Sewing With Stickers

Products mentioned in today’s episode

Scotch Transparent Tape

3M Painter’s Tape for Multi-Surfaces

Avery Address Labels #8167

Sheet Protectors 

Printable Freezer Paper for Ink Jet printers


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[00:00:00] LIsa Woolfrok: Hello, stitchers. Welcome to stitch, please. The official podcast of black women's stitch, the sewing group, where black lives matter. I'm your host Lisa woo fork. I'm a fourth generation sewing enthusiast with more than 20 years. Of sewing experience. I am looking forward to today's conversation. So sit back, relax, and get ready to get your stitch together.
[00:00:36] LIsa Woolfrok: Hello everybody. And welcome back to the stitch please podcast. This is Lisa. Thank you so much for being here today. And for listening today's topic is sewing with stickers. Yes. Sewing with stickers. In some ways, this episode is like an extension of the unconventional materials, um, episode that I had a few weeks ago, the one about sewing [00:01:00] beyond the fabric store.
[00:01:01] LIsa Woolfrok: This is kind of a take on that. I'm not sure if I listed office supply stores as an example of one I might have, but I thought that this was an opportunity to really dive into what sewing with stickers could mean for your sewing life. Part of this comes from the fact that I am a total nerd. I love stationary.
[00:01:21] LIsa Woolfrok: I love pencils, pins, glitter pins, markers. Tape. Um, I am just getting into washy tape w a S H I, which is very popular in the planner world. Um, I am try, I try very, very hard not to get into washy. I might only own maybe 15, 10, 15, small spools of washy tape, but I know people who have hundred. Upon hundreds of roles of Washe tape.
[00:01:48] LIsa Woolfrok: Um, I like all those little planners, organizers journals. I really love stationary and office supplies. So it's no surprise that I have found a way to find things that are sewing related [00:02:00] at such stores. Um, so. Just beyond before we get into the stickers, it's a little bit about, you know, things like pencil cases.
[00:02:08] LIsa Woolfrok: Those are really good for, um, for sewing supplies. Um, just, these are just, there's so much, if you just walk around an office supply store stuff that you're gonna see, that will be useful to you. Protractors compasses. These are all like things that you can use in your sewing. But we are gonna divide the episode into two, um, into two parts today.
[00:02:29] LIsa Woolfrok: Um, the first part or the first half, we're gonna talk about, um, how we can use, um, stickers to mark our tools and equipment. And then in the second part, we'll talk about how we can use them for garment construction in particular. And I have. Nice. Um, short voice memo from Nikki, from, um, Atlanta sewing style and for sewing my style and, um, Nikki's wonderful.
[00:02:54] LIsa Woolfrok: She's um, really, uh, just a great all-round person. And she has [00:03:00] shared with us how she uses. Stickers. And so I thought, well, this could be really good to include so that I'm not the only person who's doing this. Um, and that she is an expert sewist and, um, and I, we, we're gonna hear from her, um, from a wonderful voice memo about how she uses stickers too.
[00:03:16] LIsa Woolfrok: So, um, let's just jump right in. One of the first ways I like to use, um, the adhesive stickers is to, um, mark my supplies. So one of the things I'm gonna get into a lot of detail about the dimensions of the stickers that I use, but the first thing I wanted to share is, um, These return address labels. Now return address labels are those little tiny labels that go in the upper left hand corner of the envelopes.
[00:03:45] LIsa Woolfrok: When you send mail throughout the us, um, that if you they're about they're one half inch tall and one and three quarter inch wide, and you get, let's see, I'm looking at my package here. You get 80 per [00:04:00] sheet. And they're, they're designed to fit in an eight and a half by 11 sheet of paper and you get 80 labels.
[00:04:06] LIsa Woolfrok: Now I've used those for, I use them a lot for garment construction, which I'll talk about after the break, but this is also a way to mark, like, say for example, you're going to a sewing class. Right. When you go to a sewing class, particularly for a quilt making or a bad class, everybody has the same rulers.
[00:04:23] LIsa Woolfrok: They are pretty much identical. Everybody has the Omni grid, yellow ruler. That's you know, that's 24 by six. Everyone's got that square. That's six and a half by six and a half. They've got they, all these tools look exactly the same. So how can you tell yours from anybody else's? And one thing I like to do is to put stickers mine.
[00:04:42] LIsa Woolfrok: And, um, even if you don't use a whole full address label for your sticker, because I know you don't want it to interfere with the markings on being able to see the markings on the tool itself, there are ways. That you can use like a smaller sticker, just something you wanna use to distinguish your [00:05:00] tool from everyone.
[00:05:00] LIsa Woolfrok: Else's, I've also done that for rotary cutters. Um, you know, sometimes I'll get like a bunch of address labels from like someone will send them from a different organization. Um, they, they send them as thank yous for donations. They send them as solicitations for donations and I just hold onto them and I can put them on all kind of things because it has my name and.
[00:05:21] LIsa Woolfrok: So that's that way if I get lost or if I get lost, if my stuff gets lost, right. If I, if someone goes home and they're looking in their basket, they're like, oh wow, I've got two rotary cutters. And I only brought one to the event. They can look inside, they can look well, not inside. They can look on the handle and see that that one is mine and they have a way of getting it back to me.
[00:05:41] LIsa Woolfrok: So that's one way that, um, stickers have been helpful for sewing. Another thing that's useful. And I think this is about a combination of, um, different things of sewing and crafting in particular coming together. And that's how I use adhesive vinyl adhesive. [00:06:00] Vinyl is a thin medium that is glossy or matte on one side.
[00:06:08] LIsa Woolfrok: and, um, tacky, sticky on the other side, um, you see that a lot of different companies offer it, or a cow offers adhesive vinyl cricket makes an adhesive vinyl. Um, but I tend to use, um, that there's lots of places that you can buy this vinyl, but one of it that you, you find it a lot on, on cups bags on all sorts of things.
[00:06:29] LIsa Woolfrok: And I wanted to just quickly go over a few of the ways that I have used this sticker. Adhesive vinyl on in my sewing. So one of the first things I did was I do, I do a lot of embroidery. I do a lot of all sorts of crafting. I do sewing. I know how to knit, to save my life. I do not know how to crochet, to save my life, but knitting I can do sewing is my first love, which includes, um, apparel and quilts.
[00:06:58] LIsa Woolfrok: And so I have a. [00:07:00] Stuff also machine embroidery. So when you do machine embroidery, you end up with a lot of materials because there's all types of stabilizers that are necessary for your embroidery projects to look good when they come out. And so I have what I purchased was an over the door shoe. Holder shoe sorter.
[00:07:20] LIsa Woolfrok: And so this is a, almost, it looks almost like a tower that has horizontal vinyl slots on clear, you know, almost like, um, these clear slots, there is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, there's like nine of them. And what I did was I marked, I, I went on my, I, I use a silhouette cameo, which is a cutting machine. Um, and I. I categorized each type of stabilizer that I had, and I put it on the pocket of the, over the door holder.
[00:07:54] LIsa Woolfrok: So I'm looking at 'em now and I can say, okay, my top one, I have, um, sheer and [00:08:00] cutaway stabilizer. I have wash away and solve stabilizer. I have heat, which is an iron off stabilizer. I have a sticky, I have tear away. Um, like all of these different types of stabilizers, I have placed into this, the horizontal slots of this over the door, shoe hanger.
[00:08:15] LIsa Woolfrok: And so I can see at a glance how much I have of something. Um, I have a place to put it when I buy replacements, which I do not need because I have. So much of it already that I've accumulated over the years, but it is nice to keep it organized. And I know y'all know, um, those who've been with me for a while through the podcast that I am a total geek about organization.
[00:08:39] LIsa Woolfrok: I love things being organized, bags, bins, boxes, envelopes, you know, everything, you know, metal hangers on the wall. All of it. I am big on organizations, so it's, I find it very comforting to look over and see, um, that I can find all my stabilizers in one place and know exactly where everything needs to go.
[00:08:59] LIsa Woolfrok: And that's [00:09:00] because of stickers. Another thing that came about from the, um, using the adhesive vinyl is the, my selling accessory case. Now I bought, um, the third, it was either the third to the top of the line, baby lock, second or third. Maybe, I don't know it was expensive. It was an expensive machine, in my opinion.
[00:09:20] LIsa Woolfrok: Um, it was not the top of the line machine because the top of the line machine was 15,000. And so I went down, down, down to where I some where something that I could like, you know, buy the sewing machine. And St send my kids to college. Right. I did not have to choose. And so years, this was a few years ago, I bought this machine and I really like it.
[00:09:39] LIsa Woolfrok: It's a baby lock unity. And, but it did not come with an accessory case. The top of the line one came with the case, but I'm like, I'm not about to spend like an extra whole $9,000 to get a machine that comes with a case when I can make a case. So I went to. Some department store and I bought [00:10:00] a Sterilite, um, suitcase type case that had a bunch of little slots in it.
[00:10:06] LIsa Woolfrok: And I think I'm gonna try to include a picture of this, um, either in the show notes or, um, I can talk about it during the Instagram live on Thursday, if anyone is interested in this case. But one thing I love about it is that that's where I keep all my sewing machine feet. So I use the stickers to make a, I made a table in Microsoft.
[00:10:27] LIsa Woolfrok: And I went through all the, so all the presser feet that I had, and I took, I went online and found photographs of each presser foot and the name of the foot. I put that on a small sticker and then put it on the inside of the case. So now when I opened the case, I know where all the song, machine feet go, where they return, where their home.
[00:10:50] LIsa Woolfrok: And I also have a photograph of them, so I know like what it's supposed to look like. So if I can't tell, for example, the difference between my open toe free motion [00:11:00] foot and the darning foot, I don't have to worry about it because I have had, I have a photo. Right in the slot. I know exactly where it's supposed to go.
[00:11:09] LIsa Woolfrok: And so that's another great way that, um, the stickers have helped also because of the way that the silhouette cameo is so great. Um, is that the software is really good. And so I'm able to take a photograph of any image and then bring it into the cameo software. And trace it. And that now I'm able to have a, a sewing machine case that matches quote unquote matches my sewing machine, even though it was not an official one provided by the company.
[00:11:38] LIsa Woolfrok: So it's like, I was able to. Make a case for my machine where I could transport all of the feet and stuff like that. And to, um, add my name and address and, you know, and that was just, that's just a lot of fun. And it's something I'm able to keep track of this, all my stuff, which is very helpful. The last thing, which might seem a [00:12:00] little odd, but I tend to like reuse.
[00:12:03] LIsa Woolfrok: Things like for, so for example, like I tend to use sew with a lot of, and I tend to like a lot of mist when I sew. I think steam, I think steam and pressing is really important for sewing. And so I like to use the, um, the, um, Helene's best press. I know a lot of quilters like that because it's not a starch, but I find that sometimes the bottle that it comes in that big, not, not the gallon size bottle, but the smaller one, that bottle.
[00:12:32] LIsa Woolfrok: It doesn't spray as fine a mist as I would like. So I had some hair conditioner. It might have been some type of like maybe cream of nature, hair conditioner, or, um, some type of spray. Conditioner from my hair. And I'm guessing cream of nature because it has the orange cap, which is like a very popular color for the cream of nature line.
[00:12:56] LIsa Woolfrok: Anyway, I used all of the hair conditioner or whatever was in [00:13:00] there. So then I rinse it out and I noticed that when I sprayed it, it sprayed this gorgeous, fine cloud. Of mist. It was wonderful. And I was like, oh man, that would be so great if I could get that to work for my other, um, for my best press. And so that's what I did.
[00:13:19] LIsa Woolfrok: I, I, I got rid of all the conditioner. I used it all and I washed the bottle out. And then I made a sticker using the adhesive vital in B cameo machine that says Lisa's Eileen's best press, or maybe it says Eileen's best press. And I just put it on this particular bottle. And now I have, now I have a smaller bottle that I can take places.
[00:13:41] LIsa Woolfrok: And I know it's mine because although everybody had to quilt retreat, for example, has. Has a bottle of best press. Not everybody has, um, a super skinny bottle like mine with Eileen's best press written on it. So that's pretty. Before we head [00:14:00] into the break. I wanted to mention one more thing that also came from the episode about those materials, where you can source materials beyond the fabric store.
[00:14:09] LIsa Woolfrok: And this was a grocery store item, but because it's adhesive and it's like a sticker, just a heat activated sticker. I wanted to, once again, mention the beauty that is freezer. Paper. I was talking with someone on Instagram who was making their first bra, and I was explaining how I like to use freezer paper for my bra pieces, because I can iron them onto whatever fabric I'm cutting.
[00:14:37] LIsa Woolfrok: If I'm cutting mesh, if I'm cutting lace, if I'm cutting, um, the duo Plex, whatever the material is, I can iron the printed pattern piece onto that fabric. And cut it out and not have to worry about it. Shifting, not have to worry about pins. Don't have to weigh it down, which becomes really important for a bra because the pieces are so small and [00:15:00] it's just a nice way to just kind of be able to dive right into the cutting.
[00:15:04] LIsa Woolfrok: And so the. I wanted to share, um, the, the brand of freezer paper that I use, I will include a link to it in the show notes. Um, I get it from Amazon, but if you don't mess with Amazon like that, you can find that same brand at other places, independent quilt shops, et cetera. It's called C Jenkins freezer.
[00:15:24] LIsa Woolfrok: Paper sheets. And it's meant to be run through your inkjet printer. Don't run it through the laser printer because the laser printer is too hot and it'll probably heat activate. And then you'll have a mess in your printer. But if you run this freezer paper through your inkjet printer and it comes in a.
[00:15:41] LIsa Woolfrok: Eight and a half by 11 sheets, it comes in 12 by 15 sheets. Um, it comes, you can get a pack of 50, 40, a hundred, 200. Um, I tend to buy the pack of 50, which is plenty for, um, bra making because you can reuse it. So you take the freezer paper, you run it through your inkjet [00:16:00] printer because you know, particularly which is useful because if you're using PDF patterns, which is what I'm using for my bras and for under pan and for panties, um, it's just nice to have.
[00:16:10] LIsa Woolfrok: Really easy to access. And then when you put the pattern away, you can put the pattern pieces back in your binder or envelope or whatever you're using to store your patterns, which might be a different conversation for another day. But my point is that there is a heat activated sticker and it is called freezer.
[00:16:28] LIsa Woolfrok: Paper and you don't have to get these sheets that are precut for your printer. It's just a bit easier to do because when you buy the freezer paper in the roll, it's curled up and it can be a bit difficult to feed that paper curled up through your printer, but you could always flatten it. You could put it under heavy books, you could roll it in the opposite direction.
[00:16:48] LIsa Woolfrok: There's ways around it. I never enjoyed any of those ways. I thought they were pain in the butt, so I just bought the paper sheets already cut out. So, um, don't forget about freezer paper. When you're thinking about how you might [00:17:00] want to sew with stickers. Um, when we come back, we will talk more in more detail about how.
[00:17:07] LIsa Woolfrok: Stickers are very useful for apparel sewing. So stay tuned and we'll be right back.
[00:17:28] The stitch
[00:17:28] LIsa Woolfrok: please podcast is really growing. We've recently hit 40,000 downloads. That is a big number for a small podcast. That's independently run and operated that does not have corporate sponsors. That is a labor of love. To center, black women, girls and fems in sewing. If you are enjoying the podcast, if you are listening to the podcast, hopefully if you are listening, you are also enjoying.
[00:17:52] LIsa Woolfrok: I want to thank you for being here. Thank you for listening. Thank you for paying attention. Thank you for sharing the podcast with other folks who enjoy [00:18:00] sewing and making and listening to black women. So, thank you very much for doing that. And I'd also like to ask a favor. If you are listening to the podcast on a medium that allows you to rate and review the podcast, you listen to please drop us a rating.
[00:18:15] LIsa Woolfrok: Um, things like a five star rating, or as well as just a few sentences in the review box are very important for the way that. Apple, for example, recognizes podcasts. There's a certain algorithm that the more engagement you have, the better you can do. I don't know all the science, I'm not a computer science person.
[00:18:35] LIsa Woolfrok: I got my PhD in English, so I don't know exactly how all of it works. But the part that I do understand is that ratings are good and. Are good. And if you are able to drop us a rating and review for this podcast, we will be very, very grateful. And thank you again for listening, and we will see you at 50,000 downloads.[00:19:00]
[00:19:05] Welcome
[00:19:06] LIsa Woolfrok: back to the stitch please. Podcast. We're talking today. Uh, Sewing with stickers. In the previous section of the episode, we talked about how you can use them to mark your tools. You can use adhesive vinyl. If you have a silhouette cameo or a cricket or some type of vinyl cutter that allows you to program, um, words, phrases, images into it.
[00:19:28] LIsa Woolfrok: And we talked also a bit about freezer. Now we're gonna dive into a deep dive about how, when you're doing your actual garment, sewing and construction, how, um, sewing with stickers can be very helpful. I'm joined today, um, in a wonderful voice memo, but from Nikki G, who is, um, The creator of sewing my style, um, Atlanta sewing style.
[00:19:53] LIsa Woolfrok: She's also got a North Carolina sewing style group, and soon to be a DC [00:20:00] sewing, a DC sewing style. So Nikki is fantastic. And I asked her her thoughts on using stickers in sewing. And this is what she had to
[00:20:08] say.
[00:20:12] LIsa Woolfrok: Yes, Lisa, I do enjoy using stickers. It's one of my favorite marking tools besides all the pencils and pins that I have. Um, I particularly use it for pattern markings that I don't want to go away during construction or handling other fabric. I use them for, uh, marking the circles, large and small circle.
[00:20:32] LIsa Woolfrok: That are that exist with, uh, gathers and cleats? Uh, pocket placement is the number one area where I use stickers a zipper stop anywhere where I have to, I have need for that particular mark to stay in place because there's a lot of pressing and heat going into, uh, the garment constructions and the stickers stay put, I don't forget.
[00:20:57] LIsa Woolfrok: And they're there and give me accuracy also.[00:21:00]
[00:21:03] LIsa Woolfrok: I'm glad Nikki was able to send me that voice memo to talk about her experience of sewing with stickers. Um, I really think it's really wonderful to be able to pull all these really good ideas together and hope that they will land in ways that are useful for all of us and folks who are listening. And I know I'm listening and learning as well.
[00:21:21] LIsa Woolfrok: I wanted to go into my ridiculously elaborate. Approach to you sewing with stickers. But before I do that, I'm going to share one more thing about the mat. I'm gonna start with talking about the materials that I use. This is a three. Step process. Well, it's actually more than three steps, but this is a three.
[00:21:44] LIsa Woolfrok: It requires three materials. All of which you can get from the office supply store. The first is blue painter's tape. I'm using the. 3m brand, um, scotch blue painters tape for multi [00:22:00] surfaces. Number 2090. I mention this because this is what's worked for me. Um, I've not had any problem with residue from adhesive on fabric.
[00:22:11] LIsa Woolfrok: I've been able to put the, the, the stickers that I'm gonna describe onto the fabric without any type of, of, of issue or negative issue. And. This is where I say, this is the disclaimer. Be sure to test anything that you are using on your fabric, where it's a chalk, whether it's chalk, markers, pens, pencils, stickers, anything you wanna always test it before you.
[00:22:38] LIsa Woolfrok: Commit to putting it all over your garment. So just be sure to test this has worked for me in all the things that I sew, but you and I, and I do recommend it. I recommend it with the caveat that you test it for everything that you wanna sew to see if it'll work for you, because don't be in my DMS like oh, black women.
[00:22:58] LIsa Woolfrok: Stitch told me to put this tape on [00:23:00] my stuff, and now my stuff's messed up. Black women's stitch told you to test it. Before you put it on there. So test, test, test, and, um, then we'll, we'll dive right in. So, but this, the 3m tape that I'm using is the one inch. Um, the, it also requires the address labels that I mentioned earlier, which are one half inch by.
[00:23:22] LIsa Woolfrok: I'm sorry, they're one half. Yeah, they're one half inch by one in three quarters. So it's like a long curved rectangle. And then, um, the other thing that I use is a, is also a scotch tape from 3m and it's the type that's labeled transparent. I do sometimes use because I really like this tape. I like the satin.
[00:23:43] LIsa Woolfrok: Um, gift wrap tape the satin finished gift wrap tape, but sometimes, but I, but I believe I get the best results with the transparent tape. And I think I got to set the dollar tree. So, um, these are the three things that I use the return address labels. Transparent [00:24:00] scotch tape and 3m blue painters tape for multi surfaces.
[00:24:05] LIsa Woolfrok: Um, and you know that there's a lot of science that goes into all of these. They test them to see, for example, when you put, when you put tape on the wall, and for some reason you decide to leave it up there for a. I don't know, seven weeks or something, they can say, okay, well you can take this down and it won't harm your surfaces.
[00:24:23] LIsa Woolfrok: Um, if you leave it up there for longer than you're supposed to, so all of this testing goes into it. And so that's the reason that I'm giving you the brand names, not to boost them up because I'm not affiliated with any of these companies. But just to say that this is what I know has worked for me. Um, and so.
[00:24:41] LIsa Woolfrok: Before I get into the, the, the details about how I use all these materials. I wanted to say something that I was really happy to have learned is that if, for example, you buy two rolls of the blue painters tape. One of the things that you can do with this blue painters tape is if you buy two rolls, [00:25:00] one, you wanna use 'em to do your stickers for your, um, to organize your sewing pattern pieces, which is the process I'm gonna describe to you next.
[00:25:08] LIsa Woolfrok: But if you wanna have a second one, you can use them as a seam gauge. Now I don't mean just taking a piece of tape and laying it down on the bed of your, of your sewing machine. Um, and then just having that piece of tape be the gauge. No, I mean, you can take a roll of this. Tape. So say you have a role and at its fullest, it could be, I'm not sure.
[00:25:33] LIsa Woolfrok: Like if you, if you measure from the core of the, you know, the paper core of the tape and you measure outward to the blue ring, say it's about maybe a half inch thick, right? You can't, this is something you could do when you get to the end or you could, you could designate a role. A tape roll just for this.
[00:25:51] LIsa Woolfrok: You can take an Exacto knife and very carefully dig deep down and make a very deep score through, I don't [00:26:00] know, maybe 10 layers of the tape. You make a deep, deep score line. and then you go, maybe like you proceed maybe three inches or two inches in the other direction, maybe two, and do another deep, deep, deep score mark where you're cutting through 10 layers of tape.
[00:26:17] LIsa Woolfrok: When you peel off that 10 layer. Two inch strip. What you have is an adhesive sea guide. And the reason I like to talk about using 10 layers of tape, for example, or even 15 layers of tape is because as you use it and you stick it on the bed of your, it ha it creates a Ridge. An actual Ridge that will help you to make sure you're sewing with the proper sea allowance.
[00:26:50] LIsa Woolfrok: Now, of course, we all know that the bed of the machine has grooves and marks in it that tell you what the sea allowance is. Um, [00:27:00] sometimes I have to remember to put my needle all the way to the left, um, which is where, which is, which is the distance from. Which is the distance from which the same allowance on my machine is, um, measured.
[00:27:12] LIsa Woolfrok: It's measured from that five ACE inch mark. Um, it's not five ACE from the center of the needle. The center of the foot is always five ACE from the left, but one of the reasons I like to use this tape is for example, if I'm using my walking foot, which is huge, um, the baby lock digital walking foot is. A BBB eight.
[00:27:32] LIsa Woolfrok: I mean, it's a real, it is so heavy and thick and you have to like plug it in. It goes to the back of the machine. Um, so it can connect to the laser. I mean, like, it really is kind of like BBB eight. It's like, it's not like the walking foot I used to have on my other machines, the kind of the standard one that goes more like an at, at Walker, you know, an at T Walker.
[00:27:53] LIsa Woolfrok: But this is more like a BBB eight. I I'm now realizing that I'm really doing a deep dive into the star Trek, the star [00:28:00] wars references, star wars, star Trek. Goodness. The star wars. I know that star wars is BBB eight and I know that the ad ad walkers or ADHD walkers are from also from star wars. But anyway, My point is sometimes when you're sewing, you don't, you wanna kind of, you wanna be able to shift what, you know, keep your eye on where the seam is going to be.
[00:28:19] LIsa Woolfrok: So most of us have a really good understanding of where the five a inch mark is since we've stone, if we've S sewn with these kind of standard patterns, most of our sewing lives. But sometimes you need to have a hymn that's one and a quarter, or you have that foot on and you can't see where the five ACE mark mark is.
[00:28:36] LIsa Woolfrok: And so I will make, I will have a roll of tape that is just for that purpose. A roll of blue pans tape that I, then that I then do a really deep, deep, deep score mark, where I'm going through 10 to 15 layers of tape. And what's great about that is after it stops being sticky for a while, all you have to do is pick, peel off [00:29:00] that bottom, most layer of tape, and you've got a fresh layer of tape and adhesive.
[00:29:05] LIsa Woolfrok: That you could then put on the bed of the sewing machine or the surgery. And I also used it for my, my cover stitch machine. I've used it for the cover stitch. And so it really does keep things, um, helps you to, just to, to helps keep the line straight. I think that for me, when I'm sewing. And I have the, the, a piece of just a regular flat one layer of tape as a visual guide, I can sometimes run past that, but when I have a thick, like a Ridge of the 10 to 15 layers of tape, that's it creates almost like a channel that, that keeps my, um, keeps the fabric, you know, um, from running over beyond.
[00:29:46] LIsa Woolfrok: Where the tape is marked. And so that's something I really appreciate about, um, this, this, this blue painters tape, um, that that's another, another, another option for you. So let's just dive into organizing these [00:30:00] pattern pieces for sewing.
[00:30:16] LIsa Woolfrok: So to clarify, you will need four things. If you wanna do the song with stickers, not just the three that I mentioned, so, oops, my bad. So the first thing you'll need is the return address labels. Again. I mentioned that, um, they come 80 on a sheet they're one half inch tall and one and three quarter inch, uh, long.
[00:30:37] LIsa Woolfrok: This is. Standard. Um, I'm saying it's very standard because, um, I, you need to use them with, well, I use them with a Microsoft word, um, program that comes with templates for, um, for stickers. And this is already populated into Microsoft word, this template. Um, I think that the one that. I have here is, um, the same size [00:31:00] as Avery 81 67.
[00:31:02] LIsa Woolfrok: And I bought this pack from, um, office Depot it's, which, which had 2000 labels in it. And I think I've had this for, I don't know. 12 years. We have our office Depot closed a long time ago, and I still have these office Depot brand, um, return address labels. So if you get some, they will last you a really long time.
[00:31:26] LIsa Woolfrok: The second thing you'll need is the, um, the 3m tape, the 3m, um, blue painters tape that I was mentioning. And the third thing is the scotch transparent tape. The fourth thing is. You will need something to stick these page, stick these stickers onto when you're not using them. And so what I use is a page protector.
[00:31:49] LIsa Woolfrok: You know how they have page protectors, sheets, protectors, you put them in your binders. You put the sheet of paper down in the binder. This is just a clear plastic film. That, [00:32:00] um, it's, it's, it's two layers cuz it's basically a pocket. And so I take that. I, um, I deconstruct it by tearing off the, the three hole punch side and then I cut it into quarters, which gives me eight.
[00:32:13] LIsa Woolfrok: rectangles. And the great thing about these eight rectangles is that they fit very well into big four pattern envelopes, which I have a zillion of. And so one of the things that I love about this method is that if I find a pattern that I really like, and I wanna make it more than once. And it has a lot of pieces in it.
[00:32:32] LIsa Woolfrok: It's like I've given myself a gift when I go to sew it because I get the pattern out of the pattern drawer. I open the pattern up and I'm like, oh look, all my stickers are already in here. So I I'll be able to do the things that I enjoy doing with this pattern and not have to wonder, um, You know about like the, not just the order of pieces, but how many I'm cutting anyway.
[00:32:55] LIsa Woolfrok: So it's just, it's just a great method. So let's start, it let's get started. So essentially what you're doing [00:33:00] is creating a map for your pattern, for your pattern. Cutting. Using these stickers as a guide. So you're creating a map for your cutting using these stickers as a guide. Maybe this sounds confusing in my head.
[00:33:15] LIsa Woolfrok: It's sounding very clear, but I think it's sounding clear because I do it all the time and the challenges to be able to kind of effectively explain this. And so. You know, like when you're, when you, when you go to your guide sheet, you will see a list of, of pattern pieces. Um, I, I remember once I, I made my son who is now 16, he was three years old at the time I made him this wonderful.
[00:33:41] LIsa Woolfrok: Shirt from otre designs. And Oubre designs was a new magazine to me, which it's German. Um, and the patterns come kind of like beta, where all of the pattern pieces are all crisscrossed and layered onto one sheet. And you have to follow the [00:34:00] colors as well as the region on the pattern map, so that you're tracing the right color.
[00:34:06] LIsa Woolfrok: Anyway, I made this baby this gorgeous little shirt that. Ettes and button covered, pocket buttons. And the upshot was the shirt for the three year old, had 22 pieces, 22. Pieces. I still remember that that was a long time ago, but you can still see, I feel some kinda way about it because that was a lot of work for a three year old shirt.
[00:34:35] LIsa Woolfrok: Now, of course, who do I have to blame myself? Who do I give credit for making an amazing ass shirt also myself, but it was a lot of pattern pieces to keep track of and. For me. I like to know cutting is not my favorite part. So I like to know how much I have left to cut. And when this part is all gonna be over.
[00:34:59] LIsa Woolfrok: And so [00:35:00] for me having the list of pattern pieces already printed onto stickers. Is really helpful for that. So the way that I do it is I go to the guide sheet and I look up all the pattern pieces and sometimes I'll include the numbers. So, you know, it's pretty standard piece. One is the front bot is piece two is the back bot is piece, you know, piece three is the sleeve piece four, you know, and just kind of so on and so on.
[00:35:27] LIsa Woolfrok: But sometimes when patterns are very complicated, like this dress that I just, that I just finished. Well, it's zoom ready? It looks great. It it's great. It's still a great dress. I just have not put the hymn on yet. And he has a hen facing, this was a six piece hen facing and I wouldn't be able to tell just by looking at it, is this the left?
[00:35:49] LIsa Woolfrok: Is this the lower left side or the lower right side, especially when both sides of your fabric look very much the same. And so the stickers were incredibly important for that. So I, [00:36:00] I sit down at the computer with my pattern piece, with my pattern guide sheets and because the pattern I'm sorry, because the.
[00:36:09] LIsa Woolfrok: Return address labels have 80 per sheet. I try to do as many as I can. So typically if I'm going to like a pattern sale, or if I'm on a kick, you know, and it's like, oh, I wanna make a bunch of blouses or I wanna make a bunch of men's shirts or whatever. Let me just sit down and pull these patterns. And if I haven't made stickers for them yet, let me go ahead and do that.
[00:36:29] LIsa Woolfrok: I will take a whole stack. Of guide sheets and just go through them. And that does take some time. So when I sit down, I go to my Microsoft word program. I open up the template for Avery 8, 1 67, which is 80. return address labels. I then go through and list all the pattern pieces for a particular garment.
[00:36:53] LIsa Woolfrok: When I get ready to go to the next set of pattern pieces, I'll change the colors so [00:37:00] that I can tell what garment goes with. What? So if I have like five. If I have five patterns and they're, you know, they, they range from, um, easy to moderate or maybe moderate to advanced. I could, if I have five of them, I could pretty easily get close to filling up the 80.
[00:37:22] LIsa Woolfrok: Pattern pieces. Right? So if there's five of them, y'all know me in math are challenge, but if there's five of them and there's 20 pieces per five times, that could be a hundred, you know? So obviously don't do that much because sometimes it's, it is kind of tedious. I have to admit, I love this method. I consider this method giving a gift to myself, but I also have to kind of be in the mood for it.
[00:37:43] LIsa Woolfrok: Because it can be a pain. You can also just print partial sheets of these by, um, by leaving, um, space in between the, um, leaving space in between the address label. So [00:38:00] say for example, you only wanna do two, um, do one, skip a row of stickers, then do another one. And then print it off and then peel the stickers off as I'm gonna explain and leave the, the whole sheet intact.
[00:38:14] LIsa Woolfrok: So you can run it through the printer again. So you don't have to sit down and do this whole slog. I mean, I've done that and it is very unpleasant to sit down if you're not in the mood for it, but if you are, and for me, I like looking at all the pattern pieces and how they're gonna fit together. And I also do them for, even for the views that I'm not interested in sewing.
[00:38:34] LIsa Woolfrok: Um, but I might be, so I sit down, put all of the fabric. No, sorry. I sit down and put all of the pattern, piece information into the Microsoft word grid. Um, which is prepopulated because it's a template, right? So you go to your Microsoft word program, you open up, mailings, you open up. Um, I think, I think it's like templates or return address [00:39:00] envelopes or something, and you can select the.
[00:39:03] LIsa Woolfrok: Template to find all of your return address label templates. And there's, it's a whole ton of templates built into Microsoft word, um, which is what I use for those who use other programs. I'm not sure. And, and again, I'm not actually sure how popular Microsoft word is these days, since a lot of kids and a lot of other folks, adults.
[00:39:21] LIsa Woolfrok: To use Google, um, what's that called Google docs, but I do like word because I like the templates. And so if you do use word, you can use the templates as well. As I think on the Avery site, they have templates that you can, you can design right there on their website. I find it cumbersome. So, which is why I prefer to do it in word.
[00:39:41] LIsa Woolfrok: And it's also, I'm more used to it. So anyway, you sit down. You put in all of the pieces for your garment, you type all of them in and populate the table. Or the template, then you print it off. So after you've printed it off, you now have your [00:40:00] printed sheet of 80 or so, or 20 or however many pieces you've decided to print that are ready then to be used.
[00:40:08] LIsa Woolfrok: The next step is to take those labels and to place them at a distance from each other horizontally along the long edge of your. Blue painter's tape. So you take your painter's tape, you hold it in one hand, you peel off a label and you smooth it onto the blue painter tape. And then you leave a space. I leave maybe like a half inch space between every label.
[00:40:38] LIsa Woolfrok: Um, that might give me a chance to basically surround. The tape in, maybe, I don't know, five or six labels. The next step, the third step is basically the lamination step. And that's why I like to use the scotch transparent tape. Um, and the three M tape is three quarters of an inch. [00:41:00] Wide, which means it covers the half inch tape by a good margin.
[00:41:06] LIsa Woolfrok: And this is important because you don't want to go through all this trouble and then just have them peel off. And so that's why I like to use the materials that I'm describing to you. I like using the, the one inch blue tape. And the three quarter inch, which is a standard scotch tape roll. Um, and the return address labels because everything fits.
[00:41:29] LIsa Woolfrok: So the labels themselves are a half inch. The tape that it's laminating, the labels is three quarters inch. And the base on which both of these things are gonna be stuck is one inch. And so those increments work really well and it makes for a tidy. Set of labels and so, or of stickers. And so once you then.
[00:41:53] LIsa Woolfrok: Do the, the three steps, which is to print you're at return address labels, put your return address [00:42:00] labels on your blue painter's tape. Then cover those with the transparent tape. You can peel off that layer. Then use your paper scissors, um, to cut them into increments. This will give you reusable, laminated stickers that you can use for your sewing patterns.
[00:42:18] LIsa Woolfrok: And I then put those labels that I've cut up and put them right onto that, that, um, that transparent. Um, sheet that I was telling you about the, um, the, the, where, where I cut the page protectors into quarters. I put that on there. And so I put the pieces on there. So say for example, I'm doing a garment and it has, I just recently did one.
[00:42:42] LIsa Woolfrok: I think it had, I don't know, 18 pieces and as I was cutting. I could see the numbers start to go down. And soon I would start, I started with 18 and I was like, oh my gosh, what was I thinking? Why do I wanna make this? I don't even wanna make it anymore. But I was like, Ugh, well, I got my meme sheets. [00:43:00] Um, I already have my idea.
[00:43:01] LIsa Woolfrok: I'm pretty excited. And the meme one that garment was not that complicated. Um, but the next one is going to be, and so. I'm just basically cutting away at the 18 pieces required for this, um, this dress, because it's a color block dress, and no two pieces are the same. And. As I'm cutting. I realize that I have fewer and fewer stickers on the page protector sheet.
[00:43:27] LIsa Woolfrok: And so I'm like, wow, I'm really getting there. And so it just, it's a nice way to measure your progress as you're going. Then when you put the stickers onto your fabric, as you're sewing, this was the most helpful when I was working on the hem for this dress, the one that I'm trying to fix, well, not fix, cause it's not broken, but finish.
[00:43:48] LIsa Woolfrok: It was really helpful to not just have the name of the pattern, but the number of the pattern piece. Um, and I say that because the dress that I was sewing had two views [00:44:00] and each view had different numbers for the pieces. And so if I had just put down the name and not the number, when it came to doing the actual work of putting it together, um, it really would've taken me a minute to remember what part went, where.
[00:44:18] LIsa Woolfrok: Um, and so I found myself again, being grateful for taking the time to put the full pattern number alongside the name of the pattern piece. Again, it's very easy to tell a front Bodis piece from a back bodice piece. I mean, you can pretty much tell that because the shape of the neck is different. Um, you know, we can always tell our backs and stuff from the fronts.
[00:44:42] LIsa Woolfrok: If we use the single notch versus double notch or triple notch and all that. But I just find this so much. It just makes the sewing that much easier. And it just gives me a sense of understanding in some ways, understanding how the piece of the [00:45:00] garments, the pieces of the garment go together, as well as understanding how much progress I have made.
[00:45:04] LIsa Woolfrok: And so as I'm doing the sewing, I peel off the sticker and put it back onto. Transparent sheet. And so when I'm all done with the sewing, I've put that transparent sheet with the, all the different pattern pieces labeled and adhesives, cuz there's stickers ready to go the next time. And if I like the dress, I wanna make it again.
[00:45:27] LIsa Woolfrok: I can pull out the stickers and make another copy, um, and make another version. And I do that for. Almost all of my sewing patterns, especially if it's something I'm gonna sew more than once. And so I really enjoy that particular method of keeping track of pattern pieces. And so that is how I sew with stickers.
[00:45:47] LIsa Woolfrok: Um, and, and thanks for listening today, we talked about, um, using, using. Stickers to mark your sewing tools. We talked about adhesive vinyl. We talked about, um, parchment paper. We talked a bit [00:46:00] with, um, Nicky from, um, sewing my style in Atlanta sewing style. And, um, then we talked about using it as a seam gauge.
[00:46:07] LIsa Woolfrok: So there's all kind of ways that you can sew with stickers, but always test, test. Test before you do anything. Um, so you can make sure that it's going to work for you. It's worked great for me. And I do really like it as a way to keep track of my pattern pieces as I am doing garment sewing. Um, so thanks again for listening and we will see you next week.
[00:46:31] LIsa Woolfrok: And we can also talk about this some more on the Instagram live, which is scheduled for Thursdays. You know, we do them on Thursdays at 3:00 PM Eastern standard time on the black women's stitch page. So come through if you have the time. Bye bye.
[00:46:47] LIsa Woolfrok: Thank you for joining us for this week's episode of the stitch, please podcast the official podcast of black women's stitch, the sewing group, where black lives matter. There are a variety of ways that you can support the [00:47:00] program and you're doing it right now by listening to the pro by listening to the podcast.
[00:47:05] LIsa Woolfrok: It does help us grow another way to do that is to rate the podcast, review it, subscribe to it. All of these things are ways that you can support the podcast without having to spend any money at all. If you would like to spend some money to support us, there are ways to do that as well. You can make direct donations to our Patreon site for monthly contributions, as well as one time contributions to PayPal cash app or Venn.
[00:47:33] LIsa Woolfrok: And finally we have another cute, very adorable way for you to support the black women's stitch project. It's a pin, a P I N enamel lapel pin. That's very cute. It's about two inches wide and one and a half inch tall. And it's of the black women's stitch logo. And that is $15 with free shipping to the. And so if you drop $15 in the, a [00:48:00] PayPal, Venmo or cash app account, and then send me your email.
[00:48:04] LIsa Woolfrok: No, not email. You send me your mailing address to my email, either at black women's or you send me a direct message on the black woman's ditch Instagram page, we will put the pin in the mail to. Um, again, free shipping, $15 for the pen and all of this goes to support the black women's stitch project.
[00:48:28] LIsa Woolfrok: Thank you again for joining us this week. Come back next week and we will help you get your stitch together.[00:49:00]

Hosted by Lisa Woolfork

Lisa is a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast who learned to sew while earning a PhD in African American literature and culture. She has been sewing for more than twenty years while also teaching, researching, and publishing in Black American literature and culture.

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