Blog Posts

Step by step instructions how to draw a large circle without a pair of compasses.

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 methodContinue reading “How To Draw A Circle Without A Compass”

How to sew an elastic waist band casing tutorial images.

How To Sew A Casing For An Elastic Waistband

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.Continue reading “How To Sew A Casing For An Elastic Waistband”

Different types of hems on pleated fabric.

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 blogContinue reading “How To Pleat Fabric? Part 5 – How To Hem Pleated Fabric?”

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.Continue reading “What Is A Lettuce Hem And How To Sew It?”

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:Continue reading “What Is A Gathered Circle Skirt And How To Draft It?”

Examples of most common seam finishes: pinked edges, zig zag stitch, 3 step zig zag stitch and overlocked edge.

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 density Sheerness and transparency of fabric Fabric thickness Type of garment or sewingContinue reading “What Are The Most Common Seam Finishes?”

Decorative 3 step zig zag stitch on red fabric.

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 theContinue reading “What Is A 3 Step Zigzag Stitch And How To Use It?”

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 edgesContinue reading “What Is A Zigzag Stitch And How To Use It?”

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. IContinue reading “What Is The Difference Between Fabric And Material?”

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 withContinue reading “What Are Pinking Shears And How To Use Them?”

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 thatContinue reading “How To Pleat Fabric? Part 4 – Advanced Permanent Pleats”

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 favouriteContinue reading “What Are Gathers And How To Gather Fabric Easily?”

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 isContinue reading “Book Review: Make Your Own Dress Patterns”

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 andContinue reading “How To Sew Faster And Easier With These Tools?”

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 madeContinue reading “How To Pleat Fabric? Part 3 – Pleated Fabric Samples”

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 postContinue reading “How To Pleat Fabric? Part 2 – Permanent Knife Pleats”

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 sewingContinue reading “Exercise Sewing By Using Sewing Practice Sheets”

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 withContinue reading “How To Pleat Fabric? Part 1 – Permanent Accordion Pleats”

Book Review: Complete Pleats

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, wellContinue reading “Book Review: Complete Pleats”

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 appliqueContinue reading “How To Make Flower Applique – Faux Chenille Style”

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 codeContinue reading “Pattern Making for Kids’ Clothes by Carla Hegeman Crim”

How To Make A Butterfly Applique?

Having finished my first dress with faux-chenille like appliques, I created another one utilising a slightly different technique of fabric manipulation. So I decided to make a butterfly applique. Instead of cutting out the heart shape from selected fabrics, used on my first dress, I cut stripes of stacked fabrics on the bias and sew themContinue reading “How To Make A Butterfly Applique?”

How To Make A Simple Heart Applique?

After reading Ann Small’s inspiring book about fabric manipulation, I decided to try the stitch and slash fabric manipulation technique by creating a small heart applique for girl’s dresses. In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a faux chenille style heart applique suitable for girls’ dresses, tunics, or t-shirts. It’s is sizeContinue reading “How To Make A Simple Heart Applique?”