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HomeNotesHOMESCIENCE NOTESSEWING TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

SEWING TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

SEWING TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

Classification of sewing tools and equipment

  • sewing tools i.e scissors, thimble, tailors chalk, tape measure, measuring card, dress makers carbon, stiletto, seam ripper needles and tracing wheel,
  • pressing equipment, irons, ironing board and table etc,
  • haberdashery i.e threads, bindings, elastic zips, buttons, interfacings etc. – sewing machine – electric, treadle, hand.

Choice, use and care of sewing tools

Cutting out scissors/shears

  • used for cutting fabric only,
  • should be of rust free materials,
  • should be 15cm long,
  • one blade narrower and often heavier for it to slip under fabric and heavier to weigh down fabric,
  • ones with a smaller round hole for the thumb larger oval one for the three fingers,
  • should be sharp and firmly hinged,

NB:-

  • avoid using cutting out shears/scissors for cutting hair,
  • wipe after use and store away from moisture,
  • avoid dropping,
  • oil regularly on hinges,
  • store safely after use,
  • hold correctly,

SEWING TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

Pinking shears

Qualities refer to cutting out shears – but

  • they should have serrated blades for cutting and neatening/finishing edges to avoid fraying, – used for neatening edges of an open seam.

Paper scissors

  • should be a cheap one, should have a zig zagged edge;

NB:-

  • don’t expose to moisture to prevent rusting,
  • for neatening seams/cutting page patterns.

Embroidery scissors

  • should have sharp pointed blades,
  • easily adjustable screw,

NB:-

  • used for embroidery work and for cutting threads,
  • used for snipping,
  • cutting button holes

Bodgin 

  • eye must be large,
  • point should be blunt for it not to pierce through work,

Use:

  • for threading elastic card ribbons and tapes,

care:

  • store in a needlework box
  • don’t use for cutting hair/finger nails or paper.

Thimble

It is worn on middle finger to protect it from harm during sewing by hand. Can be metallic/hard plastic.

Choice;

  • should be a correct size to fit finger,
  • N/B: metal ones are more long lasting, – should stored in the needlework box, – wear on correct finger.

Tailors chalk are in a variety of colours, choose basing on colour of fabric, used marking patterns and transferring patterns,

N/B:

  • use lightly,
  • avoid dropping/exposing to pressure,
  • e handle carefully,
  • store in needlework box.

SEWING TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

Tape measure

  • used for taking measurement

Qualities 

  • should be plastic coated to avoid fraying and stretching,
  • should have metal ends,
    1. to keep flat when measuring,
    2. to prevent fraying
  • clearly marked (inches and cm) upto 60” and 150cm,
  • strong and hard weaving,

NB:- If not being used roll and store in needle work box.

Measuring card

It is stiff card made of hard plastic/card board.  Used for measuring seam allowances and hem depths/measuring widths.

NB:- 

  • a manilla paper can be used,
  • store in an envelope and put in an needlework box,
  • it should have clearly marked lengths,
  • notches should be at right angles to make marking of measurements easier, – should have several measurements.

Dress makers carbon

  • are in a variety of colours,
  • it should be colour that shows clear markings on fabric.

NB:- fold and store after use.

Stiletto 

Used for making eyelets on embroidery work,

  • should be sharp pointed,
  • should be of correct thickness to make desired sizes of holes,

NB:-

  • should be smooth not to spoil fabric,
  • avoid dropping it can be blunt

Metrestick 

  • should be clearly marked on both sides,
  • should be smooth, wood metal/plastic,

Use 

  • to measure long straightness, used as shirt length.
  • store against the wall

SEWING TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

Seam ripper/marker

  • used for removing unwanted stitches,
  • should have a shart point,
  • should have a cover for protecting sharp edge,
  • used for cutting buttonholes,
  • avoid dropping, use carefully not to cut work,
  • store in a needlework box.

Training wheel

NB:- use carbon colour closest to flat colour of fabric,

  • used with tailors carbon paper to transfer pattern markings to fabric,
  • should have firmly fixed handle and wheel,
  • wooden handle is more durable than plastic for transferring pattern marking with carbon.

Dress makers pins

  • should be sharp and fine in order not to leave marks on garments,
  • stainless steel,
  • assorted length,
  • should have big heads,

NB:-

  • keeps dry and free from rust,
  • should be stored in pin cushion/small box,
  • avoid scattering,
  • remove from work when cutting.

Needles 

  • keep in sewing kit,
  • needles for fine work, use correctly, fine crewels for embroidery,
  • knitted ones, keep dry and free from rust.

(i) Sharps 

  • are of medium size and length,
  • have round eyes,
  • used on most fabrics.

(ii) Betweens

  • round eyed,
  • shorter than sharps,
  • used for quilting,
  • can be used instead of sharps if fabric is heavier.

Crewels

  • of same length with sharps,
  • used for embroidery work,
  • eye oval and larger in order to take embroidery thread.

Choice is needles

  • should be straight and firm, smooth and large enough eyes to be threaded easily, rust free/stampless,
  • size should correspond with weight of fabric not to leave marks,
  • sharp, easy to thread assorted sizes, the larger the size the finer the needles.

SEWING TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

CHOICE AND CARE OF PRESSING EQUIPMENT

(i) Irons

Used for pressing and ironing work in process

Types 

  • Charcoal,
  • Electric
  • Steam

Gas

Flat irons.

Commonly used ones are

  • electric
  • charcoal

Electric

Choices, use and care of electric irons

  • should have a clearly labelled control knob according to type of fabric,
  • should have a long enough flex to reach ironing surface,
  • shouldn’t be too light/too heavy.

Use and care

  • avoid touching with cold hands,
  • avoid chopping this may damage the heating element and plastic part,
  • don’t use a knife to remove stains,
  • replace worn out flex before it gets exposed,
  •   cool and store in a dry place after ironing.

Charcoal irons

  • should be heavy enough to exert pressure on the garment,
  • should have a comfortable handle,
  • screws firmly fixed
  • sole should be cleaned before using,
  • the iron to be closed well before using,
  • after use, it should be emptied, cooled on a stand and stored in a dry place,
  • clean with warm water soapy, rinse, dry and oil joints.

Ironing board/table 

Choice 

  • of adjustable height to prevent fatigue and poor posture when ironing,
  • well padded and should have a removable cover to be washed,
  • should have a sleeve board for ironing sleeves and children garments,
  • should have a heat proof mat for placing iron, (A square asbestos)
  • should be firm if it is an ironing table,
  • should be large enough, comfortable height,
  • should be smooth and flat,
  • shouldn’t be polished.

NB:- table is for pressing flat articles

SEWING TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

Haberdashery 

Are sewing notions:

Types

  • tacking thread
  • sewing thread
  • button hole twins
  • shear elastic
  • embroidery skeins
  • embroidery balls

Sewing thread

Choice

  • colour should match colour of fabric
  • strong, smooth and right thickness not to cut easily,
  • texture should match fabrics e.g cotton for cotton fabrics, silk for silks and synthetics etc.
  • colour fast, smooth and right thickness,
  • it should be mercerized cotton thread for machine stitching.

(ii) Bins bindings

  • match texture with that of fabric,
  • colour should match/contrast fabric if for decorative purpose. – it should be colour fast.

(iii)Elastics

Choice

  • according to width and point of application
  • should be strong.

Care

  • avoid ironing because it makes them soft and loose

(iv) Fastenings 

e.g press studs, hook and eyes, zipps & buttons

  • size and colour of buttons should match the style and colour of garments. 

STORAGE FACILITIES

E.g

  • Needlework box
  • Drawers
  • Cupboards
  • Wardrobes
  • Dressing mirrors
  • Dressing table
  • Hangers

Used for storing needlework tools and garment

NB:-

  • Hangers should be adequate,
  • The facilities should be clean,
  • Rust free
  • Smooth surface.

The sewing machine

Categories

  • Hand machines
  • Treadle machines

(iii)Electric machines 

  • some may be
  • Straight stitch machine
  • Swing needle

Straight stitch machines are easier for beginners but swing needle are more advantageous because they have many attachments and built in devices that provide several functions e.f making buttonholes, darning, edge finishing, embroidery works, piping blind hemming etc.

Parts of a sewing machine:-

  • take up lever,
  • stitch regulator,
  • presser foots,
  • slide plate,
  • bobbin and bobbin case,
  • balance wheels,
  • stop motion screw,
  • bobbin winder,
  • bobbin dish
  • bobbin & bobbin case

Choice of a sewing machine

Cost 

  • buy the best you can afford,
  • spare parts should be locally available,
  • seller should give customer care and after sale service,
  • consider amount of sewing (whether domestic/commercial use),
  • should be versatile and not complicated,
  • always get a manual on how to operate,
  • all parts should be working before buying

SEWING TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

using a sewing machine

  • follow the manual,
  • there should be enough light to be able to see what is being stitched,
  • the bobbin to be wound and machine threaded correctly,
  • the needle should be correctly chosen appropriate on coarceness/finess of fabric,
  • stitch length to be adjusted depending on fabric weight,
  • balancing tensor of needle thread and bobbin thread,
  • testing the machine on double fabric that should be same as fabric to be sewn,
  • lift presser foot using a pressor foot lever,
  • put work, lower needle onto the exact point ant lower presser foot,
  • stitch while guiding work with both hands,
  • at corners, lift presser foot leave the needle in work turn work lower, presser foot continue stitching,

stop machine by the wheel if through lift presser foot and needle, pull work to the back of machine and put thread, leave approximately 10cm thread in needle.

Winding the bobbin

  • stop needles motion by loosen stop motion screw,
  • wind a little thread on bobbin from spool pin pass through bobbin winding thread guide,
  • place bobbin on the winder run machine and wind thread evenly,
  • when full stop, tighten the stop motion screw,
  • remove bobbin, cut thread and thread the machine.

Threading the sewing machine

  • thread moves from spool pin through guide to tension discs,
  • move tension disc to take up lever,
  • pull through guides to needle,
  • it is then threaded from direction of last thread depending on machine instructions.

Threading the bobbin

  • put bobbin in the case,
  • pull thread through the slits and under tension spring leaf,
  • thread should make bobbin run clockwise if it is pulled,
  • place bobbin case in the shuttle hook facing up press till the click sound is heard.

Bringing the bobbin thread up

  • hold needle thread with left hand facing user,
  • turn handle wheel gently with right hand for needle to lower and pick bobbin thread,
  • tuning lightly so that both threads are on the surface,
  • place the 2 at back of the machine before starting to machine,

NB:-

A good machine stitch is same and even on both sides.

Faults of machinery

  • thread breaking,
  • needle breaking,
  • material puckering,
  • stitches skipping,
  • fabric not moving well,
  • threads looping.

SEWING TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

 Thread breaking

Causes by

  • too tight top tension
  • needle wrongly inserted
  • thread wound on spoil pin,
  • blunt needle
  • incorrect threading,
  • bent needle
  • machining backwards,
  • machine not oiled
  • eye of needle faulty

Breaking needle

Caused by:-

  • needle too fine for fabric/too heavy fabric for needle,
  • machining on pins, needle bent, needle loosely screwed, too tight tension (top),
  • pulling work from front while removing,
  • loose presser foot,
  • machining close to zip teeth,
  • straight stitch for zigzag,

Puckering for materials

  • blunt needle, – too tight tension,
  • adjusting feed dog.

Skipped stitches

  • incorrect threading,
  • incorrect inserting of needle,
  • too thick fabrics,
  • needle and bobbin threads of difference thickness,
  • putting work while machining,
  • needle bent, needle too fine, needle blunt, machine not oiled.

Fabric not moving well/machine feeding fabric wrongly

Causes 

  • setting feed dogs for embroidery work,
  • stitches not well regulated e.g short length,
  • lack of enough pressure of fabric,
  • too thick fabric so pressure on fabric a lot,
  • machine being in reverse, fabric held too tightly.

Hoping of thread

Causes 

  • incorrect threading,
  • not balancing upper and lower tensions.

Care of the sewing machine

  • covering to protect from dust,
  • oiling moveable parts depending on work,
  • servicing regularly and replacing worn out parts,
  • learners should use it with supervisions,
  • placing a piece of cloth between presser foot and feed dogs when it is not in use to absorb extra oil.

SEWING TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

ALL HOMESCIENCE NOTES FORM 1-4 WITH TOPICAL QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

PRIMARY NOTES, SCHEMES OF WORK AND EXAMINATIONS

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