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What seemingly silly thing did it take you ages to work out?

(23 Posts)
dudsville Sun 03-Apr-16 08:29:08

I'm new to sewing, got my machine about a year and a half ago. I love it, have made loads of things. I've been timid when it comes to buying thread however because I couldn't work out why some are thick and some are thin. I only knew I wanted thin for my tasks so I've always had to buy thread in person so I could be sure of getting what I want. The thread I've been using is Guntermans and this morning as I was online getting some snaps I browsed the thread section longingly and went and had a look at my thick and thin threads again, for the millionth time. ALL this time I finaly saw that the thin plastic is cream coloured and the thick (what I now know is top stitch thread!) Is freakin GREEN. HOW COULD I NOT HAVE SEEN THIS???!!!
Please tell me I'm not alone in taking far, far too long to work or a really simple thing!

MattDillonsPants Sun 03-Apr-16 11:00:59

I don't understand!

What do you mean by "the thin plastic"? and I have been sewing for years...self taught....without knowing anything about top stitch thread either!

DelphiniumBlue Sun 03-Apr-16 11:05:01

Interesting ... Are you saying that you use different thicknesses of thread for the top and bottom stitches? I have never heard of this, is it a new thing?

dudsville Sun 03-Apr-16 13:04:24

Well, I intend to google this later so I also still do not know what top stitch thread is either but this is what the website I was on the buy something else called it. I will try to clarify though... you know the plastic bit that the thread is wound around when you buy it? If you buy Guntermann then it is cream coloured for what I'm calling "normal" thread, and it is a light green colour for this top stitch thread. Like you mattdillonspants I am not formally taught so I'm very much learning as I go along!

dudsville Sun 03-Apr-16 13:05:09

Accordning to google: Topstitch. Topstitching is a sewing technique. It is used most often on garment edges such as necklines and hems, where it helps facings to stay in place and gives a crisp edge.

dudsville Sun 03-Apr-16 13:11:28

... And using this thread apparently just requires a different needle, one with a bigger/longer eye so it doesn't tear up the thread as mine has done - so perhaps you've both been using this other needle, thereby allowing you to use this other thread interchangeably???

NeatandTidyTidyandNeat Sun 03-Apr-16 13:17:50

Are we talking about the plastic spools / reels that thread comes on? It's possible one brand has decided to use a different colour spool for decorative threads but have to confess I've never noticed Are you sure it wasn't stretch thread for sewing knits?

Top stitching is just an extra row of stitching for either decoration, or extra strength. It's sewn with the top "right side" of the fabric uppermost in the machine, so you can easily check it's neat and nice-looking as you go along. You'll often see it around collars or hems, as an alternative to under-stitching (which is better if you want extra strength but for it to be invisible). If top stitching for decoration, you might use a different thread I guess, but it gets tricky if the thread weight is different between top and bobbin - it would cause tension problems for me, but I'd love to know how to solve that if anyone has done it?

But in terms of things it took me ages to realise? Well, take hold of your Guttermans spool (go on) now twist the end and pull - took me YEARS to realise the bottom comes off so you can easily retrieve the end to start a new spool!

MattDillonsPants Sun 03-Apr-16 13:26:38

Here OP

A link to Guetermann threads...can you show us what you mean?

ARightOldPickle Sun 03-Apr-16 13:26:55

What??? The end comes off? I've been sewing for years and usually end up trying to tease the thread out with a pin and getting increasingly bad tempered grin

Thank you soooo much for sharing this!

MattDillonsPants Sun 03-Apr-16 13:28:18

This is the green one?

NeatandTidyTidyandNeat Sun 03-Apr-16 13:46:40

pickle the proof:

elQuintoConyo Sun 03-Apr-16 13:50:38

My pants just flew off doing the Gutermann trick shock

<furiously whatsapps fancy new trick to fellow sewers>

Coldtoeswarmheart Sun 03-Apr-16 14:01:09

I never knew that about Guterman spools.

I do know about top stitch thread though, made DC some denim bags with gold top stitching to look like jeans. I've never noticed the spool colour being different confused

GiraffesCantDoMentalArithmetic Sun 03-Apr-16 14:32:52

neatandtidy just changed my life shockgrinshock

NeatandTidyTidyandNeat Sun 03-Apr-16 14:46:26

You should have seen my jaw drop when the man in our local sewing shop casually pulled the spool apart to show me a particular thread one day grin Cannot at all claim to have worked it out for myself, but delighted to discover other people didn't know either share it with you lot!

dudsville Sun 03-Apr-16 20:36:32

Mattdillon, that's the one, although also with green thread which could be confusing! Coldtoes, that's exactly what I've read it's for, could be decorative, or fir fabrics like denim or for strengthening areas like lapels!

dudsville Sun 03-Apr-16 20:37:32

Ooh I Will now go and pull one apart neatandtidy!

GetMeOut Mon 04-Apr-16 18:35:49

Wow - neat and tidy- I had no idea either so just had to go and try it ! Will ask my mother who has been sewing for ten gazillion years to see if she knew.....if she did, and didn't pass down this precious knowledge .....

VictoriaRoses Mon 04-Apr-16 18:42:59

If you use topstitch thread I'd pair it with a Microtex Topstitch needle (I work in a thread/fabric shop)

Batladyandrose Mon 04-Apr-16 20:35:54

shock at the Guterman thing!!

Much more satisfying IMO than being able to pull the end off to retrieve the start of the spool is the fact that you can twist the end off, poke the cotton inside, then put the end back on and the cotton won't come loose and get tangled up (I have just tried this)! Genius. For the last 20 years I have been trying to wind the cotton round the end and it always comes away.

Thank you neatandtidy

Coldtoeswarmheart Mon 04-Apr-16 22:34:26

Roses, how is the needle different? I used a denim needle but threading was tricky, is the eye bigger?

VictoriaRoses Tue 05-Apr-16 05:45:43

A topstitch needle will have a bigger eye and a sharp point. The shop where I work has a website with a thread and needle guide if that is any help? My boss is super knowledgeable. It is the guide is near the top right hand corner

Coldtoeswarmheart Wed 06-Apr-16 18:38:57

Will look out for those, thank you.

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