A circle has 360˚ – we all learned that in school, but we didn’t always learn how to use those 30 dozen degrees to create the angles that make up some of our favorite shapes. Our latest Sew4Home Cheat Card is the third installment in our Basics Shapes trio. It focuses on the most common angles used in sewing and how, with just a trusty protractor and some basic math, you can create your own custom paper piecing shapes, five and six pointed star appliqués, triangles, squares, pentagons, hexagons, octagons, and more.
Our recent Basic Shapes Cheat Card #1 brought you fun facts about the smooth curves of The Circle. Time to straighten up and fly right with the most common of the angular geometric shapes. Are these all of them? Not at all, but they are the ones you are likely to come across in your sewing projects and patterns. If you wanted to know more about obtuse angles, rhomboids, and parallelograms… you should have paid better attention in Mr. Crutchfield's math class. Oh he saw you passing notes, yes he did.
There are lots of straight lines in sewing, but we love the circle. In fact, in my humble opinion, the circle is the Queen of the geometric shapes. Don't get me wrong; I like all those squares, rectangles, triangles, octagons, and whatnot; but the circle is the coolest of the bunch: smooth and pretty and endlessly useful. Our latest sewing Cheat Card explains the parts of a circle and why you need Pi (not pie).
One of top rules of sewing success: Start each new project with a new needle! When a needle is piercing your fabric at 600 to 1,000 stitches per minute, small things like a dulled point or an eye that's beginning to wear can make a big difference in the quality of your stitches, which means a big difference in the quality of your finished project. Our latest sewing Cheat Card summarizes some of the important basics behind selecting the right needle for the job.
Don’t laugh. This next printable in our Cheat Card series is based on one of our most popular articles. Really! If you’ve been sewing forever, and work with fractions every day, it may seem crazy to you that someone wouldn’t know how to read a measuring tape. But if you step back for a moment, and look at that tape measure (or ruler for that matter) with the eyes of a new sewer, all those little unidentified marks might seem a bit intimidating. As one of our original commenters said, “Thank you so much for sharing this. I am definitely the kind of person who was too scared to ask a dumb question! You’ve made my life so much easier!”
I know I should be able to do math in my head; I also know I should eat more fruits and vegetables and actually use my gym membership. I could continue to pretend all these things are going to happen, or… I could find some little workarounds. Our Cheat Card is a handy reference table that converts common yardage amounts into inches and centimeters – no math-in-your-head required. It’s small enough to tuck into your wallet or tack up on the bulletin board in your sewing room.