|A drinking straw hack! What a concept!|
And actually, the word has even more meanings beyond just those. But I was not familiar with the use of hack as meaning "coming up with an unorthodox — and often clever — solution to a problem" until recently.
As a person who is a fan of recycling and repurposing, I like and appreciate a lot of "hacking" solutions. So when I discovered that AllFreeSewing.com had put out a post on their blog about sewing hacks (from 2014; this post you're currently reading was actually written over a year ago), I was right in there checking it out.
Three of the featured hacks stood out for me.
First was this trick for storing filled bobbins using a foam toe separator from Donna Babylon via Sew4Home...
|Image courtesy of Sew4Home...|
This just seems so creative! Not only will your bobbins look totally cool, this hack also secures the threads and keeps them from tangling. (My other favourite way of keeping bobbin thread secure is the "plastic tubing" method. I've seen it mentioned on various sites, here is one of them.)
Another trick, courtesy of Deanna McCool, involves adding a seam allowance to a pattern by tying two pencils together and tracing over a pattern outline. Again, simple but effective. This would actually be a perfect way to create a smaller pattern template for cutting your interfacing pieces!
|Image courtesy of SewMcCool.com...|
Finally, there was a third hack about how to sew with a spool of thread that's too big for the sewing machine (like a serger cone). The solution was to put the spool inside a mug. I had just recently purchased a huge spool of black thread and had been wondering what my options were, but this solution did not have the right amount of elegance.
Lo and behold, a commenter named Dina shared a tip of hers to put a drinking straw on top of the spool pin to accommodate the cones! Now that solution appeals to me. Moreover, I had a hard plastic straw saved from a reusable drink bottle, so my hack is even sturdier than it would otherwise be with a regular straw.
|Dina's simple, but oh so clever and ingenious hack...|
Since that AllFreeSewing post, I have come across other hacks that have stood out for me from other sources, like this one... don't care to invest in a pricey gauge to measure your hemlines for pressing? Make one out of cardboard. See how here.
|image courtesy of ShowTellShare...|
I'll close off this post with a quasi hack/tip.
See the bobbin beside my big spool of thread at the top of this post? One of the unpleasant surprises of sewing is running out of bottom thread and not knowing it. (On most machines, you can't see it and it's a hassle to check.) If you use a fully loaded bobbin at the beginning of a project for both the top and bottom threads, you will be able to see — by looking at the top, obviously — how much thread you have remaining. You will still eventually run out, but at least you'll know when both threads run out at approximately the same time!
If you want to read the full sewing hack blog post from AllFreeSewing, click here. (Coincidentally enough, this topic was revisited by their newsletter this past week... after I had already scheduled this post.)
If you have a clever or favourite hack to share, leave a comment below.