Vestment Sewing Basics
Before You Begin

Learning vestment sewing basics before you begin will save you hours of frustration. You've bought the fabric and you have the pattern. Now, before you start cutting, take these few extra steps for an easier and pleasant sewing experience.

No Food or Drinks Allowed

Never set a coffee cup or any glass with liquid on your cutting board. Mom ruined about $50 worth of fabric doing this once. Keep all liquids away from your cutting board, sewing area and – of course – your ironing board. Coffee stains are virtually impossible to remove from expensive vestment fabric. Vestment sewing basics rule one: Play it safe and keep food and liquids far away.

Distilled Water Only

Put only distilled water in your iron. Regular tap water will stain satin. What could possibly be worse than devoting hours of time to making a chasuble only to stain it the first time your press it?

Use Good Quality Thread

No two threads are alike! There are different types of thread for different projects, and if you get a thread that is too old or thin it will keep breaking in your machine and cause you no end of headaches. So before you begin, take the time to visit your local fabric store and buy good quality thread. Mom always uses the Coats and Clark brand.

You’re Only As Good As Your Scissors

The most essential of vestment sewing basics is a pair of good quality scissors. This small investment will make a huge difference between a pleasant sewing experience or the project from Hades! You want scissors specifically designed for sewing. (Mom uses the Fiskars brand). And if it’s been awhile since you’ve used them, it might be wise to take them into your fabric store and get them sharpened.

In the Pink

While you’re at it, get a pair of pinking shears as well, a crucial part of your vestment sewing basics. Pinking shears leave a notched edge on your fabric to keep it from unraveling. They are essential when working with satin as they will keep your seams from coming apart.

Get a Clean Start

When you haul out that sewing machine, pull out the manual as well and spend a few minutes reading it as part of your vestment sewing basics. Also, invest in some sewing machine oil (available at your nearby fabric store), along with a small lint brush or canned air compressor and take the time to clean your machine before you begin:

1. Unplug your machine and take out the needle, thread spool and bobbin. Using a soft, lint-free cloth, wipe down the outside of your machine to remove any dust. If your machine has any dirt on it, wipe it off with a damp sponge.

2. Take the lint brush or air compressor and clear the lint from your thread guides and other tight areas. Now remove slide plate that covers your bobbin. Using either your lint brush or air compressor, clear the lint from in and around the bobbin case. If you see any lint that is packed in, pull it out gently with tweezers. Then add a couple of drops of sewing machine oil. Follow the instructions in your owner’s manual when doing this and go easy on the oil.

3. Then replace the needle, thread spool and bobbin and do some test sewing on some clean scraps of fabric. This will ensure your machine does not have too much oil and will help you avoid the costly mistake of getting sewing machine oil on your vestment fabric.

Get a Good Cutting Board

This is a small investment that will make a world of difference in your work. Buy a simple cutting board made of cardboard to protect your cutting surface. Mom has hers set on a large table in her sewing room. It costs only $12 American and is well worth the investment.

Ready to Get Started?

Get started by cutting out the chasuble. Then learn to sew it here.

You can learn how to sew a stole or maniple by clicking here.

Learn how to make a burse here.

Learn how to sew an alb.

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