09 June 2008

Sewing Tip #3

When I first bought my sewing machine I was told to buy quality thread, like Gutermann, Sulky or Madeira. I have been faithful to do this, usually buying either Gutermann or Sulky. I bought a lot of Sulky because it's on sale often and I'm cheap. Here's the Gutermann.
And here's the Sulky.

Remember these dresses I sewed for the girls last year? And these pajamas I made for them last fall? Well, they're starting to come apart at the seams. I was horrified to see this happening. I must be a terrible seamstress. How could I let this happen; I thought I sewed those seams up really well. I've told Del that I won't actually sell anything on my Etsy shop until I get a serger because I feel the seams are more stable that way.

It turns out that I'm not a terrible seamstress, I just have a hard time with reading. If you look at the Sulky website or any spool of Sulky thread you will clearly read on there, "Decorative Thread." In other places you will read, "Embroidery Thread." I'm trying to recall with all my might now and I can never remember seeing any Sulky thread labeled "All Purpose." Gutermann, now that's another story. They have sew-all thread, they have embroidery thread, they have quilting thread, they have silk thread they have...all kinds of thread. Not so with Sulky.

The difference between all-purpose thread and embroidery thread is it's weight. Generally the higher the number, the finer the thread. I cannot for the life of me find the weight of the Gutermann thread on my spool, but the weight of the Sulky embroidery thread is 40. They are both 2 stranded. I assume that the weight on the Gutermann is 30, therefore stronger. As the dresses and pajamas I've made have been going through the wash, the lightweight embroidery thread I've used to sew clothes has been breaking down and disintegrating. Embroidery thread was not meant to hold together seams AT ALL. It's a good thing I never made those suits I was planning on making and it's a good thing that Sulky didn't have a thread to match the skirt I just finished for Tina or I'd have to resew the ENTIRE skirt.

I'm interested to know if the dress I made for Katherine last year is falling apart at all. I can't remember which thread I used.

So anyway, my tip is: make sure you are buying the correct thread for your project. It will make a huge difference in the quality of the end product.


Tina said...

Katherine's dress is holding up perfectly and she still wears it ALL THE TIME. :-)

Marie said...

That so interesting. I never did notice the Sulky thread in Joann's so I don't have any, but I'll be sure to stick witht he Gutermann. I was really close to starting a sewing project while my mom is visiting. But we decided to knit instead. I will hemming more pants though. I'm not sure why, but it seems that all the pants nowadays are way too long. I'm too short for the regular seam length and too tall for the petite seam length. It's really annoying.

Johanna said...

I never buy sulky. I find that it frays all too easily. Also, your sulky looks like it is rayon thread. That could be the next sewing tip - only use rayon thread for embroidery, nothing else! Rayon is GREAT for embroidery, but horrible for anything else. I buy mostly Madiera for embroidery, rayon, 40 weight. I think it works so well for embroidery because each stitch is gone over so many times - never just once. I use a lot of Gutermann for my regular sewing, too. I find it holds up great.

Great tip!

Joanna said...

Yes, it's rayon. I don't know what I was thinking!!! duh.

Meagan said...

Huh??? You know what I use.... All purpose Coats and Clark. I don't even know what the other threads are... except for being more expensive.