Friday, October 18, 2013

So Sew! Day 18: Turning things Right Side Out

Welcome to day 18 of our 31 Days sewing series! I'm sharing a secret technique with you today.


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Today’s post may turn out to sound a little backward, but here goes! I keep wanting to say, “turn things inside out” instead of “turn things right side out.” So excuse me if I mess it up!

Today’s information may not be used much by a seamstress working with clothing, but for the crafter or mom this is valuable information. Why moms, you ask? I’ll explain in a minute!

When I put together my totes there are two steps that involve turning things right side out.


In order for the seams to not show, I have to sew them right sides together {like any seam} and then turn them inside out. But because they are so long and thin, it requires a secret technique.

I start with a long, thin piece of fabric.


First I sew it into a “tube” {for lack of a better word} by folding it right sides together and sewing along one edge.


Now here is the secret technique - I use a safety pin to pull this thing right side out!

Stick the pin on the end of the “tube,” through one layer of fabric.


Now drop the large end of the pin into the middle of the tube. The pin is going to pull the tube through itself, therefore turning it right side out!


 Push the pin down a few inches into the tube. It will scrunch up like this:


Hold the large end of the pin securely in one hand, while pulling what is now the outer layer of the tube over the pin. This step is hard to explain, but you’ll understand what I mean when you do it!


You will keep scrunching and pulling that pin through the tube until finally {this is one of those patience-learning activities!} the pin peeks through the other end. Hallelujah! Then it is fairly easy to pull the rest of the tube through itself and be left with a nice long tie.


There is a little variation when making the handles, because those have a layer of quilt batting in them.

I start with the fabric and a piece of batting that is the same length but half the width.


First I baste the batting to one half of the fabric. This means the largest stitch length on my machine, or the lowest number on the dial.


I make one basting stitch near the middle of the fabric, and one ⅝” from the edge.


I’ve made the basting stitch in yellow thread so you can see it. {side note: basting is a great time to use up cheap thread you might have on hand! It is a stitch that is just going to be pulled out later anyway!}


 Now I fold the handle in half, right sides together, and sew ½” seam to make the “tube.”


This means a smaller stitch, not the basting stitch.



This is what is looks like now. Remember the yellow is the basting stitches.


I trim off the excess from the seam before turning it inside out.


Then I follow the same safety-pin technique. The handles are easier, because they are wider and not as long.


The last step is to pull out the basting threads! Just hold on to an end tightly, and slide the fabric down it. It may scrunch up like this for a hot second, but that is ok.


Now here is where I make this apply to you moms. This technique works great for threading elastic or cords back through their respective casing! Like when the tie from your hoodie comes out of the hood, or the adjustable elastic in your toddler’s waistband comes out in the wash. Just attach a safety pin to the end, and you’ll be able to thread it through much quicker!

Challenge: Share another tip that makes your sewing, crafting, or even mothering a little bit easier!


Other posts in this series:

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