Happy Valentine’s Day! My vintage Vogue Yves Saint Laurent coat is coming along nicely. I did the pockets today. They are welt pockets with flaps, which is always slightly nerve-wracking for me because at one point I’m essentially operating blind from the wrong side of the garment, so I spend hours (literally) measuring, marking, and lining up. Plus, this is a tricky garment with multiple seam lines, and the fabric I’m using is really luxe but really soft and shifty, so it took me a long time.
In the meantime, here’s a quick tip for you that may make your life a whole lot easier. I used it today, and it helped me.
When getting ready to hand-sew, iron your thread first.
I came up with this while I was sewing a hem using a beeswax-impregnated thread. Whenever I wax my thread for hand sewing, I always run it under the iron (using a press cloth to protect my ironing board cover and my iron) to melt the wax into the thread.
Today, when I was prepping to hand-baste my interfacing to the outer garment fabric, I pulled the thread off the spool and I noticed: the thread comes off the spool curled. It makes sense – the tension from the rollers and the settling over time make it happen and it comes off like curly hair.
So then I thought, well, why not iron the thread? I didn’t bother with wax or press cloth. I just ran the thread under the iron. I laid the iron on the thread and pulled the thread underneath it, pulling the thread so it all got straightened. Like flat-ironing your hair – it removed the the curliness.
Doing this makes it much less likely for your thread to tangle and knot, without adding any stiffness to the thread (unlike waxing). I used the ironed thread to diagonally baste my interfacing to the front pieces of the garment. I didn’t have any knots or tangles, and I was working with very long strands. My thread ran beautifully between the layers and gave me a great result.