Category Archives: Tutorials

Tutorial: How to Draft a 1-Piece Collar

Tutorial: How to Draft a 1-Piece Collar

Say whh-aaaat? A 1-piece collar? Why in the world would I want to make/use one of those crazy-looking things? The first few shirts I made for my husband I did not use a I-piece collar pattern. What was the point, after all? Well, in time, I realized that eliminating the seam on the front edge of the collar produces a smoother line. And the collar and the front placket is your first impression of a shirt. Uh huh. So makeread more

Tutorial: How to Hem Jeans (and Stop Paying For Hemming Alterations)

Tutorial: How to Hem Jeans (and Stop Paying For Hemming Alterations)

If you own a decent sewing machine, all you need to do is buy a couple of inexpensive tools and you will be all set to hem your own jeans and casual pants. As a matter of fact, you could quickly start charging your friends to do their hemming alterations! Here are the tools/supplies you will need: Size 100 Jeans needle Jean-a-majig Denim or topstitching thread to match the garment Scissors Sewing machine Watch this video to learn just howread more

Tutorial: How to Sew a Blind Hem

Tutorial: How to Sew a Blind Hem

You love to sew, but maybe you are a little low on time to create the kind of garments you can be proud to wear. Or maybe all you need is a clear explanation and a simple, clear demonstration of the technique you have been itching to try. Let’s start with the way ready-to-wear garments are hemmed in manufacturing. Duh! By using an invisible or blind hem on a sewing machine, that’s how. There is no time for hand hemmingread more

Tutorial: How to Make A Perfect Buttonhole

Tutorial: How to Make A Perfect Buttonhole

Buttonholes can induce a little anxiety, especially if you have to make ten or twelve of them on a shirt. But if you follow these simple steps, and practice, you will soon be making lovely buttonholes without batting an eyelash. Really! Please note: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you decide to purchase. Thanks! Here’s what you need to get started: A garment with appropriate interfacing applied to the area where buttonholes will be maderead more

Tutorial: 10 ways to finish your seams

Tutorial: 10 ways to finish your seams

There are loads of different ways to finish a seam allowance; in this tutorial I will just cover ten of the methods that you might like to experiment with. Maybe you have a favorite or two in this grouping, and maybe you will be encouraged to try a few other finishes in the near future. The purpose of a seam finish can be to: prevent raveling provide a decorative detail on the inside of a garment strengthen a seam reduceread more

Tutorial: How to Add Piping to a Seam

Tutorial: How to Add Piping to a Seam

Adding a bit of piping in a seam is an easy way to give your finished garment some pizazz, and often a pop of color as well. I don’t really consider this to be a couture technique; tho some folks do. Really, it is easy. Just start by including it in a straight seam rather than something curved like a collar, and then after you get the hang of it you can go crazy. Midriff bands or waist seams areread more

Tutorial: How to Iron the Collar When Making a Shirt

Tutorial: How to Iron the Collar When Making a Shirt

The collar is the main focal point of a shirt, so everything you can do to make this part of your garment as perfect as possible will help your garment achieve that “standard of excellence” we sewists all strive for with our garments. Ironing, or pressing, is an often overlooked or under-appreciated part of sewing. And they are different. Ironing involves sliding the iron across the fabric; pressing is lifting and setting down an iron with some pressure. If youread more

Tutorial: How to Set in a Sleeve Without an Easing Stitch

Tutorial: How to Set in a Sleeve Without an Easing Stitch

For some reason, learning how to set sleeves into blouses or dresses can cause some sewists to break out in hives. Part of the reason for this struggle can be poor pattern-drafting. Hear that! Not.Your.Fault! But with a properly drafted pattern you can often set the sleeve in without adding an easing stitch to your sleeve. What I mean by a properly drafted sleeve is one with a high sleeve cap that only has about 1 inch or less ofread more

Tutorial: How to add a vented sleeve band

Tutorial: How to add a vented sleeve band

Have you ever made a blouse or top and the sleeves ended up being shorted than you would have liked? C’mon, you know you have; it has happened to all of us who sew. I like to view these situations as “design opportunities” rather than disasters, and one of my favorite ways to add a little snap to an outfit with too-short sleeves is to add a vented cuff. It looks all designer-y-and-fancy, but it really is super simple. Youread more

Tutorial: How to Ruche a Sleeve

Tutorial: How to Ruche a Sleeve

A really fun (and cute!) way to shorten a sleeve or pant leg without re-hemming is to add a bit of ruching. You can do this to RTW clothes as easily as clothing you have made for yourself, and best of all—it is fast and easy! The only slightly tricky part is deciding what length you want to be gathered. This is definitely a case where less is more, because the finished ruching section will be approximately half the lengthread more