Sew Straight

I am not sure what to title this.. Sew Straight or how to sew straight lines or what if I need a 3 inch hem? for now.. sew straight is it.

Most sewing machines (and sergers) have markers for sewing a 5/8″ seam allowance on the needle plate. Usually there are several lines with numbers etched into the needle plate.

What is a needle plate? it is the metal plate the needle goes down into.

Here is my Singer 401 needle plate with numbers and a grooved line representing 5/8″.
Needle Plate
You can see numbers 3,4,5,6 which represent the distance between the needle and the edge of the fabric.

When I need a 5/8 inch seam allowance which is called for in a pattern (5/8″ is the industry standard in sewing patterns unless otherwise stated). I lay the edge of the fabric on the 5/8″ line and sew.

But what happens when I need 1″ or 2-1/4″? often times a childs hem will be 3″ when sewing vintage patterns. I have marked my machine!
finished NP markers

You can see I have taken out to 4-1/4 inches.

This is how I mark my sewing machine Needle Plate and on to the bed of the machine. I mark to the edge of the bed of the machine.

I need to gather a tape measure, a seam gauge or ruler, scotch tape, a pencil or pen, an exacto knife or straight edge razor.

Place scotch tape – I prefer the magic tape (green label) because it can easily be removed – on the bed of the machine. Don’t worry about covering the slide plate or bobbin cover.

I have used an exacto knife and “CAREFULLY” sliced the tape where the needle plate slides, where the needle plate comes off, opening up the holes for oiling and screwing in the fabric guide.

Place the tape measure under your pressure foot and bring the needle down right on the 1″ line. I bypass the edge of the tape measure because it has a metal end. Do not go through the tape measure, just to the line, drop the pressure foot to secure the tape measure.
step 1

with a pencil… mark with a dot the edge of the presser foot. Make a note at the measurement. On my machine, the point where the needle goes down and the edge of my presser foot is 1/4″

If you have lines and numbers on your needle plate, note the distance from the needle to the etched line/number. Mark 1″, and how ever far you want to go. I use 1/4″ markers.

I use the seam guide to make straight lines making sure the lines don’t go off at an angle. Once I am done, I write the measurements on the tape. I now place another layer of scotch tape over the first layer. This will keep the pencil marks from rubbing off. Once again you need to trim all of the tape.
needing to be trimmed

second trim

so there you have it… how I mark my machine for sewing straight lines well beyond 3/4 of an inch.
the end


Singer Slant-O-Matic

Can a home sewing machine go through 8 layers of heavy denim? well, mine can! I have a Singer Slant-O-Matic 401A.

Using Jeans Stitch – thread used to sew denim… in both top and bobbin, my machine went through denim like it was running through silk.

Here is my little pictorial.

My husbands jeans - ripped pocket
as you can see my DH ripped his jeans, caught it on the corner of a table I am sure. They are going into the recycle box.

cut leg off of jeans

I have cut the leg off and cut off all of the seams. Turning the jeans fabric, right side, wrong side for all 8 layers… don’t want someone to accuse me of cheating!

8 layers

Using 6 stitches to an inch, adjusting the presser foot tension on top of the machine, replacing the universal needle with a denim needle… Ta Da!

holding up off the table

I have tried so many ways to pick this fabric up off the table to show all eight layers stitched together but the back 2 layers keep curling.

It dawned on me I didn’t show this on my machine so I went back and took some photos

Being sewn on machine

a view of machine

Finishing off

Mild Feta Cheese

Mild Feta

Sherry Hicklin, Oh

5 qt sweet goat milk, 2 days old
5 drops liquid rennet in little warm bottle
2Tablespoons non-iodized salt

Warm milk to 72-75 degrees, If uncertain of the quality of your milk, pasteurize first and cool to 72 to 75 degrees.
Place rennet in water and stir this into milk. Allow to set undisturbed.
In 1 hour, firm curd should have formed. Cut curd into 1/2 inch cubes.
Allow to rest 5 minutes. Pour curds into cheesecloth lined colander.
Draw corners together, forming a bag. Let hang undisturbed.
When dripping has stopped, place curds in cheese press. Weight it down slightly.
Press for 12 hours. Cut into cubes about 3 inches square.
Add 2 Tablespoons of non-iodized salt to 2 quarts of water. Bring to boil, then let cool. Put cubes of cheese into crock, glass jar or stainless steel or non-chipped enamel ware.
Cover with cooled salt solution. Brine cheese for 3 days, longer for saltier product. Then remove and rinse with cold water and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Freeze for long term storage.

Feta Cheese


Carol Kiser of the Volunteer Sate Goat Breeders Assoc, Tn, and Hazel Mc Teer, Mo

2 1/2 junket rennet tablets or 10 drops liquid rennet
1/2 gallon goat milk

Brine Solution:
2 c water
1 Tablespoon salt

Dissolve rennet in 1 Tablespoon warm water. In a 3 qt stainless steel or enamel pan, heat milk and rennet mix together over medium heat about 8 to 10 minutes, or until coagulates and whey separates,
stirring frequently. DO NOT LET TEMPERATURE GO OVER 212 degrees.

Pour curds into cheesecloth-lined colander. Drain well. When curds are cool enough to handle, form into 3 or 4 balls. If desired wrap each ball in cheesecloth square, twisting ends of cloth together to drain.
Cover cheese; set aside.

When completely cool, dissolve salt in cool water. Place cheese balls in earth ware crock or glass container and cover with brine solution.

Refrigerate overnight before serving. Change brine solution weekly. Keeps about 3 weeks, using raw milk, longer with pasteurized. Drain and slice to serve. Makes 3/4 pound of cheese.

The Glider Project 2

I cut apart a cardboard box, then cut it to fit the measurements of 42 inches long by 23 inches wide. I took the cardboard out and put it on the glider to see if it fit.

creating a pattern

I didn’t take a picture of me using the same piece of cardboard to measure the back because it is the same size.

Placing the cardboard on the glider, I used a “red” pencil (always use red for your initial pattern, blue for the finished pattern) to mark under the cardboard, following the line of the glider.
To be sure I have the corners correctly marked, I took my foil flex ruler and shaped it around the corner.

shaping the round corner with flex foil ruler

about the flex ruler
Flex Ruler

I will add more later today as I am going to make the pattern….

Flex Ruler

Flex Rulers can be used for many things, especially when it comes to sewing. Flex Rulers can show the shape of things.

If you need a flex ruler and don’t have one…use foil!

flex ruler basic shape

flex ruler more complex shape

pretty cool eh?

I am using the foil flex ruler on my Glider Project to make a pattern

The Glider Project 2

The Glider Project

My Mother stays with me during the Summer because my Desert Summer’s heat is cooler then her Desert Summer’s heat! Her’s gets to 125+!!!

My Mother has the sweetest poodle! Tia. Tia is like a dish rag, loves to be held, loves the warmth of the sun and sits in her swing at home. When they come for the Summer she doesn’t have a place to lay outside except in the dirt or on concrete. She is a girly girl and doesn’t like dirt.

A few months ago I was at my favorite thrift store and low and behold I find this…


An old Glider made of Aluminum and priced at $15.00!!!! so I bought it. It needs to be washed and I need to make cushions for it… in the next 3 weeks.

I have two different prints

Pink and Brown Print

Line Green and Brown Houndstooth

I’m not sure yet which one I am going to do… leaning toward the Pink/Brown but I love the Green and Brown. I may have to toss a coin.

It will make a nice place for my Mother and Tia to sit in the early morning watching the sun come up over the mountain while drinking her morning coffee.

I have 3 weeks! I am not sure if I am going to use foam or stuffing. Oh so many decisions, so little time!
The Glider Project 2