The past few days have brought about some talk of samples out here in the sewing world. This is how I handle mine. I make samples for just about everything I put to the machine. Sometimes it is just pure play. Other times it is purely functional. On the left are some woolen samples I did. I made a jacket in the houndstooth and did the bound buttonholes with a purchased whipped piping. It was black with copper whipping. Loved that jacket and its still tucked in the back of the closet.
This is a great way to get to know your machine, stitch by stitch and foot by foot. At one point I had the samples in sheet protectors in a binder but that got too cumbersome. So now I just keep them in a plastic box. I refer to my box often, sometimes just for inspiration and other times for specific technique. Sometimes I forget I know how to do something!
When I make samples I do all sorts of trial runs with different stitch lengths, threads, needles, tensions, etc. When I firm up on the way I like the technique best I take a Pigma pen and write on the sample all of the above and any other pertinent info. I use abbreviations, N-needle, SL-stitch length, T-tension, etc. If I am trying a technique I have seen in a book or magazine, I abbreviate that too.
If I am trying a technique I saw in "Fine Machine Sewing" on page 47, I will take the pen and write "FMS-47" and now I know exactly where to look up the technique if I need further info. If the technique comes from a magazine, ie, Sew Beautiful, page 28, it will say "SB-28.
I have found this to be time really well spent. It can be mindless fun or a garment specific endeavor. Either way, I end up with lots of samples at the ready next time I need a little inspiration.
The finger is a little better. I didn't do any sewing today but did manage to clean the pink cave.
As we sip our lemonades and grill our burgers, lets remember those many who have given the ultimate sacrifice so we can embrace our freedoms. May we never forget how much they gave. I say that for all the generations of men and woman who have gone before as well as our soldiers who are now serving. May they come home soon to enjoy their own freedoms and families in this wonderful country of ours.