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Thursday, 24 February 2011

Hints and tips on using the Sew Easy Tool

It's Thursday which means here is my creation using all those lovely goodies for Quixotic Inspirations.  Today I am going to give you my hints and tips for getting the most out of the Sew Easy Tool.  There are a few videos out there demonstrating the tool (see the CHA WRMK demo here) but I'm going to give you my experience of it and some practical tips on how to get the most out of it.  I have had my Sew Easy Tool now for a few months and I must say - I love it!  And why is that you ask?

1. I don't have to get my sewing machine out (which is broken anyway!)
2. It saves me a lot of time from piercing the holes plus I am not very good at piercing holes in a straight or even line!

3. Loads of variety - each piercing head (there are 7 and more to come!) has at least 3 different styles of stitching so this takes out the brain work of where to make your holes. Plus it has encouraged me to try new styles rather than do my usual straight lines of back stitching!

So this is the card I made for my Quixotic Paperie post today where I've used the tool... 


I have used Miss Anya from The Greeting Farm's I Heart Sweaters stamp set with the ever versatile Memory Box Pixie paper pack.  This reminds me of our Springs in the UK - fresh but it can still be little chilly! 

So first some basics for getting the most of your Sew Easy Tool...
  • Paper / cardstock.  The guidance states to use "paper or light card". The tool is made of plastic (hence it's great price!) so it will struggle to pierce through thicker cardstock.  However, with practice (and patience!) I have managed to easily use the the tool with Bazzill Basics cardstock by using a firm and steady technique which I describe below. 
  • Piercing mat. Not any mat will do!  You need to have a firm yet soft base like foam for the tool to pierce the holes through easily. If you don't, then the holes won't pierce through or, if the mat is too hard, the paper may also crumple up because it pushes the paper along rather than having the "give" for the tool to be pushed along. The Sew Easy Piercing Mat is obviously ideal but I have also tried it with a soft mouse mat and it worked well with this too.

Okay, so let's use it!  If you watch the CHA WRMK video you will that the lady does it pretty fast and with a flourish! Well I tried her style when I first got my tool and the paper just crumpled up and no holes were pierced!  I now have two techniques to overcome this.

1. Keep the edge of the head you are using parallel to the paper with your finger pressing directly down, as shown in the picture below. If it's not parallel, the pressure will not be even and the edge of the head will either crumple or cut the paper (or both!)

2. If you are using a thicker card, push the tool along steadily and firmly.  Even though I've used the tool several times now, it won't pierce the holes if I go too fast, but it will still make the indentations so you can at least use a pokey tool to pierce the holes.

3. When pushing the tool down, I find it best to push downwards from the elbow rather than just my finger - I find this doesn't put undue pressure on the paper/cardstock and minimises the paper/cardstock from crumpling/shifting.

4. Before you start to push the tool along, position the tool where you want to begin, then with your finger on top of the head where the finger guide is, push firmly down into the paper/cardstock so it makes its first pierce.  From then, steadily and firmly push the tool along, keeping it aligned. When the cardstock is thicker, I find that some holes aren't always made - I don't worry about this and keep on until I get to the end.  To finish off, I use my pokey tool to make any missing holes. 

Then lastly, but not least, I then do my stitching using my needle and floss.  I usually do this while watching something on the TV - I like to multi task!

Thanks for your patience and I hope you found this useful!  If you have any of your own techniques or useful tips, please share in the comments to this post!


Michelle said...

Love the card Mary J the stitching looks brilliant. Thanks for the excellent tutorial.

Michelle :-)

Pöydän kulmalla näpertelijä said...

I've just ordered mine so thanks for the great tutorial. I love the fresh spring look of your card and the stitching looks awesome.

Fabiola said...

merci pour cette chouette tuto, clair et simple!
elle est chou ta carte, toute mignonne, biz

Lisa Jane said...

Thank you for that fab tutorial.
I love the stitching .. and the little image is so cute. That background DP is wonderful
Lisa ;)

Vicky said...

Thanks Mary for the fab tutorial hun, I'm going to Farnborough tomorrow so I must look out for one of these! Gorgeous card as always and I love dp's too :o)

hugs Vicky xx

Pami said...

Tha is for this Mary, I still haven't got around to buying this yet and I have wanted it for ages! I habpve been waiting door your little tutorial! Card is fab as always. P x

Anonymous said...

Cute card. Thanks for your pointers on the Sew Easy. I bought a whole set for myself and for my sister for Xmas, but have yet to try it. Now that I've read your post, I will take it out and give it a try. Hope I like it. It seems so easy to do. Thanks again.

Anita said...

Adorable card Mary J and I love that ribbon. Your stitching looks fantastic. OK, I'm going to get my Sew Easy out this weekend and practice, practice, practice! This was a great tutorial.

Shelley said...

Very cute, cute card!! It is simply adorable!! :)

Wanted to give you an award! The Stylish Blogger Award!!

My instructions were to give it to 8 newly discovered bloggers so here ya go! Just look back at my blog for the instructions and simply copy and paste it to your site and pass it on!

Always enjoy seeing your creations!



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