Blog Posts

Review: Fashion Patternmaking Techniques [vol. 1]

Fashion Patternmaking Techniques [vol. 1] by Antonio Donnano, How to make Skirts, Trousers and Shirts for Women and Men, promopress 2014 About the author “Antonio Donnanno began his career in his family’s tailor shop and later, after majoring in history and philosophy, focused on the teaching of costume history and patternmaking techniques. In 1982, he…

What Are Knife Pleats And How To Sew Them

What are knife pleats? A knife pleat is a piece of fabric folded sideways along the fabric length. Knife pleats are a series of multiple such pleats folded into one direction: to the right or left (see the images below). They add fullness to a garment or part of a garment. You can use them…

DIY Tutorial: Luna Lovegood Beetle Ring

For this year’s (i.e. 2022) Halloween my family and I have decided to dress as various characters from the Harry Potter Movies. One of them will be Luna Lovegood and in this short blog post, I’m going to show you, how to create Luna’s interesting beetle ring. To make Luna’s glasses you will need the…

6 Reasons You Should Try Tissue Fitting

I first found out about tissue fitting when I bought the book The Palmer Pletsch Complete Guide to Fitting and I found it weird. People are covered in paper that usually tears really easily. It all looked really strange. But as I learned more about patterns and sewing I realised tissue paper fitting is an…

DIY Professor Trelawney Costume – Tunic

For this year’s (2022) Halloween my family and I decided to dress as characters from the Harry Potter movies. In this blog post, I’ll describe how to make a Sybill Trelawney outfit (a green tunic, that I’m going to wear myself ;). (Sybill is a fortune-teller and professor at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and…

DIY Luna Lovegood Glasses – Spectrespecs

For this year’s (i.e. 2022) Halloween my family and I have decided to dress as various characters from the Harry Potter Movies. One of them will be Luna Lovegood and in this short blog post, I’m going to show you, how to create Luna’s funny glasses called spectrespecs from the Quibbler magazine. To make Luna’s…

DIY Professor Trelawney Costume – Sweater

For the Halloween 2022 my family and I decided to dress as characters from the Harry Potter movies. In this blog post, I’m going to describe how to make a Sybill Trelawney outfit (a brown sweater) I will be wearing for this occassion ;). (Sybill is a fortune-teller and professor at the Hogwarts School of…

Simple Tutorial – DIY Luna Lovegood Earrings

For this year’s (i.e. 2022) Halloween my family and I have decided to dress as various characters from the Harry Potter Movies. One of them will be Luna Lovegood and in this blog post, I’m going to describe, how to create Luna’s fancy beaded radish earrings no one overlook. In this tutorial you will learn:…

DIY Professor Trelawney Socks/Leg Warmers

For this year’s Halloween (2022) my family and I decided to dress as characters from Harry Potter movies. In this blog post, I’m going to describe how to make the Sybill Trelawney socks/leg warmers that will be part of professor Trelawney’s costume. (Sybill is a fortune-teller and professor at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and…

Simple Tutorial – DIY Sybill Trelawney Funny Costume Skirt

For this year’s (2022) Halloween my family and I decided to dress as characters from the Harry Potter movies. In this blog post, I’m going to describe how to make a Sybill Trelawney outfit (skirt) that I’m going to wear myself ;). (Sybill is a fortune-teller and professor at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and…

What Are Box Pleats And How To Sew Them – Part 2

In my previous blog post I described sewing box pleats: hem the fabric, draw vertical lines, pin or baste the fold and press the fabric. However, you can make box pleats without pressing the fabric and create a soft look of the final folds. These unpressed box pleats have the same properties as the pressed…

Easy Tutorial – DIY Luna Lovegood Costume Skirt

For this year’s (i.e. 2022) Halloween I and my family have decided to dress as various characters from the Harry Potter Movies. One of them will be Luna Lovegood and in this blog post I’m going to describe, how to make a space pattern skirt Luna is wearing. It is going to be a simple…

Easy DIY Tutorial – Sybill Trelawney Headband

For this year’s Halloween (2022) me and my family decided to dress as characters from Harry Potter movies. In this blog post, I’m going to describe how to make a Sybill Trelawney headband I will be wearing . (Sybill is a fortune-teller and professor at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry). The dimensions in…

What Are Box Pleats And How To Sew Them – Part 1

What are box pleats? A box pleat is a piece of fabric folded in such a way that a box-like shape is created. Box pleats are a series of multiple fabric pleats (see the images below). They add fullness to a garment or part of a garment. You can use them to make a whole…

DIY Project – Luna Lovegood Butterbeer Cork Necklace

For this year’s (i.e. 2022) Halloween I and my family have decided to dress as various characters from the Harry Potter Movies. One of them will be Luna Lovegood and in this blog post I would like to show you how to make a butterbeer cork necklace that is supposed to keep away Nargles (small…

How To Sew An Easy Bubble Skirt

In my previous blog post, I have closely described how to draft a bubble skirt (also known as a balloon skirt) pattern with an elastic rib jersey waist. In this post, I will explain how to sew such a skirt. If you do not have a bubble skirt pattern yet, use the simple pattern calculator…

How To Draft A Bubble Skirt Pattern

If you wish to make a simple, yet visually appealing summer skirt, you can try sewing a bubble skirt. Technically, a bubble skirt is a version of a gathered skirt. However, the fabric is gathered not only at its waist, but also at the hem of the skirt thus creating the look of a bubble…

How To Draw A Circle Without A Compass

When drafting patterns, sometimes you have to draw a large circle. This applies mainly to large, circular pattern pieces like circle skirts or flounces. In this blog pos I’m going to describe, how to draw circles without a pair of compasses as to buy one with long arms is almost impossible. I’ll demonstrate this method…

How To Sew A Casing For An Elastic Waistband – 3 Methods

A casing for an elastic waistband is an easy solution how to add an elastic to the waist of different garments and hide it. It is suitable for gathered skirts, trousers, leggings or sweatpants. In this tutorial I will describe three different ways of sewing such a casing. Each one has a different difficulty level.…

DIY: How To Draw A Circle Skirt Pattern?

If you have tried my online circle skirt calculator or used the formulas for different types of circle skirts (also referred to as circular skirts), you ended up with three numbers: angle under which the circle skirt pattern is drawn, circle radius for the waist and circle radius for the hem of the skirt. In…

How To Pleat Fabric? Part 5 – How To Hem Pleated Fabric?

If you have already read my blog post about pleating accordion pleats or pleating knife pleats, you may also wish to learn how to hem pleated fabric. Should I finish the hem before pleating the fabric or after? I have tried various methods of hemming both before and after pleating the fabric. In this blog…

How to make your own bias binding tape maker?

In my previous blog posts, I have described how to decorate hems and fabric with bias tapes. And also how to make your own bias tapes using a bias tape maker you can buy in the shop. In this post I’m going to show you how to make your own DIY bias tape maker. To…

How to make your own bias tapes?

In my previous blog post, I have described what bias binding tapes there are and how to sew them onto the fabric edge. Usually, you buy them in stores. However, If you do not find a bias tape meeting your needs, you can make your own at home. In this blog post, you will learn:…

What Is A Bias Tape And How To Use It?

A super easy, yet visually appealing way to finish and decorate hems of skirts, trousers, sleeves or edges of armholes is by applying a bias tape to them. Buy a bias tape you like or make your own one and sew. In this tutorial, you will learn: What a bias tape isHow to sew bias…

What Is A Lettuce Hem And How To Sew It?

There are many different ways to decorate hems. One very easy hem to make yet really attractive is a so called lettuce (or frilled) hem. It looks pretty on children’s clothing, summer dresses, free time clothing, lingerie or nightwear. You can sew this type of hem using a classic sewing machine or an overlock machine.…

What Is A Gathered Circle Skirt And How To Draft It?

I have already written blog posts about circle skirts and gathered skirts. I came across a ‘gathered circle skirt’ when I was draping a Jalisco skirt for my Halloween costume last year. I have to say it is my favourite type of skirt, although it is quite fabric consuming. In this tutorial, you will learn:…

What Are The Most Common Seam Finishes?

Together with selecting fabric, seam allowance width, or cutting pattern pieces, type of seam finishes is one of the things you decide on before starting any sewing project. Before you start, consider the following: Type of fabric (knit, woven, non-woven)Woven fabric densitySheerness and transparency of fabricFabric thicknessType of garment or sewing projectTechnologies available to you…

What Is A Gathered Skirt And How To Draft It?

A gathered skirt is the simplest type of skirt that you can draft and sew by yourself. A typical example of a gathered skirt is a dirndl, a traditional peasant women’s dress worn in alpine regions, part of which is a long gathered skirt with a gathered apron. In this tutorial you will learn: What…

What Is A 3 Step Zigzag Stitch And How To Use It?

A three step zigzag stitch also referred to as a multi step zigzag stitch, 3 step zig zag stitch or triple zigzag stitch is a type of stitch that uses three smaller stitches in one diagonal line (see the image below). Just like the simple zigzag stitch, it is built in all sewing machines, even…

What Is A Zigzag Stitch And How To Use It?

A zigzag stitch is a basic stitch built in all sewing machines. It creates diagonal stitches while sewing (see the image below). It is versatile and can be used for various purposes such as finishing raw edges of fabric, decorative purposes, fixing trims, etc. In this tutorial, you will learn: How to finish raw edges…

What Is A Hand Overcast Stitch And How To Sew It?

A hand overcast stitch (also referred to as a whip stitch) is a diagonal type of stitch used to finish raw edges of fabric in order to prevent fabric from fraying. It is a soft and flat seam finish, which is also really time consuming to sew. Use this technique if you do not have…

What Is A Circle Skirt And What Are Its Variations?

There are many types of circle skirts depending on the fracture of a circle the skirt is made of. If you wish to sew a skirt that will have a light flounce, pick a quarter circle skirt. If you wish to make a skirt, that will spin in the air charmingly, go for a circle…

What Are Flounces And How To Sew Them?

What are flounces? Flounces, sometimes also called circle gathers, are decorative elements made from a circle-shaped piece of fabric. By straightening the inner (smaller) circle of the fabric or accommodating it to shape other than the initial circle, flounces are created (see the images below). In this blog post you will also learn about: Most…

Faux Chenille Christmas Pillowcase

Faux chenille is a fabric manipulation technique I really love as its application is so universal. With Christmas around the corner, perhaps you wish to make a special gift for someone and this contribution may be the right inspiration for you. In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a red and white…

How To Pin Fabric?

Pinning might look easy and straightforward. Yet, there are multiple methods of pinning the fabric and, depending on what you do, one may prove a better choice for some reason. Are you asking why? Let me touch on this in my today’s contribution. Pin with classic pins along seam allowance I use this type of…

Why Use A Half-Size Tailors Dummy?

The first time I saw a small size tailors dummy was in the series Pattern Magic by Tomiko Nakamichi. The designs in this book are amazing and for me the small tailor’s dummy was equally interesting. I used it for the first time when I draped my Jalisco skirt with lots of gathers and it…

How to Fold A Star Out Of Paper?

After exploring different possibilities of pleating, I finally started to create my own pleating designs. One of them is a folded star. I am probably going to create a few and use them as part of my Christmas postcards. In this blog post, I’m going to describe how to fold a paper star. Let’s start…

What Is The Difference Between Fabric And Material?

Before I started sewing, I could not understand how it is possible to buy cotton satin or even stretch cotton satin. I always thought something like “Satin is a fabric made of silk, which makes it smooth and shiny”. This blog post is for those who struggle with the same issue as I did. I…

What Are Pinking Shears And How To Use Them?

Pinking shears are special shears with zig-zag shaped blades. Their purpose is to create decorative seam finishes or hems of non-woven fabric (see the images below). This post will answer these questions: How to cut with pinking shears?Can I use pinking shears to cut woven fabric?How to finish edges of woven fabric with pinking shears?How…

How To Pleat Fabric? Part 4 – Advanced Permanent Pleats

In my previous blog posts, I describe how to hand pleat fabric at home by applying heat in order to create permanent accordion pleats or permanent knife pleats. This time I am showing how to create a more advanced permanently pleated fabric. For demonstration purposes, I’ll be working with a piece of chiffon fabric that…

How To Prepare Fabric For Sewing?

Once a friend of mine told me: “I have just sewn an amazing wool skirt with a concealed zipper. But after I washed it, the area around the zipper got distorted and it looks awful now. I just don’t understand what happened.” One of the main reasons may be the absence of fabric treatment before…

What Are Gathers And How To Gather Fabric Easily?

There are multiple ways to gather fabric. I have tried all of them and again and again I was either unhappy with the outcome or struggled with broken threads. Nevertheless, after many experiments the “yes, this is it” moment came and it hasn’t failed me since. No wonder that it has quickly become my favourite…

Book Review: Make Your Own Dress Patterns

Adele P. Margolis, Dover Publications, 2006 “Anyone who can work through the labyrinthian directions for sewing that company the commercial pattern can surely learn the comparatively simple and clear rules for pattern making,” says Adele Margolis, author of the book in question.  This book was first published back in 1985 and the 2006 release is…

How To Sew Faster And Easier With These Tools?

When I started sewing, everything took me far too long. Yet, over time I have gained more skills and also collected a few sewing accessories that really simplify my work and make sewing much easier and faster. In this blog post, I will share with you my favourite sewing accessories I use most frequently and…

How To Pleat Fabric? Part 3 – Pleated Fabric Samples

After reading book Paul Jackson’s book and refining the technique for hand pleating fabric at home with heat, I have decided to try hand pleating at home. I made pleated fabric samples from these fabrics: tulle, chiffon georgette, crystal organza, mirror organza, satin, crêpe satin, micro satin and duchess satin. For each fabric I made…

How To Pleat Fabric? Part 2 – Permanent Knife Pleats

In my very first blog post about pleating fabric, I have described how to pleat an accordion type of pleats. In this post, I will show you how to permanently hand pleat knife pleats – another common type of pleats. These, unlike the accordion pleats lie flat (see the images below). In this blog post…

Exercise Sewing By Using Sewing Practice Sheets

How do I sew straight seams? How do I sew curved seams? These are the most common questions, and often a nightmare, of every sewing beginner. I was asking myself the same question. The most common advice is to practise, practise, and practise. All right, but how? Well, with just a few sheets of sewing…

How To Pleat Fabric? Part 1 – Permanent Accordion Pleats

After I have read PauI Jackson’s book about pleating, I felt really inspired to start hand pleating fabric. How to hand pleat fabric at home is touched on in the publication fairly briefly and the lack of detail has led me to trying out my own ideas and resulted in slightly refined methods compared with…

Book Review: Complete Pleats by Paul Jackson

Pleating techniques for fashion, architecture and design by Paul Jackson Laurence King Publishing, 2015 This is one of my favourite books and I consider it as the most important publication for someone who desires to create their own pleating designs. Actually, this is my first book about pleating. Complete Pleats offers plenty of schemes, well-written…

How To Make Flower Applique – Faux Chenille Style

Having finished my first dress with a heart applique followed by a tunic with a butterfly, I intended to make another dress for my daughter and decided to further experiment with the faux-chenille style I came across in Ann Small’s book. While experimenting with fabric cutting, it occurred to me that creating small fabric applique…

Pattern Making for Kids’ Clothes by Carla Hegeman Crim

Barron’s 2014 I bought this publication on pattern making as I was looking for a book about fashion design for kids. The book promises information about designing, adapting and customising patterns. In this particular case, the term designing means creating various designs based on basic slopers for kids’ wear provided by the author. QR code…

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