Although, when I step back and really try to take a good look at her without the criticism bone on my shoulder, she ain't so bad! Scary how much she reminds me of my mother! tee hee hee hee......Cathy

      3. moira | | #39

        I seem to have one of those women hiding in my house too! She didn't used to be there. Wish I could get an eviction order!

      4. sewfar | | #40

        I think that same fat old lady snuck in front of my mirror too. Saw the most humorous motivational speaker once. He played a paunchy, balding; older man ...which he was ...walking by a mirror and then a lady. The man assumed a body builder stance in spite of his belly, flexed his non existent muscles and looked very pleased with himself. He said "Pretty darn good. I've still got it." Then he did the lady who automatically tried to smooth her tummy, studied her neck and pretty much every imperfect body part and walked away disgusted. You reminded me to start by looking at what I've still got ...even if I have to push that fat old lady out of the way first and blur the mirror. Ha

        Edited 2/17/2009 5:45 pm ET by sewfar

        1. Ceeayche | | #42

          Not that I'm a violent woman, but maybe we take a collection and off that old lady?  Purely in the interest of community harmony of course.

          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #43

            I think we might better give that old lady a good talking too! Caught a vision of her this morning. Rather than hiding from her, I decided to look her in the eye and say Good morning Gorgeous! From the twinkle in her eye, she looks like she is off to a good day! Cathy

          2. Ceeayche | | #44

            okay we kill her with kindness.

          3. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #45

            tee hee hee hee! we are definitely going to get rid of her CHL! To be brutally honest, no one really likes her because we only see her bad parts! I guess we just need to find her good stuff! I guess I am a glass half full kind of person. A better mirror, or at least a magic one would really help see the better parts! tee hee, I am on a one person bandwagon to spread goodness and cheer today! Cathy

          4. Ceeayche | | #46

            well your one woman crusade readed Virginia, USA today!

  7. Char9 | | #35

    My pet peeve?  I have two of them.  Ripping out - grrrrr!  And loose threads on anything.  I sit down with scissors, especially with RTW clothes, and snip off all the threads.  When I'm speaking with some one who has a loose thread sticking out somewhere I can barely concentrate on the conversation.  It just looks so sloppy.

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