It's Thursday which means it's Mary J here with my creation using all those lovely goodies at Quixotic Paperie. 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. Lots 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! Here it is all stitched up before I put the card elements together...
Okay, that's it from me - 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!