Men Who Sew » A site for all the men who sew


    Welcome to my blog!

    This is where I share my sewing tips and techniques. I also share links to other sites I find interest in.... my overall interest in my sewing adventures as time moves forward.

    I hope you find it useful. Please! If you have any suggestions let me know.

Shower Curtain Installed

My wife picked up some fabric she loved during our Christmas shopping for me to make a shower curtain for the main bathroom in our home. I finally got around to making them. Here are some details on the project:

Finished Height: 85″
Finished Width: (opening 60″) Curtain: 158″
Number of Panels: 3
Pattern Horizontal Repeat Width: 24″
Header Size: Double 4″ Fold
Footer Size: Double 4″ Fold (normally I might do a 3 inch, but I wanted the added weight)

Upon first installing I simply steamed the folds. However, it looked a bit out of control, so I decided to press in the folds with my iron. I like the clean crisp look much better. I am thinking they will relax over time though.

When matching the pattern the trick is the find where your pattern lines up and pin it together at the matching point. Work your way all the way down the seam pinning every 8 to 12 inches. Then measure the 1/2 inch or so beyond your pin line on each side of the panel  for your seam allowance.  I then used a 5 thread safety stitch to sew the seams. I also use grey thread. I find it works the best on curtain panels. Here are some images showing the back and front seam:

I also decided to use plastic grommets instead of metal due to the moisture in a bathroom. To add a bit more stability to the header I inserted a single layer of muslin. I started with buckram, but it was just too stiff. The muslin added just the right amount of body to this fabric.

One other thing I want to mention. I always buy at least a yard more fabric than I need. I do this so I can perform some testing.

To test how much to 5 thread serged seam would shorten the fabric I cut out two 36×6″ pieces. I serged them together and noted how much the seam shortened. I then used this number to calculate how much more height I needed to add to my panels before I joined them. I then serged the 3 panels together and trimmed off the top and bottom ends to true up them up.  I do this because it makes it much easier to do the double folds when all edges are square and even.

The fabric wasn’t cheep, but my wife and I love the results. It looks so much better than the store bought pair we through up when we moved in. I ironed them twice and you could still see the folded seams.

In the end this was a half day project – about 5 hours total. Cutting the holes for the 28 grommets took the longest amount of time. I made the mistake of buying the Dritz grommets instead of ordering them from the supplier I bought my cutter and press from. I thought (wrongly)  the Dritz where a standard #10 size. Wrong! They were a bit larger, so I had to cut the holes with scissors. UGH!  I bought a cutter and press to avoid this time consuming process. This fabric is the hairy kind and when you cut it you get shreds of thread. It was a pain to work with, but the end results where worth it.

There is a standard shower curtain on the inside. Therefore, these will not be taking on water directly. I did coat them with Aqua Armor Waterproofing Spray Treatment For Synthetic Fabrics. It covered nicely without showing any side effects.

Let me know if I can answer any of your questions.


How to Clean and Oil the Singer Heavy Duty Sewing Machine(s)

I didn’t use the Q-Tip in cleaning my machine. This is because (for some strange reason) the bobbin area wasn’t very dirty.

If you find the bobbin holder area is very dirty with lint and dust you can use a very small amount of alcohol on a Q-Tip and wipe it out. Then turn the Q-Tip around and repeat this step with the dry side. After it is clean you can place a drop of oil and spread it around the case holder.

You’ll have to overlook my pronunciation of the word OIL. I know people around the USA and other parts of the world say it differently than those of us born and raised in southern part of the USA.  😉


Top Loading Bobbing Tension Issue and Solution


In this video I demonstrate a problem with some top loading bobbin machines. In this case I discovered my Singer 9985 would not properly load Tex 69 upholstery thread. I go on to show how to correct the issue. This technique can also be applied to most, if not all, top loading bobbin machines.