Leap Into Great Sewing!

Canva Black and Gold Fancy New Leap Year Card



Happy Leap Year!



Let’s LEAP into great sewing with a few of my favorite tips that come from MY most recent mistakes…


As a beginner sewist or quilter, you’ve probably picked a project, found your fabric, and matched your thread color and you’re ready to get started! But…did you know that your project actually can dictate which fabrics, needles, & thread you should use?

This is something no one told me about. Did they tell you? No? Well, let me share what I’ve learned thus far about fabrics and needles…what I’ve learned the hard way.

When I talk to my quilting friends about why they don’t sew – they tell me that they don’t understand all of the different fabrics.  Knits versus Woven versus Cotton versus anything else out there in the world of fabric.

I have to say when I first started (and sometimes still) joining fabric Facebook groups – I had no idea what the abbreviations meant.  For example:  DBP = double brushed poly.  What is that?  It was questions that I had like this that made me sit down and start looking it up.  If I was asking this question- surely  someone else was too?  I couldn’t be the only one who didn’t know, right?  I came across a few informational sources that I would like to share with you now.

First – your pattern – whether a sewing pattern or a quilting pattern will tell you which fabrics work best for the design.  But how much do you know about your fabrics?


Fabrics A-Z.


This book has descriptions of EACH fabric and everything else you need to know to sew it successfully: needle type, thread type, which sewing machine foot to use, and even proper stitch length! It’s really remarkable. This book covers more than 100 different fabrics.

It’s physical size is actually pretty small and I plan on carrying this book with me in my project bag so I will have all the information at my finger tips.  There is so much information in this book – I doubt I could remember it all of the time.  It’s simply amazing.

I found this book through looking up some information on the MellySews Blog. Years ago she made a blog post about this book. It was an affiliate link, but she’s never lead me to a bad product.  So I knew I could count as her review as a true one.  I tried to look for the link to post here for you – but I cannot find it on her blog again.  (I tried, right?)




I found some other great information on the MellySews Blog.  I’m going to include the direct links here:

Guide to Knit Fabrics

Fabric Types to Sew

Types of Stretch Stitching

Fabric Substitution Guide

Why re-invent the wheel when it still works?  In other words – if someone has already explained it best – let me send you to the source!  MellySews also has some videos on those links above and her explanations are great.  If you don’t follow her as a newbie sewist – I would recommend it.  She also has patterns she creates and some are free on her site and some she charges for.  Hey, she’s gotta support her sewing habit some way, right?


If you know of other sources with information on fabrics-

leave a direct link in the comments!




Do you know how many needles there are available to choose from? There are TONS of different needles out there. It was overwhelming for me at first.

Do you know how often you should change your needle?  You should change your needle after 8 hours of sewing or more frequently.

SCHMETZ needles are my personal favorite because they are easily available in my area and they have a phone app! Seriously.  I never thought to check the app store to see if my needle company had an app.

Ever wonder which needle is really the best for your project? I have. I have experimented with different needles and there is a difference.  Sometimes it’s hard to remember which needle to get because I like to experiment with different projects and materials.

I downloaded this app and now can see which needle is really the best for my project. Between sewing and quilting, I have quite a few needles in my stash. Just search your phone’s app store and search “SCHMETZ”.  Your favorite needle brand may also have their own phone application you can download.  Search for the name and you will see if they do.



Understanding a bit of information about your fabrics and needles can save you from so many headaches!

Taking a bit of time now and saving those resources can ensure that you will produce the best products, garments, & quilts in the future.


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About Sew Much Charm

I enjoy gardening, quilting, sewing, & cooking as a relatively new stay-at-home mom of two girls.

I make custom handmade quilts for clients and recently decided to learn how to sew garments for my little girls.  Watch my journey & learn from my mistakes.

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