Time-saving Sewing Tip! Pre-cut interfacing with Olfa in minutes!

I am thrilled to see all of the excitement for my 2014 Wardrobe Challenge! The month of January is so full of new years resolutions, crazy weather and catching up from the holidays, I wanted to make this month’s challenge simple and fun.  All you have to do is create a Pinterest board “wardrobe challenge 2014″ and pin photos that inspire you. This is not a trick, just post anything that inspires you to design and sew, this can be absolutely anything.  Ideas: colors, animals, architecture, food (that is the downfall of pinterest, everyone posts such fabulous looking food, I swear I can smell it through the computer screen!)  Pin something from each sponsor – that can be a repin from their pinterest board or pin something from their website and leave a comment here or on my pinterest board with a link to your new board.  In case you need the links to the sponsors here they are again:  Brother, Threads and Sew Stylish Magazines, WAWAK sewing, It’s Sew Easy, Angela Wolf Patterns, and some of you couldn’t find my pinterest page.  Again, if you need an invitation to pinterest email me info@angelawolf.com.  For more details on January’s Challenge, there is still a week to enter, then we move on to February’s challenge!  Good Luck :)

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Olfa 60mm Rotary Jumbo Cutter, Replacement Blade, and Cutting Mat from WAWAKsewing.com

Now, onto a quick time-saving tip.  When I sit down to sew, there are a few items that I quite often need and I find it faster to prepare these in advance.  One example is fusible interfacing: hemming jacket sleeves, plackets, zipper placement, bound button holes, these are just the first few areas I need the interfacing and to get up, unfold the interfacing and cut 1 strip is a total “time sucker”, my new word for the year!  For jacket hem’s I typically use 3″ to 4″ wide strips of interfacing and for the zipper placement 1″ to 1-1/2″ strips.

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This is light-weight fusible interfacing (HTC fusi-knit) and with two layers you can still see through the interfacing to line up the 1″ grid on the Olfa cutting mat.

Keeping the grainlines and stretch of the interfacing in mind:

  • cut strips parallel to the selvage 28″ long by 1 1/2″ wide.  The most common use for these strips is to support the center back seams on a dress when inserting a hidden zipper (I am hooked on sewing dresses lately!) and it is rare that I would need longer than 28″ for a zipper.

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  • cut strips perpendicular to the selvage 4″ long by the width of the interfacing (in this case 22″ wide).  These strips are perfect for re-hemming jackets and sleeve hems.  If you do alterations, this is really a bonus to have these cut strips on hand.

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Store these strips in a photo box next to your sewing station and you are all set!

A few tips on the rotary blade:

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Always clear your cutting area from pins!  It always amazes me how one little dent in the blade can ruin the cutting, but it is true.  Maybe it’s not quite as noticeable when cutting thick fabric, but try cutting bias strips of silk chiffon.  If the blade is damaged, even in the slightest bit, the cutting is fragmented and you end up cutting the strips over with scissors.  Pain in the tush :)   I used to try to sharpen the blades, but seriously I am trying to save time not cause more work.  The blades are not that expensive, especially this month they are 25% off at WAWAK sewing, time to stock up for a few months!  The replacement blades come in a nice plastic container.  As I am always fearful of throwing a blade in the trash, I use one of the containers to store bad blades.   See the blue dot in the photo above, that dot tells me this package is bad blades.  When its full, snap the container closed, add a piece of tape for extra security,  and toss with no worries.

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Lastly, take extra precaution and close the blade cover when not in use.  It makes me crazy when anyone in my studio leaves the blade exposed when they are not using it!  I have a pretty long cutting table and I am often grabbing bolts of fabric and sliding patterns around, one slip could end up being a bloody mess.  Thankfully that hasn’t happened, but I have heard a few horror stories :(

My question to you – Have you ever tried sharpening your old blades and did you have any luck or do you prefer stocking up on replacement blades when a great sale hits?

Have fun filling your pinterest board, remember to add #wardrobechallenge when sharing your experience!

cheers :)

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13 thoughts on “Time-saving Sewing Tip! Pre-cut interfacing with Olfa in minutes!”

  1. I have never had success with the blade sharpeners! It is so much easier on me to get a new blade. My problem is that I wait too long to change out the blade and am so surprised when the new blade cuts so beautifully. I always wonder why I waited so long to change it!

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  2. I bought one of those specialty blade sharpeners, and I wish I hadn’t. It wasn’t especially cheap and I can’t get it to work well! I also find Olfa blades and Kai blades seem to last longer than others. I especially love my Olfa serrated blade for instant pinked edges!

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      1. I have an electric sharpener (trueCut) on hand, and do believe this extends the life of the blade.
        I also buy Olfa blades in bulk, because so far, they are my favorite.
        For sure, a sharp blade makes the job easier.

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  3. I have never tried to sharpen the blades and purchased 20 when I saw them greatly reduced a couple of years ago. I also use the smaller 45mm blade with the pinking blade to cut interfacing strips to use of the hems on my wool or linen skirts just to make sure I don’t get the sold line when I press.

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  4. I also have a True Cut blade sharpener, with experience I can now greatly extend the life of my blades, providing they don’t have nicks where I’ve tried to cut a pin! I sharpen them as soon as I notice the cut is not as easy as it should be, and use a stop watch to make sure they get the full time needed, I also turn the blade and sharpen a second time. I have a stock of blades that I use, changing as needed, then have a session of sharpening. The blades do eventually die, but using good quality blades gives me greater cutting life, and not leaving them till they are totally blunt before sharpening makes a difference.

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  5. Hi Angela, I’m thoroughly enjoying justifying my time spent gazing at Pinterest. Here is the link to my January Wardrobe challenge board

    Fingers crossed x
    Lesley

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