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Forum > Patterns and Notions > thread color: how important is the perfect match? ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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thread color: how important is the perfect match?
sockiboo
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sockiboo
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Date: 9/7/12 3:37 PM

i'm just curious: are you ever tempted to use a thread color and type you already have in your box, if the match is close, rather than find the *perfect* shade at the store? i recently came home with two spools that i had very near cognates to at home already--and i'll keep them, now that i've made the trip, but i wonder how much it really matters. if it's a *pretty good* match, if not perfect, and the thread type and fiber, etc., is appropriate--and, i guess, you're not doing a lot of topstitching--how many of you would just use what you already had? is this pennywise/pound foolish?

(although i'm not sure it's just about the money; i also just hate having a multiplying thread box. sewing takes up a lot of space, and those spools . . . i mean, does anyone ever finish one?)

rmusic1
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rmusic1
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Date: 9/7/12 3:49 PM

It depends on the fabric and how you are using the thread. If you have fabric with multiple colours, I would just choose a neutral shade like grey. If you are doing top stitching I think I would go either for a matching exactly or contrast colour.

I have heard that some people have only three colours of thread, black, grey and white. I have with complete success used white thread on cream cotton seams, you never saw the difference.

Another thing to consider, if it is a perfect match it can be very hard to unpick when your eyes are tired in the evening!

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 9/7/12 4:36 PM

It really depends on the application. I just made a reversible doublet (like a vest) for my FIL that is predominantly blue (one side) and gold (the other). I sewed almost the entire thing with black thread--it just made more sense to have a neutral like black possibly showing through on the wrong side, than a higher-contrast blue or gold. But! That project also has suede trim applied to the blue side, and I did make a special trip to buy the exact right shade of brown thread, because none of the six (!) spools of brown thread in my stash were close enough.

And, btw, I have definitely finished spools of thread! Corsets take a ton of it (all those boning channels add up!).

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~Gem in the prairie

nancy2001
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In reply to sockiboo <<
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Date: 9/7/12 4:37 PM

When in doubt, just use your eyes. If you're simply sewing seams, you're not going to see the thread color, so it doesn't really matter if the thread color is a bit off. If you're topstitching a garment, you are going to see the thread color very clearly, and any discrepancy, even a minor one, is going to be noticeable. If the garment is an important one, it pays to get an exact match of thread.

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No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

stirwatersblue
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Date: 9/7/12 4:47 PM

Oh, and think about fabrics with lots and lots of colors--wild prints or upholstery or whatnot. You'd drive yourself crazy trying to find the perfect match for something like this:



Best to just talk yourself into either a turquoise or a pink and be happy.

(I am actually looking at my eyeglass cloth right now, which lives next to the computer. It's a white background with bright lime green and lemon yellow polka dots, and I'm trying to decide which of those three colors of thread I'd choose! Honestly, it's a tossup.)

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~Gem in the prairie

EleanorSews
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Date: 9/7/12 5:25 PM

I think Nancy2001 & stirwatersblue cover it well.

It truly depends on what I am making. I've used up quite a few pink and lavender threads making dress-up clothes for little girls on my list. When making seat sacks for DD's classroom, I went through all my black and dark charcoal thread before using new spools. If the fabric is a solid color and the stitching might be visible, I try to the closest match. Otherwise, I try to make do whenever I can simply because spools of thread seem to magically multiply every 5 minutes or so...

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"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin

"Attitude is the difference between an adventure and an ordeal." unknown

jadamo00
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Date: 9/7/12 6:09 PM

If I want to use up what's in a bobbin, I'll change the top thread to match but not the bobbin. With a printed cotton: it doesn't show.

The only thing that would really show bad would be a dark thread with light or white solid cotton fabric.

j.

sockiboo
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sockiboo
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Date: 9/7/12 6:58 PM

this is all lovely, thank you. and rmusic1 is very right--i have sometimes wished for a slight mismatch when ripping!

i think i'll be better about checking the garment/pattern to see if stitching will be visible before automatically purchasing a new spool.

Judy Kski
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Judy Kski  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/8/12 2:55 PM

I try to match perfectly or go a shade darker. That is what I was taught and what works for me.

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Judy

ekFitz
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ekFitz
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Date: 9/8/12 5:34 PM

I only use black or white unless there is a chance the thread will show and there is a high contrast (Like a kelly green - neither black nor white will blend well). I do buy special colors for top-stitching (if I don't already have the color). I buy the largest spools of black and white thread they sell and they usually last a few months. Also, with serger thread, I only have black, white, and grey. I've never bought any other colors, but I might if I want to do a rolled hem on a brightly colored garment.

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My sewing blog - www.gravamenofthestitch.com

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