Elastic thread, Spanish patterns, Charity sewing

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How do I use elastic thread?

Elastic thread can be used in the bobbin of most machines, either with a zigzag stitch or straight stitch. It’s perfect for yokes, cuffs, necklines and other places where you need shirring with flexibility.

Hand-wind the thread onto the bobbin to avoid stretching it. Pair it with an all-purpose thread in the top of the machine, and do some test-stitching to see if any tension adjustments are needed to achieve the look you like. On some machines, it may be necessary to bypass the bobbin tension.

A similar option is to couch over elastic thread of cord with a zigzag stitch and then pull the elastic to the size needed.

In both instances, be sure to anchor the elastic thread ends securely to avoid having them pull out. Tie them off and/or stitch over them to secure.

Where can I find sewing patterns with Spanish instructions?

Most major pattern companies print their instructions with a Spanish option, and label the pieces that way as well. Jalie Patterns, from Canada, offers many of their designs with a Spanish option, as does Burda. If you want only Spanish, check out Patrones, a Spanish pattern magazine with patterns included.

How can I use my sewing skills to benefit charity?

There are many organizations that welcome sewn project donations. Project Linus is perhaps the best known, with need for quilts, fabric and quilt blocks. Conkerrcancer.org encourages sewers to make pillowcases for sick children. To find others in your area, check with some of the sewing magazines who have done feature stories, or the American Sewing Guild, and click on “Community Service” for charitable causes supported by chapter members.

With any charitable option, be sure to check with the receiving organization, hospital, etc. to be sure of the requirements the projects must meet for acceptance. If you’re organizing a group sew-in, be sure all participants know the criteria for donations.