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Sewing Tip: Save on Thread

When I bought my sewing machine a few years ago, the sales lady gave me very thorough instructions on machine use, even though I didn’t think it necessary…then one particular thing got my attention—how to ‘unthread’ the machine. I’m sure it’s not really known as that, but changing thread is something we do all the time.

Until then I always pulled the thread from the spool back through my machine, but thanks to Karen I now know that can cause tension issues as the machine is made for thread to go out in only one direction via the needle. That said, the proper way to remove thread is to cut it from the spool and pull it through the bottom. Am I the only person who didn’t know this? Probably. 😉 It makes perfect sense, and I’m glad for the tip because tension problems are the worst.

As time went by and after several thread changes, I realized it’s a lot of waste to throw those strands away. Since thread is expensive and I don’t like waste, I had to ask myself ‘what can I do with these strands?’ I didn’t know at first, I just started saving them on my pincushion.

My thread cutaways measure about 24″ long, so it doesn’t go all that far, but I’ve come up with a few tips on putting them to good use.

  • Keep a needle or two threaded, it’s a great way to save time when in a hurry.
  • Use threads for basting. I always baste my binding before machine sewing, I mainly use these strands for stitching them down.
  • Sew on buttons. A short thread length is plenty.
  • Clothing repairs. They’re just right for a minor fix.

If you hang on to your cutaway strands, you’ll be surprised how quickly they accumulate and in so many different colors, too. And mostly, you’ll see how much it’ll save on thread waste. 🙂

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